Congress Copyrights Copyright Law

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, August 18, 2001

from the we-should-have-seen-this-coming dept.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a move designed to thwart "those evil open-source pirates and Commie hackers", Congress has passed a bill permitting the Federal government to slap copyrights on all statutes, regulations, laws, and even the US Constitution.

Last week, with little fanfare and absolutely zero notice from the lamestream press or from rabid webloggers, President Dubya signed the bill, known as the "It's For The Children Act of 2001", into law. He was too busy learning how to speak Latin for an upcoming trip to Latin America that he didn't have time to study the contents of the bill, but he went ahead and signed it anyway. "I'm not going to veto something that's for the children..." he said.

We asked the bill's sponsor, Sen. Fattecat (R-Washington), why the bill was called the "It's For The Children Act" even though it had nothing to do with children. He replied, "Everything we do is for the children. Or for kickbacks. Err... that last sentence is strictly off the record, okay?"

As a result of the bill's passage, the US Patent and Trademark Office has already slapped a copyright on the text of the DMCA, along with a registered trademark on the name Digital Millennium Copyright Act®. The text of this law, or any other Federal law, may not be copied, distributed, or disseminated without the express written permission of both Major League Baseball and the US Attorney General.

Obtaining "express written permission" involves completing three reams of paperwork and forking over a bribe... er, "service fee" of around US$10,000 in unmarked bills. Law enforcement agents, Federal prosecutors, and the executives for Big Evil Corporations are all exempt from this requirement.

Needless to say, free-speech advocates are up in arms. Of course, quoting the First Amendment® (also a newly registered trademark) is now illegal without first obtaining prior permission, so there isn't much they can do.

"If we try to argue in court that the DMCA is a violation of the First Amendment, we'll get arrested for both copyright and trademark infringement," explained Constitutional scholar Mr. Bill O. Rites. "And we won't even be able to use the Fair Use Doctrine in our defense because the Fair Use Doctrine is itself copyrighted!"

Along with DeCSS, illicit copies of the US Constitution and the DMCA have already started to float through the seamier parts of the Internet. An FBI&PV swat team raided the offices of Google a few hours ago because the company still has verboten copies of the First Amendment and other copyrighted government documents within its search cache.

"The United States has invested countless man hours crafting these documents," said the US Attorney General at a press conference filled with angry reporters worried that they might go to jail for accidentally blurting out the copyrighted and trademarked phrase "freedom of the press".

He continued, "We need copyright protection on these important works. Without it, there's absolutely no incentive for us to spend the effort on creating new laws or regulations. Why should we draft laws that some upstart nation could copy or steal without compensation? Why should citizens be allowed to quote these laws in a courtroom for free? Everybody needs to remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch."

At press time, the MPAA's spokesperson was busy purchasing a fifth luxury car as a way of celebrating the new law's passage and was therefore unavailable for comment.

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