That Was Fast: Hollywood Already Browbeat The Republicans Into Retracting Report On Copyright Reform

from the so-that's-how-that-works dept

So, late Friday, we reported on how the Republican Study Committee (the conservative caucus of House Republicans) had put out a surprisingly awesome report about copyright reform. You can read that post to see the details. The report had been fully vetted and reviewed by the RSC before it was released. However, as soon as it was published, the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report. They succeeded. Even though the report had been fully vetted and approved by the RSC, executive director Paul S. Teller has now retracted it, sending out the following email to a wide list of folks this afternoon:

From: Teller, Paul
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 04:11 PM
Subject: RSC Copyright PB

We at the RSC take pride in providing informative analysis of major policy issues and pending legislation that accounts for the range of perspectives held by RSC Members and within the conservative community. Yesterday you received a Policy Brief on copyright law that was published without adequate review within the RSC and failed to meet that standard. Copyright reform would have far-reaching impacts, so it is incredibly important that it be approached with all facts and viewpoints in hand. As the RSC’s Executive Director, I apologize and take full responsibility for this oversight. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and a meaningful Thanksgiving holiday….

Paul S. Teller
Executive Director
U.S. House Republican Study Committee

The idea that this was published “without adequate review” is silly. Stuff doesn’t just randomly appear on the RSC website. Anything being posted there has gone through the same full review process. What happened, instead, was that the entertainment industry’s lobbyists went crazy, and some in the GOP folded.

Frankly, if they wanted to win back the youth vote, this was exactly how not to do it. If you just look through the comments on our post on the original, or through the Twitter response to this report, there were tons of people — many of whom were lifelong Democrats — claiming that they would switch parties if the GOP stuck with this. Instead, they folded like a cheap card table in less than 24 hours.

In the long run, that’s going to hurt the GOP, because the people who were suddenly interested in supporting the GOP will assume that any such effort is subject to a similar bait-and-switch. Meanwhile, this leaves open an opportunity for the Democrats as well. The Republicans just came close to becoming the party that actually listened to what was important to young people today — and they quickly changed their mind. The Democrats can sweep in and take the issue since apparently it’s there for the taking. All they have to do is be willing to tell some Hollywood lobbyists to pipe down.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: mpaa, riaa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “That Was Fast: Hollywood Already Browbeat The Republicans Into Retracting Report On Copyright Reform”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Coming from what was probably the guy saying the report was a Google created document that comment of yours is so full of irony I don’t know how it’s able to stand under it’s own weight.

Hypocrisy, thy name is AC. (As in the AC I’m replying to.)

You guys are too cute though. You can’t attack the points made so you point imaginary fingers at Google and try to dismiss it, the moment it gets knocked down by unknown people and for unknown (hardly) reasons you start laughing at the conspiracy others see.

But the points raised in the report are valid nonetheless, and it’s rather obvious that copyright reform is coming. It’s only a matter of time. Recent actions, on the part of people like you, over the past year or two have finally woken people up, and not just us “commoners” but people with the power to radically reform copyright, or remove it entirely.

I see your comment and read it for what it is, fear. You were shaking in your boots yesterday. And you’re shaking in your boots today. In the end, I think people get what they deserve. And those in the various industries have had their way too long and they’re going to get a serious slap in the face/dose of reality.

JWW (profile) says:

Stand Firm

This has to get out. Its now crystal clear. We need to overwhelm the Republicans in the House with INSISTANCE that they adopt this policy!!

It is the time for the people to take control again. The RIAA and MPAA assume that the SOPA backlash was “orchestrated.” No it wasn’t. MPAA and RIAA we, your customers, HATE YOUR FUCKING GUTS!!! Get it.


I still buy digital media, and I still buy DVDs and I still go to movies, but am very close to telling the RIAA and MPAA to fuck of and die. If the don’t cut this shit out, I’m just going to stop dealing with them and everything they sell altogether.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Stand Firm

The only reasonable copyright is none at all. This is the age of the internet, they don’t need copyright anymore. There are plenty of ways to make a business around content without resorting to selling copies like they were mops on a store shelf. They provide a service. It’s always been a service that they’ve been trying to convince the population is a product. It’s about as much a product as construction is a product. They do this because it’s a big advantage to have an infinite supply and finite demand with negligible fixed costs for each copy.

So I’ll say it again, kill copyright. Force them to give up the product-oriented business model for the service model it truly is.

Anonymous Coward says:

A setback, but a minor one. That report was only the beginning; just the tip of the iceberg. The establishment’s precious self-perpetuating system is beginning to crack under the strain.

It’s only a matter of time before “ads funded by Hollywood money” goes up against “actually giving the voters what they want” and loses. The only question is, who’s going to seize the opportunity?

Will Republicans, teetering on the edge, take the dive? Will Democrats, ever paying lip service to progressive ideals, finally put their money where their mouths are? Or will an independent party step into the spotlight, as the Republican party once did?

Only time will tell. But mark my words, the political landscape is changing, and changing for the better. Let’s all look forward to the day when politicians who provide good results do better than politicians who spend a fortune on advertisements.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re wrong. People are becoming more informed on these issues and this report will have political ramifications down the line.

People don’t fear change — they WANT change. They’re sick and tired of business as usual, all the smoke and mirrors, lies and corruption. They realize that nothing is going to get any better unless things change for the better and soon.

Our government cannot afford to waste time, money (our tax dollars) and resources in order to protect this corporate monopoly. It’s a huge waste, and for what? Just so that a few wealthy corps can leech off copyright? Get real.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: References

“the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard”

[emphasis added]

This is what apparently happened. Is it done in the open? No, like SOPA, this stuff is done in secret with only industry interests invited. The industry knows that their disproportionate representation is not appreciated by the public. But, in all likelihood, Hollywood was definitely behind it. 99.999 percent chance. It’s predictable. Everyone knows it, even you, and pretending that you think it’s not true, or has a reasonable chance of not being true, only makes you look foolish and gullible or ignorant.

Loki says:

Re: References

It doesn’t really matter. Since they consider everything that is wrong with their business is do solely due to “piracy”, then everything that is wrong or impedes with copyright reform is their fault, regardless.

You simply can’t be reasonable with totally unreasonably people. They understand nothing except for absolutes. Anything less gives them the upper hand. They want to set the rules, then that’s how we play the game.

Loki says:

I’ve said before, and I’ll say again. The only way we are going to see civil change at this point is if the people of both parties interested in real reforms leaves there respective overlords and form a new party.

As far as copyright goes, since the maximalists continue to refuse to even consider the least possibility of compromise, then I will return them the favor. At this point, I’m unwilling to even except reform. The ONLY acceptable “reform” I am willing to concede to at this point is the complete and utter abolishment of copyright.
And I will stick to that principle as long as they retain their current leadership. When new leadership takes over (across the board, not just a person here or there), then maybe I will be willing to consider different options, but I am no longer willing to negotiate with these people, ever.

Thank you, copyright industry, thank you, for being so utterly unreasonable that you continue to turn what were some of your strongest supporters into some of your toughest critics.

Anonymous Coward says:

First off, I’m part of the ‘old folks’ voting bloc, just thought I’d mention that.

My first reaction was that the term ‘gutless wonders’ applied here to the committee members.

Then more sober reflection kicked in, and common sense told me that the term ‘campaign dollars’ is considerably more likely to be at the root of the reports retraction.

No matter how the retraction was worded, the committee has to know that they can only come out of this, at best, looking like back-boneless twits.

And, after stunts like this, politicians still wonder why so many of them are so often held in such low regard!!!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot

This has the potential to backfire on the GOP bad, as they’ve now proven pretty heavily that even if such an agenda was brought to the table there is no chance they’d ever actually pass it.

I mean, if they can be pressured this easily to just take down a report/declaration, the idea that they’d stand firm and actually vote for something like this is laughable.

Hopefully the democrats pick up on the fact the GOP just painted a massive bulls-eye on their chest, and take the shot by picking up and running with what the republicans just so hastily dropped. Or someone in the republican party realizes how something like this could drastically help the party out, assuming they passed it.

Honestly I don’t care who gets it done, as long as it gets done.

That One Guy (profile) says:


Let me put this scenario in another way:

Say you have a house that’s been recently lit on fire. Standing in front of the house is someone who is a known pyromaniac and arsonist covered in soot and smelling strongly of smoke. At his feat are several mostly empty cans of gasoline and other accelerants. Clutched in his hands are a box of matches and a lighter.

Now, given all this, while he might not be the one who is responsible, you’d have to be pretty dense not to at least place heavy odds on him being the one who lit the blaze.

Chargone (profile) says:


it’s saying that they care more about money than anything else.

which is… pretty much inevitable in a plutocratic republic (which is what the US has, and is pretty much what it’s Always had. plus or minus however much ‘bureaucracy’ replaces one or the other term.)

aristocrats, plutocrats… either way it’s the elite who care more about their power and status (wealth is simply a way of measuring this) than about the nation or public. (at least aristocracy Usually goes along with some vague idea that they should try to do what they think is best for the country rather than just using rabid ‘patriotism’ as a pubic justification for their nonsense. even if it doesn’t actually result in any better behaviour.)

CommonSense (profile) says:


I agree that they use it as a tool to gain popularity, but that popularity is a double edged sword. They have to be popular enough with the public to get votes, but also popular enough with the people who fund campaigns so that they can run. They probably really did mean everything in the report, until someone told them they make a lot of money for taking it down (or lose money for not taking it down..)

