7
Aug/02

RIAA To Do Hard Time Down Under?


This Australian article via Dave:  The Berman bill (see prior posts) which proposes to legalize certain forms of hacking of users’ computers by a copyright owner in order to prevent unauthorized duplication of files on P2P networks, would run afoul of Australian law which states in pertinent part: “Under section 9a of the Victorian Summary Offences Act (1966), ‘a person must not gain access to, or enter, a computer system or part of a computer system without lawful authority to do so’. The penalty if convicted is up to six months’ jail.” 

I am going to guess that many countries in which American copyright owners do business have similar legislation.  For example, an anonymous famous UK solicitor points us to the following UK litigation:

Computer Misuse Act 1990
1. -(1) A person is guilty of an offence if-

(a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer; (b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and
(c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.

The article departs from the sensationalist tone of the first sentence (and my title) to point out that such anomalies will more likely result in harmonization of some type (or modulation of the Berman Bill) before we see the RIAA joining the cast of an Aussie version of Oz.

Interestingly, section 7b of the Victorian Summary Offences Act requires that anyone digging a hole in public must light the hole at night.  Section 7d prohibits the throwing of an animal into a canal. I provide the link above, if you don’t believe me.

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