John Malcolm, a deputy assistant attorney general, said Americans should realize that swapping illicit copies of music and movies is a criminal offense that can result in lengthy prison terms... In an interview, Malcolm would not say when prosecutions would begin. The response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks temporarily diverted the department's resources and prevented its attorneys from focusing on this earlier, he said.
Malcolm said the Internet has become "the world's largest copy machine" and that criminal prosecutions of copyright offenders are now necessary to preserve the viability of America's content industries.
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