Copyright thugs mug US Congress — again
The so-called “Intellectual Property Protection Act” (IPPA) now before Congress beggars belief. It’s a ragbag of different measures all of which have the general intent of restricting what you can do with your PC or digital recording device. In its current form, the Bill makes it a criminal offence to fast-forward through ads on a recorded TV show. Yes, you read that correctly. One of the eight bills shepherded into the catch-all IPPA was originally called ‘The Family Movie Act’ (formerly H.R. 4586): This was originally intended to protect consumers’ rights to use technology to skip over and mute parts of a movie that they found objectionable. But lobbyists working for the broadcasting industry and Hollywood studios added a section to take away consumers’ rights to skip over ads in DVDs and recorded broadcasts with a TiVo like device.
There’s more. For example a provision that would criminalize the currently legal act of using the sharing capacity of Apple’s iTunes; the legislation equates that act with the indiscriminate file sharing that goes on via peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. Currently, with iTunes, you can opt to share a playlist with up to three computers on your network. But the IPPA doesn’t differentiate between this innocuous — and Apple-approved — practice and the unrestrained sharing of music files with millions of strangers via Kazaa or Grokster.