Senators Ask Justice Department To Become Hollywood's Private Enforcement Agency

from the the-gov't-works-for-hollywood dept

In 2004, Senator Orrin Hatch introduced the Pirate Act, which would allow the Justice Department to go after people for file sharing in civil cases. Civil cases, of course, are between two private entities, rather than the gov't and a person. In other words, the government shouldn't be a part of it at all. Just because the legacy entertainment industry can't figure out a new business model, it doesn't mean they should be able to use the FBI and the rest of the Justice Department to enforce their old business model. Even folks in the Justice Department thought it was a bad idea, as they had no desire to be Hollywood's private enforcement arm. Luckily, that bill died off, and we thought it was all gone... until Senators Patrick Leahy and John Cornyn brought it back to life on Wednesday, introducing a very similar bill, also called the Pirate Act, which again would task the Justice Department with handling the entertainment industry's civil cases. It's difficult to see how anyone can justify having the Justice Department act to prop up the obsolete business models of a single industry, but that's exactly what's happening. Not surprisingly, the RIAA and the MPAA are thrilled to find out that your tax dollars may go towards artificially keeping their business model on life support.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 9:42am

    I'm starting to really really hate some politicians. If only there was some way to have open elections and keep stupid people out at the same time. sadface

     

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    tony, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 9:48am

    Third it...

     

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    BritJo, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 9:50am

    Predictable

    The Goverment is made of older men and women for the most part, and this translates into taking the advice of anyone who understands computers for laws on that subject. If we can educate these people, they MIGHT understand how dumb these laws are. Also, where there is power, there is corruption, no exceptions. Sadly, only people about a generation older have ever attained postitions of power and at that point, they are too busy keeping their power to stay up to date on technology (case in point: iPhone locked to AT&T) It is how the government works as of now.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 4:40pm

      Re: Predictable

      The Goverment is made of older men and women for the most part, and this translates into taking the advice of anyone who understands computers for laws on that subject.
      Oh no, not just anyone but only of their favorite special interest groups.

      f we can educate these people, they MIGHT understand how dumb these laws are.
      Dumb is a matter of perspective in this case. These kinds of laws are very useful for certain groups.

      Also, where there is power, there is corruption, no exceptions.
      Corruption is what's it's about. These people aren't really that stupid (well, most of them anyway). They're corrupt. But the public keeps voting for them and it's the public that should really be held accountable.

       

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    glitch, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 9:57am

    don't blame the politicians

    they are just trying to maintain an income

    and to a lesser extent, tax rev

     

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    Jerry in Detroit, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 10:03am

    This could backfire

    This could easily backfire on the music industry where in many cases, the industry just started distributing music files with no actual distribution agreement and often without actual ownership of distribution rights.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 10:14am

      Re: This could backfire

      No, it wouldn't backfire because they won't target corporations, only "individuals". Even if the "crime" is the same it's categorized differently.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 4:43pm

        Re: Re: This could backfire

        No, it wouldn't backfire because they won't target corporations, only "individuals". Even if the "crime" is the same it's categorized differently.

        Yah, selective enforcement is the way of the day.

         

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 8th, 2007 @ 10:10am

    Re #1

    Fourth the opinion.

     

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  •  

    Set for a vote?

    5th it. I'm on board

     

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    Kelley, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 10:22am

    Pirate act

    Vote the 2 Senators sponsoring the bill out of office. Better yet, recall the dumb s....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 10:23am

    From what I read about this on news.com, this bill would create a 10 member squad of FBI agents dedicated to investigating these kinds of things. I don't see how any Senator could justify using FBI agents for this when those are 10 more agents that could be investigating terrorism and other crimes. Maybe they should also divert some troops from Iraq to tackle this as well(sarcasm).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 7:39pm

      Re:

      I don't see how any Senator could justify using FBI agents for this when those are 10 more agents that could be investigating terrorism and other crimes. You haven't heard? They say copyright infringement supports terrorism.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 10:50am

    I hate them all!

    Stupid jerk politicians. Always trying to stop other people from taking what they did not pay to own, jerks.

     

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    Overcast, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 10:52am

    Yeah, no need to worry about rape, murder, racketeering, drug dealing, gangs, political scandal, child abuse, kidnapping..

    LET'S GET THOSE DOWNLOADERS!!

    Glad to see - as usual - their priorities are in line!

     

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    I like Mike, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 11:00am

    Fat Chance

    This bill has no more chance of passing than the last bill. The FBI and the Justice department don't want to prosecute single moms for downloading old Journey tunes like the RIAA did.

    This bill was most likely introduced to placate a special interest donor to their campaign funds. It will die in committee.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 8:01pm

      Re: Fat Chance

      This bill has no more chance of passing than the last bill. The FBI and the Justice department don't want to prosecute single moms for downloading old Journey tunes like the RIAA did.

      Actually, the US Attorney General has repeatedly expressed a desire to make copyright enforcement a priority at the Department of Justice and to increase the role of the FBI. They really want these kinds of laws. But then, when did any law enforcement organization not want more ways to arrest people?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 11:57am

    I'm tired of people misunderstanding "piracy".

