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Congress mulls prison terms for KaZaA users

Trade one lousy file, go to jail

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Not satisfied with hacking P2P networks, or destroying the computers of file sharers, House Hollywood sock puppet Howard Berman (Democrat, California) is now sponsoring legislation that would jail people who trade as little as one MP3 on the Internet.

Berman has hooked up with House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (Democrat, Michigan) to produce this Hobbesian proposal. "While existing laws have been useful in stemming this problem, they simply do not go far enough," Conyers is quoted as saying.

Details are sketchy but it appears that the legislation would simply assume that any P2P activity with a copyrighted file involves more than ten copies and represents a retail value of $2,500, automatically making it a felony and bringing in the possibility of incarceration. That's ten copies and a minimum of $2,500 assumed per individual file, we believe.

It's some pretty fuzzy math, the idea that a single song would cost $250 at retail, but that's what we elect these guys to do: ignore common decency for the greater benefit of the cartels that own them.

Berman has proven himself to be among the most eager of the RIAA's toadying eunuchs on Capitol Hill. He's proposed letting the recording industry attack P2P networks with malicious code; he's proposed forcing the FBI to drop anti-terror investigations in favor of copyright protection; and now he's offered to put people in jail for making a single music file available to others. A sterling record of devoted service by any measure. ®

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