“All they have to do is be willing to tell some Hollywood lobbyists to pipe down.”
Honestly, Obama should do exactly that now that he doesn’t need anything from Hollywood to win his next election. Kind of stinks that we always seem to need to wait for someone to stop campaigning in order to take a stand for the people…

That One Guy (profile) says:


Oh I’d imagine they were shown real numbers alright.

Probably something along the lines of ‘You see this paper, which lists the various donations your organization’s members, including yourselves, receive from us? Now look at this paper. Do you notice how while there are many zeros in the first paper, there’s only one in the second?’

Keep in mind the past actions of the *AA’s when challenged, they don’t really do ‘subtle’ in these kinds of situations.

Beech says:

How I Imagine it Going Down...

Literally laughed out loud when I saw this story up.

Here’s what I think happened; Republican Party realized that “donations” from Hollywood were a bit lackluster this past election cycle. Repub.s decide to send a bit of a message, “Hey, nice government granted ‘temporary’ monopoly you got there, would sure be a shame if one of the major political parties were to realize what a crock it is.”

Hollywood quickly rushes a suitcase or several of filthy lucre to a few key leaders and BAM! Turns out “Oops, turns out we based our research on numbers not approved by the guys paying our bills. Nevermind.”

And thus the (so-called) balance of politics is restored.

Anonymous Coward says:

I long ago went on boycott. I simply will not buy major label DRM damaged music after sue’em all started. I do not want my money going to places that fund these sorts of actions against the good of people. I don’t care if you do that or not. It’s my own quiet way of saying “I don’t support that”.

Stuff like this makes the reasons why I won’t buy major label damaged goods all the more apparent.

While it was nice to hope there was a glimmer of wisdom coming out of Washington where usually it means you are lucky to get a benefit because it aligns with what a major corporation wants and when it more often gets cut off at the knees before happening, it means it was against a major monied lobby group, this again shows why I don’t want my money going to them to fund these sorts of actions.

It does show Washington is very much aware of what is happening even while they play dense about it. It just shows how bad corruption there really is.

The Real Michael says:

If copyright was how our founding fathers intended, artists would have to actually work to make a living rather than live off their back catalogs. There’d be an abundance of original ideas and innovations of greater quality …but there isn’t. Current copyright law disincentivizes creativity and hard work by allowing artists/corporations to keep reselling the same products over and over ad nausea. Because of this, the copyright holders figure, “Why should we work on something new when we can keep milking the same cow?” Then, when all the money dries up, whether because they fail in the market or simply because people grew tired of purchasing the same old garbage, they whine to the government about how they need MORE copyright and they always have a convenient scapegoat for all their own failures –the internet.

Current copyright law provides no real incentive to create anything new. Just ask Hollywood. (Robocop, Evil Dead, Little Shop of Horrors, Spiderman, Batman…)

Anonymous Coward says:


of course only an idiot would only vote ‘for his own best interests’…. NO.. you voted for what is best overall for your country, and the world..

it’s in the best interest of the people, by the people, for the people… you might be young, fit and healthy so it is not in your best interest to ensure a good health system, but you will not allways be young, fit and healthy, and not everyone is young etc either…

thats probably why your country is such a mess !!! if you dont care about anything except what you want !!

AB says:

Post the report as a petition to the Whitehouse

‘the report could be posted on the whitehouse petition website – as a petition.’

That actually seems like an excellent suggestion. Though perhaps some of the reforms should be divided and presented separately to reduce potential controversy. But what do I know, I’m just a Canuck from the Great White North..

Anonymous Coward says:


no he does not know that at all, he’s just guessing,

it was only a study paper, not a policy statement, it was not written by this group it was written by an academic, in copyright law. It’s a suggestion paper, again, not a policy paper..

all political parties develop or acquire papers and perspecitve of the “other side’ of the argument, it helps them to develop their own policies, and ways to counter critisms..

that does not mean they intend to adopt that paper or report, it’s a ‘counter argument’ or alternate perspective, and a different analysis.. but NOT a POLICY and a goal.

Masnick knows this, he also knows that Hollywood would not even bother to say anything in relation to this, it’s the REPS after all, there was no lobbying in this case..

but Masnick NEEDS someone to blame, he might as well use “hollywood” as much as anyone else..

yes, it’s true Masnick got an instant hard on when he first read it, and could not contain himself, but thats just what he does..

if you take masnicks word for anything, or believe that he is unbiased and not an appoligist for pirites, that is your problem..

most can see through the thin vail of his…. lies.. we accept him and his comments for what they are..

A sometimes amusing read, but not facts or real information, but a look into how ‘the masnick’ sees the world… and how he has managed to convince 10 or so people his idea’s are ‘godly’, not bad after so many years, what 1 or 2 converts a year !!!!!.. nice

Anonymous Coward says:


I guess jr should have let daddy check his homework – even the GOP know this would be political suicide – not only are they out of touch with womem and minorities, they could actually alienate all of the wonderful innovative creators of art, photography, music and film.

I’m glad they saw the light and didn’t co-sign the work of an eager beaver moonlighting for Google and big tech. Something tells me the kid who came up with “Joe The Plummer” for Congress needed some help on his homework – unfortunately for him he got duped by Uncle Google before checking with his own party…

youch, but slaptastic!

carry on gents.

Anonymous Coward says:


no, the GOP did the right thing when they saw that an intern trying to make points with Google went Rogue and posted propaganda as the party line without it being vetted.

slaptastic adventures continue… just keep on following Lessig and Barlow right off that cliff…

The Real Michael says:


“I guess jr should have let daddy check his homework – even the GOP know this would be political suicide – not only are they out of touch with womem and minorities, they could actually alienate all of the wonderful innovative creators of art, photography, music and film.”

Alienate them how, by forcing them to actually work for a living, like our founding fathers intended, instead of leeching off the glorified corporate welfare system that copyright has become?

The Real Michael says:


I couldn’t help but notice how you avoided addressing what I just said. Could it be you’re concerned because it’s true?

As far as the RSC retracting their report, big deal. It wasn’t as if it were a bill to be considered in the House. The damage has already been done. As of yesterday, we have a scathing report, written in Washington, with regards to copyright and people are going to be citing it left, right and center.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but it’s inevitable: there’s going to be a major push for copyright reform and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Coyo (user link) says:

Re: Re:

I wish the Libertarian Party actually stood a chance at seriously threatening to do what the Republicans refuse to do.

If only it were a Libertarian Party candidate versus a Pirate Party candidate.

For anyone who isnt on the up and up about these two groups,

The Libertarian Party more resembles the traditional GOP as opposed to so-called neo-conservativism, or social conservatism.

The Libertarian Party believes government should be as small, local, and minimal as possible, and leave everything possible to the free markets. Just as the Internet is self-regulated, so can the free markets self-regulate in a similar manner. We do not need a paternalistic police state dictating our every breath.

On the other corner is the Pirate Party!

The Pirate Party believes in extremely transparent, open, and accessible government, to the point of involving every concerned citizen in direct electronic democracy, a modern version of the greco-roman model, where citizens directly participated in decision-making.

The Pirate Party also has an extremely firm stance on intellectual property of any kind, absolute abolishment, but if it cant get that, then very significant reform.

Knowledge of any significant kind, from the training for skilled labor, to higher mathematics, science and engineering should be provided (by the government) for free to all people.

This knowledge would be provided by way of a neutral Internet. This network neutrality would be enforced by the national government as part of inter-state trade regulation.

Although I have a few minor implementation disputes with the Pirate Party, I would vastly rather see the Pirate Party gain majority in senate and the supreme court, then continue with this charade with the Republicans and Democrats.

Good luck to both parties, Libertarian (Ninja) and Pirate (Direct Electronic Democrat), may the best candidate win!

Anonymous Coward says:


Ah, yes, keep trying to market your spit for shoeshine. Newsflash, hurricane head up your ass: you’re projecting. You masturbate so much to Lowery’s image, you think that anyone who agrees with anyone else has to do the same thing. How about telling your cocksucker buddy Phil to actually use his recording studio, and not visit sites to whine how he’s not making money off it when he’s not using it?

The Real Michael says:


“the amount of hate for true innovators of music, art, photography, and film on techdirt is truly astounding.”

Don’t falsely label people. I don’t hate artists, I’m simply not fond of artists and corporations leeching off a system. If copyright lasted 14 years, artists would have to work to make a living, as was stated. This would lead to far more original works.

“so how do filmmakers tour? photographers should sell t-shirts?”

Frankly, this has nothing to do with that …unless of course you prefer that they keep “milking the same old cow.”

Anonymous Coward says:


really? than why don’t you go fishing and stop wasting your time here if it’s set in stone, can’t be changed, and will absolutely happen?

me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

on other hand, you’re right, the damage has been done and now everyone can see just how desperate and bat shit crazy you guys are to stand be behind a report the people who published it are running from.

yup, damage done, agreed.

The Real Michael says:


“wait, I thought artists were independent now with the internet? you mean it’s not true the the internet has liberated artists?”

Most of the independent artists don’t go around suing their fans and ruining the internet.

“well, I guess if even trent reznor finds the value in signing back with a major label they can’t be all that bad, can they?”

If labels are so beneficial, why do so many artists get into disputes with their labels about stuff like royalties being withheld? Why do artists refer to label deals as “indentured servitude”? Why are so many established artists activating their termination clauses, active starting next year? I could go on all day.

brandon (profile) says:


i’m glad someone finally mentioned that word. it seems like a reasonable thing to think that people who value individual rights (ie. anti-copyrightists) could see past their own individual agendas to value all individual rights, not just their own pet issues. if that COULD happen, then the libertarian party might get enough traction to actually make an impact.

The Real Michael says:


Again, you avoided addressing what was said.

