Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said at a hearing on Tuesday that he would favor legislation authorizing copyright holders to engage in wide scale destruction of computers that have downloaded music files or other copyrighted material. “I’m all for destroying their machines,” Hatch said during the Committee hearing. “‘If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize’ the seriousness of their actions.” Here’s one article about his comments, and here’s another.
It would be nice to think that Hatch had some acceptable justification – say, if Hatch was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or had an advanced case of syphilis. Unfortunately, it appears to be a more mundane reason, the one we take for granted these days – he’s been completely corrupted by his campaign contributors.
It’s hard to parody something which is already in the lunatic fringe, but here’s an excerpt from one piece that takes his ideas to the next level:
Senator Hatch Introduces Bill to Burn People’s Eyes Out
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today introduced legislation authorizing the use of high-powered microwave lasers to burn out the eyes of non-paying viewers of copyrighted material. “If we could develop technology which just burned out the parts of their brains where the illegal memories are stored, that’d be fine with me–but we can burn their eyes out right now!” said Hatch, while introducing the Hatch/Hollywood Eyeball Evisceration Act.
Hatch’s previous legislation authorizing the remote detonation of PCs used, or potentially used, or thought to have possibly been used, or potentially able to be used after some jumper cables and soldering, assuming a radically defective new security model, to access copyrighted material was defeated in the Senate on a 51-49 vote last week.
“I understand why the Senate was hesitant to pass a bill that authorized the destruction of personal property,” Hatch said. “But this doesn’t destroy any property. It just turns your eye sockets into puddles of bubbling goo. . .
Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), welcomed the announcement. “For too long, our valuable intellectual property, such as Encino Man, Citizen Kane and Girls Gone Wild on Geek Cruises, has been stolen. When you watch a video at your neighbor’s house that your neighbor rented, you are nothing but a thief who deserves to have his–or her–eyeball fluid pour down your cheeks like the crocodile tears you shed for the plight of impoverished Hollywood executives. We know who you are, you thieves, all 157,872,548 of you in the United States alone–and we’re going to burn your eyes out!”
The technology, which uses Radio Frequency ID (RFID) tags, smart radio, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) to turn healthy eyeballs into lumps looking like burnt marshmallows, has also been licensed to the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) to explode eardrums. When reached for comment, Hilary Rosen, former head of the RIAA under whose administration this system was initiated and funded, said, “We have always considered this to be a reasonable, least-harmful method of stopping the massive, Enron-style fraud perpetrated by song traders and multi-billionaire corporate crooks. Remember–Enron sold broadband to the song traders.
“Besides,” Rosen continued, “while the sales of some minor independent artists may suffer, we have reason to believe that sales of artists like Britney Spears, Shania Twain, and Linkin Park will not drop simply because those who listen to them have had their eardrums shattered.
“That is, as long as their eyeballs haven’t been burned out.”