a disgrace and a half

Los Angeles Says Piracy ‘Detrimental to the Public Health, Safety’
By David Kravets EmailMay 08, 2008 | 11:29:38 AM

Local governments in California and the United States have long had the power to declare property a public nuisance when their owners allow their land to become denizens of drugs, gangs, prostitution and gambling.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, following New York’s lead, is adding a new category: music and video piracy.

In an ordinance just adopted, the five-member board is declaring that piracy “substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county’s citizens, its businesses and its visitors.”

The regulation was crafted at the urging of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America.

The county retains the right to shutter a property for up to a year for violating ordinance 13.90.010 and also gives local authorities the right to bring a civil action to “temporarily restrain, preliminarily enjoin, and/or permanently enjoin the person or persons intentionally conducting, or knowingly maintaining or permitting the public nuisance from further conducting, maintaining, or permitting such a public nuisance.”

Property owners who knowingly permit such activity can also be dinged $1,000 for each counterfeited work produced on the property.

The bastards on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors should be thrown out of office for dereliction of duty. This egregious abuse of the power of eminent domain should be fought with all resources of reason and the public right. What a waste.

EDIT: More has been revealed:

A Los Angeles County ordinance adopted last week giving authorities the legal muscle to shutter property used to produce counterfeit DVDs and CDs was the result of intense pressure from Hollywood and the recording industry.

Additionally, the so-called nuisance abatement ordinance was based, in part, on exaggerated piracy figures provided by the entertainment industry, which also gave the measure’s key political backer thousands of dollars in campaign contributions….


(emphasis added)

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