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Protecting State Secrets Through Copyright 142

An anonymous reader writes "The United States has pursued Bradley Manning with full force for his role in supplying classified documents to WikiLeaks, in part because of the substantial difficulty in going after the organization directly. Criminal statutes generally deployed against those who leak classified government documents — such as the Espionage Act of 1917 — are ill-equipped to prosecute third-party international distribution organizations like WikiLeaks. One potential tool that could be used to prosecute WikiLeaks is copyright law. The use of copyright law in this context has rarely been mentioned, and when it has, the approach has been largely derided by experts, who decry it as contrary to the purposes of copyright. But a paper just published in the Stanford Journal of International Law describes one novel way the U.S. could use copyright to go after WikiLeaks and similar leaking organizations directly--by bringing suit in foreign jurisdictions."
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Protecting State Secrets Through Copyright

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  • That's just great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @08:35AM (#40056629)
    Now they should publish an article on how to use international law to reign in the abuse of political, economic and military power by the United States on the international arena.
  • by Whammy666 (589169) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @08:42AM (#40056669) Homepage
    I seem to recall that works done by a government entity belong to the public and are not subject to copyright. Even so, this seems like a rather petty move. Of course, they tortured and held Bradly Manning is solitary confinement for a year without any charges so I guess expecting any sort of civility in the matter is unrealistic.
  • by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @08:47AM (#40056695) Homepage

    Ok, if the punishments for copyright law are considered sufficient deterrence for things like treason or espionage that they're WAY too strong. Why on Earth would we want a set of laws that puts distributing a copy of a movie on the same level as disseminating nuclear weapon plans?

  • Re:Guantanamo? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @08:56AM (#40056743)

    Politicians can't make a career out of Guantanamo, they'd prefer most people not to know.

    Wikileaks + Bradley manning? There's quite a few votes to be had there...



    President Obama: See, Gitmo is still open! See how tough I am against terrorists!!!!

  • by fredmosby (545378) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @09:07AM (#40056789)
    It is disturbing that the US government is going to such lengths to keep its own citizens in the dark. Something has gone very wrong in Washington.
  • by peppepz (1311345) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @09:28AM (#40056871)
    I find it interesting that when a country censors Twitter for "blasphemous content", it's universally deprecated, but when the USA tears down a site for "copyrighted content", then it's freedom at work.
  • by fredmosby (545378) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @10:41AM (#40057215)
    Most of what was leaked never should have been a secret. The governments been keeping its activities secret so it doesn't have to be accountable to its citizens.

    Bradley Manning may be a traitor to the government, but not to the American people.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @11:19AM (#40057431) Homepage Journal
    The government's constant attempts to end-run the Constitution, or the fact that American citizens are helping them.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:12PM (#40057793) Homepage Journal

    Something is very wrong, indeed. Bradley Manning should have been charged with treason and hanged.

    I'm sure what you meant to write is: "Bradley Manning should have been charged with and tried for treason, and if convicted, sentenced to death."

    The fact is that all these pussy liberals are going to soft on him. Traitors must be punished and executed.

    It's always interesting to see how quickly conservatives are ready to abandon their alleged commitment to the rule of law and the purity of the US Constitution.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @01:00PM (#40058069)
    There is no need to charge him with treason. Pvt Manning is a uniformed member of the United States Army and as such is subject to military justice which includes the possibility of death if convicted of the charge of aiding the enemy (which he has indeed been charged with). Of course, the prosecutors have already said that they will not seek the death penalty so the point is moot, but it should be noted that treason is generally prosecuted against civilians, the Rosenbergs for example, and not uniformed members of the armed forces who are subject instead to much harsher military disciplines if convicted of similar or even lesser crimes.

My sister opened a computer store in Hawaii. She sells C shells down by the seashore.