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criminalizing copyright violations

US cracks down on peer-to-peer pirates: Entertainment industry hails new
law to curb "rampant piracy"

By Declan McCullagh, Silicon.com, April 28 2005

"File-swappers who distribute a single copy of a pre-release movie on the
internet can be imprisoned for up to three years, according to a bill that
President Bush signed into US law on Wednesday."


"The law had attracted controversy because it broadly states that anyone
who has even one copy of an unreleased film, software program or music
file in a shared folder could be subject to a fine and a prison term of up
to three years. Penalties would apply regardless of whether that file was
downloaded or not."


"The law's stiff penalties apply to "audiovisual" works, music and
software that are "being prepared for commercial distribution". It is not
clear how it will affect fans who redistribute video files of TV shows
aired in other countries first, or movies such as Shaolin Soccer or
Japanese anime flicks that can take years to arrive in the US market.

While some public interest groups have criticised the measure, others have
characterised it as a modest expansion to a 1997 law that made copyright
infringement a crime - even when no money changed hands."

digital-copyright Digest 29 Apr 2005 15:00:00 -0000 Issue 508

Chuck Hamaker
Associate University Librarian Collections and Technical Services
Atkins Library
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Charlotte, NC 28223
phone 704 687-2825