Yes, copyright reform is going to happen — it will have to in order for progress to be made. Our government can only dance around the issue for so long before it boils over. You see, there’s something you seem to be ignoring and that is our national budget and debt. The government won’t be able to keep subsidizing your little corporate welfare system (copyright) forever. There’s going to be a breaking point.

Oh, and I could say the same to you: “why don’t you go fishing and stop wasting your time here…?” Hoisted by your own pertard.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Stand Firm

So you post the actual text and not the pdf.. even breaking the text up into talking points.

Then if they want to claim copyright they have to show the original work which WAS written by govt and therefore not copyrightable in that sense (pure fair use defence for public interest) though they are then admitting that copyright is fallacious by actually claiming they own a copyright on a govt property that they also claim doesn’t exit.

Would very much back the whole premise and reason for the report in first place. The Govt and your political parties (and esp the **AA’s) are in a lose-lose situation here

The Real Michael says:


I never claimed that artists shouldn’t be compensated; I simply don’t believe that they should be compensated for antiquated works.

I don’t use The Pirate Bay for anything, nor any other torrent site, so this is pointless.

As far as record label deals are concerned, really, they only benefit established artists, not the newcomers, and even then they rook them all in so many ways. The internet provides the best alternative to a label deal. The only caveat is that musicians have to handle a bit more work, e.g. self-promotion, and compete in a much broader market, but that’s how it goes. Beggars can’t be choosers.

Anonymous Coward says:


The RIAA is a corporation. Copyright hasn’t protected people from them. Copyright can’t protect jack shit and taxpayers are still funding these initiatives.

When copyright protects dead grandmothers and their families from getting sued by the RIAA, you let me know. Don’t you get tired of an existence where your mouth is your asshole, you gasping waste of space?

arcan says:

Stand Firm

explain how it is nonsense. exactly what part about that is unreasonable? that the Constitution defines copyright as primarily benefiting the public? That increasing a copyright length from life +50 to life +70 doesn’t incentive people to create more stuff? that copyright is not the foundation of capitalism? what my good sir is nonsensical about that report?

Anonymous Coward says:


oh lord – really? how to the established acts get established?

the truth is, if the internet were working for musicians there’d be a robust new middle class of professional musicians, fact is, there isn’t – and worse, there are 45% less professional musicians today than in 2002.

it’s just common sense and math.

Anonymous Coward says:


“gutless wonders” and “back-boneless twits”…you’re being too kind.
I was thinking more like fucking wimps or just plain assholes, and then thinking that maybe that was too kind as well.So, after more thought, I decided there wasn’t any words to describe the contempt that I have for these gutless,back-boneless, fucking assholey, wimpy twit wonders.
I’ll never ever vote republican again…ever!Never ever again…really!never ever…Did I say never?…ever!!Not even.

Anonymous Coward says:


so sure are we that you’re having a meltdown? I don’t think so, but keep whispering to yourself, there are no monsters here, there are no monsters here.

what you fail to realize is the copyright protects the individual from exploitation by the corporation – you’re fighting for exploitation, copyright fights against it.

and that is why you have been, and will continue to lose. no copyright reform has happened. lessig has lost across the board, barlow is a nut job for whom even google’s own chief economist disagree’s with…

you’ve slowed the adoption of proper enforcement of existing laws, but that’s it. eventually your feudal ways will subside to rational thought and much of this is just about awareness anyway.

common, good people know theft when they see it. why not support the people running legal businesses? why do you insist on rewarding criminals?

Anonymous Coward says:

Obama administration: "Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft"

maybe you missed this…

“Recently, I’ve had a chance to read letters from award winning writers and artists whose livelihoods have been destroyed by music piracy. One letter that stuck out for me was a guy who said the songwriting royalties he had depended on to ‘be a golden parachute to fund his retirement had turned out to be a lead balloon.’ This just isn’t right.” – US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

maybe check in with the vice president while you’re at it

Anonymous Coward says:


so the live version of a film is that there should only be live theater? wow, just wow. so much for logic and reason.

how do photographer tour? should they go town to town taking pictures and selling t-shirts.

the gaps in logic around here are truly astounding, and that is why this turd got retracted in one of the fastest “policy” boomerangs we’ve ever seen.

a jr intern goes off half-cocked and you take it as gospel, thank god the adults got home just in time to maybe save some face.

The Real Michael says:


I read that article awhile back. It really has nothing to do with this. It’s just another musician arguing for more copyright enforcement.

When I speak of established musicians, yeah, it just so happened that most of them were established way back when the major labels ruled the roost, before the internet really took off. But now all they’ve got are their Lady Gagas and Justin Biebers — hardly what I consider quality music. The contemporary artists’ back catalogs aren’t worth a penny, sorry to say.

Fortunately there’s a lot more artists to choose from thanks to the internet, even if quality varies drastically between them. Established or not, here’s the key benefit: they get to keep 100% of their profit or close and determine their own career. As was said previously, they need to work in order to promote themselves. But let’s say that an artist sells 700 albums at $10 a pop plus a tour, merch, mechanicals, etc. That’s $7,000 just for the albums + whatever else they make. So that’s a definite plus.

BTW, in a recent Billboard article I read, it explained how independent artists factor in over 30% of all profits per year, but even that figure isn’t 100% accurate as they don’t survey everyone on the market. I wish I had the article in question on hand but I’m too tired to go dig it up (*note* it’s not too difficult to find).

nasch (profile) says:


placing them pretty high on the list of suspects.

I agree, but (not to beat a dead horse or anything) that isn’t what Mike said. He said, “However, as soon as it was published, the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report.” Did he intend “apparently” to mean “presumably” or “I am guessing”? Because that’s certainly not how I read it.

Anonymous Coward says:


“I read that article awhile back. It really has nothing to do with this. It’s just another musician arguing for more copyright enforcement.”

sorry, you’re wrong – it’s just facts – and despite everything you’ve said, where is this new booming middle class of empowered professional musicians?

I know things like facts, reason and logic hurt you so very badly.

nasch (profile) says:


Everyone knows it, even you, and pretending that you think it’s not true, or has a reasonable chance of not being true, only makes you look foolish and gullible or ignorant.

We have different definitions of “know” I guess. If by “know” you mean “believe” then yes I believe that is (most likely) what happened. If you mean “know” as in having access to concrete and convincing evidence, then no I don’t know it, and I doubt you do either. Though if you do, please share your evidence, because I think everyone should see it so we know (there’s that word again) what happened.

pretending that you think it’s not true, or has a reasonable chance of not being true, only makes you look foolish and gullible or ignorant.

What’s foolish is your assumptions. Read what I said again, and tell me how you came to the conclusion that I think it’s not true, or doesn’t have a reasonable chance of being true.

Asking for evidence of a claim is completely different from stating a belief in the opposite of that claim.

uncoveror (profile) says:

Locking up ideas stifles progress

Copyright was intended to, as the Constitution states, promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive Right to their respective writings and discoveries. The problem is that locking up ideas as property doesn’t do that at all. It stifles progress. Besides, all Hollywood and the recording industry make is frivolous entertainment. That bears no resemblance to what was meant by “useful arts”. Congress doesn’t even consider the copyright clause when lobbyists show up with cash.

Coyo (user link) says:

Re: Re:

BTW a prolonged google search finally unearthed the esoteric meaning of the perjorative “Freehadist.”

It basically is the same as “Freetard,” in other words, the person who throws this silly insult is saying that you refuse to pay for anything, including valid services of art creation, and the implication is that you’re a communist of some kind, and very cheap and shiesty.

Anonymous Coward says:


Look, hurricane head up your ass: facts don’t count when they’re unverified, and especially when they’re unverified and paid for by the RIAA or some other alphabetical organisation bent on having copyright that lasts forever minus a day.

Here, how about this: it is a fact that idiots like you have been screaming that piracy has killed the music industry since the invention of home taping. The music industry isn’t dead.

Therefore, you’re a complete psychopath.

Violated (profile) says:

Easy come, easy go.

Well I don’t think any of us expected this one to last long when this is like trying to offer a cool refreshing lollipop in the 7th level of Hell. Some things just do not go well together.

They are stuck between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea on this one when sure 15 million people or more would support copyright reform but their funds come from the MPAA and RIAA.

I would say don’t be sad when this may be a first small step but it won’t be the last. People will keep pushing because they know we need copyright reform which means it will pop up in other forms over the next few years.

If anyone should be afraid then that should be Chris Dodd when SOPA & PIPA are dead, ACTA is in a coma, then CETA and TPP(A) are in our sights. It is like Chris Dodd can’t get much done these days already where this copyright reform document appearing in the House is going is going to give that guy nightmares.

Yes the MPAA and RIAA would totally freak out. To go ahead with this copyright reform would undo years of their work and bring fairness to the system. We can all see how screwed copyright law is and one day someone has to fix it. Heroes are in the making already so lets give them our support. We also welcome them to look facts and not the fantasy that usually comes out of the RIAA/MPAA.

Crosbie Fitch (profile) says:

Just keep doing what we've done best.

The prohibition of alcohol collapsed into repeal from staunch bipartisan support rather suddenly.

It can happen.

The copyright cartel may have just done a Streisand on this, bringing to far more people’s attention a dry reform proposal that would otherwise have come and gone, noticed as remarkable only by the interested.

The elite copyright vampires just got a tad sunburnt by some fool opening the Overton window, and now they’ll do a purge to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Anla'shok Lan says:


Correction: They caved to the power of the Almighty Dollar.

Liberal, conservative, it doesn’t matter – if you want to hold office, you need a metric fuckton of money, and Big Content will give its money to whoever supports their copyright agenda regardless of political affiliation.

And, of course, if you don’t… NO MONEY FOR YOU.

