I’m sure you’ve already seen this because no click bait web site can resist an opportunity to use the expression “panty raid” in a headline: The Department of Homeland Security raided a Kansas City lingerie store and confiscated a batch of panties. The reason for the raid? They were enforcing a claim of copyright violation.
Is it just me, or is that kind of scary? In my admittedly-naive world, DHS does things involving, you know, “homeland security,” or at the very least, things that can semi-plausibly be considered security-related. Raids against copyright violation make the DHS seem like corporate America’s private enforcement arm. I am not comforted by this thought.
This raid, when view in light of the fact that the U.S. is currently negotiating a secret copyright treaty (my take here) with other nations and this treat requires some seriously draconian measures with regard to enforcing intellectual property rights, seems more than a little sinister. I won’t list out any of the slippery-slope scenarios currently running through my mind because they’ll probably sound paranoid, but if the DHS is confiscating underwear, what will they be asked to do when/if this treaty become the law of the land?