As If Big Copyright Didn't Already Have Enough Lobbying Clout…

from the lobbyists-doing-more-lobbying? dept

You would think, given their ability to pass ridiculous self-serving legislation solely to protect their dying business models, that the folks behind “Big Content” wouldn’t need another lobbying group… but you’d apparently be wrong. The RIAA, the MPAA, the Association of American Publishers and companies including Disney, Viacom and Microsoft have teamed up to create “The Copyright Alliance.” You would have thought that these groups already had enough lobbyists and misleading spokespeople, but I guess if you can’t get real grassroots support, you just keep forming industry associations to make support look stronger than it really is. The group will be led by Patrick Ross, who recently left the Progress & Freedom Foundation, though not before making the case against fair use and bizarrely claiming that changing the DMCA would be inefficient regulatory tinkering without explaining why creating the DMCA wasn’t inefficient regulatory tinkering in the first place. In other words, this is going to be more of the same tortured logic pretending that without stronger copyright law, the content creation business would be in trouble. The truth is this is a front group to protect the interests of big copyright holders allowing them to prop up obsolete business models against more innovative new business models. However, since those big copyright players tend to be big political contributors, politicians such as Howard Berman, who chairs the IP subcommittee and is known for being a big friend to big copyright (representing parts of LA explains that), welcomed the formation of this group without bothering to question why it’s even needed in the first place. Update: In another article on this new Alliance, Ross makes the stunningly naive statement that this organization is needed “to counter the united front that exists to oppose copyright enforcement.” United front? If he thinks it’s a united front, then he has a very long uphill battle in front of him, as it shows he doesn’t even have the slightest idea what’s happening in the market.

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Comments on “As If Big Copyright Didn't Already Have Enough Lobbying Clout…”

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mastmaker says:

I am all for extension of copyright act.

I have recently traced 52 surviving descendents of homer and 139 surviving ones of Bible (both old and new testaments) and formed ‘Grand Copyright Alliance’. We are going to lobby for retroactive extension of copyright to 4000 years. We have determined that the world owes us around 200 trillion dollars and change. Think of what a lobbying force WE will be!

And the story about the ‘Second Grand Copyright Alliance’ of descendents of Authors of Apocrypha suing Catholic church for non-inclusion in the bible is…….well….apocryphal.

James says:


They can gang together, put content in as many chains and restrict it any way they want, pass laws blah ..blah ..blah, it won’t do them any good if people simply stop buying their crap.

Oooops and guess what? That is exactly what is happening. Music (CD) sales year over year drop. DOH!!

Remember if you buy their cripple-wear infected crap you are supporting their position.

Wait them out.

techsyn says:

Think ownership and taxes.

I for one think that when I buy something and pay a tax for it I own it. However these companies wish to take away what fair rights I have, and restrict what I can do with the material I thought I owned.

If these companies want to assert their ownership passed the point of sale, and restrict my fair use rights, then the only conclusion I can see is I would be only paying for the right to view or use the material which the companies still own.

If they retain ownership of anything I purchase, then I don’t see why I should have to pay a tax of any kind the material purchased, or a better way to say that would be rent. And if they retain ownership of any and material, then all that material should be considered assets to them and treated as such. Unless they show a depreciated value to the material they rent out, each item an individual rents is added to the overall value of the item as an asset and taxes should be figured and paid by the companies accordingly.

Example: Lets take a look at a single song. The number of copies really doesn’t matter, just the total of value of the rented song. Lets say the value of that one single song asset is one million dollars, so then that company that owns that song would have to figure taxes on that one million dollars. They would also need to figure out how long they wish that song has at a particular level of value on an individual basis, basically how much it is rented (paid) for by consumers. They would also need to figure out how to depreciate the overall value of the song as a total asset. Basically how to reduce the total value of the asset over time to reduce the amount of taxes they would have to pay.

Basically what I’m saying is, if they want to retain complete ownership of any item rather than just let copyright laws work they way they were setup to begin with, then they need to pay the taxes on the assets they own, keeping in mind that the more sold means a growing asset value.

ehrichweiss says:

Re: Re: Re: Think ownership and taxes.

well the license might *say* you have this “privilege” but the software itself will complain during the activation and/or update process and request reactivation on at least one of the machines. And I’m not using one of the “no activation” cracks like some people might though it does encourage me to use such a crack to be certain.

techsyn says:

Re: Re: Think ownership and taxes.

In my opinion, an license that infringes on fair use rights should be signed before any money is exchanged and then the tax is placed on who owns the material. If you purchase a license you are not purchasing the material, just the right to use the material. Thus the company should have to pay the taxes for the material it licensed.

Steven says:

Re: Think ownership and taxes.

There is a bit of a flaw in your logic (at least for the US). Taxes are not paid on assets. Taxes are paid (somewhat) on income. It doesn’t matter if you sell something, or rent it, you pay based on revenue not based on the amount of stuff you own.

So whether they claim to sell you a CD or rent to you the music on the CD has no effect on taxes.

techsyn says:

Re: Re: Think ownership and taxes.

Your right, I worded that wrong.

The point is still valid in that the income becomes an asset for the duration of the copyright. In other words the company can treat the income in two ways. 1) Pay the taxes on the income for the year it comes in or 2) Pay less tax on the income in an incremental way throughout the life of the copyright. With the second method when the copyright is at its end the material becomes public. Also with the second method, copyrights shouldn’t be allowed to be extended.

Missing says:

Re: Re: Think ownership and taxes.

That depends on the state you are registered (reside) in.
Many states have property taxes, and I think having intelectual property taxes fits too. After all, they are claiming thatpiracy is theft of property, so let the SOBs be taxed for EVERY COPY!! If it means a few new laws in every state about intelectual property, then so be it. Most IP holders will not be drasticly affected if they owed $.05 for every copy out there (think books), but music owners……

glitch says:

that would be nice to see

the major players paying taxes on ALL the copyrights they hold. there are a lot of older albums, yes vinyl, that i would like to get on cd….but the copyright owners [labels] have decided it wasnt going to let that happen. i say tax them based on what they own, not what they allow to be published.

as far as software, i think it is different from music. i have been using open office for years. my computer useage has changed, and i am finding alternatives that will suit me just fine [tho maybe not for others]. At present i am still using XP and have no intention on going to Vista.

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