Pop icon Michael Jackson offered a short press release on Monday decrying legislation proposed before the U.S. Congress to make it a felony to upload copyrighted music to the Internet. In passing, Jackson also complimented Apple’s efforts to make a viable online commercial music download service.
Jackson’s comments come in response to the Authors, Consumer and Computer owners Protection and Security (ACCOPS) Act of 2003, introduced last week to the House of Representatives by Reps. Howard Berman (D, Calif.) and John Conyers Jr. (D, Mich.).
If passed, the measure would make it a federal felony to upload copyrighted material to the Internet, among other things. Critics of the legislation have called it overbroad and labeled the ACCOPS Act as a “misguided attack on peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.”
Jackson said that he was “speechless” regarding the act’s draconian measures. “It is wrong to illegally download, but the answer cannot be jail,” he added.
Jackson said that he hoped artists, the music industry itself and consumers can work together to find a solution, and suggested that the problem itself leads to new opportunities.
“… we should look to new technologies, like Apple’s new Music Store for solutions,” said Jackson. “This way innovation continues to be the hallmark of America. It is the fans that drive the success of the music business; I wish this would not be forgotten.”