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GOP Brief Attacks Current Copyright Law

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the political-parties-work-like-stopped-clocks dept.

Republicans 296

cervesaebraciator writes "Regardless of how one feels about the GOP generally, it is always heartening to see current copyright and IP law questioned on a national stage. A Republican study committee, chaired by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan released a brief today titled Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it. Among other things, the brief attacks current copyright law as hampering scientific inquiry, penalizing journalism, and retarding the potential of the internet to allow the dispersion of knowledge through e-readers. In the briefs words, 'Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets – rather it destroys entire markets.' Four potential policy solutions are proposed: statutory damage reform, expansion of fair use, punishing false copyright claims, and limiting copyright terms. There may yet be hope for a national debate on the current oppressive copyright system, if just a fool's hope."

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296 comments

If it's a GOP brief (1, Troll)

mozumder (178398) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008263)

then they're looking to transfer copyright ownership to another private entity, instead of giving it to the public.

Remember, the GOP represents interests of monopolist business owners that seek to eliminate competition through government regulation. They do not represent interests of the public.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008271)

Wow, first troll indeed.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008275)

Most likely, they're just interested in destroying that liberal bastion of big bucks, Hollywood.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008337)

If that were the case, a simple IRS audit of their expense reports would blow it away from orbit.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42008891)

If that were the case, a simple IRS audit of their expense reports would blow it away from orbit.

Yes but Republicans believe in the complete abolishment of taxes so that would go against their ideology.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (5, Insightful)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#42009321)

Aren't you thinking of a Libertarian? I've never met a Republican who advocated no taxes at all. Republicans are not Libertarians any more than Democrats are socialists.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (1)

Gerzel (240421) | about a year ago | (#42009323)

Aye. Hollywood gets their gravy from copyright abuse but their real money is still on creating new IP. Practically no one is seriously talking about removing Copyright in its entirety from the law. The main problem is the excessive terms copyright applies to and difficulty in enforcing it for the little guy.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008473)

Most likely, they're just interested in destroying that liberal bastion of big bucks, Hollywood.

I can tell you as a liberal (actually I'm probably left of liberal) that I would support that endeavor whoever advocates it.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (5, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#42009221)

Considering that hollywood gets massive taxbreaks and have since the 1950's? Sounds fine to me, for all the cries from the left of the rich "needing to pay their fair share" the hollywood elite don't, and neither do movie, or TV production companies.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008383)

Think you have that reversed, at least regarding copyright. Chris Dodd, architect of SOPA, was democratic. Most of the underhanded legislation to extend copyright and push US style copyright laws on other governments is from the Democratic side of the aisle.

Not saying the GOP doesn't have its own share of monopolistic asshats, but you're clearly wrong on this count.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008645)

Everybody knows: Democrats are Entertainment and Republicans are Banking/Industry.
While a gross simplification it pretty well describes the overarching legal policies of both sides regarding industry (outside of 'social' or 'religious' related reform.)

Re:If it's a GOP brief (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42008975)

Everybody knows: Democrats are Entertainment and Republicans are Banking/Industry.
While a gross simplification it pretty well describes the overarching legal policies of both sides regarding industry (outside of 'social' or 'religious' related reform.)

Everybody knows: Democrats are Entertainment, Science, Tech Industry and the kind of Religion that would (**gasp**) let a gay people into their congregation while Republicans are Banking/Industry, Military and Intolerant Fundamentalist Christianity.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (3, Interesting)

genkernel (1761338) | about a year ago | (#42009311)

Actually, I haven't seen any evidence recently that the democrats aren't just as supportive of the military front as the republicans.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (5, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#42008781)

Indeed, it's through Biden that the RIAA/MPAA infiltrated the Justice Dept with their lawyers:
http://gizmodo.com/5146966/riaa-and-bsas-favorite-lawyers-taking-top-department-of-justice-posts [gizmodo.com]

And also I believe it is under Obama that I saw the first domains "seized by government" screens but not 100% sure:
http://www.domainnamenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Screen-shot-2010-07-02-at-4.11.43-PM.png [domainnamenews.com]

Al Gore's wife in the 90s and Hillary Clinton in the 00s also wanted some type of ban on violent video games "for the children". Republicans do suck on a lot of things but the Democrats take the cake here as well.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42009063)

Domains have been seized for a lot longer than Obama's been in office, Timmy.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42009235)

Um. No they haven't. Timmy.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (-1, Troll)

verifine (685231) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008415)

Seems like you have a closed mind. You're all-knowledgeable about what people who don't share your beliefs stand for. Are you unique in this world? I sure don't have the ability to get into the minds of people whose views I oppose. Yet somehow you can.

