International terrorists will be able to sleep easier if US Representatives Lamar Smith (Republican, Texas) and Howard Berman (Democrat, California) have their way. A new bill Smith and Berman are sponsoring on behalf of their entertainment-industry patrons will divert limited FBI investigative resources from solving serious crimes and preventing terror attacks to waging a new War against File Sharing.
While it's true that the Feds customarily involve themselves in cases of serious piracy, this legislation is calculated to bring them in on petty infractions that would normally be handled in the civil courts, like the recent $60K judgment against four university students who did nothing worse than index music files.
There's great economic wisdom in this: by criminalizing such minor misbehavior, the RIAA taps public funds to bankroll its petty squabbles. We should all be so lucky.
House bill would cast FBI as copyright Pinkertons
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 23/06/2003 at 12:54 GMT