Pirates v. The Constitution
Some state legislators in California have introduced a bill to give more power to the recording industry in its battle with music and movie pirates. According to State Senator Alex Padilla, the bill’s author, law enforcement officers in California seized 820,000 illegal discs last year. His bill may very result in even more seizures in the coming years. Because it allows police to “inspect” any commercial optical disc manufacturing facility at any time to ensure compliance with the new law. According to the bill “[o]fficers performing inspections may do so without providing prior notice or obtaining a warrant. …” So, you know, if you operate that kind of business, and obey the law, you have nothing to worry about, right? But that’s exactly the thinking the 4th Amendment combats. I realize piracy is a problem and I realize the recording and film industries are huge in California. But that shouldn’t trump the Bill of Rights. Maybe State Senator Padilla should review the Constitution before this bill goes much farther. He can get a copy on CD.