Attempted copyright infringement soon to become a crime

Martin Brinkmann
May 15, 2007
Updated • Jun 30, 2013

The first thing that came to my mind when I read "Attempted copyright infringement" was the term thought crime which refers to crimes that you committed in your thoughts and not in reality. There are enough movies and books out there where people are punished for thought crimes. If you thought that these crimes are fiction, I may need to get you back to reality as things are being pushed fast into that direction.

Minority Report and 1984 are both fictional products, but what they describe may become reality sooner than we would have ever imagined, if at all.

It seems that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pressing the U.S. Congress to enact a sweeping intellectual-property bill that would increase criminal penalties for copyright infringement, including "attempts" to commit piracy.

The so called Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 propose the following measures:

  • Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright.
  • Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software
  • Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations
  • Allow computers to be seized more readily
  • Increase penalties for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention regulations
  • Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes
  • Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America

You do find an in-depth report by following the link mentioned above or read the summary of the act here. What's next, Death Penalty for someone who copies the newest Britney Spears album? Thanks Jan for sending me the information per email.

Update: Ever since the days of Napster, and probably even before, the Media industry as well as some politicians have lobbied for harsher penalties and more control over the Internet. The last year alone has seen the rise of multiple proposed bills like SOPA or PIPA that would have changed the online landscape forever, and always for the worse.


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