Walt Mossberg Asks Congress To Rewrite The DMCA
from the good-for-him dept
A year and a half ago, famed Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg wrote up an opinion piece about problems with copy protection technology. He’s now written a very similar piece blasting the DMCA and asking Congress to rewrite copyright law. His main point is that recent changes to copyright law have all been written by the copyright industry (sometimes with some influence from other industries), but never with any voice from the consumer side of things. For those who prefer to watch and listen, rather than read, Mossberg, he’s also got a video that covers similar ground:
It’s great to see someone with the stature and visibility of a Walt Mossberg come out in favor of fixing a bad law like the DMCA, and great to see him pick up on the key point that it’s the very people Congress is supposed to be representing that got totally left out of the discussion last time around. Like his last article on the topic, though, there are some points to nitpick. While many people do this (unfortunately), Mossberg falls into the trap of assuming that this is all a big tug of war — and what benefits one side harms the other. It’s this zero-sum thinking that has everyone at each other’s throats, rather than looking for solutions that benefit everyone. It’s not about “balance” between copyright holders and content consumers — but about creating a system that works for everyone. So, yes, let’s rewrite bad copyright laws, and let’s keep the consumer in mind when we do, but it’s time to recognize that serving the consumer doesn’t mean hurting the producer. In just about every other industry, people recognize that better serving consumers tends to be good for business too. It’s not clear why everyone assumes the same concept isn’t valid when it comes to content as well.