Because Congress Isn't Already Maximalist Enough: New 'Creative Rights' Caucus Forms

from the that's-a-euphemism-for...-maximalism dept

Congress already has an “Anti-Piracy caucus,” a Recording Arts & Sciences caucus and a Songwriters Caucus, but apparently they needed another one. Reps. Howard Coble and Judy Chu have “formed” the “Creative Rights” caucus that appears to not actually be about supporting true creative rights. It is, instead, designed to focus on over-protecting the powers of a small group to hinder the creative rights of many, many people. That’s because it’s all about maximalism and protectionism, rather than encouraging wider creativity:

“American innovation hinges on creativity – it is what allows our kids to dream big and our artists to create works that inspire us all. The jobs that result are thanks entirely to our willingness to foster creative talent, and an environment where it can thrive and prosper.

“Serving that notion is exactly what this new caucus will do, and I’m thrilled to have Congressman Coble as my Co-Chair. He has a long record on supporting greater protections for American ingenuity and intellectual property. I look forward to continuing that work with him on these important issues,” said Rep. Chu.

Note the key line there: “greater protections… for intellectual property.” This isn’t about looking at what is actually driving creativity or protecting wider creative works. “Greater protections” for “intellectual property” means stricter copyright laws that block the creative rights of millions who try to do things like post their own videos online or create mashups and mixtapes. You see, that kind of creativity doesn’t count. It means less fan art and fan fiction.

This isn’t about protecting creators’ rights. This is about ramping up copyright law, to try to prop up an increasingly obsolete business model, while limiting the rights of most creators.

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Comments on “Because Congress Isn't Already Maximalist Enough: New 'Creative Rights' Caucus Forms”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Exactly my thought. Shouldn’t someone be asking these esteemed representatives just what hallucinogenic drug possessed them to think that another committee/caucus/waste of time is something that voting America thinks is a good idea? Do something useful for crying out loud. Something you could publicly defend in a town meeting without professional assistance.

out_of_the_blue says:

Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

“over-protecting the powers of a small group to hinder the creative rights of many, many people.” — NOPE. As I’ve written dozens of times, you’re perfectly able to create your own and dispose of it as you wish. With that line, Mike sneaks in ignoring all the rampant piracy and pretends that copyright is stifling new works. (Mike is good at ignoring facts that refute his notions, such as “sunk (or fixed) costs”.)

Mike goes on to again MIS-state the problem: “stricter copyright laws that block the creative rights of millions who try to do things like post their own videos online or create mashups and mixtapes.” — Now, Mike, it’s a basic rule of common law that your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins, and similarly, “mashups and mixtapes” obviously use someone else’s content, so will always be questionable. I can’t recall any instances here of totally new creations being stifled: it’s just that you lame kids want to leverage yourself from existing products.

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up at same place!
Ya say ya can’t compete with free, Binky? — It’s easy! Just forget about “sunk (or fixed) costs”!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

Well of course the right wing Bible.
But of course it is well known that most of the traditions have foundations in Egyptian and Sumerian lore and thus borrowed from earlier civilizations. While I’m sure some people will claim some of the them to be conspiracy, I’m not quite sure that everything is this great plan to discredit Christians for thousands of years…
It’s imho that the nature of human kind is to borrow the best of previous generations to create a better story for the next generation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

Oh please, millions of new creations spring forth every year. Stop being a douche, The problem is the illegal appropriation of complete motion pictures, songs and tv shows. You lip-synching show tunes is hardly the main issue; but thanks for playing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

Any creation resulting from IP is a creation I am more than willing to trade in return for IP abolition. Abolish IP. It is not a privilege I am willing to give anyone and these laws are not something I want my government, a government that should be a representative government, to support.

silverscarcat says:

Re: to out_of_his_mind

You REALLY have no idea about creation, do you?

I wish to point you to Lord of the Rings.

Gandalf the wizard there was inspired by another character in another book called Gandolf.

You know the legend of King Arthur? Have you ever heard about the legend of Sigurd?

Sigurd, the mighty Viking warrior pulled out Gram (or Balmung) from its resting place in the mighty tree when no one else could budge the huge sword. With it, he was named king. His first act? To go slay the evil Dragon Fafnir with Gram, as it could cut through anything. When he slayed the Dragon, Sigurd was bathed in the Dragon’s blood, giving him a completely invincible body, save for one tiny spot on his back, where a leaf landed and thus wasn’t bathed in the blood of the Dragon.

Now, doesn’t that sound like the legend of BOTH King Arthur AND Achilles?

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: to out_of_his_mind

Many of the most popular and profitable franchises out there are remixes and mash-ups of cultural heritage and mythology.

Star Wars is Kurosawa samurai and old west gunslingers and World War 2 dogfights and transcendental eastern philosophy and Joseph Campbell mythological archetypes.

Lord of the Rings is Arthurian legend and Norse mythology and linguistic studies and country folk stories.

The name Gandalf, and many of the dwarf names in the Hobbit, actually came straight from the first part of the Poetic Edda. Gandalf was the name of a dwarf mentioned alongside other dwarves whose name Tolkien used.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re: to out_of_his_mind

“Many of the most popular and profitable franchises out there are remixes and mash-ups of cultural heritage and mythology.”


The series Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero, Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, ETC is a combination of video games and anime that take characters from public domain and then gives them a twist to tell an interesting story.

Like the story of Gilgamesh, or Alexander the Great… Or even Sasaki Koujirou, the man who was said to be Musashi’s rival.

That series takes from the Public Domain and gives it a twist to tell a new, interesting story. And, heck, it’s actually pretty accurate too.

