US Congress, Ready And Willing To Serve… Hollywood

from the thanks-esteemed-leaders dept

The entertainment industry’s been aiming for some time to plug the “analog hole” — the point at which audio and video has to be unencrypted to allow for playback on analog devices. Back in November, Hollywood told a congressional hearing that it should force consumer electronics manufacturers to make their devices respond to two forms of copy protection to plug the hole, killing off plenty of fair use in the process. We hoped then that Congress wouldn’t fall for it, but somebody’s bitten, hook, line and sinker, introducing the exact bill the entertainment industry wanted (via Boing Boing). What makes this bill so particularly insidious — beyond its wanton destruction of fair use — is that it sounds like would criminalize circumventing the copy protection, regardless of the end purpose. And, as an added kicker, the head of our favorite government agency, the US Patent and Trademark Office, gets to make determinations on the technology involved — something at which they display their incompetence regularly. So, fair use becomes fair game for the likes of the MPAA and RIAA to sue you, and/or have you prosecuted. All this bill will do is increase the price of electronics and punish everyday people — professional, criminal pirates will move on unabated — while stifling innovation. Who wins? Hollywood, of course. They’re paying the bills, after all.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “US Congress, Ready And Willing To Serve… Hollywood”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
ROD Taylor says:

Movie Business

I live and work in “Hollywood.” Don’t you know that a corillary of liberal, ie. fascist politics is a desire to control everything, which is one important reason that most movies are terrible today and Hollywood is in decline. Who but the so called liberals voted the Kelo decision in the Supreme Court? Who sees the UN with its designs on “internet governance” as a good thing? Who wants to use the MCCain/Feingold bill to stop the bloggers? Who but our good and liberal Hollywood fascists. It’s not just about the money. It’s about the power. The don’t like God because they want to be God. Death to the Hollwood Nightmare Merchants!!!

Alex Macfie (profile) says:

Re: Movie Business

Legislation designed to protect corporate profits against the public interest is not part of any principled “liberal” agenda that I’m aware of. Supposedly Hollywood and the media industry are politically “liberal”, but at least when they lobby for the protection of their private, corporate interests they are leaving their liberal principles at home.

Conservatives are supposed to be swayed by arguments about free markets and against governments picking winners, but they have a habit of suspending these principles when shown greenbacks from their corporate paymasters. They also tend to accept at face value a property-rights framing of the debate, assuming that intellectual property == physical property.

doubledoh says:

Re: Re: Movie Business

Conservatives are supposed to be swayed by arguments about free markets and against governments picking winners, but they have a habit of suspending these principles when shown greenbacks from their corporate paymasters. They also tend to accept at face value a property-rights framing of the debate, assuming that intellectual property == physical property.

Real “conservatives” are Libertarians. They believe the government has NO right interfering whatsoever with any market, including, but not limited to the technology market. If IP owners want to protect their “property,” they are free to do so with their various DRM schemes, but they are NOT free to force any other industry (namely the hardware industry) to manufacture products that they or their consumer markets would otherwise shun.

I think this lumping of various political ideologies is a dangerous one as well. Today’s republicans are just as “liberal” as the leftists when it comes to government spending and government power expansion. Similarly, so called “liberals” have never really been about the promotion of liberty–they have been about the promotion of special interest groups that hand them their vote in exchange for money or power. If you ask me, the only difference between republicans and democrats today is abortion. Both will take all your money and spend it on whatever interest groups have the best lobbying power (right now, it looks like hollywood). True conservatives and Libertarians would never sell the people out to the rich and powerful few.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Movie Business

Since when was protection of the vested *rich* business interests anything to do with liberalism?

I am writing from my observation — that conservatives are in practice the most likely to be in the pay of business interests and so naturally will defer to them. And business is very keen on government expansion when it benefits business. But liberals do not, generally, defer to business against what they perceive to be the public interest, which means that they may support the market when business, and conservatives, do not.

And FYI libertarians also have a strong copyright-is-property tendency. it’s not universal, I grant you, but it’s there nonetheless.

Bob says:

Re: Movie Business

I’m tired of this, this flinging of the world liberal as if it were the black death, it makes no sense and its about as dangerous as calling each other commies in the 1940s. Blaming everything on the mysterious dangerous left isn’t going to get us anywhere, stop the generalizations and use some common sense. Hollywood can’t control everything, not without government (Who are the politicans in power who have power?) otherwise the market should take care of Hollywood when they make bad movies.
Though that isn’t the point, the point is that business like Hollywood or anything else only have control if the government gives them that control. Enough with the fear tactics America, don’t let it distract you a moment more.

