Monday, January 23, 2017

Hollyweird: A Letter to Rep. Labrador

I see that Hollyweird is pushing two bills: Protect IP Act, and Stop Online Piracy Act.  There was a time when attempts to protect the entertainment industry from online thieves would have been a no-brainer for me, but I would ask you to oppose these bills for three reasons.

1.Several years back, I along with hundreds of other parties were sued by a company called Righthaven for copyright infringement, in this case, copying a few too many words out of a news story for a scholarly website.  Most of us settled because the penalties under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act were so severe that making a "fair use" argument when there is no statutory definition of "fair use," and no clear case law definition, either, was dangerous.  One of the defendants who fought Righthaven found during discovery that Righthaven did not even own the copyrights that they were using to extort thousands of dollars from each victim.  Righthaven went bankrupt and none of the victims got even a dime back from this fraud.  Along the way, I discovered that the MPAA and RIAA have a history of abuse of the judicial process to intimidate people.  Please, no more encouragement of this bad behavior!  I would also ask that Congress write a clear definition of "fair use" into the Copyright Act.

2. If the entertainment industry were suffering financially, I  might be more sympathetic to their woes.  The extravagance that the industry regularly demonstrates compared to people who work hard for a living inclines me to think that they have more than enough money, especially since their crocodile tears for working people are so hypocritical.

3. The entertainment industry are our political enemies, as the recent post-election temper tantrums demonstrate, and also their constant attempts to degrade our society's morals.

1 comment:

Rich Rostrom said...

The "Trans-Pacific Partnership", initiated as a broad free-trade agreement, has been larded with special interest goodies, included extremely broad "IP protection" provisions - basically the MPAA and RIAA wishlists.

Fortunately, it appears that Trump just canned it.