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Vigilante Copyright Owners?

According to FindLaw, “A proposal by a California congressman would give the entertainment industry broad new powers to try to stop people from downloading pirated music and movies off the Internet. Rep. Howard L. Berman, D-Calif., formally proposed legislation that would give the industry unprecedented new authority to secretly hack into consumers’ computers or knock them off-line entirely if they are caught downloading copyrighted material.” This bill seeks to legalize trespass onto private property. I.e., it transfers partial control/ownership rights from consumers and others, to holders of copyright. Yet another example of how assigning property rights to intangibles leads to infringement of property rights in scarce resources. Another example is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which makes it illegal to circumvent copy protection technology or to create or “traffic in” circumvention technology. Not to mention the fact that copyright holders can tell property owners what not to do with their own property.

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