You must be a liberal.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (2)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#42009131)

Seems like you have a closed mind. You're all-knowledgeable about what people who don't share your beliefs stand for. Are you unique in this world? I sure don't have the ability to get into the minds of people whose views I oppose. Yet somehow you can.

You must be a liberal.

Maybe he does have a closed mind, maybe he doesn't.

But you definitely should not be against something until you understand it.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (-1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008417)

if their lips are moving or there is print on paper or dots on a screen, they are lying.

republicans are absent of morals and are NOT looking out for us!

#include 'itsatrap.jpg'

Re:If it's a GOP brief (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008531)

then they're looking to transfer copyright ownership to another private entity, instead of giving it to the public.

Prove it, or admit that you're lying. Those are your only possible choices.

And no "they're Republicans" is not proof, and yes, that is what you were going to say.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (2)

Lord Balto (973273) | about a year ago | (#42009225)

Having a problem with cognitive dissonance? Have you tried Dr. Franklin's CD remover and brain cleanser?

Re:If it's a GOP brief (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42009129)

Parent is modded troll - despite the fact that we see both parties working hard to extend draconian copyright laws?

The "rights holders" have carte blanche in treaty negotiations, as evidenced with ACTA and NPP. These so-called "rights holders" work around the clock to write ever more restrictive treaties, that will trump national laws around the world. Nations with reasonable laws will be bullied into signing these treaties, then be required to enforce the measures in the treaties.

Troll? If Mozumber's post is a troll, then I'm a troll as well.

The GOP cannot claim innocence in any aspect of what is going on in the copyright/patent wars.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (5, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#42009351)

Troll? If Mozumber's post is a troll, then I'm a troll as well.

I disagree; you are not a troll. I suspect that the parent was modded troll because he acted as a provocateur, charging the GOP with representing monopolists as though it were peculiar to the GOP. Your statement was far more reasonable in that it recognized both parties can be thus implicated.

I do not say this to exonerate the GOP, nor is this a false equivalence. The fact that people habitually act as though one side or the other has sole responsibility for the problems we face is part of what allows those problems to persist (i.e. when the consequences arise, both parties always have a scapegoat). The cure to this problem is, as far as is possible, to praise and punish those lawmakers who do good or ill according to the good or ill they do. When some lawmaker says we need copyright reform because our current system, we will never get anywhere by saying, "Well, that's coming from a member of the [fill-in-party-here]." If I have a problem with the absurd wars started under Republican administrations, I'm not going praise Joe Biden [senate.gov] for being a Democrat. If I've a problem with deficits, I'm hardly going to support Paul Ryan [house.gov] on account of Republican rhetoric.

Re:If it's a GOP brief (0)

Lord Balto (973273) | about a year ago | (#42009207)

Why they think you are a troll is beyond me. I guess telling the truth is still a sensitive area on Slashdot. Stick to your guns, Mo.

Not really the GOP ... (3, Insightful)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008287)

Unfortunately, a Republican study committee != Republican policies and platforms.

Re:Not really the GOP ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008325)

Both parties' platforms are much different than the applied actions of their policies.
 
So fuck you, goose stepper.

Re:Not really the GOP ... (0, Troll)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008327)

Indeed. The GOP will look at this study and react with incredulity, then decry the researchers as biased, and the study itself as a waste of money and time.

They will then plug their ears and go 'lalalalala' whenever the study gets brought up.

Re:Not really the GOP ... (5, Insightful)

hondo77 (324058) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008521)

Then some smart Democrats should throw their support behind this paper, tout their bipartisanship, and wait for some Republicans who, wisely, don't want to be further marginalized so they jump on the bipartisanship bandwagon. Kumbaya! It could happen...

Re:Not really the GOP ... (-1, Flamebait)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#42009181)

Then some smart Democrats should throw their support behind this paper, tout their bipartisanship, and wait for some Republicans who, wisely, don't want to be further marginalized so they jump on the bipartisanship bandwagon. Kumbaya! It could happen...

"smart Democrats" is an oxymoron.

Re:Not really the GOP ... (3)

approachingZero (1365381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008351)

Sure it is, give credit where credit is due.

Credit where Credit is due. (3, Insightful)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008391)

Sure it is, give credit where credit is due.

