Regarding my recent post about the proposed Congressional legislation that would make the DMCA look like a slap on the wrist, I found some statistics to demonstrate how badly this whole copyright infringement issue has been blown out of proportion.

Consider that under the proposed new law, non-commercial distribution of copyrighted material worth more than $2,500 (in other words, all movies and music) carries a maximum federal prison sentence of ten years. That’s 120 months. Now consider the average prison terms for other federal crimes:

  • embezzlement — 7 months
  • bribery — 10 months
  • fraud — 14 months
  • manslaughter — 33 months
  • racketeering and extortion — 72 months
  • sexual abuse — 73 months
  • arson — 87 months

That’s right: you could rape or kill someone and get off lighter than if you’re caught sharing the latest Disney DVD with a friend. Think about that.