In an interview with The Escapist, Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin discusses his worries over the PRO-IP Act, a new piece of anti-piracy legislation signed into law in October:
The PRO IP Act was concerning for us primarily because the wording of the law was so broad and open to interpretation. It also provides intellectual property holders with unusually over-reaching rights and at a time when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) too empowers that same community.
I fear that PRO IP and DMCA will drive a wedge between the producer/consumer relationship, one that has served the games business well. I would also hate to see us collectively follow the path [of aggressively suing consumers] that the music industry has followed. In addition to it being a patently bad model, proven unsuccessful by every measure, it's also clearly ineffective. Worrying still is how handily [PRO IP] passed - with broad support from both parties. The fact that the Vice-President Elect continues to be a proud sponsor makes me think that it'll be a bumpy ride... one played out in America's courts, for a long time to come.
As GamePolitics has previously reported, among the provisions of the PRO-IP Act are these consumer-unfriendly gems:
- increases the penalties for infringement by expanding what is considered a 'work'
- broadens the ability of the government to permanently seize goods
- creates an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, a new cabinet position whose sole job is to increase intellectual property enforcement.
FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.