Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

More Details On The Hollywood Hacking Bill

from the encouraging-vigilante-justice dept

Declan McCullugh over at got his hands on a draft copy of the new bill from Reps. Berman and Coble that would let Hollywood hack your computer. From the description in the article, the bill is scarier than expected. Basically, it gives Hollywood an exemption from any sort of hacking laws (I guess they won't have to spend the rest of their lives in jail, unlike some other hackers), so they can target anyone they think might be distributing copyrighted works. Then, if they did damage to your computer, you would have to (get this) apply for permission from the U.S. Attorney General, before you could sue - and you could only do that if you proved $250 or more in monetary damages. There are so many things wrong with this proposal it's tough to know where to start. It's scary, however, that a specific industry group suddenly gets a full exemption to do (for their own profit) what individuals could get a life sentence for, even when not done for profit. I guess, that's our corporate lobbying system at work.

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  • identicon
    Mgallagher, 24 Jul 2002 @ 6:56am

    Good God!

    This is truly pushing things to obscene levels.

    How, from a logical, legal, or ethical standpoint is this any different from a law exempting retailers from liability related to detaining, beating or killing shoplifters? I used to work for a large discount retail chain and we lost insane amounts of money (actual, quantifiable loss, not this "piracy" crap) but I can't imagine the gales of laughter that would have resulted if we had ever pushed for this type of legislation for our industry.

    Incredible. Simply incredible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Usefulguy, 24 Jul 2002 @ 9:00am

      Re: Good God!

      Or beating just suspected shoplifters? Folks walking by on the street?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Carlos Pun, 24 Jul 2002 @ 11:55am

        Re: Good God!

        This is just another way of Hollywood trying to govern the lives of the American people. First they tell us we should all be democrats and now they want to show us how to act and watch tv. I wonder will slick Billy Clinton would say to this proposal??? No wonder the markets are all going down the drain. Stupid Al Gore and Clinton screwed up our economy and now they think their friends can infringe on our lives. Typical.

        This all comes down to a point right now in every major business in the US (and most likely around the world) where they have all overextended themselves and tried to push up prices. They are all hurting and Actors, Baseball/Basketball players should all take huge pay cutsl, otherwise history will show them as the downfall of the 21st century.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Tim Perry, 8 Feb 2008 @ 7:59pm

          Re: Re: Good God!

          Why are you singling the Clinton Administration out. Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Clinton balance the budget?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Newob, 24 Jul 2002 @ 6:21pm


    Fantastic! Now I can hack into the NSA, CIA, and FBI networks, and they will not be able to sue me unless they prove that they have lost some money because of it! All I have to do is get into Hollywood. How hard can that be? Do I just need to fart out a screenplay on par with current Hollywood standards and offer it to the big studios? Does my script need to be made into a movie already, or would it be good enough for the movie to be 'in the making'? Or do I have to own a whole studio, or something stupid like that? Wait! I know, I can be an extra in somebody else's movie! Actors qualify for being in Hollywood, right? Or do I have to actually have lines in a movie? Er, who, exactly, is Hollywood for the purposes of this law?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 24 Jul 2002 @ 6:39pm

      Re: Grrrrreat!

      Heh. The details appear to be that any copyright holder can hack. Thus, we're *all* able to hack, because we're all copyright holders. The second you write something (anything, anywhere) you hold the copyright on it. So, Newob, you hold the copyright on what you wrote above. Go ahead and hack whoever you want, because you believe they've infringed on the copyright...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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