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The Internet

Congress May Outlaw 'Attempted Piracy' 768

cnet-declan writes "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is asking Congress to make 'attempted' copyright infringement a federal crime. The text of the legislation as well as the official press-release is available online. Rep. Lamar Smith, a key House Republican, said he 'applauds' the idea, and his Democratic counterpart is probably on board too. In addition, the so-called Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 would create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software in some circumstances, expand the DMCA with civil asset forfeiture, and authorize wiretaps in investigations of Americans who are 'attempting' to infringe copyrights. Does this go too far?"
The Internet

Is Virtual Rape a Crime? 690

cyberianpan writes "Wired is carrying commentary on the story that Brussels police have begun an investigation into a citizen's allegations of rape in Second Life. For reasons of civil liberty & clarity we'd like to confine criminal law to physical offenses rather than thought crimes but already threats, menace & conspiracy count as crimes. Could we see a situation where our laws extend?"

State of Ohio Establishes "Pre-Crime" Registry 761

I*Love*Green*Olives writes to tell us the Toledo Blade is reporting that State officials have rubber-stamped a "civil-registry" that would allow accused sex offenders to be tracked with the sex offender registry even if they have never been convicted of a crime. From the article: "A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit. The rules spell out how the untried process would work. It would largely treat a person placed on the civil registry the same way a convicted sex offender is treated under Ohio's so-called Megan's Law."

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