Ophelia Millais says:

Obama administration: "Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft"

Along those lines…I think it’s a safe bet that these IP-protection advocates in the Obama administration are not TechDirt readers. Nobody representing the public interest has their ear, and it’s not in their office’s mission to respond to put the public interest ahead of industry and trade. Nevertheless, I feel it wouldn’t hurt to at least make an attempt to make our point of view heard, especially if we can frame it in terms they’re likely to respond to.

I was going to say maybe someone should write to Secretary Locke and point out the gaffe, but he no longer holds that post. He is now Ambassador to China. His replacement stepped down. The current (acting) Secretary of Commerce is Rebecca Blank, Locke’s former adviser and (apparently) co-author of the “IP and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus” report which was criticized here (click) earlier this year. Has anyone here made any effort whatsoever to transmit critical points of view to specific people in the Obama administration? Waiting for Republicans to do it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be very productive.

Dionaea (profile) says:


Sad but true… Time to stop putting any money whatsoever in big content’s pockets. Luckily my most recent fave musician is self published, so buying from him doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste. Other than that I don’t need to buy anything new to entertain me for the rest of my life, so they can rot, I’ll just rewatch/reread/replay the stuff I already own.

Beech says:

How I Imagine it Going Down...

Who said anything about getting enough votes to win the white house? That’s waaaay down the road. 4 years from now the average schmoe will have forgotten all about this little kerfuffle (assuming they hear about it at all). Whereas now the House Republicans are able to milk Hollywood even harder for their next elections.

Anonymous Coward says:


got me there, because Masnick said so… check it out yourself..

it was written, by Chris Sprigman not the reps,.,


who is Chris Sprigman you ask ??? well firstly he is not a part of the RSC…

Chris Sprigman teaches intellectual property law, antitrust law, competition policy and comparative constitutional law. His scholarship focuses on how legal rules affect innovation and the deployment of new technologies.

University of virginia school of law..

ok,, ill shit on you instead, next time read the freaking article.

Anonymous Coward says:


Kal Raustiala
Professor, UCLA School of Law and UCLA International Institute
Director, UCLA Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations
UCLA Law faculty since 2000

thats the other guy who wrote the paper, it’s simply an academic paper, not a paper produced by RSC..

again,, MASNICK SAID SO, facts are facts.. (except if you dont care to find them out)..

Anonymous Coward says:


Just in case you missed it..

“Right after the Presidential election last week, Chris Sprigman and Kal Raustiala penned an opinion piece suggesting that one way the Republicans could “reset”, and actually attract the youth vote,”

notice the two authors, and the fact it is ONLY AN OPINION PIECE SUGGESTION,,,,, that ONE WAY…

it’s also not about copyright or rights, it’s about


oh well nice try,, but just like patent laws, no prize for seconds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Right after the Presidential election last week, Chris Sprigman and Kal Raustiala penned an opinion piece suggesting that one way the Republicans could “reset”, and actually attract the youth vote,

opinion piece, not about copyright, but about getting votes, not written by the Reps, but written by two academics,,,…


NOT a policy statement, not agreed upon, not supported by any politician, just a scummy opinion piece from some teachers who want to ensure tenure.

Coyo (user link) says:

Stand Firm


Competent content creators (artists, studios, musicians, bands, authors, etc) can rely on their fans to support them. Most musicians do NOT make any money from CD sales, they make most of their living via merch and concert ticket sales.

That is common knowledge.

If you are geniunely a valid contributer to society and culture, SOMEONE who benefits from your contribution to culture will say, “TAKE MY MONEY, TAKE IT!” if you are doing a good enough job. If NOT, well, find another career path!

Geniune contributions to culture and society will not be negatively affected by the abolition of copyright (a government-enforced monopoly on freaking IDEAS), but in fact, many contributers to society would actually be greatly assisted by doing away with the terror and control of copyright-holders over valid artists.

Anonymous Coward says:

“we reported on how the Republican Study Committee (the conservative caucus of House Republicans) had put out a surprisingly awesome report about copyright reform.

BULLSHIT, RSC did not ‘put out a report’,

Do you think a report and an opinion peice is the same thing ??

Who put out this opinion peice ???

the RSC ??? NO… idiot..

Chris Sprigman and Kal Raustiala penned an opinion piece

who is Shris and Kal ???? we’ll they dont work for the RSC, they both are teachers in University..

is it a report… NO

it is an opinion peice ?? … YES

is it a suggestion ?? … YES

has it been ratified, agreed upon, supported or promoted by anyone in the RSC ???? …. NO

Is it a “REPORT” from the RSC ??? NO, not a report, and not from the RSC..

masnick magically turned it into something it never was, and never was intended for. Why, because masnick does these things, he is not one for letting the truth get in his way. (either that or he expects his readers to be as willfully blind as he seems to think you are)..

but it was coming up to the weekend and he had to get SOME page hits. or his Google overlords would not be too happy with him…

Anonymous Coward says:


that would be true, if the government owned all copyright.

NO, it was created to protect universities and publishers from people making illegal copies of their works, just like it is now..

to be a ‘government monopoly’ that would mean that no one but the government would be able to copyright material and profit from their work..

you can do it, so can I, so how can that be defined as a monopoly ?? and what has it got to do with the government..

the Government is simply upholding the laws, it’s what governments do. !

if you steal things (you probably do), you may not be stealing off the GOvernment, but it will be the Government that puts you in prison for breaking the law, not the person who you stole off.

so I guess the Government does have a monopoly on enforcing the laws, and making the laws, as you are not allowed to do that yourself.. but as for the laws themselves, they are not a monopoly, not do they serve to protect a monopoly..

they are just laws, things you are not allowed to do, theft is just one of said laws.

how’s your educational system going in the US, as were not seeing a big improvement !!!!

is that really your level of understanding, or are you just acting stupid ??

Keith Prime says:

Re: Re:

He abbreviated it. The full wording is GOVERNMENT GRANTED MONOPOLY. Copyright doesn’t exist if the Government doesn’t allow it.

A problem some Americans have w/ Copyright is that it is anti-Capitalistic. Patents & Copyrights artificially makes sure there isn’t market competition on certain things. Artificially making sure there isn’t competition is otherwise called a Monopoly.

Coyo (user link) says:


Creators of WHAT, exactly? Are those that copyright grants monopoly of ideas to the most are actually contributing ANYTHING to culture and society? AT ALL?

I dont think that such a HUGE and highly detailed and well-thought out release by this conservative organization would be at all in any way an accident.

They were bullied into retracting their position (which originally was very surprisingly free-market for the party that has normally been very socially-conservative and fiscally-liberal, despite what they claim.

This WAS a very refreshing reminder that the republican party was originally a party representing individual liberty, individual self-determination, and the freedom to pursue happiness as an individual.

The party as a whole has largely devolved from their original Lincoln origins into a bunch of extremely loud churchpeople forcing their own extremely brittle anxieties and insecurities into national policy over what WAS a great nation of revolutionaries.

So much for the American Dream, so much for individual liberies and self-determination. So much for small government and free markets.

Back to government-enforced monopolies on freaking IDEAS.

Thank you very much, Ye Grande Olde Party.

What a bunch of sellouts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Stand Firm


what dont you get,,, IT”S NOT A FUCKING GOVT REPORT, it’s an OP ED from two laywers, from two seperate uni’s..


masnick would have you believe that, but as usual if you read between the lines, or the actual lines you see it’s just bullshit…

opinion peice

Coyo (user link) says:

Re: Stand Firm

that is not what the actual policy brief says.

Nowhere in the actual policy brief does it even mention those two universities.

It had the RSC and the House of Representatives front and center, and searching for your supposed law professor’s names within the document turned up absolutely nothing.

All professors cite and attribute their work. Why would this policy brief be any different?

Coyo (user link) says:


This guy is a regular clown.

Laugh. He’s hilarious. Look at this baffoon.

Anyway. The GOP is NOT about government monopoly on ANYTHING.

The GOP is about business, not specifically BIG business, they are about ALL business, including that of actual cultural contributors.

The GOP, as Lincoln founded it, was about the ability to earn a better life for yourself, and your family.

Obviously, with the existence of the MPAA and RIAA, entrepreneuralism is pretty much crushed underneath companies that just wont die. Their death is long overdue.

What they probably don’t realize is that all members of the MPAA and RIAA are a bunch of zombies, and eventually, some guy with a shotgun will make very short work of them.

Meanwhile, I’ll sit here with my wine cooler and artisan bread, and commission and patron some artists directly, outside of any publisher’s control.

The big publishers can sit on a Thor greased with pure capsaicin oil and rotate till Hell freezes over.

If you don’t know what a Thor is, you probably should not open a new tab, and search google images for “thor toy” without safe search enabled.

It’s about time the GOP returned to their traditional roots for once, instead of parading around like a bunch of westboro baptists trying to convert the masses at gunpoint.

Adam says:

Berne Convention

I’m surprised no one has mentioned this, but we can’t reform copyright in the US without forgoing some treaties which protect us overseas. Specifically the Berne Convention to which the US became a party in the ’80’s mandates copyright protection to last for 70 years after the death of the author – we can’t change that unless we want to lose the protection to our works overseas. Alternatively, all the countries that are parties to the relevant treaties could agree to a shorter duration, and change the treaties, but that’s no small feat.

Coyo (user link) says:


Dude, listen.

I don’t have all day, so let me make this very brief.

Your idea that “government monopoly” means that the government uses their guns and laws to ONLY give themselves complete control over something (such as an idea) is silly.

Copyright is about granting complete unilateral control of ideas to whoever pays the most money for that idea, or gets their stupid paper in the copyright office faster.

