Senator Orrin Hatch would like to destroy the computers of all file traders to teach them a lesson about copyrights. (link via Register) Sure, downloading copyrighted material is illegal, but just what the heck is he proposing?
This would involve creating new legislation to exempt copyright owners from old-fashioned laws that make it a crime to destroy other people's property, and from somewhat newer computer trespass and misuse statutes as well.
Such legislation would be in line with US Representative Howard Berman (Democrat, California) and his vision of allowing copyright owners and their agents to hack computer systems where copyright violations might be going on. Hatch would simply take it a bit further, permitting copyright owners to take overtly malicious action.
While there may soon be an excuse for willful destruction of property, "there's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch explained.
Sure, let's give the RIAA more power. Of course, the geek community at SlashDot was all over this story.
Meanwhile, conservative senator Sam Brownback would like to limit the rights of copyright holders. (link via C|net). Thanks, Chuck, for pointing this out.Posted by James at June 19, 2003 7:51 AM