Don’t Look At The Classified Ads!

analog Comments Off on Don’t Look At The Classified Ads!

Best news headline of the week:

Globe caught with pants down: Paper duped into running porn photos. … Clipping from a Boston Globe story accompanied by staged, hard-core porno shots.

I’ll bet Jayson Blair could make up a great story about how this happened.

Searchlights And Flak

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US citizens rejoice! It has been proposed that the federal government get involved in civil copyright and patent litigation.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has introduced S.2237, a bill that would allow the US Attorney General to get involved in civil copyright disputes.

Let’s be plain. This bill is aimed at Internet piracy. The RIAA and MPAA are going to back this bill, bet on it. They have been sitting on the ground throwing rocks at massive numbers of targets overhead. With ISPs forced to surrender names, they can at now put a face on the target when they hit one. This bill is searchlights and flak, at taxpayer expense.

Internet piracy of intellectual property, copyrighted, patented or not, is wrong. There are those that argue that information wants to be free, and that may be so. But the creators of information must eat, or the flow stops. Internet piracy is wrong.

But the majority of pirated material, whether it be on the Internet or not, is stolen from entities that already have more than adequate legal representation and means to civilly litigate. The RIAA and MPAA have plenty of capable litigators on-staff, and can bring in impressive legal specialists when issues are brought to court.

While the idea that because valuable property has been stolen and so therefore the complaintant must have sound financial means to support their litigation may be an oversimplification in the general, in this specific instance I believe it is not. The beneficiaries of this measure already have sufficient means for redress inside the existing framework, and have a demonstrated ability to use these means of redress.

There is no need for the taxpayers to pay for additional work by our employees to ensure that the recording industry, drug companies, broadcast entertainment, publishers, filmmakers and others find and prosecute those responsible for stealing their property. They have the means to do so themselves. Contact your Senator and tell them so.