Have Some Malware, Courtesy Of The Entertainment Industry
In a recently released report, an organization proposes that content owners be allowed to distribute software that could perform unpleasant actions on the computers of those caught downloading or viewing content illegally.
Last week, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property — “an independent and bipartisan initiative of leading Americans” from various sectors — presented a report to the US government in which they proposed allowing content owners to send malware to the computers of those who illegally download, copy, or view materials. Some of the actions the malware would perform include locking up files and/or the entire computer. Only when the offender turned themselves in to law enforcement and paid for or removed the content would they regain the use of their computer.
What’s the Big Idea?
Copyright violations are a serious matter, and from the commission’s stated purpose (via its Web site), it seems it clearly has China in its sights. However, writer Jon Russell doubts that Congress will take on the report’s proposals and states that “while content houses are unlikely to ever accept Internet piracy, this is clearly not the answer in any way, shape or form.” He cites Japan’s example: File sharing has been illegal since 2012, and people who violate copyright law could spend up to 10 years in prison or be fined up to 10 million yen (US$125,000).