Congressional Hyperbole Used To Urge Bush To Accept A Copyright Czar
from the and-so-it-goes dept
We’ve already seen that the Bush administration has said that it really doesn’t want the “Copyright Czar” that Congress has been trying to give the White House. However, as the bill sits on his desk to sign, it appears that plenty of folks are trying to pressure Bush into signing it (he has until Tuesday to veto or it automatically becomes law). We already noted that the US Chamber of Commerce was using totally ridiculous and made up numbers about job and dollar losses to get Bush to sign, and now it appears that various politicians are sending ridiculously hyperbolic letters to the White House to push for signing the bill as well (thanks to Jim Harper for alerting me to this).
Let’s start with Senator George Voinovich, who actually claimed that signing this bill “would be a fitting achievement and legacy.” Now, I don’t care what you think of the present administration, but you’d have to be pretty disconnected from world events to think that adding a copyright czar will ever be considered a part of Bush’s “legacy.” Somehow, I would imagine that there is a long list of other things that will most likely be on his legacy list before anyone gets around to a totally unnecessary copyright czar.
Then there’s Rep. Lamar Smith, who ran the intellectual property subcommittee in Congress before the Democrats and Howard Berman took over. However, Smith and Berman — despite being on different sides of the aisle, have pretty much identical views on intellectual property, so it’s no surprise that he would tell the President that signing this bill is “not merely desirable, but necessary.” Necessary, huh? For what? That seems like a pretty strong claim without an iota of proof. That’s because it’s not “necessary” at all. In fact, about the only thing it’s likely to do is to hold back the more innovative business models the economy needs by propping up one industry’s obsolete business model.
Then we’ve got Senator Arlen Specter, who complains that vetoing this bill could lead to “fallout” with trading partners, concerning the equally awful ACTA treaty. That makes very little sense. Both this bill and ACTA were basically written by the same lobbyists, and both serve to do the same thing: prop up a broken and obsolete business model of the American entertainment industry. Vetoing the bill is unlikely to have any serious international ramifications, other than from countries tha might stand up for themselves and push back every time the US demands they strengthen IP laws just to protect a few American businesses who refuse to innovate.