The DMCA is already an amazingly shitty bit of anti-consumer legislation and now Congress looks to be making things even worse:
Known as the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006, the legislation is currently undergoing final tweaks before being submitted to Congress. Terry Shawn, Rep. Sensenbrenner’s press secretary, told me that those drafting the legislation are “still listening to feedback from interested parties” and that the bill should be introduced in the near future.
Some highlights from the proposed legislation (which has the backing of the Bush administration) include a toughening of the DMCA which would make attempting to infringe on copyright illegal. In addition, no one would be allowed to “make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess” hardware or software that could be used to circumvent copy-protection mechanisms. That’s an expansion on the DMCA’s current language, which prohibits the distribution of tools such as DeCSS that can be used to bypass copy-protection schemes.
That’s not all. Criminal enforcement of copyright violations will be extended to cover works not registered with the US Copyright Office at the time of the violation. Also, asset forfeiture will be used as a weapon against those infringing on copyright. That PC you use to rip a copy of The Empire Strikes Back to your hard drive could be confiscated and either destroyed or sold at government auction. Other criminal penalties for infringement would be toughened, including up to 10 years in prison for posting copyrighted material online if its value exceeds US$1,000.
To put it bluntly, the claims of the content creation industry do not add up. Here’s what the equation really looks like: Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 + analog hole legislation + the broadcast flag = zero Fair Use rights + pay multiple times for the same content. If you don’t like that math, it’s time to get in touch with your congressperson and senators.
It’s not about the piracy, it’s about selling you the same crap multiple times for maximum profits.