The good old USA, that country they call the land of the free is now considering locking you up if you dare to nick a music track or a piece of software without the express permission of the owner.
Details of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, will criminalise "attempting" to infringe copyright.
It means that you can go to prison for one to 10 years for trying to copy a music CD and failing. In another move you could get life in prison for using a pirated copy of Windows on your home PC.
It will be possible for the FBI to get a wire tap to see if you are using pirated software. Anyone who uses counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be sent down for life. The Justice Department says an example of this will be a hospital which uses pirated software instead of paying for it.
Homeland Security will be allowed to use its terrorist search powers on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It would notify the RIAA when its sniffers detected "unauthorised fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance" are found.
Other copyright holders will not get the benefit of this service. According to News.com, it is unclear how these new laws will be received by the Democrats. While you would think the fact that Gonzales is as popular amongst them as the Boston Strangler, they have a lot of chums in the entertainment industry who think that pirates should be sent to the gas chamber.
Nice to know that the world's richest country has such a great sense of perspective.