A new crime: interference with a business model?

The entertainment industry is desperate.

First they convince congress to pass the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which, among other things, could make it illegal to loan a copy of your e-book to a friend.

Now they've convinced Rep. Howard Berman to submit the "Peer-to-Peer Piracy Prevention Act, a bill (PDF) that gives the entertainment industry the special right to hack your personal computer if they suspect you are violating copyright (they don't need to prove anything, just suspect). Think of it like this: If a mugger steals your wallet, are you allowed to burn down his house? No, that's called vigilantism and it's illegal. But that's what the entertainment industry is asking for the right to do.

Bruce Schneier this to say in the 15 Aug 2002 issue of Crypto-Gram (emphasis mine):

To me, it's another example of the insane lengths the entertainment companies are willing to go to preserve their business models. They're willing to destroy your privacy, have general-purpose computers declared illegal, and exercise special vigilante police powers that no one else has…just to make sure that no one watches "The Little Mermaid" without paying for it. They're trying to invent a new crime: interference with a business model.

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