Okay, I'll give credit to the EFF for promoting these principles for the last 22 years, and Socrates for proposing the concept of the freedom to share ideas.

To be honest, I think theyr'e both just posers that stole ideas from others, but I don't know THEIR names.

Re:Credit where Credit is due. (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008559)

Just so long as you understand the Democrats will never sign on to this kind of legislation.

Re:Credit where Credit is due. (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about a year ago | (#42009229)

The majority of the current batch might not, but it's by no means the case that this is a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Lamar Smith, who sponsored SOPA, is a Republican in a gerrymandered district. Most of the people who took down SOPA in committee were Democrats. Pat Leahy, a Democrat, sponsored PIPA, SOPA's sister legislation in the Senate.

Point being, if this is an important issue to you, pay attention to which party is likely to win in your district, and register for that party and vote in the primary. Try to get one of the candidates in the primary to take positions in favor of some of the ideas mentioned in TFA. Work to get that candidate to win the primary.

Seriously, this is that rare issue where neither party has a strong position for or against, so it's entirely possible to get enough people to vote in favor of changing the law to be less in favor of copyright holders. But you have to actually work at it—it's not enough to grouse about it on Slashdot.

Re:Credit where Credit is due. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42009177)

You're nothing but a partisan goos stepping cunt.

Re: Nice rational and intelligent argument ;-) (2)

Lord Balto (973273) | about a year ago | (#42009305)

I always try to avoid stepping in goos.

Re: Nice rational and intelligent argument ;-) (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#42009361)

It is my understanding that under certain circumstances, goos can get into cunts. Best to beware of goos, I'm thinking, if one is blessed with ladybits.

Re:Credit where Credit is due. (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#42009231)

Um... while I agree with your OP (ie. hell will freeze over ere the GOP as a whole will put itself firmly behind the results of this study committee), don't you think it sounds a bit hypocrite to first give Socrates credit for proposing the concept of the freedom to share ideas, then in the next sentence decry the "stealing of ideas from others"? I'm even honestly wondering whether your post is a parody. Anyone campaigning against overreaching copyright laws that stifle progress will be happy if a study committee (in particular a republican one) picks up some of their ideas. Its kinda the whole point of activism.

Try this: I give this study committee credit for having the balls to put truth and integrity over years of party policy. I know in an ideal world, I'm giving them credit for just doing their job, but in the actual world I live in, this is a rare enough occurrence to merit commendation.

Re:Credit where Credit is due. (2)

Lord Balto (973273) | about a year ago | (#42009291)

Og. The guy who invented the wheel and didn't try to patent it. Come to think of it, if you used a lot of technical mumbo jumbo like "circular device for lessening friction in transport," the idiots at the Bureau would probably grant it.

Re:Credit where Credit is due. (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#42009357)

Og. The guy who invented the wheel and didn't try to patent it. Come to think of it, if you used a lot of technical mumbo jumbo like "circular device for lessening friction in transport," the idiots at the Bureau would probably grant it.

Actually it was patent # 2 (after fire)
The full 'text' of the patent (writing not having been invented yet) was 'round thingy'. Fortunately this was before the invention of the patent lawyer so there were no infringement suits, although Og did club a few people who tried to steal his wheel idea.

Read the article (5, Interesting)

Drishmung (458368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008329)

Yeah, I know this is slashdot, but really, read the article. Try to see past "this is GOP so it must be either wonderful or the work of the devil depending on your bigotry". It's a good paper, worthy of debate.

I've got mod points at the moment, but rather than oblivionate the current pathetic trolls, flamebait and fr1st p0st crap, I'd rather encourage some thought.

Re:Read the article (-1, Offtopic)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008513)

DITTO:

Yeah, I know this is slashdot, but really, read the article. Try to see past "this is GOP so it must be either wonderful or the work of the devil depending on your bigotry". It's a good paper, worthy of debate.

I've got mod points at the moment, but rather than oblivionate the current pathetic trolls, flamebait and fr1st p0st crap, I'd rather encourage some thought.

And I too have MOD POINTS, and I too would have "modded up" as I have the points, but am working on Google Chrome and get this blinky-blinky thing when I try to mod. So on Chrome, we "ditto".

Re:Read the article (5, Interesting)

cdogg4ya (198266) | about a year ago | (#42008691)

Agreed. I read GOP and immediately thought the worst but what I found was a well thought out article that actually acknowledges the problems and lays out some very interesting reforms that could actually make the system better.

