by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 8th 2007 8:49am
In 2004, Senator Orrin Hatch introduced the Pirate Act, which would allow the Justice Department to go after people for file sharing in civil cases. Civil cases, of course, are between two private entities, rather than the gov't and a person. In other words, the government shouldn't be a part of it at all. Just because the legacy entertainment industry can't figure out a new business model, it doesn't mean they should be able to use the FBI and the rest of the Justice Department to enforce their old business model. Even folks in the Justice Department thought it was a bad idea, as they had no desire to be Hollywood's private enforcement arm. Luckily, that bill died off, and we thought it was all gone... until Senators Patrick Leahy and John Cornyn brought it back to life on Wednesday, introducing a very similar bill, also called the Pirate Act, which again would task the Justice Department with handling the entertainment industry's civil cases. It's difficult to see how anyone can justify having the Justice Department act to prop up the obsolete business models of a single industry, but that's exactly what's happening. Not surprisingly, the RIAA and the MPAA are thrilled to find out that your tax dollars may go towards artificially keeping their business model on life support.
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