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+ - New Crime; "Attempted Copyright Infringement&#

Submitted by qazwart
qazwart writes: According to a story in News.com, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pushing changes in the copyright law that would make it a crime to attempt to infringe a copyright. These changes are in the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007.

Currently, federal law makes not-for-profit copyright infringement a felony. Under this new proposal, it would now be a crime if you merely attempt to infringe on a copyright. Also under the new proposal:

  • Life sentence for using pirated software: Anyone who uses pirated software that recklessly causes or attempts to cause death can be imprisoned for life. A government example was a hospital that uses software it didn't pay for.
  • More Wiretaps: Wiretaps can be authorized for Americans who are attempting to infringe on copyrights
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture: Computer equipment "intended to be used in any manner" for committing a crime under this statute (including attempting to infringe on a copyright) may be seized via a civil asset forfeiture. That is, your computer equipment can be confiscated before you are charged with a crime, and can be sold by the government for additional revenue.
  • Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America: This would happen when "unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance" are attempted to be imported. No other copyright holder would have this privilege.
According to the article:

A representative of the Motion Picture Association of America told us: "We appreciate the department's commitment to intellectual-property protection and look forward to working with both the department and Congress as the process moves ahead.

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