Wednesday, March 16, 2011

War for Copyright replacing War on Drugs?

With the drug warriors suffering stunning legislative defeats in that radical leftist stronghold of Kentucky, it's clear the War on Drugs has worn out its welcome. But now the modern McCarthyists seem to have a new crusade that's carried out just as zealously: the War for Copyright.

Copyrighting of artistic works is constitutionally authorized - but with limits. No real legal theory can justify infringing on our constitutional liberties in the name of copyright protection.

The Bush regime created a new government post with the oh-so-freedomy name Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. President Obama later appointed Victoria Espinel to this post. Now Espinel has released a lengthy screed demanding frightening expansions of the sure-to-fail War for Copyright.

Espinel's report advocates making felonies of mere civil offenses. And it says the FBI should be allowed to wiretap suspected copyright violators. Nowhere does the report even recognize fair use.

Naturally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded these recommendations.

What the report means is that anybody can become a felon just by watching a video on YouTube in which music happens to appear in the background. Copyright hawks are willing to destroy lives and expand the prison state over the incidental appearance of music in a YouPube clip!

By making a civil offense a criminal matter, it also lets copyright holders effectively define a crime. It's another bailout for Big Business that harms the people.

Only in the America of the 21st century can the content industry count on having the taxpayers provide for it. But I'll be working some more today - and hopefully earning a few more pennies so I can pay taxes to go into Corporate America's bloated lid.


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