THE US Congressional International Anti-Piracy (sic) Caucus has announced its "2010 International Piracy (sic) Watch List".
With names like those, you'd think the US congresscritters would be assessing the world's risks of piracy on the high seas, wherein cargo vessels are boarded by small bands of armed marauders and held for ransom. But that's not the case, rather they're referring to mass copyright infringement by filesharers.
Ever eager to do the bidding of corporate lobbyists offering the legalised bribery that's quaintly termed 'campaign contributions' with a wink and a nod, the casually corrupt US Congress has fecklessly adopted the pejorative, emotionally loaded term 'piracy' to refer to filesharing, as that word has been twisted to mean by the Big Media music and film copyright cartels ever since the late Jack Valenti used it that way.
In an effort to combat "overseas piracy", the Congressional body unveiled a list of the six worst foreign peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing offenders. Lock up your daughters, America, or at least your copyrighted music and film content. The watch list calls for the heads of China's Baidu, Canada's Isohunt, Ukraine's mp3fiesta, Germany's Rapidshare, Luxembourg's RMX4U.com and Sweden's The Pirate Bay.
With a selection of overtly xenophobic statements, the Caucus averred that the work of American creatives is being infringed for the nefarious enjoyment of foreigners.
Caucus Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse said, "International piracy of American intellectual property weakens a segment of our economy that long has supported innovation and great American jobs."
Senator Orrin Hatch went on to be outraged that it's not just foreign people far away that are involved, but that America's major trading partners like Mexico and Canada are at it as well.
The announcement was accompanied by a press conference with RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol in attendance. Arstechnica reported that Bainwol used warlike rhetoric by calling the foreign filesharing websites an "Axis of P2P Evil".
Most big P2P services have been defanged like Napster or just sued to cease and desist like Limewire was last week. Unfortunately governments have been responsible for closing down too many P2P services at the behest of the RIAA, MPAA, IFPI, BPI and the rest of their ilk, all collectively known as the Content MAFIAA.
But there's hope. We reported earlier this week that The Pirate Bay has been given a new lease on life. The Swedish Pirate Party is providing bandwidth for The Pirate Bay home page and search function. The Pirate Party's leader, Rick Falk Vinge told The INQUIRER, "providing bandwidth to a search engine and homepage is completely legal." µ
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