    Piracy is when you make ten thousand copies of a DVD, package it up and then sell it for $5 a pop so you can make a profit.

    Going online and downloading a 700mb version of a two hour film to watch on my laptop while traveling and staying in crappy hotel rooms might possibly be copyright infringement, but in absolutely NO way is that "piracy".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:04pm

      Re:

      That makes no sense. Not paying to watch a movie, because you downloaded it would in fact be the definition of piracy. The fact that you admit copyright infringement is what puzzles me. If you know you are infringing on someone's copyright then why are you doing it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:48pm

        Re: Re:

        Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material which is covered by copyright law, in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.

        For electronic and audio-visual media, unauthorized reproduction and distribution is occasionally referred to as piracy

        ...

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry, hit submit before I added this to my last post

          ...though courts often hold that under law the two terms are interchangeable

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 8:04pm

        Re: Re:

        Not paying to watch a movie, because you downloaded it would in fact be the definition of piracy.
        Not unless you change the definition of piracy. But if we're going to do that then why not just change the definition of murder and call it that?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 8:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not unless you change the definition of piracy. But if we're going to do that then why not just change the definition of murder and call it that?

          OK, I'll bite. Copyright infringement kills profits therefore copyright infringement is a form of murder.

          There. Happy?

           

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      Wizard Prang, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 2:51pm

      Piracy

      I'm tired of people misunderstanding "piracy".

      Piracy is rape, robbery and murder on the high seas.

      What we are talking about here is called "Copyright Infringement"... but I suppose that it does not sound as dramatic as "Piracy".

       

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    Steve R. (profile), Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:06pm

    A Future Yet to Come ????

    While the bill may have little chance of passing; it is, nevertheless, a demonstration that someone is thinking in this direction and may keep on trying.

    We seem to be taking small steps down a one-way road where corporations will have the ability to "arrest", "judge", and "condemn" anyone they believe is "stealing" their so-called intellectual property on their own volition and without any regard to due process.

     

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    glitch, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:40pm

    i'm a pirate

    MPAA has no interest in me..i dont do movies

    RIAA has 2 issues with me:

    1] I download cd's i can't buy because their members won't release them [too old, usually]

    2] I only buy used cd's..usually for less than $5

     

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    glitch, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:40pm

    i'm a pirate

    MPAA has no interest in me..i dont do movies

    RIAA has 2 issues with me:

    1] I download cd's i can't buy because their members won't release them [too old, usually]

    2] I only buy used cd's..usually for less than $5

     

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    anonymous coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:53pm

    I loaned my buddy $20 last week and he hasn't paid me back. Maybe I can get the Justice Department involved...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 8:19pm

      Re:

      I loaned my buddy $20 last week and he hasn't paid me back. Maybe I can get the Justice Department involved...
      First, there would have to be something "interstate" involved, like maybe him lining in another state. Second, they don't care about protecting the little guy unless there's a lot of press involved in it for them. There is a monetary minimum that must be met otherwise. I don't remember for sure but I think it was like $5000 before they would even listen.

       

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    Yup, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 1:50pm

    Does anyone else...

    Smell payola? It has that sweet old money no brains scent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 2:59pm

    So what is the current going price to buy a Senator these days? Is it possible to buy a few Senators in bulk, and get a special deal? Perhaps they have a package with cross-sells between Senators and Congress?

     

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    _Jon, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 7:10am

    If we were a truly active citizenry, jerks like this wouldn't get into office in the first place.

     

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    nipseyrussell, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 9:09am

    webster:

    pi·ra·cy
    Pronunciation: ˈpī-rə-sē
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural pi·ra·cies
    Etymology: Medieval Latin piratia, from Late Greek peirateia, from Greek peiratēs pirate
    Date: 1537
    1: an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery2: robbery on the high seas3 a: THE UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ANOTHER'S PRODUCTION, INVENTION, OR CONCEPTION ESPECIALLY IN INFRINGEMENT OF A COPYRIGHT b: the illicit accessing of broadcast signals

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 12:28pm

    yes. copyright infringement is murder.

     

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    Dwight N. Westrick, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 1:48pm

    Murder

    American Heritage Dictionary
    mur·der (mûr'dər)
    ...
    v. tr.
    1. To kill (another human) unlawfully.
    2. To kill brutally or inhumanly.
    3. To put an end to; destroy: murdered their chances.
    4. To spoil by ineptness; mutilate: a speech that murdered the English language.
    5. Slang To defeat decisively; trounce.

    So "To put an end to; destroy" the RIAA's business model is MURDER!
    See? The dictionary said so right there!
    Now we just need to begin executing all those murders!

    Of course, "4. To spoil by ineptness" could apply to the RIAA itself. So if they are trying to murder themselves maybe they should be charged with attempted suicide.

     

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    paul, Nov 15th, 2007 @ 11:58pm

    Songs for distribution are/were supposed to be free as they were to farmiliarize people with new artists and promote concerts. What a true artist is inclined to do, Perform!

    Anyone remember why we pay for cable? So we didnt have to watch commercials!. Now you ask people at the cable company that question and thay look at you like your from mars.

     

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