Prison for Online Pirates
People who illegally trade large amounts of copyrighted music online could face up to three years in jail under a bill approved today by a congressional panel.
A House Judiciary subcommittee unanimously approved the “Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004,” which would be the first law to punish Internet music pirates with jail time if it were signed into law.
The bill targets people who trade more than 1,000 songs on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks like Kazaa and Morpheus, as well as people who make and sell bootlegged copies of films still in cinematic release. It also calls on the FBI to create a piracy deterrence program and would require the Justice Department to launch an anti-piracy education program. Furthermore, the bill would authorize $15 million for the department to spend in 2005 to prosecute copyright infringement cases.
The FBI is the nation’s premier law enforcement and counter-terrorism agency. One would think there would be better uses for its resources at present.