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Blogosphere Reaction: DMCA 2.0
April 26, 2006
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There is an epidemic of pop-trash spreading on P2P networks, with girls as young as 12 listening to Britney Spears and even grandmothers who think they are anonymous uploading the latest Justin Timberlake track.

I say it has gone too far. I can't imagine a crime more disgusting than spreading the filth from these artists. It is time to take action and the tools the RIAA need for this 21st Century crime are in the new DMCA, as reported by Slyck.

However, it turns out that my views differ from virtually every other person. The bloggers’ reaction to the “DMCA++” is unanimously negative.

For those who have no idea about what the fuss is about, blogger “Banned, for your safety” let’s us in on all the intricate details:

“DMCA sucks, but guess what, DMCA 2.0 may be coming … The best detail? Copyright infringement supports terrorism, and you should go to jail for supporting terrorism if you violate copyright. For 20 years...”

Thank you Banned, but just for the hell of it, here is another explanation by Aleksey Linetskiy, who runs a blog called Grumpy Tech Guy:

“News.com published an article about the new digital copyright bill, which is currently being prepared by Congress. According to the information from News.com the new bill is nothing else but the DMCA on steroids. Instead of scaling down the controversial DMCA, as was requested many times by computer scientists, security experts and technology folks in general, the Congress wants to give more freedom to law enforcement structures in ‘fighting the IP crimes’. And, of course, this bill is already widely supported by RIAA and others.”

The proposed bill would create The Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006, or IPPA.

“In case you don't think this is a big deal, consider this: when the Sony rootkit was found on their copy-protected CDs by Ed Felten and his colleague at Princeton, they delayed publishing their findings because they were afraid of being sued under the DMCA. Yes, they could have been criminally liable for letting people know that Sony was hacking their customers' computers. And the IPPA makes the DMCA look like a stroll down Happy Fluffy Bunny Rabbit Lane,” says a furious Gregly on his blog.

Some bloggers are concerned about the impact the proposed law would have on technology and consumers.

“[The original DMCA] meant such things as making any open-source DVD playing software illegal because the only way to defeat the Content Scrambling System on DVD discs was to use an algorithm that broke that 'encryption.'

“The entertainment industry (and others) are [now] pushing for even more draconian policies to be passed by congress so they can finally do away with that antiquated idea of ‘fair use’ once and for all,” jjhare posts at his blog, insovietrussia.

Or, as Glyn Moody poetically puts it, “It seems that the IP maximalists really want to nail everything down - even if that means soft parts of your anatomy get caught in the process.”

However, it is the draconian punishment for copyright infringement that is really antagonising the bloggers.

Dave at TuCents.com complains that the law will make “a new federal crime of just trying to commit copyright infringement punished by 10 years in prison (even if the copy attempt fails),” and perhaps even worse, “20 years in prison for excerpting too much of a news article on your web site.”

A couple of bloggers, like Joe at Techdirt.com, highlight that the 10 year sentence “is longer than the five years one can get for assaulting a police officer”.

Still, the overwhelming majority share the opinion of “Teh Shadow,” who reports on a story by The Inquirer, which claims the maximum sentence is longer than for other, much more serious crimes:

“The upgraded act would put people in jail for ten years due to piracy, and let the FBI wiretap your phone. The penalty for downloading child porn is only six years in prison.

“I am so sick of the music and film industrys' bullshit. They can't adapt to new technologies, and they just try to keep the same methods of doing things that they've had since their creation.”

Jjhare of insovietrussia, just as disgusted, continued, “So we're now saying people who share copyrighted material for no gain are the same category of criminal as terrorists and child molesters[?] I'm glad to know that protecting big industry profits is as important to our representatives as protecting us from terrorism and protecting children.”

In response to comparisons with other laws, Beth at MetaFilter suggests, “Better just shoplift it, then.”

“ngelicfrootcayk” concludes, “There are certain things in this world that are so ridiculous that they speak for themselves.”

Todd of “The Blog for the Sports Gamer” tries to remain level headed, concluding, “Now it's true that crazy-ass legislation that doesn't see the light of day goes through Congress all the time, and usually I just read about this stuff with a skeptical eye, knowing it probably won't go anywhere. But this one, which has the support of the Bush administration (surprise, surprise, surprise), seems likely to see the House floor for a vote and that's a scary thought.”


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Technology News :: Other

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