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Business News (more headlines) 05-21-2004

Internet Piracy Bill Receives Strong Bipartisan Support In Senate

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SACRAMENTO – SB 1506, authored by Senator Kevin Murray (D - Los Angeles), received strong, bipartisan support as the Senate approved the measure 33 – 0.

SB 1506 simply updates the law to apply to the most pervasive forum for piracy – the Internet. The measure will help consumers and law enforcement distinguish between legitimate works distributed on the Internet and pirated works.

This statute is a valuable tool for local and state law enforcement to go after piracy and has become the model statute for other states and other countries to combat piracy.

Violation of the statute would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2500 and/or up to one year imprisonment. The penalties do not apply to those distributing files to their immediate family or within their home networks. A minor who violated the statute would have to pay a fine of $250 for a first or second offense and a fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail, or both, for a third or subsequent violation.

An added benefit of SB 1506 is the curbing of viruses disseminated via pirated files on file sharing networks. "I am pleased to be working alongside the Motion Picture Association of America among other supporters in our creative communities to enact responsible legislation that gives state and local law enforcement a greater ability to combat what is essentially the theft of creative works," said Senator Murray.

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