Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claims the DOJ needs more power to combat piracy. According to this CNET article: “Overall, the changes are necessary because new technology is ‘encouraging large-scale criminal enterprises to get involved in intellectual-property theft,’ Gonzales said, adding that proceeds from the illicit businesses are used, ‘quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities.'”
Well, in that case, we better get serious and crack down on copyright infringement. Are the terrorists somehow behind p2p (the virtual wmd)? Are all those kids trading files unknowingly supporting the terrorists? Why bother tinkering around with the Copyright statute?–wouldn’t it be easier to just declare war on copyright infringement or subsume copyright within the war on terror?
Ok, I am being flippant. I know I should offer a substantive, measured critique of the proposal itself, but unfortunately, I cannot get past the darn rhetoric right now.
Indeed. For my part, I was bitter to see, just a few lines from this news item, another story … this one about new viruses that exploit Sony’s DRM debacle. A quote from the story: “Sony’s software, installed when playing one of the record label’s recent copy-protected CDs in a computer, hides itself on hard drives using a powerful programming tool called a ‘rootkit.’ But the tool leaves the door open behind it, allowing other software – including viruses – to be deeply hidden behind the rootkit cloak.” The chance we’ll see Sony in the stocks for exposing its customers to a new class of harder-to-detect viruses? Sadly, its far smaller than the chance that the Justice Department will be able to force yet more, and more severe, copyright criminalization.