House Panel Clears Bill That Would Criminalize Online Copyright Infringement

Law360, New York (September 6, 2004, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The House Judiciary Committee has approved two bills that would criminalize online copyright infringement and the surreptitious placement of “spyware” on computers, clearing them for debate in the full U.S. House of Representatives.

The Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004 targets the electronic distribution of copyrighted material "with reckless disregard for the risk of further infringement."

The bill calls for prison terms of up to three years for electronically distributing 1,000 or more copyrighted works over a 180-day period. Most file-sharing software is set so...
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