Both Major Parties Are In 'Vigorous' Denial About The Need For Copyright & Patent Reform

from the meaning-they-want-to-please-legacy-funders dept

Last week we wrote about weaknesses in the Republican’s platform on internet freedom, noting that the MPAA’s endorsement of it showed that it wasn’t recognizing the importance of fixing copyright law, rather than expanding it. And, of course, we’ve now been pointing out significant issues with the Democrat’s platform as well. Once again, on internet and innovation issues it falls down completely when it comes to copyright and patent issues.

Tim Lee has a perceptive piece (as per usual) noting that both party platforms appear to be in denial about the need for copyright and patent reform. He also mocks how both talk about “vigorous” enforcement of certain laws when they relate to the internet (porn for the Rs and copyright for the Ds).

But the reality is that neither party is willing to take a really principled stand on the need to reform copyright and patent laws in the name of freedom and innovation. That’s not surprising, really. Doing so in either party would upset some of the “old guard” who tend to donate a lot of money to political campaigns. But, from the viewpoint of what really matters when it comes to internet freedom and innovation, it’s yet another sign that the major parties don’t want to deal with reality.

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Comments on “Both Major Parties Are In 'Vigorous' Denial About The Need For Copyright & Patent Reform”

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DH's Love Child (profile) says:


“But, from the viewpoint of what really matters when it comes to internet freedom and innovation, it’s yet another sign that the major parties don’t want to deal with reality.”

That’s because politicians don’t live in reality. They live in their cosseted existences paid for by those of us who do live in reality.

New Mexico Mark says:

Re: Ahem

Which is why there should be a constitutional amendment requiring every elected member of the U.S. government to be required to have at least as much time working exclusively in the private sector as they are permitted to serve in the government. When they reach that tipping point, it’s time to get a job again or just retire. A qualifying private sector job subsequent to working in the U.S. government may NOT be in any way associated in a business relationship with a company that directly or indirectly hires lobbyists, receives benefits or preferential treatment from, influences laws of, or voluntarily contributes to the U.S. Government.

Think that might help?

saulgoode (profile) says:

Eventually these politicians will realize that the Internet economy is orders of magnitude larger than the “content industry” and that many more people are now getting their news, advertising, and politics from the Internet than from traditional media sources (more people visit Wikipedia each day than watched the Superbowl, and more people visit YouTube in forty-eight hours than watched the Ol^H^H games-that-dare-not-speak-its-name).

saulgoode (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

But what is that lobbying money used for? Campaigning. And most of the campaign expenditures goes for advertising. Just as an artist — in this age of the Internet — can “advertise” himself without needing to sell out to the gatekeepers and big media, so could an enlightened politician.

Maybe we’re not quite there yet, but soon (he said hopefully).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s just my rule that the dog has to let the cats have their space too. …and the cats simply don’t defer to the alpha dog! It would be better if the parties stopped trying to behavior modify (a nice term for bullying) the public they pretend to serve.

They’re all pretty much hanging over the ledge into nuttyland. I’m sure they consider themselves the keepers of arcane knowledge but, I have to say, they’ll fall and take us all down with them.

China already has American corporations trapped. Sloppy legislation and law enforcement is turning the public against all authority and when the politicians play the thug card, they’ll be trapped too.

This is Machiavellian old news. Posting about their reindeer games is one thing. Getting the Proletariat, or whatever fashionable term you prefer, to act is yet another.

It’s nice to have a few legal precedents to cite, but don’t expect the judge or the lawyers to be interested in anything but money. The average Bohemian bootlegger knows this. The cats and dogs weren’t listening to begin with.

(Pardon my metaphorical indulgences!)

bshock (profile) says:

No making a silk purse out of sow's ear

I agree that copyright and patents shouldn’t be reformed — they should be dumped entirely. Not only are they rationalized by inherently broken concepts like “intellectual property,” they also happen to have risen from the greedy lies of self-serving middlemen. To use a legal metaphor (which I grant you is irrelevant here in any strictly legal sense), copyright and patents are fruit of the poison tree.

Considering what’s been happening with patent litigation lately, I’d actually like to see the law go even beyond killing patents — I’d like to see severe penalties for anyone attempting to use litigation or the threat thereof as part of his business model.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, way I see it, when all the choices presented are bad, you might as well go for the one who’s at least honest about their intentions.

Democrats, republicans… both are apparently doing their best to cause as much havoc and harm as possible, all the while claiming the exact opposite. With a madness inducing Elder god, you’ll still have the havoc and harm sure, but at least he/it doesn’t lie about it.

printersMate (profile) says:

I wonder, do the politicians think that if they strengthen copyright that their friends in the MAFIAA will censor content for them, it will of course be accidental, and recent events would help support this claim.
Most politicians, like religious leaders, are acting on faith, and have a limited view on freedom of speech, it is OK if it agrees with their viewpoint.
Politics like religion has a large component of belief, and a limited attachment to reality.
SOPA and ACTA were not defeated by reason, but rather because politicians feared that passing them would cost them their jobs. Therefore they see no reason to change copyright, but rather a need to educate the public until they agree with their viewpoint.

Rekrul says:

It’s funny that they’re denying that copyright needs reforming, when Michelle Obama’s video was taken down by YouTube’s automated content filters which claimed it was owned by about ten different companies. Of course the entire incident was described as an “accident”. Strange, when it happens to the average person, they’re guilty until proven innocent…

Anonymous Coward says:

With IP and IP related work being the only real growth areas in the US economy, it’s not unusual to see the government get interested in protecting those industries. Both parties seem to fear that this work can be offshored, and they are correct.

America is near the top of the wage list and the “lifestyle” list, both of which are severely threatened by low wage countries. The US has such a head start of lifestyle that it is almost a given that other countries will work to catch up, and in doing so, continue to decimate US industry.

It’s why your “American” cars are made in Canada and Mexico, and why the guy answering the phone at the call center is in the Philippines, not in Philadelphia.

PatLynch_Biomed (profile) says:

Misuse of Copyright is Hurting the Health of America

The Manufacturers of medical equipment, including x-ray, CT Scanners, MRI and much more, all copyright their service manuals. Then they refuse to sell them to the end users. They prevent the distribution of their manuals between users who have legitimate reasons and needs for them. The effect of this is that many (most?) hospitals must rely on the original manufacturers to provide service and repairs. The manufacturers charge up to $1,000 per HOUR for labor, and sell repair parts at excessively high prices. They may also mandate the exchange of expensive sub-modules for costs of up to $30,000.00 instead of repairing the $5.00 component inside that caused the problem. If those of us in the hospitals had the manuals, we could replace the $5.00 part and avoid the multi-thousand dollar costs.
We need a Fair-Use exemption in the copyright law to allow the free exchange of service manuals and other necessary documentation between end users.

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