An interesting time for copyright.

The house has passed H.R. 4279 (a short summary can be found at This, combined with a recent finding about DMCA complaints, should lead to excitement.

If this gets passed in the senate and this section remains:

(a) Authorization- Section 2 of the Computer Crime Enforcement Act (42 U.S.C. 3713) is amended--
(1) in subsection (b), by inserting after `computer crime' each place it appears the following: `, including infringement of copyrighted works over the Internet';

whilst combined with the existing and enhanced "CRIMINAL FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS ... (iii) Any property used, or intended to be used, to commit or substantially facilitate the commission of an offense under subsection (a)" ...

then anyone infringing copyright in the US will be subject criminal forfeiture proceedings against their computer equipment, just like crackers are today.

That is interesting, but there is another link The Inexact Science Behind D.M.C.A. Takedown Notices where the researches found that the current "copyright cops" are just shotgunning take down requests without verification of infringement. Especially note how they got printers to be served with complaints by forging the IP addresses.

It doesn't take much to combine these topics to see that we may be living in some interesting times for a while. There are few things that mix as well as broad laws with steep penalties and groups that love overzealous exploitation of those laws. What shocks me is that we have yet to see any counterbalancing aspects that place penalties on false statements contained within a DMCA or copyright complaint. I am all for the strong enforcement of copyright, but it should be enforced predicated on those doing the enforcement doing their homework, and not simply spamming the legal system with dubious complaints.