If We Don't Have A Copyright Czar, People Will Die?

from the that-would-be-a-big-no dept

We've already questioned why the White House should play the role of copyright cop. Hell, even the White House has said that it doesn't want to appoint a copyright czar, but that hasn't stopped various legislative efforts to force a copyright czar on the White House -- and it appears that more efforts are on the way.

Business Week is running a rather weak piece looking at the issue, that appears to accept as fact every talking point from those pushing for the establishment of a copyright czar. While the article briefly notes a few quotes from those who oppose it (buried at the end of the article), it does absolutely nothing to dispel the false or misleading reasoning by those in support of a copyright czar. It quotes the totally bogus numbers about "losses" to the economy, without noting that those numbers are very much disputed and inaccurate.

However, the most troubling part is that the article plays into the worst and most inaccurate talking point of all that's used in favor of a copyright czar: that the public is put at risk without one. The article notes (as a way of brushing off the quotes from those worried about a copyright czar):
Jeffrey Thurnau, counsel to auto parts maker Gates, showed senators counterfeit timing belts that he says could put drivers, passengers, and other motorists in danger. "We want better coordination between enforcement agencies,"
The subtext: we need a Copyright Czar or people will die. Except, that's simply not true at all. The issue described by Thurnau has nothing to do with copyright, and everything to do with consumer protections. You don't need copyright law to deal with timing belts that don't live up to code -- and pretending we do is simply a lie repeated by Business Week.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 8:45am

    A more troubling question is:

    "If we don't have an Oil Czar, will people die?"

    Yah Bush!

     

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    eleete, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 8:49am

    Talking Points

    "You don't need copyright law to deal with timing belts that don't live up to code"
    No, but you do need to put the fear of God into the public to get crap laws like this passed. Next it will be for the children, and then to combat global warming... on and on, until they force it through. What is Scary as Hell though is to see the Auto industry lobbyists join forces with the copyright regime, while very few and weak intrests take up the opposing side. Out government is acting as a puppet on this issue. They want, they pay, they get. Then we all pay them. Exactly what citizens and consumers Do Not want.

     

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    Ceyarrecks, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:21am

    Accountability

    Accountability is really root of whole process.

    were it not the very same government that established NAFTA, then we would not have unscrupulous corporations buying items from foreign countries. Real hard to hold accountable someone in China for counterfeit products. Sadly, due to the inherent confusion of 99.9% of the government, we have the present day issue: Where minutia suddenly becomes "life or death" important, instead of the actual important issues (and we all know what things ail this country.)

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:46pm

      Re: Accountability

      ...we would not have unscrupulous corporations buying items from foreign countries. Real hard to hold accountable someone in China for counterfeit products.

      Yeah, we have that problem getting stuff from out-of-the-way places like the USA, as well. Bloody furriners. How can you trust people who talk funny?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:29am

    For the sake of accuracy, you well know that the BW headline is wrong in its reference to copyright. Hence, your comments about auto parts is inaccurate in suggesting that auto companies rely on copyright law for items such as timing belts.

    That said, the "need" for such a position is not at all apparent. Even I, who challenges much of what TD has to say about IP, agree with its observation on this matter. The same can be said for many (if not most) of the provisions in the proposed legislation under which this position would be created.

     

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    Ulle, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:37am

    Of course we need a Copyright Czar, after all remember a few years back this country had a serious problem with drugs and so we appointed a Drug Czar and presto no more drug problems.

     

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    angry dude, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Damn lemmings! Can't you see that we really do need a copyright czar? Just because Mike says that we don't doesn't mean we don't. The government knows what's best for us.

     

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    mike allen, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 1:23pm

    president

    I really believe that in this election year that the one man who would be a good president is not running Mike how about it all our probs solved. angry dude im joking to an extent but you are a total IDIOT.

     

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    Legally Curious, Jun 26th, 2008 @ 5:21am

    What Code

    Do you really think there is a "code" for timing belts? The only real way to stop counterfeiting is with by using trademark/copyright law. How would you do it?

     

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    Car owner, Jun 27th, 2008 @ 9:17am

    Break your timing belt

    if your car engine's timing belt breaks, depending on how fast you're going, you'll at the very least tear up the engine (slow speed, repair of $2,000 - $4,000) if not crash your car (high speed/sudden power loss/engine seizure/loss of control, etc.). But that's more of a quality assurance inspection problem than a copyright/patent problem

     

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