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News October 27, 2015

New US piracy law targets flash drives

Former Editor

A new California bill brought forward by Assembly member Raul Bocanegra has targeted device-based piracy.

It is now illegal to sell, rent or manufacture at least 100 recordings of audio or audiovisual works without disclosing the name and address of the manufacturer as well as the artist, producer, performer or programmer of the contents.

The new law covers USB flash drives, CDs, cassettes, vinyl, memory cards and other media which are commonly sold at markets.

The new bill is an update on a prior law which was based on the actual number of articles containing infringing material; the new law, titled AB 2122, makes it a crime to hold the “commercial equivalent” of 100 or more recordings on a single storage device or article.

The new bill reflects the current changes in piracy and is supported by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America, the California Police Chiefs Association and the LA Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I am incredibly pleased that Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2122,” said Bocanegra in a statement. “In an era of flash drives and memory sticks, which can store hundreds, if not thousands, of unauthorized audio or visual recordings on a single device, AB 2122 will provide law enforcement with the necessary tools to continue the fight against media piracy.”

It is estimated that the impact on state prisons would likely be minor, as there have been fewer than five jailed offenders of the prior law over the past two years.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2015.


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