Mawkus says:

Re: Re: Movie Business

The government is not meant to “give” control to anyone. Control should never be out of the hands of the citizen. That is the purpose of government. To make sure the citizens are in control.
Liberal, conservative, doesn’t matter, we are all human, we are all lyars, we all want power. It is only human.
I leave you with a quote:
“You (politicians) think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Movie Business

An odd comment. The conservative (“ie, fascist”) side of things seems far more inclined to control everything. I might suggest, ignorant sir, that you do your best to put aside your personal vested interest (a presumption based on your statement that you live and work in hollywood) in the statements of the entertainment industry, and look up things like what “fascist” really means and what “liberalism” really means. You might be surprised.
But I must agree, it is about the power (and the money that follows power) and specifically about the wishes of the entertainment industry to hold all power possible over what you see, hear and read.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Voting

“Well then stop voting for candidates who accept corporate contributions.

It continues to amaze me, the whining that goes on today about how government is bought and paid for by the corporate interests.. yet come election time the people vote for those exact ‘corporate’ candidates!


Yet ANOTHER reason why democracy is a BAD idea.

Bob says:

Re: Re: Voting

It may not be perfect, but it sure beats a Hilter and King George. Democracy is a good idea that the human race made more complex then it should, the ideas aren’t at fault, just the people as always. Human nature states that we become greedy bastards, hateful assholes, and etc. Its not like there is a better idea, sometimes you’ve got to stick with what you’ve got and make it work.

Anonymous Patriot says:

Re: Re: Re: Voting

It may not be perfect, but it sure beats a Hilter and King George. Democracy is a good idea that the human race made more complex then it should, the ideas aren’t at fault, just the people as always. Human nature states that we become greedy bastards, hateful assholes, and etc.

Sorry “bob,” I’m sticking with Plato on this one, who commented, the last time that the democracy experiment failed (for the same reasons it did this time) that Democracy is not the best form of government but it is the most mediocre, and can never rise above, nor fall below that level, which means that it is also the safest form of government ? but certainly not the best. Think I?m making it up? Read ?The Republic? it?s available at Gutenberg.

But you are right Bob. The problem IS that we are humans ? and as such suffer from a HUGE list of failings. If we were not human, perhaps democracy would be a great idea ? but we are, so it isn?t. Look around you ? is this the BEST things could be?

You have been taught all your life that democracy was the best thing ? but that doesn?t make it so. Is a vote really all that important to you? Or is there something else that is more important to you? Say, freedom?

Most Americans don?t give enough of a shit about democracy to be bothered to exercise it (even though they will blindly tell you that they think it is deathly important) but most Americans WILL fight tooth and nail for their freedoms ? as long as they are not asked to surrender them for ?the children? or to the ?terrorists? or the RIAA. It is a bit of a straw man to suggest that the only alternative to Democracy is Hitler. You can have freedom without democracy ? just like we have democracy without freedom.

Andrew Strasser (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Voting

Democracy is not when you call your own people terrorists. I note this on a huge debate in the senate about weather or not all these illegal wiretaps should be allowed. Let me note for you a few of the things that some farmers have been subjected to as part of this legislation. First off there were GPS unit placed on the farmers cars and were tracked to everywhere they went and everyone they got in contact with. They had phones monitored and knew everything they said. The problem is this guy was not a terrorists he was a small time Home Grown man. Grown By Americans, Smoked by Americans. There are reasons for laws and do you waant a gps unit on your car. Or maybe satellites hovering over your every move. How much of an inch do you want to give up of your freedom.

giafly says:

In other news

… as an antidote to US “conservatives” and “liberals” arguing about who is more fascist, in the UK the original Conservative Party has just declared itself Liberal.

“There is a new home for Liberal Democrat voters – and so a real prospect of a change of government – because today we have a Conservative Party that believes passionately in green politics, that is committed to decentralisation and localism, that supports open markets, that is prepared to stand up for civil liberties and the rule of law” … Mr Cameron went on: “So I believe it’s time for Liberal Democrat voters, councillors and MPs that share these values and this agenda to come and join the new Conservative Party.” – The Conservative Party

fuzzy duck says:

movie biz

do away with copyrights. if they are performers then they should perfrom on the stage just like any other worker has to on his own particular stage, be he a truck driver or a bricklayer. I think a copyright is nothing more than a huge ripoff. as for the movies let them give us a decent experience in the theater and they won’t have to resort to congresssional payola.

the m0u53r says:

No Subject Given

Simply put as many of you have said, these measures are not going to stop illegal copying, just as creating movies and videogame systems that only look good seen on a high defenition television is not going to raise hdtv sales (at least significantly). When it comes to law and politics, common sense is not an element that graces this world with its presence. Just as the fairness of a court that lets a man free even though all evidence supports the fact that they are a murderer, but is let go on a technicality… is that common sense? No, but according to the law it is fair. Now the law will be giving the power to these companies to FAIRLY bring legal action upon anyone who infringes these new copyright laws… nonsensical, yes, unfair? Not according to the law.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...