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DOJ is prepared to begin prosecuting peer-to-peer pirates

DOJ to swappers: Law's not on your side 
By Declan McCullagh  <mailto:declan.mccullagh@cnet.com>
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
August 20, 2002, 2:27 PM PT

ASPEN, Colo.--The U.S. Department of Justice is prepared to begin
prosecuting peer-to-peer pirates, a top government official said on

John Malcolm, a deputy assistant attorney general, said Americans should
realize that swapping illicit copies of music and movies is a criminal
offense that can result in lengthy prison terms.  "A lot of people think
these activities are legal, and they think they ought to be legal,"
Malcolm told an audience at the Progress and Freedom Foundation's
<http://www.pff.org/> annual technology and politics summit.  


In an interview, Malcolm would not say when prosecutions would begin. The
response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks temporarily diverted the
department's resources and prevented its attorneys from focusing on this
earlier, he said.  snip Under the NET Act, signed by President Clinton in
1997, it is a federal crime to share copies of copyrighted products such
as software, movies or music with anyone, even friends or family members,
if the value of the work exceeds $1,000. Violations are punishable
<http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/2319.html> by one year in prison,
or if the value tops $2,500, "not more than five years" in prison.

selected from digital-copyright Digest 21 Aug 2002 15:00:01 -0000 Issue 55