Tag Archives: RSC

A Republican feint on copyright?

Originally posted 2012-11-20 19:02:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

View from the Empire State Building

High stakes in copyright reform? Or just desperate puns to justify arbitrary illustrations?

I tried, and perhaps had some success, in making the point right before the election that there were political — as in policy, and as in electoral — questions involving intellectual property that could be affected by the presidential election.  And maybe I was right!

No one knows quite what to make of this story, which doesn’t mean people aren’t saying they do.  This, first, was Friday, November 16th’s story:

A Republican Study Committee policy brief released today to members of the House Conservative Caucus and various think tanks lays out “three myths about copyright law” and some ways to go about correcting what many see as a broken system. Derek Khanna, the RSC staffer who authored the paper, acknowledges an important role for intellectual property while also pointing out how badly the current system has gone off track.

The paper also suggests four potential solutions:

  1. Statutory damages reform — in other words, saving granny the legal headaches
  2. Expand fair use — set those DJs free!
  3. Punish false copyright claims
  4. Heavily limit copyright terms, and create disincentives for renewal

That would be a heck of a start towards making copyright actually incentivize innovation, rather than stifling it, as it most often does today.

It’s great to at least see this issue discussed in a substantive way–complaints about rigid IP protections have until now been limited to folks like Sen. Ron Wyden. Surprise opposition to SOPA excepted, neither party has taken a strong public stance on copyright reform. If the paper suggests a new turn for the GOP on the issue–against the Chamber of Commerce and for Internet companies, DJs, and millions of consumers–that would certainly beat the protectionism of bought-off legislators like Bob Goodlatte (who knew the good people of Roanoke had such a stake in strong IP?). Read the whole thing (it’s only nine pages, and easy to digest) here.

Read More…

Best of 2012: A Republican feint on copyright?

View from the Empire State Building

High stakes in copyright reform? Or just desperate puns to justify arbitrary illustrations?

First posted November 20, 2012.

I tried, and perhaps had some success, in making the point right before the election that there were political — as in policy, and as in electoral — questions involving intellectual property that could be affected by the presidential election.  And maybe I was right!

No one knows quite what to make of this story, which doesn’t mean people aren’t saying they do.  This, first, was Friday, November 16th’s story:

A Republican Study Committee policy brief released today to members of the House Conservative Caucus and various think tanks lays out “three myths about copyright law” and some ways to go about correcting what many see as a broken system. Derek Khanna, the RSC staffer who authored the paper, acknowledges an important role for intellectual property while also pointing out how badly the current system has gone off track.

The paper also suggests four potential solutions:

  1. Statutory damages reform — in other words, saving granny the legal headaches
  2. Expand fair use — set those DJs free!
  3. Punish false copyright claims
  4. Heavily limit copyright terms, and create disincentives for renewal

That would be a heck of a start towards making copyright actually incentivize innovation, rather than stifling it, as it most often does today.

It’s great to at least see this issue discussed in a substantive way–complaints about rigid IP protections have until now been limited to folks like Sen. Ron Wyden. Surprise opposition to SOPA excepted, neither party has taken a strong public stance on copyright reform. If the paper suggests a new turn for the GOP on the issue–against the Chamber of Commerce and for Internet companies, DJs, and millions of consumers–that would certainly beat the protectionism of bought-off legislators like Bob Goodlatte (who knew the good people of Roanoke had such a stake in strong IP?). Read the whole thing (it’s only nine pages, and easy to digest) here.

A lot of this is stuff I have written about here — particularly the misunderstanding about what copyright statutory damages are supposed to be, and the preposterous imbalance in the litigation playing field now favoring IP stakeholders.  But coming from a major party — much less my own?  It was, it seems, to good to be true, except of course for the part where my party isn’t really in a position to push meaningful reform in Washington anyway.

One popular excerpt that ran all up and down the Intertubes was this, which addresses what the paper called three “myths” of copyright that need correcting:

1. The Constitution’s clause on Copyright and patents states [in modern language] that the purpose is to lead maximum productivity and innovation. . . .

Most legislative discussions on this topic, particularly during the extension of the copyright term, are not premised upon what is in the public good or what will promote the most productivity and innovation, but rather what the content creators “deserve” or are “entitled to” by virtue of their creation.”

2. Copyright violates nearly every tenet of laissez faire capitalism. Under the current system of copyright, producers of content are entitled to a guaranteed, government instituted, government subsidized content-monopoly.

3. With too much copyright protection, as in copyright protection that carried on longer than necessary for the incentive, it will greatly stifle innovation.

Then this: Read More…