The assumption on your part is that a government monopoly only counts of the government ITSELF occupies the tepid waters under their guns.

This is not correct.

If government, by way of the “power invested in them” *snerk* allows any organization to seize control of ideas, this doesnt ONLY include themselves, could be any organization that meets their criteria, whatever that may be.

In the end, it makes the GOP look extremely shallow and cowardly.

ALSO: Anyone who argues that copyright actually empowers the individual is deluded. The copyright law is DELIBERATELY too complicated for any single individual to manage, even with a team of fucking copyright lawyers.

This argument is laughable. You’re a freaking clown.

No, it is very clear to me, after listening to EFF, and many other organizations that focus on such things, that the situation is mostly power struggles over ideas (which cannot REALLY be controlled) between multibillion dollar megacorporations.

BTW, not even Steve Jobs and Bill Gates combined can match the wealth of those international corporations, including the media conglomerates which hold 99.98% of all copyright holdings.

It is pure folly to propose that anyone has even a teeny tiny sliver of hope to go from rags to riches enough to make a tiny freaking DENT in the power of those massive corporations, which, btw, are OWNED overwhelming by OTHER corporations.

The GOP, by selling out like little pansies to the armies of lawyers of these organizations to enforce their little fiefdoms strikes me as a bunch of pansy career politicians who dont stand for anything, dont give a damn about their country, much less the international society and culture.

Supposedly, the GOP was about business, individual liberties, self-determination, but now? It’s just a farce.

The Democrats are no better, BTW. The Democratic party has the worst track record for dragging this country into war over random crap. So much for peace-loving rationalist who want a better “equal” chance for all humans.

Everyone in politics is a goddamned sellout, Fullstop.

Coyo (user link) says:


Thank you!

I was very sure I had that correct, more or less.

I’ll need to chew on some wikipedia tonight, but the above poster is correct: This issue is too big to ignore, people are going to demand that this government-enforced monopoly over ideas end.

If the government DOESNT do that, then we ALL know what the situation will quickly turn into.

The Latinos and other hardworking family-oriented citizens will realize that the GOP is NOT standing for the ability for any individual and his family to gain a better place in the world under his own power, sweat, blood, and tears.

That they are just spinning their wheels.

The hippies and communists and other Democrats will realize that their government wont actually come between the corporations that matter to protect the hardworking working class, much less themselves.

Buying votes by stealing from the middle class (thus preventing them from breaching the inter-class barrier) and giving to the poor, thus making them suck on the government’s titty..

The entire thing will undoubtedly collapse.

If not, well, the silly masquerade dance will be finally over, and everyone will realize we all have collars, and there wont be a damned thing we can about it.

Coyo (user link) says:

Obama administration: "Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft"

I am completely entirely convinced that that those stories those artists and writers wrote were ABSOLUTELY not influenced in ANY way, whatsoever, by the publishers greasing their palms, or anything like that.

If these artists or authors were really any good, their fans would rally to ensure their livelihood.

Instead, they take their sense of entitlement and beg the fucking government to stop people from trying their stuff and deciding it’s crap.

The Real Michael says:


“what you fail to realize is the copyright protects the individual from exploitation by the corporation – you’re fighting for exploitation, copyright fights against it.”

Um, not true at all on either point. If copyright protected artists from exploitation then please explain the ‘work for hire’ stipulation practically every (non-music) artist is under, giving corporate entities sole ownership of their work? Explain the nasty attempt by the RIAA to slip in a provision which would change a musical recording into a ‘work for hire,’ thus granting major labels full ownership? When it comes to exploiting artists and musicians, the corporations wrote the book.

“and that is why you have been, and will continue to lose. no copyright reform has happened. lessig has lost across the board, barlow is a nut job for whom even google’s own chief economist disagree’s with…”

As I said, it’s only a matter of time (and nothing to do with Lessig nor Barlow). We’re going to have to make some serious concessions to our budget. Blowing huge wads of cash on the copyright welfare system is on that list.

“you’ve slowed the adoption of proper enforcement of existing laws, but that’s it. eventually your feudal ways will subside to rational thought and much of this is just about awareness anyway.”

There’s nothing feudal about copyright lasting for 14 years.

“common, good people know theft when they see it. why not support the people running legal businesses? why do you insist on rewarding criminals?”

Keeping copyright locked up for over 100 years is theft of the public domain. It was never meant to last for so long.

You’re attempting to dictate morals to me, a practicing Catholic, so let me tell you a little something about immoral behavior. When companies blatantly bribe our politicians into lengthening the lifespan of laws just to suit their greedy ambitions, then turn around and rob artists of both due pay (which is to defraud them) AND the rights to their work, THAT is what we consider THEFT. God gives freely to us, who do not truly deserve it, all that we need to survive. So how is it that you people have villanized normal citizens for doing completely normal things? What position are you in to talk down on others? Why is somebody who shares music with his friends or lets a friend borrow or copy a film no better than a common thief in your eyes, yet when corporations get fat off other people’s work, you turn a blind eye?

Go ahead, I await your reply.

The Real Michael says:


Disregarding the rest of your post…

“a jr intern goes off half-cocked and you take it as gospel, thank god the adults got home just in time to maybe save some face.”

You mean to say that the corporate lobbyists pulled their strings in order to get their way. All that matters to them is that they continue to monopolize culture in order to satiate their greed. What good could possibly come out of that?

The Real Michael says:


You keep bringing up this mysterious “middle-class” of musicians. The difference is that now, with the independent culture, any artist can play in the free market. The major labels used to be the only ones who would pick and choose the winners and losers, but now the market (that is, the consumers) can decide. That music quality has suffered in recent times is the byproduct of the major labels actively promoting junk music which, unfortunately, many aspiring artists attempt to sound like.

Coyo (user link) says:


Thank you. There’s a reason I love Catholics.

They generally have a much more nuanced and well-thought-out view compared to Protestant churches.

I am glad to see a true Catholic on here. There are far too many among the Catholic community who dont even attend their sacraments or practice very basic elements of their faith.

Kudos to you for being authentic, genuine, and firm in your faith.

To add to the above guy’s commentary, Copyright has a very long history, and was originally pushed into law to prevent ordinary individuals from being able to print what he pleased.

It went downhill from there.

If you believe that any artist of any kind under the employ of any members of MPAA or RIAA actually own any of their work, are fairly compensated, or generally contribute anything meaningful to society, I’d suggest you go to the local library and ready up on the history of copyright.

If you think that individuals running independent publishers will really be hurt by the repeal and abolishment of copyright (and other intellectual property bullcrap) then you probably dont understand what culture even IS.

What artists produce is not any product. It’s not a piece of paper, it’s not a plastic disk. What artists produce cannot be measured by a ruler. What artists produce are new ideas and culture.

That is a SERVICE.

Let me repeat, what ANY artist, of any kind, produces, is actually a Service.

I am confident that independent publishers will be nimble enough to realize this and provide a facilitative role between content creators and innovators and their many, many fans.

Those who are touched by your art, if it contributes anything worthwhile to society at all, will be compensated by the loyalty of your fans.

If you dont have even a single fan, you really should consider switching careers. Seriously.

To spell it out for anyone who’s confused by this, if you have zero fans, it means you contribute nothing noteworthy to society whatsoever, and to EXPECT and DEMAND payment of something no one gives a shit about is extremely precious, coming from a worthless good-for-nothing wannabe artist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

copyright is pro-choice, pro-liberty, pro-freedom… of the individual. when you take copyright away from the individual you are pro-exploitation, pro-corporation.

copyright protect the individual from corporate exploitation, without it, there would be no record contracts, no publishing deals, no advances and marketing paid to artists and on their behalf.

you guys have been smelling your own farts for so long that it’s warped your feeble minds into a backasswards understanding of copyright law – and that is why you, lessig barlow and the whole boat of clowns fail.

The Real Michael says:


Yes, copyright is being used in a backhanded way to control how the internet and related technologies operate, as well as maintain the corps’ monopoly on culture, preventing it from going into the public domain …where so much of it rightly belongs.

They’ve had our culture locked up for decades. Had copyright remained as it was always supposed to be (14 years), there would be an abundance of original works, people would have access to older works and the government wouldn’t need to spend our tax dollars working to protect this busted corporate welfare system. Instead, here comes a remake of Robocop…

Coyo (user link) says:

Re: Pirate Party versus Ninja Party! Go!

May i suggest a new dynamic duo?

Instead of Republican and Democrat…

Ninja versus Pirate!

The Ninja Party represents the Shoguns, in other words, the Founding Principles, Free-Markets, Powerful Military, etc.

It’s basically a blend between the best of the Libertarian Party and Constitution Party combined.

Ninja Party versus the Pirate Party!

The Party Party represents pure unadulterated direct electronic democracy, a very thin and transparent government, and complete and total enforcement of honesty in all aspects of government (except extremely severe cases of national security, but even then, there’s a shorter limit on withholding such information)

When you completely replace the dynamic between the Republicans and Democrats with the Ninjas and Pirates, you have a complete refutation of the validity of the current hegemony.

What do you guys think?

Anonymous Coward says:


“Corporations” is misleading in this regard. “Publishers” is more appropriate, unless you’re arguing that modern corporations had similar theories of IP as publishers and bookbinders in the 16th c. They did not, as statutory copyright was in its infancy then.