Re:Read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42008845)

As long as Democrats disagree with it? I'm just curious, should Democrats support this and try to work in unison with Republicans or are they going to treat it like a disease the second anyone from the left takes a positive interest?

Re:Read the article (5, Insightful)

acid brother (2775575) | about a year ago | (#42008901)

Perhaps it helps that the republicans don't have so many ties to Hollywood and the entertainment industry. That's just an assumption though.

Re:Read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42009051)

So it would seem we have two possibilities here.

1) This is the one in a million idea from a GOP source that isn't entirely evil.
2) Your perception of the GOP is incorrect.

Which seems more likely?

Re:Read the article (1, Insightful)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#42009241)

3) The GOP will distance itself from its own committee's results (like we've never seen that happen before) and we won't hear another word about it.

Re:Read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42009257)

To me? The first one.

Re:Read the article (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#42008893)

I live in the US but I am not a citizen so I tend to somewhat follow US politics but not very closely. This is one of the first times where it seems a republican actually thought about his claim. I haven't finished reading it yet. But what he says seems reasonnable!

Though, at the back of my mind a voice says: "there must be an evil agenda somewhere!"

Re:Read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42009285)

Sadly, those comments that do not fall into the category of tribalism for a political party mostly end up discussing nuances of detail on top of some obviously flawed premises. It is like watching theologists get angry over how many angels can dance on a head of a needle.

The very notion of attacking people who independently produce something similar to a creation of someone else who got a magic piece of paper from the government is evil. And if that is not enough, it becomes downright insane(if one can be more insane than by advocating violence against innocent people) when one is reminded of the fact that the ostentatious point of this savage behavior is to promote prosperity, to promote creation. Given that an end cannot be achieved by means which oppose and contradict that end, it is fucking nonsense to think that kidnapping and stealing from people will somehow foster innovation, creativity, production, and wealth. One cannot promote property rights by stealing from and jailing people who have not violated any person's property. IP laws, copyright and all of it are contradictions in terms. They are codes of action from governments to provide mechanisms for rich people or organizations to bribe the guns of the state into committing violence against innocent people. They are intentions to threaten anyone who tries imitate or build on some idea someone else had. They are evil.

Argghhhh! (3, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#42009373)

It is like watching theologists get angry over how many angels can dance on a head of a needle.

It's a PIN, you bloody heathen!

Holy Cow! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008359)

I haven't even read the whole thing yet, but I was sort of astounded to read this from paper:

[Myth]1. The purpose of copyright is to compensate the creator of the content:
It's a common misperception that the Constitution enables our current legal regime of copyright protection - in fact, it does not. The Constitution's clause on Copyright and patents states:
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8) . Thus, according to the Constitution, the overriding purpose of the copyright system is to "promote the progress of science and useful arts." In today's terminology we may say that the purpose is to lead to maximum productivity and innovation. This is a major distinction, because 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. This lexicon is appropriate in the realm of taxation and sometimes in the realm of trade protection, but it is inappropriate in the realm of patents and copyrights. Strictly speaking, because of the constitutional basis of copyright and patent, legislative discussions on copyright/patent reform should be based upon what promotes the maximum "progress of sciences and useful arts" instead of "deserving" financial compensation.

By Jove! I think he's on to something here.

Re:Holy Cow! (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008407)

That's a bit of a fine line, because what will often promote the progress of science and useful arts is compensating the people who produce useful work so they can produce more of it by devoting themselves full time to it. And if they are compensated more for producing more and better work, they are more likely to produce more and better work.

Re:Holy Cow! (5, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008541)

That's a bit of a fine line, because what will often promote the progress of science and useful arts is compensating the people who produce useful work so they can produce more of it by devoting themselves full time to it. And if they are compensated more for producing more and better work, they are more likely to produce more and better work.

While I certainly accept that concept, what I think is being said is that copyright law is first and foremost intended to foster innovation. If that means compensating authors and/or copyright holders, so be it, but remember that the compensation is the means to an end and not the desired end itself.

Re:Holy Cow! (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#42008699)

Copyright law is, and always has been, about protecting the interests of the publisher/distributor/writers guild(transcribers), rarely, if ever about about the creator/author of works.

Re:Holy Cow! (5, Funny)

keytoe (91531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008547)

That's a bit of a fine line, because what will often promote the progress of science and useful arts is compensating the people who produce useful work so they can produce more of it by devoting themselves full time to it. And if they are compensated more for producing more and better work, they are more likely to produce more and better work.

