Sunday, November 18, 2012

Copyright reform?

I ran across various links today on Twitter to a Republican House Committee report on current copyright laws, and in particular, about how those laws have gone way too far. You can find one posting about it here. To quote from that article,

... [the report] goes on to look at some of the specific harms of today's copyright law, including harming remix culture and a lot of commercial activity around it, that it "hampers scientific inquiry," discouraging value added industries and others.

Finally, it puts forth suggestions for copyright reform that go way, way, way beyond anything we've seen legitimately discussed in Congress, ever.

I think it's clear that copyright has become a corporate property, used more often to suppress the works of others than to advance the public good, or even assure the compensation of the creator. A corollary is software patents, which are also used (as in the case of Apple and Microsoft) not to foster innovation, but to seek monopolistic control, aided and abetted by the power of government.

It is indeed time for a change. Interestingly, the GOP first advanced this report as a way to become the party of youth, whose "remix culture" makes overreaching copyright laws annoying and burdensome. Relief from these restriction might well stir up feelings of support and gratitude among today's decisive new voters.

Republicans: the party of innovation, less governmental interference, the party of tomorrow?

No. Because, of course, the report has now been withdrawn, allegedly due to pressure from Hollywood.

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