Both the RIAA and MPAA have had enough of piracy so they’ve decided to lobby the California legislators to pass SB550. This would provide law enforcement – specifically the FBI and the Police – with the so needed legal cover to analyze optical disc manufacturing plants without a warrant.
Although everyone knows that most of the pirated discs out there come from China, those who support this bill believe that disc manufactures are burning pirated copies of DVDs and CDs during their 2nd and 3rd shifts.
The bill provides for the following in Section 1, 21800 (a):
Every person who manufactures an optical disc for commercial purposes shall permanently mark each manufactured optical disc with an identification mark that identifies the name of the manufacturer and the state in which the optical disc was manufactured or, alternatively, a unique identifying code that will allow law enforcement personnel to determine the name of the manufacturer and the state in which the optical disc was manufactured.
Section 7, 21803 (a) reads:
Law enforcement officers are authorized to perform inspections at commercial optical disc manufacturing facilities to verify compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
According to this, the law enforcement can inventory all equipment, optical disc mold, any records, books, documents. Also they can remove and detain any of them without a search warrant.
Section 7, 21803 (b):
No person shall evade, obstruct, or refuse any inspection requested or being carried out by a law enforcement officer to determine compliance with this chapter. The manufacturer, and the employees, servants, or agents of the manufacturer, shall cooperate during the course of the inspection.
This means that no one can refuse entry, despite the 4th amendment’s rules and policies.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) tried to highlight the implications that come with this new tactic. The issue is however still unknown to the masses as media pays the least amount of attention to this matter.
It's strange how the entertainment industry seems to con legislators in to allowing to write it's own laws. I'm sure there are a few other industries out there that would like that luxury.