It's almost as if there should be some carefully balanced compromise that strikes a balance between rewarding content creators while remaining beneficial to society at large. Perhaps a limited monopoly could be granted to the creator for the work before it passes into the public domain for all to benefit.

Re:Holy Cow! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008601)

"And if they are compensated more for producing more and better work, they are more likely to produce more and better work."

Very true. But how is someone supposed to keep producing for 70 YEARS beyond their death? This is a huge part of what sucks about current copyright laws - they protect for WAY too long.

Re:Holy Cow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42008843)

Great, but it is not the content creators that are currently benefiting the most from copyright maximalism and extension - it has become the corporations and heirs that obtain the copyright via work-for-hire or death of the copyright holder.

So, in order to promote progress, we should find a better way to reward the artists directly, and not the beneficiaries of their works.

Furthermore, it has been proven time-and-again, in study after study, that sharing of content among fans actually leads to more recognition and cultural value of the works being shared, which usually translates to more profits for the artist in the long term - and yet, we're allowing gatekeepers to continue clamping down on this sort of behavior so they can squeeze every last dime out of works that they didn't directly create themselves.

Re:Holy Cow! (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#42009149)

That's a bit of a fine line, because what will often promote the progress of science and useful arts is compensating the people who produce useful work so they can produce more of it by devoting themselves full time to it.

Yeah, like Van Gogh was motivated by the fortune he made from his works to make more.

Re:Holy Cow! (1)

mellon (7048) | about a year ago | (#42009247)

RIght. So you'll produce a copyrighted work for $K. There is some value N such that you will not bother to produce the work for $NK. There is some value X such that, if you are paid $XK, you will postpone working on your next work, because you don't need the money. So in fact the original poster is right—the basis for the debate has to be whether the copyright law promotes science and the useful arts. If it is too weak, it won't. If it is too strong, it likewise won't. It has to be Just Right...

Of course, that's a gross oversimplification, since the strength of copyright laws isn't what determines the multiplier of K. But hopefully it gets the point across...

Re:Holy Cow! (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#42009359)

That's a bit of a fine line, because what will often promote the progress of science and useful arts is compensating the people who produce useful work so they can produce more of it by devoting themselves full time to it. And if they are compensated more for producing more and better work, they are more likely to produce more and better work.

But the trick is not to pay them too much for sitting on their asses doing nothing. Otherwise they may choose to retire and just live on their royalties instead of making more creative works. Not everyone is infinitely greedy.

Re:Holy Cow! (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#42009407)

True enough, but only if they don't give up in despair due to the harmful effects of the same laws.

Disney (1)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#42009061)

Um, if it contains language that strongly worded against profit and entitlement, then you'd better believe Disney has made some phone calls today to mobilize some serious lobbying power and see what strings can be pulled by other lawmakers that they have influence over. Without a doubt.

Pleasantly surprised (1)

Braedley (887013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008389)

Although I'm not sure which is more surprising: the fact that this was written by a member of the government (or at least an aide to such a member), the fact that it came from the Republicans, or the fact that the chair of the committee that drafted it is basically completely opposite to me, politically. With any luck, at least some others will look at it and take it seriously.

This is not that surprising ... (4, Funny)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008423)

It seems the mitt-romney about-face attitude is changing the party from the inside - the GOP worrying about hampering scientific inquiry, [and] penalizing journalism. Next, you'll be telling me that they're also promoting women's rights and education.

Also, I would love for my sarcastic comments to be proven wrong.

Re:This is not that surprising ... (1, Flamebait)

approachingZero (1365381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008471)

See this is the bullshit. Why is this jackwad getting a 1 from some slashdot fairy for engaging in mindless partisan bomb throwing? What he wrote is approved group think so he (or she) get a pat on the head?

Re:This is not that surprising ... (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#42009219)

See this is the bullshit. Why is this jackwad getting a 1 from some slashdot fairy for engaging in mindless partisan bomb throwing? What he wrote is approved group think so he (or she) get a pat on the head?

It is easier when you understand that much of this comes from the frustration of never really feeling represented by anyone in Washington. Especially when the facts are so well-established and becoming more and more obvious. Copyright is just such an issue.

The War on (some) Drugs is another such issue. What that and copyright have in common is that the current laws just aren't working, this is obvious and well-known to anyone who looks into it, and there is no serious effort underway to reform the system.

He even labelled his comments as "sarcasm" and said he would like to be proven wrong. He was rather transparent about it. That's why the context surrounding it must also be considered, otherwise you really would just think he's engaging in mindless partisanism.

