15 May 2007

Deranged Millennium Copyright Act

If you thought the DMCA was bad, take a look at this:

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 best bit, though, is the following:

* Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software. Anyone using counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be imprisoned for life. During a conference call, Justice Department officials gave the example of a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it.

This would be funny if it weren't so sad: life imprisonment for using "pirated" software? What planet are they on? But I like to look on the bright side: in the face of this utterly deranged legislation, I think a lot of people are going to start looking rather favourable on free software....

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