Congress is working hard to eliminate your Fair Use rights.

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.

10 thoughts on “Congress is working hard to eliminate your Fair Use rights.

  1. Yep, and it’s stupid. Unless they’ve got some ace up their collective sleeves I don’t know about, I’m not going to purchase.

    I’ll stick with the few bands whose albums I own, and occasionally a new game.

    No matter how much they push us around, we still have the most power. For now.

  2. Let’s face it: Normal people can’t afford to talk to Congress, run for Congress, or fight Congress.

  3. In addition, no one would be allowed to “make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess

  4. Iolite:

    when the government begins to genuflect to corporations

    I thought the two always travelled together. LOL

  5. Iolite, I’ve been wondering if our elected leaders were cognizant of that fact as well. Considering the amount of consideration those guys give to the legislation their passing chances are they haven’t thought about it much.

  6. Exactly: this legislation bans all computers.  Turing proved that all computers are equivalent except for speed, so if one computer “can” be used to break copy protection, so can any other.  Therefore they’re all illegal; it’s right there in the bill.

    It’s equivalent to banning all cars to prevent car accidents, or banning all sharp objects to prevent stabbing murders.  The public is entitled to a presumption of innocent intent when owning any multipurpose object for which only *some* of its purposes are harmful.  Computers, like cars and knives, fall into that category.

    Just as the public interest in being able to drive has to be balanced against the state’s interest to prevent car accidents, the public interest in being able to own and use computers must be balanced against the state’s interest to prevent misuse of computers.  And in both cases the correct result is the same: ban only the harmful use.

    (This is, of course, aside from the debate on whether IP laws allow too much restriction already on what a consumer can do with content he has purchased.  That’s a legitimate argument both ways, but banning all computers is nowhere near legitimate.)

  7. Okay, so this is really bad. Who do we have representing us in Washington? Are they really representing the people, or just their wallets? I wonder how much that our officials are being paid off to pass laws like this. Wait, did I miss something? Are we now USSA? United Soviet States of America? So what? Has Lennin arisin and is now ruling us all? God help us! I though this was supposed to be a FREE country. Can not we get some serious lawmakers into congress that actually CARE about the people they are supposed to represent!

  8. I wonder how much our officials are being paid off to pass laws like this.

    Truck loads.

    Can not we get some serious lawmakers into congress that actually CARE about the people they are supposed to represent!

    Not when the business-owned feeding trough is so deep.
    Nor whilst you have a deeply polarised two party mindset and as totally an ineffectual opposition as we do in Oz.
    Nor whilst you go along with assuming an Independent to be a Commie.
    In Oz, in the electorate in which I live, we elected the first Independent, it seems like a decade ago, to represent us in Federal Parliament. Peter Andren seems to get an increased majority each election.
    There are a few more now as more people become disenchanted with the two main players.
    I’m not saying Independents are the answer but at least they don’t overtly suck but one dick; they play for compromises, usually.
    The other problem you have in the US is that only someone with deep pockets or with some corporation’s dick in their mouth can afford to be elected.
    The world-wide problem is that people get the type of government they deserve.
    Please forgive me for throwing rocks from my glass-house into yours.LOL

  9. This reminds me of how special interest groups and corporations are tempting Congress to write help them piss in the face of network neutrality. Basically, network nuetrality is the idea that NSPs don’t give ay special preference to any network. If AT&T and others have their ways, the websites that pay the most money get the better service (faster load times, etc…) Can any of you techies out there correct me if I’m wrong?

    I’d guest post on this, but I’m so very lazy.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/21/AR2006012100094.html

  10. Are we now USSA? United Soviet States of America?
    So what? Has Lennin arisin and is now ruling us all?

    Yes, your government is most Stalinistic there is when it comes to methods and policies.
    Despite of just changed name even Russia loses.

    2. Definitely no! Lenin would have put all these corporate lobbyers and corporate assholes to front of firing squad faster than you wrote that message. Lenin’s ideology was exactly opposite to this fascism of corporations and capital.
    It’s Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini combined what you have in lead.

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