California Imposes "Birth Tax" To Fight Piracy

Fake News written by James Baughn on Thursday, January 20, 2005

from the is-a-baby-a-copyright-derivative? dept.

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Governator Schwarzenegger today signed legislation that will impose a $1,000 tax on each live birth within the People's Republic of California. The windfall will go to the IPHAA (Intellectual Property Hoarders Association of America®) as compensation against future piracy committed by the newborn babies.

"Our calculations indicate that the average person will engage in $1.2 million worth of copyright, trademark, and patent law violations during their lifetime," said Luxor E. Yott, spokesperson for the IPHAA. "This birth tax is a tiny baby step that will help to eliminate this horrible injustice."

The IPHAA was recently created from the unholy alliance of the MPAA (movies), RIAA (music), BSA (Microsoft software), CPAA (crochet patterns), BIAA (blueprints), BSPRA (baseball statistics), LRAA (liquor recipes), FFSSIAA (fast-food secret sauces), Monsanto Corp. (agriculture), and Wal-Mart (everything else).

"Education and re-education is the most effective way to stop people from stealing our precious intellectual property," the IPHAA spokesperson said. "We hope to use this money to create a mandatory public school curriculum spanning pre-school to high school to traffic school."

He added, "You can never start too early... our new lesson plan for kindergarteners, entitled Spongebob Squarepants® Will Starve To Death If You Copy That File(tm), has been an absolute hit. We are also considering an in-womb education program that targets babies before they are even born."

According to an "unbiased" study commissioned by the IPHAA, the average American aged 3 to 103 engages in "at least ten IP violations per day." Some of the more egregious crimes committed by ordinary people include:

  • Discussing baseball statistics on an Internet forum without the express written consent of Major League Baseball® (implied oral consent doesn't count). "As a subsidiary of MLB, the Baseball Statistics Protection Racket of America® is very strict about the unauthorized use of batting averages, win-loss records, and other proprietary facts," said the IPHAA spokeperson. "Just because you attended a game in person does not give you the right to talk about it to other people."

  • Making a scrapbook containing copyrighted newspaper or magazine clippings. "A copyright is a copyright. Some kooks like to talk about the so-called 'Fair Use Doctrine', but that's just an urban legend." [Editor's Note: The IPHAA graciously provided Humorix with a royalty-free license to publish the spokesperson's copyrighted words in this story.]

  • Humming more than three notes of a copyrighted song in public without paying a performance fee.

  • Allowing people to take photos of your home without prior consent from the architectural firm that designed the home's floorplan. "If people can take photos of these protected homes, then they will be able to recreate the floorplans and other design elements without compensating the original architects. That is so wrong it makes me want to spit."

  • Donating books to a library or charity without the permission of the publisher.

  • Sharing a single newspaper with other members of your family without buying additional copies or subscriptions.

  • Going to the bathroom or grabbing a snack during a TV commercial break.

  • Reselling used computer equipment at a yard sale without first wiping all copyrighted material from the hard drive.

"And this is just the tip of the iceberg," the IPHAA spokesperson added. "Really, the $1,000 per baby tax is a bargain compared with the numerous violations that they will commit in just the first few years of life. People against this new tax are obviously anti-American Communist long-haired hippie tree-hugging freaks that want children to starve."

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