Dun Dun Duh... Crime of the century

Proposed Crime of the Century: Attempted Copyright Infringement

A bill authored by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that would stiffen criminal penalties in copyright cases has sparked a furor, but if history is any indication it may face a tough haul in Congress.

Before the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 can even go to Congress, it will need to be sponsored by a member of the House or Senate. The Justice Department has yet to find a sponsor, although it's hoping that a meeting with Hill staffers will flush one out. And while the DOJ claims to have bipartisan support for its bill, a similar measure introduced last year failed to make it to a vote.

"We're still reviewing the bill, but based on our initial review, we have some concerns," said Corynne McSherry, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "One of our biggest concerns is that it criminalizes attempted copyright infringement."

McSherry said this is unprecedented in copyright law, and noted that the bill is ambiguous: "Itâ..s not totally clear what would count as attempting copyright infringement."


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