A deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice, John G. Malcolm, said he thought there could be some connection between illegal copying and organised crime. But, strangely, he had no evidence, like, er, none, to back up his assertions.
Malcolm also called the creators of "warez" file-trading organised criminals. They operate in a very organised fashion, said Malcolm, though he admitted they do seem unusual in the sphere of organised crime in that they do not make money...
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property hearing yesterday also heard that trading in copyrighted material was more lucrative than selling drugs. And Malcolm claimed: "These groups will not hesitate to threaten or injure those who tend to interfere with their operations."
"For too long, people engaged in piracy believed that if they were outside the borders of the United States, they could violate our intellectual property laws with impunity," Malcolm foamed. He said the indictment Wednesday of an Australian, Hew Raymond Griffiths, the alleged "kingpin" in a Russian pirate group named Drink Or Die, "sends a clear and unequivocal message to everybody involved in illegal piracy that regardless of where you are, the Justice Department will find you, investigate you, arrest you, prosecute you, and incarcerate you." Though Griffiths is yet to be apprehended.
Texas Republican John Carter acknowledging that users of P2P networks are likely to be young college students said "I think it'd be a good idea to go out and actually bust a couple of these college kids." He added: "You want to see college kids duck and run, you let them read the papers and somebody's got a 33-month sentence in the federal penitentiary for downloading copyrighted materials."
IDG has the full story over here. µ
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