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Justice Dept. proposes tougher copyright laws [pdf]

People who attempt to copy music or movies without permission could face jail time under legislation proposed by the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday.

The bill, outlined by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at an anti-piracy summit, would widen intellectual-property protections to cover those who try but fail to make illicit copies of music, movies, software or other copyrighted material.

It would also enable investigators to seize assets purchased with profits from the sale of illicit copies, as well as property such as blank CDs that might be used for future copying.

Those found guilty of a copyright violation could be forced to pay restitution to the owner of the material in question, and repeat offenders would face stiffer sentences.

Public Knowledge’s response: Public Knowledge Statement on Justice Department Proposals
text of proposed bill; section-by-section analysis

Warner Takes A Flyer on the WWW

Changing the economics of artist development and music promotion. It will be interesting to see how much of goodwill sacrificed over P2P will influence the success of the big labels: Warner Music Turns to Web

The recording label, Warner Music Group Corp.’s Cordless Recordings, is trying to use the Internet to produce and distribute music in ways that circumvent the usual channels, essentially redefining how an artist can make it big. Groups will release their work in three-song “clusters” — mini-albums of a sort — that will be sold at online music stores like iTunes and Rhapsody, and then manufactured in compact disc form only if the audience is large enough to make it financially viable.

[…] The digital medium is creating a resurgence in small-time, independent publishing. Not only are big labels and giant Internet companies allowing people to publish things like blogs, videos, and other self-made content online, some are trying to use the medium to scout for new talent.