Monday, August 12, 2002

LOCK UP TEENAGERS BEFORE YOU CALL THEM UP: You might have thought that US attorney general would be a man whose plate has got more than enough pie on it right now, what with Martha Stewart, and Enron, and Guantanamo Bay, and Worldcom, and his boss, and his bosses v-p and... well, you get the picture. However, he's now being called on to make cracking down on Napster clones and their users. In a letter, 19 members of Congress called on him to prosecute the service providers, and their users; although one of signatories Lamarr Smith (R, Texas) denies that they want to see individuals locked up in chokey for mucking about with Metallica MP3s - but then, he only got $6,000 from the music & media industries this year. Fellow signatory F. James Sensenberger (R, Wichita) pocketed $21,000 from the sector - more than any other industry gave to him - and may be hoping for something a bit more hardline. Joe Biden's senatoral support income of $39,000 could go some way to explaining his sudden attachment to copyright issues, while Diane Feinstein found her path back to office helped by $215,000 worth of music and media money - getting dangerously close to being priced on a par with Mariah Carey.
Anyway, nobody will be very much surprised to hear the RIAA has wholeheartedly approved of this letter - Hilary Rosen issued a statement saying ""There is no doubt, mass copying off the Internet is illegal and deserves to be a high priority for the Department of Justice" - we'll not spend any time picking apart the lack of understanding betrayed by the phrase "mass copying off the Internet" with regard to P2P networks, but instead just ponder why stopping a few copies of Puddle of Mudd tracks changing hands should be considered on a par with the threat of terrorist attacks (apparently so dangerous we need to bomb the arse out of Iraqis to stop them), and fighting the fraud marble-ribbed through the companies on which the whole of American society depend...
And make them turn it down, too [USA Today] - then throw away the encryption key...
opensecrets.org - handy collection of data on who is buying which US politicians


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