here in the U.S. the fourteenth amendment to the constitution guarantees equal protection under the law: this is like if you are at a party with 30 friends and everyone is underage but drinking still.... if the police show up and they do not arrest everyone there.. they can't really arrest anyone (well they can...but good luck getting the charges to stick)
it's like the Kazaa thing... if you don't bust everyone then you're discriminating against the people you do bust....
you could easy argue... "well if there are 4 million other people doing it then you must have picked me out of the crowd because I have dark hair and green eyes"
The police represents administrational authority. Civil rights are there to protect the citizens from unwarranted discrimination by the government
, not by another citizen. Copyright law, however, is civil law. Civil law generally is about the relationship between citizens and/or (non-governmental) organizations. So the 14th amendmend won't help you very much when a copyright holder sues you and not someone else. He has the right to choose who he wants to sue and who not, even if it's just because you have dark hair and green eyes. How often in your life did you refuse a request because you didn't "like someone's face"? Well, I've done that (although it never was because things like dark hair and green eyes) and I'm sure everyone else has, too.
Regarding Copyright its self... I was always under the impression that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which is an arm of the UN was responsible for enforcing copyrights....
Well, copyright is protected by the national law in the first place. Unlike the European Union, the UN is not a supranational organization and so there is no genuine UN legislation. The WIPO doesn't directly enforce copyright law (more information about the WIPO's function can be found here
). There are international treaties about copyright law (many international treaties don't involve the UN at all), but according to inernational law they have to be transformed into national law (this transformation is called "ratification") to be valid for a country. At the end it all comes down on national law again (and it will always be like this as long as we have souvereign countries and not a "world government").
but if your nation isn't a part of the UN there's really not much that can be done about it .....
179 countries are currently members of the WIPO. You'll hardly find one that isn't. And even if you do, they'll most probably have national laws about copyright protection.
Long story short: If you use copyright protected material without permission, the copyright holder can get you.