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Thread: Prison Terms for those that download licensed products

  1. #1
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    Prison Terms for those that download licensed products

    File-swappers who distribute a single copy of a prerelease movie on the Internet can be imprisoned for up to three years, under a bill that's slated to become the most dramatic expansion of online piracy penalties in years.

    The bill, approved by Congress on Tuesday, is written so broadly it could make a federal felon of anyone who has even one copy of a film, software program or music file in a shared folder and should have known the copyrighted work had not been commercially released. Stiff fines of up to $250,000 can also be levied. Penalties would apply regardless of whether any downloading took place.


    If signed into law, as expected, the bill would significantly lower the bar for online copyright prosecutions. Current law sanctions criminal penalties of up to three years in prison for "the reproduction or distribution of 10 or more copies or phonorecords of one or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of $2,500 or more."

    The bill could be used to target casual peer-to-peer users, although the Justice Department to date has typically reserved criminal charges for the most egregious cases.

    Invoking a procedure used for noncontroversial legislation, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the measure, called the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act. Because the bill already has cleared the Senate, it now goes to President Bush for his signature.

    Enactment of these criminal penalties has been a top priority this year for the entertainment industry, which has grown increasingly concerned about the proliferation of copyrighted works on peer-to-peer networks before their commercial release.

    "This bill plugs a hole in existing law by allowing for easier and more expeditious enforcement of prerelease piracy by both the government and property owners," said Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America. "We applaud Congress for taking this step."


    The bill's supporters in Congress won passage of the prison terms by gluing them to an unrelated proposal to legalize technologies that delete offensive content from a film. That proposal was designed to address a lawsuit that Hollywood studios and the Directors Guild of America filed against ClearPlay over a DVD player that filtered violent and nude scenes. (ClearPlay had gained influential allies among family groups such as the Parents Television Council and Focus on the Family.)

    Peer-to-peer network operators criticized Congress' vote on Tuesday.

    "It appears the entertainment industry has once again gotten Congress to use taxpayer dollars to clean up their internal problems," said Michael Weiss, chief executive of StreamCast Networks. Weiss, whose company distributes the Morpheus client, says that many movies and music files that find their way to the Internet early are provided by insiders in the entertainment industry.

    Adam Eisgrau, executive director of P2P United, a peer-to-peer software industry association, said his group remains "concerned that the nature of the punishment remains radically disproportionate to the technical crime."

    Added Peter Jaszi, a professor at American University who specializes in copyright law: "I don't think this is an approach that is well calculated to create respect for the system."

    The criminal sanctions embedded in the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act have been inching their way through Congress since late 2003. An earlier version was drafted in response to footage of "Star Wars: Episode II," "Tomb Raider" and "The Hulk," reportedly surfacing on peer-to-peer networks before their theatrical release. A few months earlier, the major studios had halted their normal practice of sending DVD "screeners" to Academy Award judges.

    "I am pleased that the House has passed this bill, which takes us forward in the fight to prevent the most egregious form of piracy--the illegal copying and unauthorized distribution of 'prereleased' works," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said after the vote.

    Public interest groups have criticized the measure, saying that the strict criminal sanctions do not take "fair use" rights into account. Other sections of the bill create new federal prison terms of up to three years for anyone who unlawfully records a movie in a theater and provide copyright holders with new civil remedies for prerelease movies, music and software that is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

    Under a 1997 law called the No Electronic Theft Act, copyright infringement has long been a federal crime when the value exceeded $1,000, even if no money changed hands. But Hollywood and the RIAA have argued that it has been too difficult to convince the Justice Department to prosecute people who have been distributing prerelease movies and music.

    Who would be dumb enough to put unreleased movies and such in a shared folder. Their just asking for trouble anyway.
    Last edited by Miroku4444; Apr 20, 2005 at 01:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Grouchy Old Anime Otaku LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata's Avatar
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    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    There's actually been problems in the past with pre-release Oscar nomination preview DVDs being ripped for profit and hacker bragging rights. Now the Oscar preview DVDs are being distributed with invisible 'Digital Watermarks' so that if a preview copy gets ripped, it would be possible to trace back to the unique preview DVD that it came from...

    Link to original CNet news article...
    http://news.com.com/Prison+terms+on+...l?tag=nefd.top
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    I like this. But, it sounds like that they need to only hand out copies to people they really do trust, before the official release date. Since it has to be a small number of people, it shouldn't be THAT hard to stop it at the source. Once it gets out on the Internet it is a bit late.
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    ye when the movie get's out that's gonna be alot of people goning to prison.... but i think they should arrest the source.... cause they should no that's uploading movies that are licensed is illegal. leave the dler's alone o.o
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    Yeah anyone leaving movies in their folders must really want to get caught, funny thing though...i can only imagine the confrontations in prison..... Serial Cannibal walks up to the new guy and asks him what he's in for. "I downloaded a movie." Watch as the cannibal is disgusted and automatically fears the downloader. ha

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    Materials Master KnightofNi may be famous one day KnightofNi may be famous one day KnightofNi's Avatar
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    More bullshit from the RIAA, i hate those ****ing bastards, they just think they can walk and stomp over people. Case in point, here at Georgia Tech we tried to have a serious debate about file sharing and the legal use of the internet as part of a college seminar program to help promote the fact that people can express their opinion, well we invited the RIAA in order have a serious discussion but all we got was a bunch of bullshit baby talk from these bastards about how we shouldn't download, and the debate acoomplished nothing. Yes, this is a problem and it is going to be taken care of one way or another, but I have no respect for people who cannot honor the fact that we wanted to have a serious discussion but we were talked down to like we were somebody's kids who did something wrong. Oh yeah, and I2Hub for all those college people is no longer safe, RIAA is on it too. The current round of lawsuits at colleges is just a warning signal saying that the internet2 is not safe anymore.

    Thats a rant, sorry, I believe the law needs to be defined more, however like alot of governmental bullshit that comes in the senate and house, it is always open ended therefore allowing morons to **** it up, also, the ****ing RIAA's lobbyits have just stapled this shit to the end of a good bill in order to steamroll through the process of cracking down on illegal releasing and sharing.
    Last edited by KnightofNi; Apr 22, 2005 at 01:48 PM.

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    That is quite the strong statement. I wish i could make remarks like that about the government but Unlike most people i fear a cage so I shall keep my rash words to myself.
    even though i hate everything this country stands for God Damn Facists who don't know they're asses from they're faces. Except W. Bush he's hillarious he can't even say 2 sentences without studdering and fukin up. POOR GUY JUST ANOTHER PUPPET TO DISTRACT US FROM THE REAL ISSUES.

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