Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Wired News: Senate May Ram Copyright Bill

Mr. Bluememe has more experience with intellectual property law than he would wish on all but his archest foes. So he feels competent to pontificate on this subject despite a complete failure to research it this time.

Criminalizing common behavior has been a dismal failure pretty much every time it has been tried. Prohibition, the 55 MPH speed limit, etc. -- people vote with their feet, their stills, their peer-to-peer networks. Anyone remember the skull and bones plus cassette (remember those?) icon above the words "home taping is killing music" on LPs (remember those?)...

Now our red-storm Congress is set to kiss the Hollywood Liberal Elite's blue ass yet again.

Several lobbying camps from different industries and ideologies are joining forces to fight an overhaul of copyright law, which they say would radically shift in favor of Hollywood and the record companies and which Congress might try to push through during a lame-duck session that begins this week.

The Senate might vote on the Intellectual Property Protection Act, a comprehensive bill that opponents charge could make many users of peer-to-peer networks, digital-music players and other products criminally liable for copyright infringement. The bill would also undo centuries of "fair use" -- the principle that gives Americans the right to use small samples of the works of others without having to ask permission or pay.

Sound like fun? It gets better.

The bill would also permit people to use technology to skip objectionable content -- like a gory or sexually explicit scene -- in films, a right that consumers already have. However, under the proposed law, skipping any commercials or promotional announcements would be prohibited.

So you will be able to zap objectionable stuff like the booty in Schindler's List, but you head off to your own prison camp if you try to zap Viagra ads.


Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats