2 facts about intellectual property

So I saw 2 interesting things about intellectual property in my news readings today.

First, a blatant example of what happens when you blend draconian Information/IP policies with a neoliberal, globalized economy. From Britain:

Britons flying to America could have their credit card and email accounts inspected by the United States authorities following a deal struck by Brussels and Washington. By using a credit card to book a flight, passengers face having other transactions on the card inspected by the American authorities. Providing an email address to an airline could also lead to scrutiny of other messages sent or received on that account.

Hardly surprising, though. Gee. America wants to snoop on you. Go figure.

Second, and this is the fun one, the RIAA is suing a website called AllofMP3 for 1.65 trillion dollars. That’s not a misprint:

As part of their claim, the labels are seeking $150,000 USD for each of the 11 million songs that were downloaded from June to October 2006 from the AllofMP3.com website.

“AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York,” an unnamed “senior company official” stated. “This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws.”

Interesting question of jurisdiction, no? If Russian companies are subject to American laws, then truly we do live in an age of Empire.

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