I probably spoke too soon in cheering the Supreme Court reigning in the RIAA and their fishing expeditions for illegal music downloading. The Attorney General has now decided that this issue is a matter of high importance and is preparing "the strongest, most aggressive legal assault against intellectual property crime in our nation’s history". This includes supporting a whole raft of laws to restrict the access people have to their rights under the copyright laws, such as the Induce Act. Needless to say the RIAA and the MPAA are very happy to have the government doing their job and supporting their profits.
Well, I guess the Justice Department needed something to do. While I wasn’t looking, we must have won the war on terror and can now turn our attention to more important issues. Oh, wait. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that illegally downloading music was helping the terrorists.
The report — which covers copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks and patents — also says that those who benefit most from this theft "are criminals, and alarmingly, criminal organizations with possible ties to terrorism."
That’s an awfully big stretch — from linking a kid getting "Ice, Ice Baby" over a peer-to-peer network to Al Qaeda trying to snag trade secrets from Boeing. But this proposal is like most of the other ham-handed plans to fight terrorism at home that have been concocted by this administration. Cast a wide, clumsy net that snares everyone in the same legal category rather than putting in the time and effort to actually target the real bad guys.