Thursday, November 13, 2003

The copyright wars are progressing as proponents of expansion introduce a new bill to the Senate in the US.

The "Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act" proposes jailing p2p file sharers for three years for having a single copyright infringing file on their computer. Also someone would get jailed for five years for using a camcorder in a cinema.

"In addition to the prison term, the Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act would punish making such movies available on a public "computer network" as a federal felony with a fine of up to $250,000. It would not require that any copyright infringement actually take place...

Peter Jaszi, a professor at American University who teaches copyright law, said he is "deeply troubled" by the wording of the draft legislation, because it does not say any actual copyright infringement must take place--only that the file be available in a shared folder, Web site or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site. "It says we don't care if anybody got any of these copies," Jaszi said. "We're going to conclude that at least 10 people did. It relieves the copyright owner of having to prove that any violation
of their rights actually happened.""

I predict a round of vigorous public debate between the usual protagonists in the US. I can't really see "ART" getting too far off the ground.

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