Head Of Copyright Committee Says To Enforce Existing Copyright Law

from the better-than-some-alternatives dept

The head of the Congressional committee that examines intellectual property issues said today that he believes we should enforce existing copyright laws, before going out and creating special new laws to deal with intellectual property related to digital issues. Of course, there’s already the DMCA which has gone too far in that direction, but it’s good to see that he’s hesitant to go any further. At the same time, he does seem to think that we should be throwing kids in jail because they decided to download a song they might like to hear. While that is currently what the law says, eventually it won’t matter. More and more musicians are going to realize the benefits to releasing their own music online, and using it for promotional purposes. It appears this is already starting. It’s an odd world where one musical act will be trying to throw its fans in jail for sharing a song, while another is actively encouraging its fans to do the same act.

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Comments on “Head Of Copyright Committee Says To Enforce Existing Copyright Law”

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Anonymous Coward says:

What's up with musicians?

My understanding of the music industry is that you make a *lot* of money touring (provided people go to the show), but very little selling records even if you sell a lot of records.

Seems like it would be in the best interest of musicians to give their music away (since they practically are anyway) and tour more.

Or they could keep making the record industry rich.

Murrel (user link) says:


I like to view things from a large prespective – take a long look at where things are going and why.
And it seems to me that we are in the middle of a copyright revolution. The copyright law is increasingly more restrictive in users rights and sooner or later we will have to just dump the tea in the harbor. If fair use is done away with all we will be left with is unfair use.
In America we have a long history of passive resistance and civil disobedience that have helped this country get back on the right track when we as a whole have wandered away from our roots in personal liberty. What I see happening now is no different from many other battles over individual rights.
I have no doubt that the law will be changed. America can’t be made up of 250 million criminals.
We see suits for $98 Billion in damages settled for $10-17,000. If this is the case there is no more damage to be done – the RIAA & MPAA have already taken all the damage that is possible. Somehow as big as they are, I doubt they have ever since their beginnings had that much profit to lose. And this is somehow reminicent of Southern Bell suing hackers for millions of dollars for an item that they themselves sold for under $20.
I long ago gave up buying (as well as downloading) music. I can get all I need from my current collection of commercial CDs and listening on the radio. But I will not buy another CD (unless it is Janis Ian) until these two organizations give up their quest to destroy the copyright system.
The problem is not the listeners or the musicians – it is the industries that are mired in an old fashioned business plan and are unable to update it.
They don’t have a right to keep unworkable businesses in operation. If I tried to do that in my business I would soon be out of business. And the same is awaiting them once their money runs out and hence their ability to buy new laws from Congress to protect them.
MPAA seems to have a few more clues than RIAA in that they sell DVDs with additional information and scenes and background videos that I would much rather have than just the original show. In fact, I quit time shifting in favor of buying new CDs & DVDs for that very reason. I now buy only commercial videos – and I think that a very large majority of people do the same. And I will continue to do so unless I am no longer able to buy a machine to play them on that will let me view them (I play them on my home computer).
I guess all of this is a way of getting around to the point that Rep Smith is wrong – and if he lived in my district he would be losing votes because of it. It is NOT better to enforce bad laws that are based on one (or two) industries fight to survive without change in a changing world. It is better the recognize that the world is in constant change and some laws are better left unenforced (every town seems to have a list of antiquated laws – every now and then someone will write a puff piece for the local press about how every motor vehicle owner must stop at every intersection to let the buggies pass or about some other weird ordinance).
Anyway it is time that the Congress started representing the people and let the entertainment industry get on with its metamorphasis – the sooner they change the sooner we will all be happy.

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