Senator Endorses Destroying Computers Of Downloaders

from the a-bit-extreme dept

Senator Orrin Hatch today said that he thinks it would be good if there were technology that would destroy the computers of those who download music from the internet. During a discussion about ways to stop copyright infringement, he specifically asked about ways to damage users' computers. When told that no one was interested in actually damaging machines, he responded: "I'm interested" and said that it "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights." He says he wants technology that would warn a user (twice) and "then destroy their computer." Then, to reiterate the point, he said: "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines." This of course, goes beyond even the most ridiculous proposals in the last few years from politicians. While it's unlikely to lead to any situations where this is actually occurring, it's a bit scary that he's suggesting such a draconian system for propping up obsolete business models, rather than encouraging companies to create new business models around new digital opportunities.

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  1. identicon
    Dan, 20 Jun 2004 @ 10:25pm

    Avenging Data Theft

    The question here appears to be not how severe the penalty actually is, but rather how justified it is in the first place. I am not defending copyright infringement, just putting in my two cents worth. Copyright infringement is theft of data. This is not the same as shoplifting, because it does not decrease the total value of property owned by another. With that in mind, the idea of assaulting the pirate's computer would be a purely destructive act, defying the principle behind copyright law: ensuring that the company benefits from use of their product. It would also be interesting to see how this case has to do with spyware and legislation against unauthorized parties intruding into personal data, not to mention property.
    -Dan

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