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Congress Readies New Copyright Bill

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Property Protection Act of 2006

We intended to provide portions of the Property Protection Act of 2006 here. However, the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 makes that punishable by 5 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

(SNN Washington) While academics, technology experts and technology companies have been trying to get Congress to relax the copyright laws in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, they have only a fraction of the money available to entertainment lawyers.

Legislation drafted by the entertainment industry, plagiarized by the President and backed by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), named the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 would make the attempted copying of a movie punishable by 10 years in prison.

Detractors say that the bill would give people who copy movies more years in prison that those that traffic child pornography. However, supporters of the bill point out that child pornography does not make money for the entertainment industry, no matter how much their executives enjoy watching it.

This is typcial of the paranoia people feel over new legislation. Some people cliamed the Digital Millenium Copyright Act had provisions that would make everyone a criminal, such as the clause that makes it illegal for a consumer to watch a movie that they rent or purchase. What those people are overlooking is that there is more to enjoy from a modern DVD than just the movie contained within. DVDs come with beautiful artwork and packaging that can but put on display and appreciated. Or at least the artwork and packaging can be displayed until the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 passes, at which point it will be illegal to look at the packaging of a DVD you own.

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