In an article reported on http://www.drudgereport.com/ our very own government has decided in its infinite wisdom that “it” has the right and authority to seize domain names in the interest of copyright protection.
Rather than simply re-state the particulars, I am more concerned with the actions of our very own government in regards to this action and how far this type of seizure will go. I am all for reducing criminal activity, preventing theft and copyright violations, and making the life of violators more difficult. I am all for the people conducting illegal activities to justify their actions in front of a jury of their peers and face the consequences should they be found guilty.
However I am against the seizure of domain names because a domain name is simply a translated IP address. I remember my Mom informing me that a book cannot be judged by its cover and that people are innocent until proven guilty. I wonder why the people conducting such illegal activities are not the focus of our government actions? Technology is a moving target and swatting flies with a sledge hammer is not the most effective manner to reduce their population. Does our government actually believe that by seizing domain names and involving the large entities that provide the internet roadmap that piracy will be significantly resolved?
Seizing certain stops on the internet highway is the equivalent of adding a few more potholes to I-95 and expecting traffic to slow down. Plus, there is the international issue to take into consideration… Last I knew, “WWW” stood for the World Wide Web, not the USA Web. The Federal Government might have as much luck by seizing air from factory smokestacks as a way to try and prevent pollution. And as far as any sort of imminent threat to humanity these latest seizures in regards to copyright disputes rank far below identity theft, internet based terrorist communications, and child pornography. Why in the world would our tax dollars be targeting domain name seizures when we can’t even balance the federal budget?
In short, this latest round of seizures will likely keep taxpayer supported lawyers in business for decades while establishing a basis for censorship of the information highway and at a negative return for all but a very few people who already have high salaries and benefits. Perhaps the RIAA should finance this government action because they are ultimately responsible for releasing materials that can be easily copied and shared to the detriment of the artist community.