Saturday, May 19, 2007

Gonzales Goes Off the Deep End

Update: Scratch what I said about software pirates going to jail for life, I and "Against Monopoly" were mistaken on this point, as a commentor on the linked article pointed out.

Whew, that was quite a while away from my Blog, considering I was making 6 posts a day not too long ago.

Well, it's official: US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is officially insane.

He now wants to make "attempted copyright infringement" a crime with jail time. This is stupid, onerous and unenforceable to such a degree that I would be laughing if this kind of stupid legislation wasn't such a threat.

He is calling for life imprisonment for using pirated software (in comparison, rape boasts a 7 year jail sentence, which seems fair because those poor multi-billion dollar software companies are more helpless than a woman being forced into sexual acts...), more wiretaps to aid piracy investigations and even for Homeland Security to get involved!

Could someone please explain to me why a government agency tasked mainly with preventing the United States from terrorist attacks should give 2 flying shits about copyright? Since when is a teenager sitting on his computer burning a copy of a DVD a threat to national security?

How exactly is "attempted copyright infringement" going to be defined? You either infringe a copyright or you don't. Unlike attempted murder, attempting to infringe a copyright has never been illegal. It only becomes illegal once you actually infringe the copyright. There's a good reason to punish people for attempting to murder someone, I can't think of one for copyright.

Also, how exactly would this even be enforced? Unless you are spying on people, which would involve the government breaking the law (although Bush wouldn't know the law if it bit him right in the ass), there is absolutely no way for anyone to be able to tell that you attempted to infringe a copyright.

Thank god this moron isn't likely to last much longer as Attorney General due to a whole range of other scandals he's been involved in. His hypocrisy sickens me. He blatantly tramples over citizens' rights by participating in the NSA wiretapping scandal, violating the constitution in the process, but sees the need to protect the recording industry from us evil pirates. How can he even look at himself in the mirror?

It's ironic that copyright, a law that was originally intended to help smaller creators protect their works against misappropriation by big printing houses is now being used to bludgeon individuals over the head by multi-billion dollar corporations. Perhaps businesses shouldn't draft their entire businesses on a law that is over a hundred years old and incredibly outdated....


Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro