Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!

2004-05-28

Sink the PIRATE Act



The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suggesting, and I agree, that folks contact their U.S. Senators with a message like the following:




Dear Senators Santorum & Specter,



I am writing to express my strong opposition to the PIRATE Act (S.2237). S.2237 would allow the government to file civil copyright infringement suits, which would dramatically lower the burden of proof for prosecutions brought by the government. The PIRATE Act would also shift the cost of copyright enforcement from foreign record companies like Bertelsmann, EMI, Vivendi Universal, and Sony to U.S. taxpayers. This is an egregious misuse of federal resources, and I hope you will oppose this bill.



There is no need to expand government involvement in this misguided fight. Copyright holders already have an extraordinary array of legal tools at their disposal for fighting infringement. In addition, record companies have filed thousands of lawsuits against individuals, and recent reports indicate that these suits are paying for themselves. Unfortunately, none of this money goes to the artists.



At a time of staggering deficit spending, Congress should be especially reluctant to use our tax dollars to sue Americans on behalf of German, British, French, and Japanese record companies. Rather than support a bill to fund the recording industry's endless round of fruitless lawsuits, Congress should consider constructive solutions that benefit artists.



Please oppose S.2237. Thank you for your time.



Sincerely,



Hugh D. Hyatt




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