As discussed previously in DigitalKoans, the Justice Department has been pushing for tougher copyright legislation. Now Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio, has introduced the Intellectual Property Enhanced Criminal Enforcement Act of 2007 in the House, which includes key concepts from earlier work in this area such as criminalizing certain kinds of attempted infringement.
Here's an excerpt from "New Bill Backs Prison Time for Piracy 'Attempts'":
Notably, under Chabot's bill. . . it would be a crime not only to commit copyright infringement but also to "attempt" to do so. Such an offense would carry the same penalties as actually committing infringement—as would engaging in a "conspiracy" with two or more people to carry it out.
The bill would also double the prison sentences currently prescribed for copyright infringement violations, bringing them up to a range of 6 to 20 years. . . .
The bill also grafts additional penalties onto the thorny Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which dictates it's unlawful to sidestep copyright protection technologies except in certain circumstances. Right now, violating those rules can land you up to 10 years behind bars and as much as $1 million in fines, but Chabot's bill would also require the criminal to forfeit any property used in any manner to commit the offense—or anything garnered directly or indirectly from the proceeds of the activity. (The same forfeiture obligations would also apply to a wide array of other copyright-related offenses.)
Source: Broache, Anne. "New Bill Backs Prison Time for Piracy 'Attempts'" CNET News.Com, 30 July 2007.