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Digital Piracy; No-Warrant Searches Are Focus Of Bill; Recording Industry Wants Broader Powers In Law Enforcement Probes Of CD Makers

Publication Date: 
May 17, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Marc Lifsher

Professor Robert Weisberg is quoted by Marc Lifsher in this Los Angeles Times article on how new legislation being pushed on California lawmakers by the recording industry could possibly be unconstitutional.

Frustrated for years by rampant piracy, the recording industry is pushing California's lawmakers to approve legislation that would allow warrantless searches of companies that press copies of compact discs and DVDs.

The Recording Industry Assn. of America, in effect, wants to give law enforcement officials the power to enter manufacturing plants without notice or court orders to check that discs are legitimate and carry legally required identification marks.


But the focus in allowing warrantless searches of businesses generally is to protect the health and safety of workers, consumers or the public, Stanford Law School professor Robert Weisberg said.

"It strikes me as very unusual, and it may be unconstitutional … when the harm is an economic problem and faced by a single industry," he said.