Mitt Romney should have addressed this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008441)

... he might have earned my vote!

I gave Obama the "meh" nod.
Had Romney talked about Copyright reform two weeks ago, he very may well have changed my vote!

Badly written, but essentially correct (1)

Omega Hacker (6676) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008501)

Read through the entire thing, but am very unimpressed with the quality of the writing. If re-written at a higher skill level and otherwise massaged, I think it would make an ideal document (stamped by the GOP of all groups) to send around to our local congresscritters as a talking point. Wonder if the sponsor could be convinced to let it be "fixed" without changing the content or message, and updated?

Tell me how this ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008505)

Let's see Congressional political fundraising started taking off when the tax codes were rewritten during Reagan. What's going to happen when the copyright owners start throwing money around? I'm tellin' ya they got a real money maker here. At least the last election could not be bought out right. Maybe money doesn't as well as it used to, to get the Congress you want.

Lets throw in a copyright registration fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008527)

maybe on a per word basis for literary works, a per frame charge for video, possible a per note valuation for music, maybe a per statement calculation for computer code.
The fee can be small, but unless the work is registered, it would only have limited protection.

Just throwing it out there.

MARKETS?!!!???? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42008565)

I think that is actually the problem. Copyright is not about MARKETS, it is about creative content being made available to the public ("published"). It is not about some business' bottom line. But in our Corpocratic society, the focus shifts to business interests above anything else. How about just being able to immerse yourself in our cultural heritage? There's a big wall around it with a (C)-shaped bricks. There's a rubble pile outside the main walls, the sign says "public domain".

Cultural heritage?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42008915)

Why don't you support your cultural heritage and shell out a few scheckels to the people that produce it?

If the creative people what to give away their work ... then they are more than capable of doing it. However, the vast majority would like to get paid for their efforts. What is wrong with that?

Re:Cultural heritage?? (1)

MrLizardo (264289) | about a year ago | (#42009193)

Well maybe we can compromise: How about we put a sane upper limit on how long works can remain under copyright? Right now things stay under copyright long after the author's death.

Limit copyright to payment (3, Interesting)

Chemisor (97276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42008583)

I think the most useful reform would be to stop granting copyright owners any control over their work except for the purpose of getting paid. The owner should not have the right to restrict distribution or use of his work in any way as long as it was legally purchased. Likewise, he should not have any control over derived works except for getting a cut of their sale equal to the current market value of the work multiplied by the fraction of the original work used in the derivation. So anybody should have the right to write a Harry Potter novel as long as Rowling gets a cut for whatever fraction of the book's value is assigned to characters.

Re:Limit copyright to payment (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#42008831)

Unenforceable. Who sets how much it worth? it also has huge implications for undermining long-term financial health of projects and properties.

A better solution would be shorter copyright terms attached to renewal-with-conditions. Say, everything gets an automatic ten years when it is created. After that it can be renewed in ten year increments for a moderate fee, up to a maximum or 50 years or something. As part of the renewal process a high quality copy or representation must be provided to the copyright office, to be made available (probably for a moderate fee again) after the copyright has expired.

So, as long as the creators are actively profiting off their creation they can keep on controlling it. Once it is no longer in active use it falls into public domain, with a high quality copy available.

Re:Limit copyright to payment (4, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#42008905)

Do you see the world of music collapsing due to statutory mechanical licensing rights? Of course not. And you're always free to negotiate a lower rate if you have a big project. A basic set of statutory amounts for previously published works is a good idea. It prevents artificial scarcity, such as the Disney Vault, and plain scarcity where it's impossible to get a copy of what would otherwise be an unremarkable product due to limited publishing runs.

Re:Limit copyright to payment (1)

the Dragonweaver (460267) | about a year ago | (#42009239)

"artificial scarcity, such as the Disney Vault, and plain scarcity where it's impossible to get a copy of what would otherwise be an unremarkable product due to limited publishing runs."

As a parent, it seems to me that the Disney Vault is almost designed to create piracy. Think about it—most Disney "classics" are only released once every seven years, IF that. When you have a kid, and you figure that Disney movies are what you want to have on while the kid is sick, what are you going to do once you've run through your limited stock? You don't go around buying movies before your kid is born, so that movie they released four years ago would be PERFECT for your three-year-old is not available until they're six (maybe), when it bores them. So what are parents going to do? The tech-savvy might pirate, while the ones who aren't... will go elsewhere. Either way, you'd think Disney would wise up to the fact that there's a HUGE market out there that would willingly buy all of their things without that artificial scarcity built in—probably more than the ones who think that if they don't buy it now, they'll never own it.

