US Copyright Office, MPAA Celebrate Handing Hollywood Stars Their Own Special Copyright Monopoly Powers

from the oh,-phew,-the-mpaa-was-on-hand-to-help dept

So remember how we were just talking about WIPO passing a totally unnecessary new form of monopoly protection for Hollywood movie stars? The negotiations concluded with everyone — including the US — already “signing” the agreement, and now countries just need to ratify it. In a rather sickening display of cluelessness, the US Copyright Office put out an announcement about just how awesome it was that they were able to lock down some more culture to make a few Hollywood stars happy and able to block anyone from creating mashups or remixes of their work.

Copyright Office boss, Maria Pallante, who incorrectly believes that copyright is “for the author first and the nation second,” was overjoyed at being able to give Hollywood actors more power to lock up content they performed in, over which they have no copyright interest:

“The Beijing Treaty is an important step forward in protecting the performances of television and film actors throughout the world,” said Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante.

But, um, why do they need this? No one ever answers that question, because the answer is they don’t need this. At all. It’s just a way to lock up culture some more. It’s sickening.

Not surprisingly, the Copyright Office’s announcement plays up the fact that the MPAA was in Beijing to help the US negotiate. And, of course, Chris Dodd is just thrilled at how awesome this treaty is, and how it shows how “substantive” treaties can be created. Yeah, there’s no regulatory capture going on here… none at all. And, um, who was there to represent the public’s interest? Who was there to make sure that our culture wasn’t locked up and that free speech and technology weren’t stifled? No one. Pallante then says that:

“There was a renewed atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration among all of the delegations in attendance….”

Well, you know, that’s what happens when you only invite your friends, and leave the public and the public interest out in the cold. She might as well have just been more honest and said what the truth is: “For the Hollywood stars first, and screw the nation.”

And I thought after the SOPA/PIPA and ACTA debacles, Hollywood and the US government has promised no more backroom deals signed just to support Hollywood…

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Comments on “US Copyright Office, MPAA Celebrate Handing Hollywood Stars Their Own Special Copyright Monopoly Powers”

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383bigblock (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

oh man… can you guys do anything but whine and cry like babies? Wah! Wah! Waaaaaah! Get over it already…

I’m over it I just don’t approve of our government being run by the entertainment industry…..obviously you do. Not until all of your rights and freedoms have eroded away will folks like you stand up and do something about it……..the liberal mindset, government will take care of you and always has your best interests in mind……right!

Anonymous Coward says:

so, now there is more protection for film stars and their works, enabling them to lock it away from the public getting their grubby little hands on it, how about telling those artists and everyone that is represented by any organisation to do with the entertainment industries, to keep their content, in fact shoving it well and truly where the sun dont shine? if keeping it locked away is so important, they better not allow it to be shared at all, not even in shops!

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I look forward to a bright future of more copyright restrictions.

I know this was tongue in cheek, but I wonder what will happen when the actors who feel slated by the industry latch on to this and outlaw the distribution of their movies until they are better paid? How long before the industry secretly tries to change the law like they did with the sunset law on copyright where the author/artist got their copyright back after 35 years? Since the MPAA had their hands in it, I doubt it will be anything like that…probably just another law they can use to beat up technology companies.

Wonder if David Prowse will finally get paid?

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Re:

Of course, if that did happen (and I for one would have no problem with it) they (and by they I mean bob, copyright maximalists and the RIAA/MPAA and the rest of the studios/labels) would immediately say that it was yet another hostile and uncalled for attempt by Google to stifle any meaningful attempt to look out for the best interest of copyright holders as well as artists in general, and that such behavior is uncalled for and completely detrimental to society and culture as a whole. And also, just another opportunity for everyone to see how evil Google truly is, especially given such action which was essentially Google declaring, “Give us free stuff or we’ll take the internet hostage!”

And it bugs me writing that because we all know that a somewhat vocal minority would be saying such things. Heck, the usual ACs and bob have been saying that since SOPA, and that’s because Google got dragged to the party late and only because a majority of, you know, the public actually made it known how they felt and Google felt they had to say something.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Google did not get “got dragged to the party late”. LOL

Too funny.

While Google themselves did try to hide in the shadows as long as possible, they were pulling the strings via their astroturf groups- who were behind the SOPA propaganda lie campaign.

No need to try and rewrite history. Everyone knows what happened.

Anonymous Coward says:

“But, um, why do they need this?”

Hollywood supports the left wing hate liberals who believe that everyone should be their slave.

Since this is simply another form of slavery of the masses by the loony left then it must be good for the slave masters.

Which is just another way of saying we have a government fully bought and paid for via political contributions and those who pay the piper get to call the tune.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Quit your partisan bollocks. It’s because of people like you who think that politics is some kind of fan-sport where the picking of teams is ultimately tied to their own identity and sense of worth, that politicians have been able to divide and conquer and bring us to the edge of corporate totalitarianism.