One point I think is raised by your response – and it’s an important one – is the explicit role of state censorship in the granting of monopoly powers to publishers. The Stationer’s copyright was meant as a cooperative agreement between Elizabeth’s court and the increasingly powerful Stationers’ Co. Note the early terms of disagreement between what can properly be called an IP lobbying group and the Elizabethan grant of charter: the proposal was rejected because “there is great abuse in the printers of books…whereby arises great disorder by publication of unfruitful, vain, and infamous books and papers.” Some of our constitutional language is derived from the later Statute of Anne, and it’s remarkable, in some ways, how little the statutory rationale and implementation of copyright has changed, historically – though the focus of protection shifts somewhat to the author, the end user has never had rights associated directly to the “advancement of the arts” and in fact is limited by these monopoly rights (see also coyo’s comments below).

Ophelia Millais says:



We at the RSC take pride in providing informative analysis of major policy issues and pending legislation that accounts for the range of perspectives held by RSC Members and within the conservative community. Yesterday you received a Policy Brief on copyright law that was published without adequate review within the RSC and failed to meet that standard.

Just sayin’…

The Real Michael says:


Thanks for the well-articulated reply.

As a practicing Catholic, I believe in due compensation for work, and that includes for everybody. (It is wrong to discriminate.) However, what I am against is this incessant bribery that is occuring in Washington, as is evidenced by this article, as well as their habit of locking down culture solely for the sake of a few corporates’ financial gain.

Copyright should be, as the now-retracted report specified, reformed to its original state. Within that period of time, it would be only just to fairly compensate artists for said works. Then it would serve the common good.

However, I believe that copyright in its current form has mutated into a wholly abusive tool for corporations to exploit others’ works and, as such, no longer is about promoting the sciences and useful arts. It’s solely about profit and control for a select few individuals.

I’m not going to justify things like downloading movies, music, games/software and literature which somebody is trying to make a living from — they ought have that right reserved. But if copyright were shortened to 14 years, people would, and in fact already should, have access to their culture without the risk of litigation or being thrown off the internet.

If I make a mix CD for a friend, for example, that’s not theft — that’s called generosity. By no means do I have to share or give anything to anyone, yet if I choose to, who are these people to label me a thief? Now there is a difference between sharing something with a friend and handing it out for the entire world to grab for free. I don’t agree with that. But what I do in my private life with the stuff I own (yes, OWN, not LICENSED) is really none of their business.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Just keep doing what we've done best.

Yes, please keep it front and center so we can always see it and hold it up for all to see the magnificent mistake of a jr republican stooge!

How about we keep it front and center simply because it looks at copyright with some fucking common sense.

Why, exactly, are you attempting to suppress it? Based on the fury of comments I see, this report scares you doesn’t it?

Coyo (user link) says:

Stand Firm

Intellectual property of any kind, including copyright, is a perversion of capitalism.

You sully capitalism’s name by claiming that a government-enforced monopoly is in ANY way a capitalist approach to ANYTHING.

You fail at understanding anything about capitalism.

Capitalism is not about being in indentured servitude to an extremely tiny population of individuals.


Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit. Other elements central to capitalism include competitive markets and capital accumulation.

You can thank me later.

What a shill.

Anonymous Coward says:


Do you actually have any evidence whatsoever to back up your assertions that the trade groups “went ballistic” and that the report had been “fully vetted” by the RSC?

Or are you seriously this much of a desperate foaming-at-the-mouth zealot that you actually just made up the whole scenario?

I dare you to answer honestly (and I know that you can’t/won’t).

The Real Michael says:


“copyright is pro-choice, pro-liberty, pro-freedom… of the individual. when you take copyright away from the individual you are pro-exploitation, pro-corporation.

copyright protect the individual from corporate exploitation, without it, there would be no record contracts, no publishing deals, no advances and marketing paid to artists and on their behalf.”

What a way to completely ignore everything that was said.

Basically, you’re admitting that you’re in favor of a system wherein a few wealthy people exploit our culture for their own financial gain, because that’s exactly what copyright does. If you’re so concerned about “protecting the artists,” tell me, what are you doing about the corporates who take away ownership of their works, game the system and cheat them out of their fair wages?

The Real Michael says:

Locking up ideas stifles progress

The underlying point being that, today, copyright’s sole purpose is to enforce monopoly of culture and that politicians, who would otherwise reform it, are blinded by corporate bribery. The RIAA, MPAA and others have infested Washington with their point men lobbyists and this has created an imbalance in the system, biased heavily to their favor.

Bribing a politician is, in and of itself, illegal and unethical. Yet because of a semantics game — calling political cash “free speech” — they continue to get away with it.

Rikuo says:


What’s a wring?

And how is copyright pro-liberty, pro-individual, pro-choice?

If I write something down right now on a piece of paper, or take a photograph with a camera, I automatically have copyright over it. I cannot opt out. I can reduce the scope of my copyright over it by using a CC license, but they depend on copyright in order to work. So no, copyright is NOT pro-choice.
Pro-liberty? How? I am not at liberty to copy certain things, even things where the copyright holder is unknown.
Pro-individual? What does that even mean?

Rikuo says:


“if you steal things (you probably do), you may not be stealing off the GOvernment, but it will be the Government that puts you in prison for breaking the law, not the person who you stole off. “

Ah yes, the “let’s just assume our opponent on the other side of the debate is a criminal” approach to debating. What proof do you have that he is a thief?

Coyo (user link) says:

Stand Firm

Even putting aside how those two universities and lawyers you speak of have no presence on the report itself, which i find highly suspicious just by itself…

Let’s say this WAS merely a suggestion by copyright law professors.

It’s a damned thorough and informed policy brief.

Even if the Republicans in the House did NOT originally publish this from the house of representatives under their own name, which is questionable, it may turn the GOP completely around by making their party relevant again.

I say demand the Republican Representatives show some freaking backbone, and break through Democratic Filibuster and force a majority vote to shove this through.

It’s a damned good policy, all things considered.

I would PREFER Total Abolishment of ALL intellectual property (including logos!), but this is a lot better than I’d ever hope to see in the Congress in 20 years!

Rikuo says:

Obama administration: "Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft"

And I should care about one guys’s retirement fund because…seriously I need a reason. Everyone who saves up for retirement…
hang on, bad argument there. That songwriter wasn’t actually [I] saving [/I] up for retirement. He was hoping that he would do a job [I] once [/I] and that society would provide for his retirement without any significant effort on his part at all.

Rikuo says:

Stand Firm

Or maybe…it’s because few people want CD’s any more? I don’t. I used to use CDs. Not anymore. The disc drive on my computer hasn’t even been opened in over six months.
Here’s a perfectly valid sentence that is correct and cannot be disputed
“Most musicians don’t make much money from tape cassette sales because you (more than likely) don’t have a cassette player and thus, don’t want tapes”.

The Real Michael says:

Democrats won't swoop in to save the day

And therein lies the heart of the problem: corporate money in politics. So long as the lobbyists can woo politicians over to their side with money, there’s no way to stop the corruption from continuing unabated.

Perhaps before we look into copyright reform, we need to reconsider checks and balances in politics.

Rikuo says:


“so the live version of a film is that there should only be live theater? wow, just wow. so much for logic and reason.”

No, there would still be cinema theatres. Theatres sell a scarce resource: the seat. There are only so many screens and so many seats in the theatre, that its simple, basic economics to charge to be allowed to sit in a particular seat for two hours. There will more than likely always be a demand for theatres (at least, until the holodeck is invented).
Photographers? Perhaps they can try new ways of monetizing their work. Instead of selling easily copyable copies of photographs, perhaps they can work commissions, i.e. highly skilled photographers can charge to take beautiful looking shots or teach classes/workshops on photography…hang on, that’s what they already do!

nasch says:


OK, so one point down, it wasn’t written by the RSC.

“Right after the Presidential election last week, Chris Sprigman and Kal Raustiala penned an opinion piece suggesting that one way the Republicans could “reset”, and actually attract the youth vote,”

So it was not a piece about “here’s what the other side thinks”, as you claimed.

Masnick knows this, he also knows that Hollywood would not even bother to say anything in relation to this, it’s the REPS after all, there was no lobbying in this case..

Now, got any evidence for this one?

jameshogg says:


(Sorry mods, I hit return instead of tab to get from subject box to comment box and sent a blank comment.)

I don’t think I can let this word go by easily.

I am somebody who thinks of the religious, theocratic threat from Islam as a very serious danger to humanity as they have proven themselves in the ongoing civil wars in the Middle East and Asia, let alone the attacks on civil society in other countries around the world, such as East Timor, Spain, Nigeria, the USA and UK etc. And that secular values must be defended against with force against Orwellian, totalitarian, God-mandated regimes. This includes a very likely justified fight against Saddam Hussein and the military that enslaves North Korea. I am with the faction of the Left that stems back all the way to the 30’s – the bunch that would proudly declare that “fascism means war” and that if there are ever any “just wars” in this world, it must be against all forms of totalitarianism that treat 1984 as a grand inspiration instead of a dire warning.

So, having said that, let me make this very clear: the use of the word “freehadist” as a means to compare the odd kid who does the equivalent of buying a DVD from ebay and selling it again for the same price as a religious fascist bent on death and destruction is a FUCKING DISGRACE. I have no choice but to treat with contempt those who compare your every day common-sense-minded person with theocrats. It is an absolute insult to everyone who ever questioned the idea of copyright and a filthy, revolting slander.

It is something I will not have said. And neither should anyone else here.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Berne Convention

Specifically the Berne Convention to which the US became a party in the ’80’s mandates copyright protection to last for 70 years after the death of the author

No, actually the Berne Convention mandates 50 years after death.

But that is the really unique part about this proposal, it wouldn’t limit copyright to less than what is required in Berne, it simply provides incentives not to keep the copyright that long.

Griffdog (profile) says:

A sure sign of commitment

We see it happen a couple times a week, and we cheer and rejoice. Some person or organization gets a threat from some self-important jerk, and instead of backing down and removing the published content, our hero posts the threat so that we can all see what’s happening.

