Monday, May 21, 2007

If A 13 Year Old Downloads A Song From Kazaa, The Terrorists Win

The war on drugs is apparently over. The war on crime? Done. The war on the West Nile virus? Killer bees? Dr. Phil? All finished. I don't know if we actually won any of them, but I can tell you this - America is now facing a greater threat than all of those combined, and it's going to take a collective effort to overcome it. Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves - the war against attempted copyright infringement has begun!

Wait, really? That's it? That's the big one? Okay, whatever.

While we were all busy watching American Idol and playing the Halo 3 beta, America fell behind every other country in everything. We're not the smartest, we're not the best dressed, and we're not producing anything of value. Except for movies, TV, music, and video games, and even some of that is questionable. So, there's a big effort to keep your cheap, thieving hands off of anything you didn't overpay for.

Enter Alberto Gonzales (aka Gonzo), Attorney General of the U.S. He's decided that copyright infringement is so significant, that even attempting it should result in jail time. Let's think about some of the other crimes out there that you can get arrested for merely attempting, and not committing: Speeding? No. Littering? No. Possessing an illegal weapon? No. Drug trafficking? No. Let's just cut to the chase here - we're talking about crimes along the lines of murder and manslaughter, which is just a fancy form of murder. That's right - if you even think about uploading a song to the internet, you might as well just try and kill somebody.

The level of ridiculousness here is astounding. What the hell is Gonzo thinking? Are we that desperate to put people in jail? Is a bootleg copy of Elf really worth all that much? Could this country get any more screwed up?

Time and time again, laws are put on the books that make it more difficult for honest, paying consumers to enjoy their media. And this is just another one of them. The world doesn't come to an end when some kid downloads a Britney Spears single off the internet (god knows why you would want to, but that's a subject for another article). The "old men" in Washington need to crawl out of their coffins and get in touch with the real world, and stop listening to the MPAA, RIAA, and all the other billion-dollar lobbyists buying their own laws. It's crap, and it has to stop.

For more information about what you can do to turn the tides, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit group that's actually on our side. This country used to be the greatest land in the world, but things are slowly changing. Sure, this doesn't seem like much, but when freedom is taken away one piece at a time, you don't notice it. Yet soon enough, we'll all be left with nothing.

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