Re:Limit copyright to payment (4, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42009035)

I've seen this argument before - making the copyright terms shorter - and I agree with it.

Yet that aspect of copyright is rarely actually railed against by the masses. If anything it tends to only be cited - usually with a sneer at Disney and its copyright on Mickey Mouse - as a general attack on copyright without actually being related to their concerns.

I.e. it is not that the author of a comment has had this long-lived dream of making a Mickey Mouse work and is only prevented from carrying out this task due to the life+dozens of years+etc. of copyright resting on the character. They have no direct interest in this.

They may argue that because of that copyright term, however, others are unable to produce such works, which deprives society-aka-them of such works, which they would want to have made.

Unfortunately, however, if such a work were eventually made, the main reason for railing against copyright tends to be encountered. The work - let's say it's a new Mickey Mouse movie - is released into theaters, gets out on DVD a few months later, immediately gets ripped by 'pirates' to a nice MK4 and released to the rest of the world.

It is this latter activity - the file sharing of a work, regardless of age - that most comment authors feel should not draw the (legal) ire of copyright holders, citing a multitude of arguments.

So in essence, to most of these comment authors, a reduction in the copyright term is really just symbolic - a way to let others, producers, editors, publishers, etc. who would be easy copyright infringement targets to no longer be a valid target - as to their own purposes the copyright term is essentially deemed moot.

Note that it is rarely 5+ year old material that is 'pirated', and rarely such older material for which 'pirates' are targeted for legal action; it tends to be more recent material, from 'only released on DVD a few months ago' to 'not even playing in theaters yet - leaked workprints'.

Making the copyright term shorter would do nothing for this group, except reduce the number of times it would be brought up as an argument that does not actually speak against or in favor of their actual sentiment.

Interesting move, Republican Party! (1)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | about a year ago | (#42008717)

So this is how the Republican Party is going to try to move now that super-conservative has failed. How interesting!

Re:Interesting move, Republican Party! (0)

approachingZero (1365381) | about a year ago | (#42008829)

Super-conservationism? Oh, you mean like jobs and a balanced budget. You can forget those silly super-conservative things until Obama is put out to pasture and the nation is on its knees. Yes, seems like more people were more excited about free birth control and cheap 'obama phones' than electing a guy who actually knows how to create jobs. I see where the slashdot fairy gave you a two for you brilliant insight.

Re:Interesting move, Republican Party! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42008963)

Super-conservationism? Oh, you mean like jobs and a balanced budget.

Do go on.

I remain deeply curious on how enslavement of women, denial of simple liberty to gays, and the build up of a Navy to fight Somalis on rubber rafts is going to provide jobs and a balanced budget.

It doesn't surprise me that the Republicans are completely fucking clueless as to why they lost.

(Disclaimer, before usual Republican butthurt: I did not vote for Obama, as in my opinion, he's one of the worst presidents this country has ever seen.)

(Pouring salt on the butthurt: The Republicans had victory all but given to them - and you tools chose Romney and ordered him to be acting Mullah of the Talibangelicals? The hell were you idiots thinking?)

Re:Interesting move, Republican Party! (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#42008997)

Jobs and a balanced budget? Holy shit, that's some funny stuff. The straight Republican line has always been that the government can't create jobs. And a balanced budget? You do know that we're in this fucking mess because at the first sign of a surplus to pay off the debt, the Republicans put in a 10 year tax cut that wiped out every single dollar of surplus that would have retired the debt? And while they were giving the surplus back, instead of cutting costs they super-finded the military and decided to commit to two immensely expensive wars.

And don't start crying about SS and Medicare. You know how they're actually doing at the moment? Well, they happen to be holding about 1/4 of the US Debt. That's right - the Republicans borrowed from the Democratic/Socialist piggy bank to bankroll their "war on terror."

Don't fucking talk about jobs and economy - they're as guilty as they come. The only difference is that they want to put monitors in your bedroom so you don't do anything they feel is out of place with their perfect religion, which absolves them of fucking over their fellow man every Sunday so that they can feel like they're holding the moral high ground while they trample the poor on the way to paying for a hooker or bedding their neighbors wives.

They put up what was probably the most moderate Republican candidate since, hell, before I was born in a lousy economy that needed real business know-how...and he still lost by almost 3 million votes to a black man who's never run a company because they forced him to wear that super-conservative Republican platform around his neck like a God damned albatross.