Screw your silly flag waving. Go join a sports team cheer leader group or fan club and stay out of politics until you can grow up and stop playing into the divide and conquer games of the corporate oligarchy.

gorehound (profile) says:

More Garbage

Time to take out the trash, aah I mean Garbage.
Down With the MAFIAA !
Boycvott their products, their films in Cinema, and their streaming video revenues.
Save your Money and spend it on local Artists.Try going out of your house to the local club, film house, book readings, ETC.
OR Try Buying INDIE Art Online.
Or give a little money to a kickstarter Project.
I do not need nor care about any Content coming our thru MAFIAA.
They want to Censor me and Buy Our Politicians so I want to Censor them from my Wallet.I fully intend on doing this to them.
Go INDIE Please !!!

anon says:


So how is this going to affect me , i am still going to do what i was doing, people are still going to claim fair use, or parody. I would not celebrate too soon, as has been seen a lot recently they cannot for some reason(public anger) get anything ratified when it comes to copyright , so celebrating might be/is very very premature.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think the true problem is that it is somewhat true that the negotiations have been more transparent than ever before. Previously nobody could do anything to affect the negotiations.
The problem is that some are more equal than others when it comes to this kind of “transparency”.
Instead of completely meaningless political babble treaties, the treaties has become a corporate raid at getting as much “lock down”-legislation passed as possible.
Instead of having rather low-value and low-impact relatively impartial agreements we end up with higher impact and severely biased agreements.

I for one would prefer having no transparency at all, compared to this.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I for one would prefer having no transparency at all, compared to this.

Not me. These efforts are a direct and personal attack on me, my children, and my culture. Even if it’s impossible to affect them (and I don’t think it is), I at least want to know the nature of them. If I’m going to get punched in the face, I at least want to see it coming.

Mitch Featherston (profile) says:


I would like to discuss this law with Ms Pallante. It seems like she makes it no secret that she is all for more copyright, and culture comes second… no matter what.

I wonder what she thinks of celebrated photog Carol Highsmith? She is donating her images to the Library of Congress, and to the public domain. I guess Highsmith must be misguided.

Mike42 (profile) says:


Someone explain to me how this helps out anyone at all. Now, to get the right to reuse any footage, you have to contact ALL THE PERFORMERS in the footage AND the OWNER of the footage and get them to sign off.
The only nefarious use would be to stifle clips and recordings of henious acts by the perps refusing to allow copyright, which is brain damaged. (It will get out anyway.)

So what the hell good does this do for anyone?

Anonymous Coward says:

“overjoyed at being able to give Hollywood actors more power to lock up content they performed in, over which they have no copyright interest”

So you are telling me even if I purchase the rights to a song from the copyright holder the original performer can block me from using it even though he already gave the studio all the rights to make those decisions?

Sounds like a way for the studios to appease actors/musicians without having to give up any of their control.

Actor: I want control over who uses clips of me.
Studio: Well we are not giving you the copyright, controlling your work is how we make money silly we don’t actually do anything you know.
Actor: Yeah well I want control of my performances so I guess we will need to write some new contracts or you can start looking for someone else.
Studio: No no we will just pay off some people and invent a new right! This way we can still profit from your work and you can block people, even after they pay us!

383bigblock (profile) says:

It's time for action

Wouldn’t it be great is we could use the web as tool to stage the largest protest of Hollywood the country has ever seen. Put up a site and get the word out for everyone in America to boycott the movie theaters for an entire weekend. One weekend where everyone said enough is enough and let it be known to Hollywood and Congress that backdoor deals and catering to the Hollywood bribes is a bad idea and that we’re watching. I haven’t been to a movie theater in over 9 years and the more I read the less chance that I ever will.

RatherNotSay says:

Copyrights and patents are pretty screwed up, and often far favor the creator over the public. Yes, there should be laws that protect the creator from theft of ideas and creations, but I feel that those laws should only extend to exact duplications.

For example, if I can take a product and make it better, then sell the improved product on the open market, I shouldn’t have to fear that the creator of the base product is going to sue me, because the products are different, there has been a perceivable improvement, and some original creation and innovation were put into the new product by someone other than the original creator. This kind of system might be more likely to encourage people to make things better rather than worry about the consequences if I try to make anything at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

If you only knew half the truth you would be stunned (or maybe not) how a former US Library of Congess staff in less than two weeks becomes a WIPO Director, and no less of the Copyright Law Department. So one day she is Maria Pallante’s Associate Register and the next, a WIPO official. Then, to make matters worse, backroom negotiations mostly took place with FIA, FIAPF, and the large US studios. Then, only a handful of ‘paid’ developing countries reps were used to push the Agenda. The rest of the developing countries were there just for the sake of a trip to China; they said, hey, WIPO pays our travel to China and picks up the Hotel bill, so why not say thanks by just saying yes to the Treaty? Anyway, it does not mean that it is ratified. These countries are now supposed to go back home and sell the treaty to their performers. Let’s see what they say. And the million dollar question is- with performers getting these newly acquired economic rights, who will pay these royalties? Where is the money coming from?

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