All of a sudden the cries of contempt are everywhere. The Bush administration has passed to Congress proposed legislation which makes it a crime to even ATTEMPT to infringe on a copyright. The free speech, individual rights, and liberal commentators are decrying this legislation....after all, how, they ask, can we prosecute someone for attempting to commit a crime? I used to be a criminal defense lawyer in the 1980s. One of my fondest memories was winning an ATTEMPTED murder case, which was right after I kind of won an ATTEMPTED grand larceny case, and right before I soundly lost an ATTEMPTED prison break trial. Hhhmmm. Was I dreaming? Coincidentally, I don't remember having any attempted jaywalking, attempted drunk driving, or attempted cursing and abusing cases. Isn't the difference obvious?
It is a matter of degree! And our laws have quite capably addressed attempted property damage crimes through establishment of financial thresholds. It will likely happen here also. We don't want government prosecuting some website business for using an image from a competitor. We probably don't mind our government going after the owner of a website that is selling exact copies of a popular movie and making six figures. It's all about money, frankly.
There are some scary concepts in the new legislation dealing with the ability to pursue alleged infringers when copyright materials are not registered. This opens up a can of worms. Maybe some of these ACLU types should focus their time and efforts on this issue. The payback will be better. And if you can figure out what business concerns are pushing this legislation, I bet you will agree with me that it's all about money anyway.