Wednesday, March 16, 2011

copyright infringement -- the new "terrorism"?

here's a hot new item from cnet, about how the obamacrats want to extend provisions of the PATRIOT act to the realm of copyright law enforcement.

the government's "intellectual property enforcement coordinator" (bet you didn't know we have a copyright tsar) has produced a new set of proposals to break bad on websites that run afoul of hollywood's voracious appetite for unchecked monopoly power over control over entertainment media.

it's not enough that congress keeps extending the length of copyright to perpetually keep mickey mouse out of the public domain, in exchange for fat campaign contributions. nope, we're light-years beyond that now.

new technologies are threatening corporate control over digital media to such an extent that hollywood is making the government its enforcer -- hired thugs breaking arms and cracking heads.

how far will they go? forget about weapons of mass destruction! one proposal is to apply the same permissive standards for wiretapping terrorist suspects to copyright and trademark infringement.

another provision would allow homeland security to intercept and seize "circumvention devices" that can be used to defeat copyright protection on DVDs, and turn them over to corporations, and to treat websites like pirate bay  on foreign soil as threats to national security.

many people dismissed as crackpots and cranks those who warned that the measures enacted in the wake of 9/11 as a backdoor assault on citizens' constitutional rights. allowances had to be made in order to keep us "safe". the presumption was that government would never abuse the expanded powers granted -- that we should simply trust "them" to do the right thing.

that was naive and short-sighted. bit by bit, we'll see that rather than terrorists, these laws are used to increasingly circumscribe the rights of our citizens -- not to keep us "safe", but to protect corporate interests -- chief of which is profits.

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