PIRATE Act Rejoins the Fray

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PIRATE Act Rejoins the Fray

Post  zenister on Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:02 pm

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) reintroduced the Intellectual Property Enforcement Act (PDF) known more commonly as the PIRATE Act to Congress.

This version of the PIRATE Act would give the Department of Justice authority to bring civil (not just criminal) cases against individual file-swappers.

(Dept. of Justice lawsuits) could save the recording industry plenty of money and could also displace some of the “bad guy” stigma that the labels have acquired after suing people like Jammie Thomas.

The bill does limit penalties to those that could be imposed in criminal proceedings and the Attorney General can also bring such civil suits only when the violation constitutes a crime (such civil suits can be easier to win). It also includes additional funding for prosecuting IP crimes involving both computers and Internet as well more FBI agents to investigate such crimes.

Leahy stated,”The PIRATE Act has passed the Senate on three separate occasions; this should be the Congress in which it becomes law.”

“Copyright infringement silently drains America’s economy and undermines the talent, creativity and initiative that are a great source of strength to our nation,” said Leahy. “When we protect intellectual property from copyright infringement, we protect our economy and our ideas.”

Most gamers would IP theft is wrong, but this legislation is akin to hunting mice with an elephant gun. Has Congress run out of drug lords, money laundering schemes and embezzlers to prosecute? When did all the terrorists surrender? Prosecuting the little guy has been disastrous for the record industry. The backlash from the mod chip raids hasn’t done the industry any favors. Why they would believe going through the DoJ would be any better for their reputation defies logic.


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