by Mike Masnick
Tue, Aug 28th 2007 10:30am
First Congress tried to require universities to act as the RIAA's servants (or Congress would take away funding) and now they're trying to do the same thing to ISPs. Rep. Howard Berman (who continually lives up to his nickname of being the Representative from Disney), the head of the Intellectual Property subcommittee (which, as Larry Lessig has pointed out, is like asking a Representative from Detroit to head up the committee on auto safety), is about to introduce legislation that would require ISPs pass on RIAA/MPAA threat letters to subscribers (found via TorrentFreak). Of course, Berman doesn't seem to note that the entertainment industry process is based on extremely flimsy evidence and the whole "settlement process" amounts to little more than an extortion shakedown from the entertainment industry. It's not easy to fight back, and often people feel compelled to settle. With ISPs forced to do their bidding, it will only encourage the entertainment industry to send out notices based on even weaker evidence, since the whole thing has become a revenue generator for them -- and this will simply increase their channel -- all with government support. This is making a mockery of the intent of copyright.
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