Found on Groklaw’s news picks, a link to an article at Ars covering the new penalties for IP violations in the “Pro-IP” bill. We’re looking at really excessive fines here. If these fines were enacted, (copy 50 songs, be liable for 75 million dollars damages) and these laws were enforced, al-Qaeda wouldn’t have to do anything–we’d have all the home grown terrorists we could handle, with all those who’ve been disposed and their relatives in jail, we’d have created a permanent underclass with little reason to respect any “rule of law,” when the law would be so deeply corrupt. Good job, RIAA.
By Eric Bangeman | Published: February 05, 2008 – 04:51PM CT
Last month, the Copyright Office held a closed-door session on the issue of statutory damages. A small affair, the roundtable was a response to the PRO-IP Act introduced in Congress late last year. In the wake of the meeting, eight public interest and industry groups have published a white paper (PDF) arguing against any changes to the “one work” rule and the increases in statutory damages that would result from such changes.
OK “increases in statory damages” is a slight understatement. Really out of touch, anti-democractic, especially considering most feel the present damages to be excessive. So let’s just increase the damages, says the RIAA and their lackeys:
The PRO-IP Act would drastically alter US copyright law by increasing the amount of statutory damages that could be awarded to rightsholders. For instance, someone copying a 50 songs from a boxed set could be liable for $7.5 million in damages instead of the current $150,000. There’s more: there would be a new office created within the executive branch that would be responsible for IP enforcement, while the Department of Justice would get a new IP enforcement division.