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[FYI] Seven years jail, $150,000 fine if you don’t tell the world your email and home address
Seven years jail, $150,000 fine if you don’t tell the world your
email and home address
By Kieren McCarthy
Posted: 05/02/2004 at 22:13 GMT
If you don’t tell the world your email, home address and telephone
number you could face a seven-year jail sentence and a $150,000 fine
under new legislation that the US Congress is trying to push past
Senator Lamar Smith of Texas - chairman of the Courts, the Internet
and Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the House Judiciary
Committee - yesterday produced from nowhere extensions to the 1946
Trademark Act that would make giving false contact information for a
domain name a civil and criminal offence.
His bill (HR 3754) was discussed today at 10am Washington time in his
Subcommittee. It was live here.
No you’re not dreaming, this is what the Bill proposes. Mr Smith’s
attempt to “provide additional civil and criminal remedies for domain
name fraud” may be laudable, but his approach is as unthinking and
blinkered as the Intellectual Property lobbyists that have his ear.
The extensions to the Trademark Act would make the provision of
misleading contact details when registering a domain an offence. Not
only that but a “willful” offence - which in American law means three-
times normal payout. Also, anyone “acting in concert with the
violator” or “maintaining or renewing such registration” would also
be guilty. In the case of a trademark infringement on the domain “the
maximum imprisonment otherwise provided by law for a felony offense
shall be increased by 7 years”.
The intention for this legislation is clearly peer-to-peer sharing
networks, but by making the provision so wide, it is pulling in
millions of normal Internet users and businesses. Not to mention
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