Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




How Hollywood May Get The Feds To Knock Down Doors For Them

from the stunning dept

People have been emailing/submitting questions about why we've avoided writing about Senator Hatch's and Senator Leahy's PIRATE bill that would give $2 million dollars to the Justice Department to have them file civil lawsuits against those accused of copyright infringements. The answer is, honestly, because we just didn't believe it. The law is so over-the-top bizarre that the idea that a Senator would even think about it seemed so laughable that the whole concept seemed mostly like an early April Fool's joke. There's a reason why we have civil offenses and criminal offenses, and to have elected representatives actually decide that federal authorities should be able to file civil charges on behalf of private (Hollywood) interests because the burden of proof on criminal charges is "too high" is a scary statement about the state of politics today. There's a reason that the burden of proof on criminal charges is high - and there's a reason that private interests can file civil suits. There simply isn't a reason for the government to file a civil suit on behalf of a private party when they can do that on their own - especially when they already have their own fake police force. I doubt anyone actually expects this law to pass. The only explanation is that it's a gesture from these politicians to thank their Hollywood backers for money donated. Update: Tech Law Advisor has the figures on how much Leahy and Hatch have received from the entertainment industry.

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