Third Party & Independents Archives

You may already be a felon

This news.com story that a Congressional committee has approved the so called “Piracy Deterrence and Education Act” is a depressing reminder that no matter WHO you vote for this year, Democrat or Republican, the choice is simply a matter of who is going to screw you less.

This is a bipartisan bill that will make not only a criminal, but a FELON, out of anyone who shares more than $1000 worth of copyrighted materials. It has only been approved by the House Judiciary IP subcommitte, not the full House OR Senate yet. But once it goes through, say goodbye to your ability to vote, and get ready to have to admit to being a convicted felon anytime you apply for a job, simply because you used Kazaa. While other countries, such as Canada, embrace file sharing, the United States Congress has shown, Democrat and Republican alike, that they are wholly owned subsidiaries of big industry and the record companies. Like flies to feces, they will go where the money is and make criminals out of you and me if it means more money in their pocket or more time in front of a tv camera.

Maybe our President has the common sense to see that all this bill will do is make new criminals out of good, law-abiding, men and women, while satiating the fat cat middle men who desperately claw to hang on to power as technology pushes them farther and farther out of the picture.

There is SOME reason for optimism here. After all, the Justice Department and Attorney General John Ashcroft, never known for their meekness and reluctance to act, have been dragging their feet and have yet to prosecute anyone for copyright violations under existing laws. And while violating a copyright certainly is illegal, making felons out of MILLIONS of Americans who use programs like Kazaa and WinMX is a draconian measure to (I would have thought) most educated eyes.

Of course, maybe the President won't see things this way. Congress sure hasn't gotten the picture yet.

Posted by Rob B. at April 1, 2004 1:32 AM