On the day when a politician refuses to accept a bribe or bow to a threat and instead publicizes the attempt, that’s the day when I’ll be happy about supporting a politician. Until then, politicians will remain in my estimation somewhere below the morality and trustworthiness of the proverbial used car salesman.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:


got me there, because Masnick said so… check it out yourself..

it was written, by Chris Sprigman not the reps,.,


Reading fail. It was NOT written by Sprigman. I mentioned TWO separate things. 1. was an op ed by Sprigman and Raustiala. 2. was the RSC report. They are entirely different items.

The RSC paper was written by the Republican Study Committee and is an official “policy brief.”

Digitari says:


wow just wow. anyone that thinks this is a bad Idea deserves “Red Dawn” ( Geee ANOTHER Remake ) so much for the progress of the Arts

I have not bought Music or Movies in 15 years. I visit the Library, yes I’m a “frehadist”

the *AA’s and Hollywood only get pennies of my monies

I have nothing on My PC that is not mine

I do not watch TV I do sometimes listen to radio in cars but thats all the Music I hear

Keep up the good works folks but still at some point you WILL die off.

I really hope I live to see the day the US president is voted into office with only 10 thousand votes, the young in America will not care for the MSM propaganda in the near future, they HAVE the internet.

Knowledge is power, the internet if full of Knowledge..

and is the true Power of the Future

Karl (profile) says:


Yeah, because that doesnt sound suspiciously like a barrel of RIAA shills at all.

It’s the site of David Lowery, former front-man for Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. It exists mainly to rant against the Internet in general, and Google in particular, under the flimsy excuse of “protecting artists’ rights.”

You may remember Lowery from when Techdirt wrote a critique of a Facebook post he made (loosely outlining a talk he gave). Where, in response, Lowery went ballistic, threatened to sue, pulled the Facebook post, and continued to pollute the comments section of nearly every story with off-topic ad hominems for days. You probably also remember him from his attempts to public shame an NPR intern for admitting to sharing music.

Occasionally he has “guest posts” from the likes of Chris Castle, the copyright lawyer behind the equally-ridiculous Music Technology Policy, or from whichever disgruntled artist he can dig up (so far just Gavin Castleton, Chris Whitten, and Zack Hemsey). I actually debated Castleton in the comments section here (as did others). He also regularly links to laughably inaccurate sites like Pop Up Pirates.

So, generally he’s trying to be a clearing-house for copyright maximalist propaganda. But an RIAA shill he’s not, unless you think being a musician on a major label makes you an “RIAA shill.”

Thomas Hurlimann says:

How does this work?

Now, how exactly does this happen, that lobbying? I would really like for once to understand precisely the mechanism behind that kind of lobbying. Understand who has which kind of of influence upon who, when he does what?

How cab the self interest of a small group of profiteurs get a whole nation to suffer, while they swim in money?

Anonymous Coward says:

Supporting musicians

My wife and I believe in supporting musicians, both established and new. We regularly (usually three or so times a month) go to live performances at small local venues. If we think they are any good, we buy their CDs after the show. I haven’t counted them in a while, but the last count was over 800 CDs. This also gives an opportunity to chat with the performers (or their spouse). They aren’t getting rich off these sales, but it allows them to keep doing what they (and we) love.

apetra says:

they'll vet and issue it again

they didn’t follow standard procedure, that’s well documented, and not surprising given the tumult of the post-election week.

expect the report to reissue shortly with no substantive change. It will remain as a remarkable document that sets the Republicans apart from the Democrats, leaving the party as the standard bearer for forward looking technology policy.

Karl (profile) says:



FYI, this article is completely wrong. I debunked it in the comments section here.

In case you don’t want to follow the link, here’s the relevant section:

Nope. Try again. And try to do it without linking to that Trichordist site – it lies.

Examples: SoundScan only collects POS data if you register a UPC with them, regardless of whether you sell stuff on iTunes (&etc) or not.

There notion that there are fewer releases is not true.

And, when you hear that there were “only” 75,000 Albums released in 2010, keep in mind that from 1992-2001, the labels never released more than 38,900 albums released [sic] per year. The number in 2001 was 27,000 new releases. That’s from the RIAA; in fact, they may have been wrong (or lying) – this BusinessWeek article quotes Neilsen SoundScan as saying the number for 2002 was 31,734 new releases.

In other words: in ten years, the number of new releases more than doubled.

You also won’t hear that, according to the BLS, there were only 46,440 Musicians and Singers working in the U.S. In 2011, that number was 42,530 – a difference of 10%. I guess things weren’t that much better under the old label model, eh?

(Incidentally, the years with the highest numbers of employed musicians was 2001-2002: the Napster years. Things declined after that; but the number of working musicians increased again in 2004 – the year iTunes came out.)

Oh, and the number of “Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers?” The earliest data I could find for that was 2007. At that point, there were 1,640 in the “Musicians and Singers” category, making up 3.28% of that category. In 2001, that number rose to 1,910 people and 4.00%. So independents are gaining ground (slightly).

So, that article is a lie. And that’s only on one article. The entire site is full of bullshit. It’s not even subtle bullshit, either. It’s obvious, rampant hate speech directed at any part of the music industry that’s not based upon the old label model.

Ophelia Millais says:

Stand Firm

Oh, silly us.

There was indeed an opinion piece authored by the two lawyers on Nov 7.

Mike’s previous post opened by mentioning it and saying there hasn’t been much else of note … until the RSC report (or Policy Brief or whatever you want to call it) that was covered at length. It was this RSC document which is at issue, here, not the op-ed.

How does that crow taste?

Anonymous Coward says:

Stand Firm

Back when I purchased CDs, they were always pre-owned from shops that sold used CD and DVDs and from eBay. Once I ripped the CD, I would immediately sell it on eBay, sometimes for more than I’d paid for it. Was that stealing from musicians, too? I am relatively certain it was completely legal to do… at least, at the time. Not so sure it will be in future, if some people get their way.

Richard (profile) says:

Stand Firm

The only reasonable copyright is none at all. This is the age of the internet, they don’t need copyright anymore.

Not only that – but also you can’t have just a little bit of copyright. The history of the last 300 years proves it. Once you have copyright then you have people who make money from it and have time on their hands to lobby for more.

Look at the publishing industry. Originally the members of London Company of Stationers were printers – but over time they devolved the messy business of actual printing over to others and became publishers – a business whos primary activity is not the mechanical process of reproduction or even publicity, but rather the holding and trading of copyrights.

You can observe a similar transition with the record industry. In my youth the record companies actually pressed record and had reputations based on the quality of their manufacture. In those days the letters RIAA usually referred to a standard frequency equalisation curve agreed on by the record companies to ensure that all records would play on all equipment. Now they have little to do with any of the mechanical processes – these were devolved to specialists through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Anonymous Coward says:

Easy come, easy go.

You know how people of sound mind always feel on the defensive when stuff like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP, etc. always pops up again and again with a different acronym just a few short months after being killed?

I say let’s give the MPAA a taste of how that feels. Let’s keep pushing our representatives to look at copyright reform. Don’t let up. Keep pushing until the MPAA has to deal with copyright reform issues in Congress more often than we have to deal with SOPA/PIPA/ACTA legislation.

Coyo (user link) says:


I believe the term is “resting on one’s laurels” to put it extremely nicely.

Basically, those who endorse the behavior of the RIAA and similar organizations are people who harbor the delusion that the bridge trolls at the RIAA will maybe, possibly, give the speaker a place at the table of the blessed.

This wont happen. Even pretending that the RIAA are remotely redeemable human beings is a severe pathological delusion.

The naked truth is that the RIAA’s singular justification is to support artists, but none of the supposed artists are actually producing anything of worth, and those REAL artists who do are snuffed out by the system.

You’d have to be willfully ignorante to even consider the possibility that the RIAA is in any shape or form a justifiable organization.

Monday (user link) says:

