I usually am at odds with John Dvorak, because instead of writing about how Intel Sucks and Macs Rule, the bloggers at his site see fit to make political commentary that is usually against my own.

Today, though he calls our attention to something interesting:

Wiretapping, impounding records, asset forfeiture? Arresting grandmothers and people without computers for downloading a couple of songs ain’t nothing compared to what’s coming.

Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill

For the last few years, a coalition of technology companies, academics and computer programmers has been trying to persuade Congress to scale back the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now Congress is preparing to do precisely the opposite. A proposed copyright law seen by CNET News.com would expand the DMCA’s restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers.

The draft legislation, created by the Bush administration and backed by Rep. Lamar Smith, already enjoys the support of large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America. Smith, a Texas Republican, is the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees intellectual-property law.

But one of the more controversial sections may be the changes to the DMCA. Under current law, Section 1201 of the law generally prohibits distributing or trafficking in any software or hardware that can be used to bypass copy-protection devices. (That section already has been used against a Princeton computer science professor, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and a toner cartridge remanufacturer.)

Smith’s measure would expand those civil and criminal restrictions. Instead of merely targeting distribution, the new language says nobody may “make, import, export, obtain control of, or possess” such anticircumvention tools if they may be redistributed to someone else.

Criminal asset forfeiture will be done following the rules established by federal drug laws.

[via Dvorak Uncensored]

Fantastico! I can’t wait!

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