Senator Leahy Wants To Give At Least $5 Million To State Department To 'Combat Piracy'
from the spread-the-money-around dept
Last week, we wrote about a proposal in Congress to give ICE (part of Homeland Security) at least another $10 million for the next year to continue its program of censoring websites in the name of “stopping piracy.” Of course, when Congress and Hollywood get together, they never put all their eggs in just one basket. So, it should come as no surprise that in another appropriations bill, this time for the State Department, and put forth by Senator Patrick Leahy — who also introduced PIPA — there’s another chunk of “anti-piracy” cash. The bill sets forth $899,600,000 for “civil judicial and security programs.” But, amazingly, the only program that is specifically called out with a specific amount is to “combat piracy.”
CIVILIAN JUDICIAL AND SECURITY PROGRAMS.—$899,600,000 for assistance for rule of law, justice, corrections, anti-crime, cyber crime, civilian police, and security sector reform programs, of which not less than $5,000,000 shall be made available to combat piracy of United States copyright materials, consistent with the requirements of section 688 (a) and (b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008
If you’re curious about sections 688 (a) and (b) as mentioned in this bill, you can see them here. They just authorize the State Department to “provide training” to foreign judges and prosecutors on intellectual property law. That is, it’s part of the US’s official IP propaganda program to convince foreign judges and prosecutors that strict interpretations of IP laws are the only way to go.
A couple years ago, we wrote in more detail about how the State Department spends these funds, and it’s not pretty. Basically, we send copyright maximalist lawyers to other countries — countries that have their own copyright laws — and tell judges and federal prosecutors there that they need to enforce US-style copyright maximalist laws.
I’m really not sure how that’s an appropriate use of taxpayer money.