RSC Brief


I thought that leaving a link to the report would’ve, in some way, encouraged a reasonably informed debate. What I have seen since that post (~180 posts ago) is something of a very bad morning on FOX news. From Religious arguments to endorsing political parties, it’s somewhat of a storm what this comment wall has become.
The Policy Brief, as it is known, has actual endorsement of RSC members; is well researched; and soundly based on factual evidence – statistically speaking.
As a collector of copyright royalties, I encourage… nay, I applaud theft of my “brainy stuff”. If its going to promote expansion, innovation, and stimulation of the Sciences and Arts, HELL YA, everybody take!!! I’m going to get paid regardless.
I’ve seen posts on election results, outright anger, opinions that truly belong to Rush Limbaugh, and I’ve seen this start off – meaning with the article itself, from a coherent base to a ceaseless ramble going off on tangents that lose the point completely.
This brief espouses reform for copyright in both Science and Art. This means that instead of waiting lifetimes for innovation, people will actually get the chance to use their very expensive educations – if it’s in science (possibly art) to take someone’s idea and make it better, more “useful to Society”, to quote what several posts have attempted in defining Art.
There is alot of hate here for “Pirates”. In fact piracy of… “music software has broken down boundaries even further. Not only can people hear and experience a wider range of inspirational existing music, but now musical creation has become more widely available.
Just as there are those whose musical stasis prompts them to ask questions about who the next “Dylan” or “Led Zeppelin” or “Beatles” will be, there are those who wonder how today’s severely fractured market and wealth of distractions will ever produce another 25-million-album seller like Michael Jackson (or even $35K a year). Those that blame this lack of multimillionaire chart dominators solely on piracy, rather than on underlying cultural shifts, economic woes, a multitude of new distractions and other disruptions are merely settling for a convenient whipping boy, rather than actually working on fixing their problems.” From TechDirt directly…
It’s not just the Music industry, but it covers the entire spectrum; Movies; Books (in fact all media); Broadcast (all of it), and I could make a list of 20 more copyrightable forms – including all forms of caching, storage, and having something posted on YouTube.
The point is that this is a start. Australia has been and is looking at copyright reform – although they have some way of going about it, it’s being looked at – that is a start. EU has been looking at it – that’s a start.
The MPAA is not as powerful as they once were. In the last three years the major movie studios cut their payments to the MPAA in half. The RIAA however, has seen 40% in staff cutbacks, the MPAA has managed to keep the same number of employees; they work for lower average salaries. It is the MPAA who has the stable lobbying budget.
The bigger picture is fair use.
The bigger picture is who controls what, and how they’re/it is going to do it – and, for the most part, that ‘what’ is the internet… because, quite simply put – EVERYTHING IS ON, OR WILL BE ON THE INTERNET!
Look at the continuing success of failing Bills and Acts in both Europe and North America. By at least “taking a look” at copyright and the reformations it needs, means that leaders are paying attention – they see in some degree, that creativity and innovation is being yolked through domineering, copyright/patent infringing teams lawyers and the corporations they serve, and these things have to change – if anything is to advance societal goals… “contribute”.
Copyright includes even linking to sites now – although that is being constantly tested and examined. Civil and Criminal cases are being brought against individuals for just this very thing. Officials are actually trying to extradite people for copyright violation because of linking to websites. However, a ruling stating that “watching a video that someone else uploaded are not infringing on the reproduction right under copyright” is a great place to start when looking at copyright.
You see, that is the bigger picture. This Brief is just a start, but it begs the address of the overwhelming question of fair use. If it takes destroying a “Corporate Monopoly Castle” one brick at a time, then that’s the way it has to be done. The internet has altered the landscape of use, usage, and the definitions of right and wrong, where it concerns not violating the copyright owner?s exclusive rights that it simply cannot be ignored.
I quote yet another article from TechDirt; “The archives of Baseball Digest ‘the oldest and longest-running journal of matters baseball-related,’ which has been published continuously since 1942. For various reasons (sounds like they didn’t renew…) the issues from 1942 until 1964 are in the public domain. Everything after that… not so much.” Baseball, perhaps America’s greatest past-time, is a victim… go ahead… take a look when you have the time.
Copyright Law Is Keeping Useful Info Off Wikipedia, the world’s fifth largest website, and it all falls under the buzz-word “Piracy”. Piracy finds its way into just about every legitimate avenue on the Internet. Afterall, what is copyright violation if it’s not Piracy? It’s like calling someone a Socialist if they believe in Universal Healthcare – do you even know what Socialism is? Piracy = Communism… again… meaning just what?
Copyright infringement can?t be considered theft in the same way that stealing a Book from a Library or Bookstore, or a CD/DVD from a store shelf is theft. If you copy the song, download a PDF Title, or say… Magazine, you have it, and so does its creator. Even MPAA?s CEO, Chris Dodd, has admitted that the days when piracy was associated with theft and copyright infringement had gone.
Limits and definitions need to be defined, if not re-defined, because the current system simply will not stand up to the incredible evolution of today’s innovators and creators. The current copyright laws are stiffling these very things. If I let you in on a little secret that Cold-fusion is actually Ambient-fusion and that I have it, I should now own that idea, but do you think that I’ll get a copyright for publishing, or even the patent for the discovery? Not a chance. The Gov’t is probably already stalking my ISP just to see if I can back this claim up.
Hard media will be here forever, but the internet is where the innovation and creativity is occurring, and this is what is being debated here. Copyright of IDEAS… do you owe someone for something? Are you owed?
In my opinion, the Leaders are paying attention to the Citizens, and attention, even if it is long overdue, is appreciated.
The Brief is about Science and Art, and what loosely constitutes fair use. That is my interpretation… don`t shoot the messenger.

I would like to finish with thanking Mike Masnick for the continual TechDirt posts I receive through their daily eMails. There is alot of `TechDirtery`included in my post. You`re a good man Mike, and a great writer… Cheers…

silverscarcat says:


yes, and because of pirated copies of Windows OS and other programs, Bill Gates NEVER made billions of dollars and can ski down slopes of money in the winter.

Sorry, not buying it.

As someone who writes in his free time, I can tell you this, if someone takes my ideas and runs with them, all the more to them.

If they can do it better, good job.

If not, that means that I’m better.

Coyo (user link) says:


The problem with this line of reasoning is that major labels have an extremely lopsided balance of power.

You pretty much get a “take it or leave it” decision, especially if you are a mediocre artist.

Also, since the labels control nearly all (known) channels of distribution, many artists dont see much of a choice but to take the terms given to them.

Artists who are a cut above the rest do not need labels, because they are good enough to promote themselves.

BTW, The Pirate Bay has begun promoting early adopters of the service-oriented model of professional artistry (which was actually the original model, before recording was technically possible, as patrons of the arts and various commissions would fund great artists).

If you are a pathetic whiny mediocre artist, practice, practice, practice, and get genuinely good at your trade.

If you play your cards right, and work like the rest of us, you will surely earn a retirement. Just remember to manage your investment portfolio.

If you’re the kind of artist who does not like to work for a living, there’s always the time-honored trade of panhandling.

Coyo (user link) says:


Copyright is not about protecting artists. It’s not even really about anything over than monopolistic control over channels of distribution.

With the advent of the Internet providing such a ridiculously EASY circumvention of their precarious control, many large labels are COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

There is NEVER a “company too large to fall”


That Crazy Freetard says:


Lol, trichordist. I’d give that site a shred of respect if they didn’t moderate all of my comments to hell. That site’s nothing but a circle jerk for Lowery et al and the only dissenting comments they allow are taken totally out of context and twisted and spun so as to make them fit their narrative.

And if you’re persistent, Lowery will threaten you personally.

I’d really love for some population of TD commenters to decend on trichordist.

Coyo (user link) says:

How does this work?

It starts with a huge amount of pure dumb luck, and a huge helping of deception and a distinct lack of restraint.

After that, it’s diamonds, gold, caviar and wine from there.

The bottom line? There’s not a damned thing you can do to actually BECOME a plutocrat. The chances of you or I becoming a multi-billionare is somewhat less than your chances of being struck by a meteorite, struck by a lightning bolt, and bitten by a rabid red fox with unusual facial markings all on the same day.

In other words, the concept that you can somehow work hard and earn your place among plutocracy is cute but it’s cruel to allow people to continue believing that.

There is an extremely powerful multi-layered class barrier, including a labyrinth of tax breaks, tax credits, tax rebates, and other fiscal snowjobbery, many many shibboleths and specialized peacock signalling and cultural secrets and calling cards that prevent anyone from joining the ranks of the truly powerful multi-billionare plutocratic elite, even assuming you somehow won a multi-billion-dollar lottery ticket. Nearly all of that would vanish instantly as taxes, and the rest would drain out as debt and of that, the rest will leech out in various ways.

The plutocrats are here to stay, ladies and gentlemen, unless we have a very organized global cultural and economic revolution that does away with every last layer of their social, economic, and memetic control.

I hope that helped to explain how multi-billion-dollar plutocratic top 0.005% manage to maintain power so easily.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

A recent update

Influential GOP group releases, pulls shockingly sensible copyright memo | Ars Technica:

Update: A spokesman for the RSC comments:

“On issues where there are several different perspectives among our members, our Policy Briefs should reflect that. This Policy Brief presented one view among conservatives on U.S. copyright law. Due to an oversight in our review process, it did not account for the full range of perspectives among our members. It was removed from the website to address that concern.

“I know some want to point fingers elsewhere, but the simple fact is that we screwed up, we admitted it, and we hope people will now use this opportunity to engage in polite and serious discussion of copyright law.”

Michael says:

Derek Khanna on the paper

Derek Khanna, the author of the paper, has responded to my email about the retraction. His statement:

“I didn’t retract anything – I wrote it – and I stand by it.”

So please send him ( your support, encouragement, and praise!

You may wish to contact the others to send them your disappointment.

aidian says:


‘Apparently’ read to me as ‘reasonably inferred’ as in ‘when i went to bed the grass was dry. Now it’s wet. It must have rained overnight.’

I don’t feel that it’s much of a stretch to make that inference. However, even if it turns out not to be true, I feel no sympathy for those who were (theoretically) falsely accused. IIRC, Congress is exempt from FOIA. They’ve rigged the laws to make sure we can’t know what they’re doing to us behind closed doors. Once they change that, then they can bitch about false accusations of

Karl (profile) says:

A recent update


Also from that article:

“The RSC issues a lot of memos,” a source with knowledge of the RSC’s operations told Ars. “They’re a small shop” with a lot of issues on their plate. Our source didn’t think the memo reflected a sea change in the views of Republican members of Congress. But he said the fact Khanna was able to get his memo through the RSC’s vetting process suggested there was sympathy for his views at least within the RSC staff.

The source told us content industry lobbyists exerted pressure on RSC leadership to repudiate the memo.

So, it appears Mike was correct. The brief was vetted; then pulled, at least in part (if not mostly), because “industry lobbyists” went ballistic about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Derek Khanna on the paper

Not being someone who writes to congresscritters (and the (R) guy who represents my district is not involved with the RSC, tho a few other (R) Reps from my state are), I actually sent an e-mail to Reps. Khanna and Teller on this. Hopefully, if they get enough of those encouraging e-mails, they’ll decide that this PB was, indeed, a good idea.