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.

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Comments on “If We Don't Have A Copyright Czar, People Will Die?”

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eleete (user link) says:

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.

Ceyarrecks says:


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.)

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Car owner says:

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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