Re:Interesting move, Republican Party! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42009013)

A balanced budget is not one which increses military spending in these days where your only real enemy can't be fought through traditional means (invading countries).

'Free' Birth control will save the public money due to avoiding other costs.

It isn't the presidents job to create jobs.

Obama is a conservative.
Romney is more conservative.

Written by Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42008865)

If all this information was somewhere, like, I don't know, Google Scholar...

Was this written by Google? I guess these big companies realized they need to organize to protect themselves from the stupid lawmakers. This will help all of us, and that's great, but Google is more interested in monetizing copyrighted material.

GOP Respones to Elections (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42008871)

You Hollywood folks backed the wrong guy. So now we're going to pull the rug out from under you.

Re:GOP Respones to Elections (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | about a year ago | (#42008977)

They have to start somewhere. This does sort of support small business, which is one of the GOP's mainstays. It definitely leaves me confused.

Just 1 out of 4 potential policy solutions (5, Insightful)

maugle (1369813) | about a year ago | (#42008961)

"Four potential policy solutions are proposed: statutory damage reform, expansion of fair use, punishing false copyright claims, and limiting copyright terms."

YES. That one alone would go a long ways towards leveling the playing field between individuals and huge corporations.

We shall see (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42008965)

Controlling the US House of Representatives, they're in a great position to do something about it. In fact, they have been for two years. So let's see if they put their money where their mouth is.

Sounds like a good idea (5, Insightful)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#42009017)

Sad that most of Slashdot is against it because of the colour of their ties.

Getting rid of crony capitalism corporatism is more important that rep or dem.

Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks (1, Offtopic)

buss_error (142273) | about a year ago | (#42009143)

First, look who uses copyrights most.
Next, visit www.opensecrets.org - look them up and which party they tend to donate to.
Next, look where educators tend to donate to. Look where the GOP legislative record tilts - NB: State of Texas/K-12 school funding.

While I agree with many of the points in the GOP paper, sometimes things aren't done for just one reason. Or done for the reasons stated.

Just sayin'.

------
Continuing my K-12 rant:

And while "Throwing money at education doesn't work!", I'll ask a rather pointed question:
Would you rather have a doctor that graduated from Harvard medical school (85K USD per semester) or from a unknown state university (where it's more like 30K USD per semester) to operate on your brain?

Factiod: Texas spends about $6.82 per hour to educate children in K-12
Factiod: Average price of a baby sitter in Texas: $9.00 per hour over all, $12.50 per hour in urban areas.
Factiod: Average pay of a letter carrier: 58,700 USD (no degree required)
Factiod: Average pay of a Texas K-12 Teacher with a bachelor's degree: 42,890
Opinion: The person that teaches your child to read should make at least as much as the person that brings them the mail.

And yes - I am now a FORMER K-12 employee. I couldn't keep depriving my family of a living wage to teach your kids, get insulted for being "A pig in the trough sucking on the public t|t", being called a "Fat cat over paid administrator", and having just about everyone assume I'm incompetent and can't get "A real job". I once had someone actually spit on me when I told them where I worked.

I hired on to a place glassdoor rates as one of the 5 hardest places to get hired. I applied on a Tuesday, had a phone interview on Wednesday morning, an in person interview on Thursday evening, (I was offered a slot on Wednesday afternoon, but I had to be there for your kids), got an offer on Friday morning (at 4AM!), and I now make 211% more than I did teaching your kids, not counting the hiring bonus (1.5 month's pay at my new rate) or quarterly bonuses (about two weeks pay usually.)

In a free market, people tend to go where compensation is best. The truly remarkable teachers hang on like grim death to teach. So I guess I'm not a truly remarkable teacher - but now I make more money, and have to work only 6 more days a year than I used to. I would have stayed to teach your kids, if I could afford to get my daughter braces, my son corrective surgery for his injury, my wife the things she has earned to keep this household running as well as it does, and cars somewhat less than 14 and 17 years old. I don't ask for any toys for myself - my family is the joy of my life. I just want them to do, and be, well.

As a side note: Retirement. Because I was in Teacher's retirement, I can never draw out from Social Security what any other person would get, even if I give up all the money I paid into teacher retirement. As a result, I won't be able to retire until I'm 72 years old, which I don't expect to see. I have a rather large life insurance policy for my wife, which should see she is comfortable and able to do all the things she's like to do with me, if we could. We'll cross off a few bucket list items, but as for passing comfortable years in our golden age, I don't see that happening.

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