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.

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Companies: mpaa, riaa

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Comments on “Senators Ask Justice Department To Become Hollywood's Private Enforcement Agency”

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BritJo says:


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

From what I read about this on, 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).

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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

Steve R. (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

nipseyrussell says:


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

Dwight N. Westrick says:


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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