10.19.2004



This land is NOT your land! (Not without permission, anyway)


Wired's report on Attorney General John Ashcroft's new zealous war on media piracy has me feeling a bit uneasy. It's not that I don't value copyrighted material -- on the contrary, I have copyright material out there, and honestly I really would like to make money on it. But Ashcroft's various corporate allegiances make me suspicious, so when he says, "With the recommendations put forward by the task force, the department is prepared to build the strongest, most aggressive legal assault against intellectual property crime in our nation's history," I get worried.

Jason Schultz, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says, "This report shows that they want to use copyright infringement as a mechanism for them to expand the scope of who they can snoop on. That's obviously something that we're very concerned with."

Yeah, no kidding. But don't just take his word for it. Ask the UCLA students who've been put in an electronic quarrantine.

With the Woodie Guthrie estate's recent threats over the alleged theft of his music in Jib Jab's siily political satire, This Land .

Jib Jab's lawyers struck first, asserting fair use rights that, until recently, were universally recognized when it comes to political satire. But what about you or me or the kid with the zits who can't get on the net in Westwood?

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