Like Arthur having the sword Caliburn first before he got the sword Excalibur…

Of course, Arthur, in FSN, was actually a woman named Arturia, which explains why Genevieve had an affair with Lancelot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

Okay I only took basic economics classes in my day at college, but I must have skipped the class where piracy affects “sunk (or fixed) costs”.

It doesn’t cost a company any extra money if someone creates an additional copy. The company paid absolutely no expense. They may have lost a sale, but that’s not an overhead cost or make the next item on the shelf cost any additional value.

I’m on and I don’t see copyright, piracy, or stealing appear anywhere….

And before you go rampant on my “pro-piracy” stance, I’m not for anyone being able to copy something they haven’t already paid for. And then it should be for personal non-financial use.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

I have an even more fundamental concern. Authors have rights recognize by law, and can, if need be, seek resort to our courts to enforce them.

I am somewhat at a loss trying to understand what “limiting the rights of most creators” means. Does this mean that infringers now hold some type of a legally congnizable right to infringe, and can assert that right before a court of law? “Yes, your Honor, I am infringing, but I need to do this to satisfy my overwhelming need to create ‘culture’ for the betterment of society.”


Re: Re: Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

We have the right to speak freely.

THAT is supposed to trump copyright and be why copyright terms are short. Of course they aren’t short anymore and copyright is quite often used as a tool of censorship.

This is about more than just highly derivative tripe sold as entertainment.

Reality Check (profile) says:

Re: Where "rights" conflict, it's the original creator that gets priority.

You say that “your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins”

You’re right to swing your fist ends, when I patent the configuration of my hand which shall be known as ‘making a fist’. You can only make a fist if you pay me.

And once you’ve paid to configure your hand in a fist configuration, you can only swing it if you do not use patterns of interpretive fist dancing, which I have already copyrighted.

Violate my patent or copyright, and you’ll go to jail for much longer than if you assaulted someone by punching them in the face.

Also, I think you plagarized the saying “your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins” in the first place. How dispicable.

bigpicture says:

Change the Voting Rules

The voting rules need to be changed in the US political system. The exercise of voting should be a choice of either be “for” or “against” a candidate. Each voter gets two votes, one they can cast for the candidate they like the most at election time, and the other against the candidate that they like the least during the elected term. (a recall vote)

Then the special interests groups could vote for/promote their candidates, and everyone could vote against them on a recall vote.

Anonymous Coward says:

Because Congress Isn’t Already Maximalist Enough: New ‘Creative Rights’ Caucus Forms

Instead of sniveling, maybe you should be talking to Lofgren and Issa about forming the Piracy Apologist and Grifter Caucus. But that would require something more than clicking an online petition or sending a robo-email, so I doubt it will happen.


Re: Re: Re:3 Oh really?

There is no mention of creative works in the Bill of Rights.

Although free speech and freedom of the press are in there.

Furthermore, the author of the Declaration of Independence was highly skeptical about the entire notion of “intellectual property”. When he was patent examiner, he was very prone to deny patents. He was especially “fond” of the mahogany mouse trap style of patents we seem to have so many of these days.

It’s not property. You are just trying to pretend it is so that you conflate it with other things.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

But that’s besides the point. The purpose of IP should not be about protecting people’s alleged property. It should be about promoting the progress and serving a public interest. Making these laws about protecting your property is a good reason why I want them gone.
Even property rights should be intended to serve the public interest or else they should be gone. Property rights are no different and their purpose should be a socially good one.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Right, but when ‘property rights’ begin to infringe upon freedom of speech, the latter must always take precedence.

That the content industries can create a new caucus under the guise of promoting and, most pertinently, protecting creativity is so blatant in its real intentions — to ratchet up copyright/IP — that it’s insulting. This rampant corporate invasion into political affairs is getting way out of hand. Are they looking to pick a fight with us?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Also, IP should never be about ensuring a ‘right’. If that’s the reason IP exists then that’s ground to abolish it. IP should only be about promoting the progress and serving the public interest. Anything else is grounds for abolition. Your post is reason to abolish IP. You have perverted its intent into something it should never be thereby justifying its abolition.

Mega1987 (profile) says:

And I think some of those movie makers from those big companies are making remakes out of old classics like Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the giant beanstalk, snow white, etc into like a Hansel and Gretel that apparently are hunters, Jack: the GIANT slayer?(talk about taking a twist from Buffy: the vampire slayer)and Snow White and the Huntsman…

granted their ORIGIN are already Public Domain… But guess who’s holding the latest incarnation under Copyright before the Movie remakes?

but seriously… They should look at their own mirror before calling out to fan artist and authors, amateur video/music makers, DJ and re-mixers.


Re: The AC is from Bizzaro World

Nothing is as hateful to artists as turning our culture into property locked up by large corporations.

Real artists need to learn from the old masters and to derive inspiration from them. If you lock all of that stuff then you deprive them of any means to create new art. You turn them into indentured servants of some corporate master who owns all of the old culture.

jameshogg says:

I invested ?30,000 worth of time and labour into the perfect algorithm that generates a white screen on a computer. Therefore nobody can use white screens (or white paper). After all, I need the rewards of my fruits of ?30,000 labour, don’t I? The end result may be extremely common amongst anything in this world ever, but I still have a right to trade as if there were a market for people buying my white over anyone else’s copy of white, which remember they paid absolutely nothing to create.

…or should my fruits of labour and my right to engage in trading “IP” that happened to come out in a typical manner somehow suffer less rights than anyone else’s? Why should someone else who invests ?30,000 who just happens to produce something different have the rights?

This is why IP sucks. But if a form of intellectual servicing were common place for funding creator’s labour such as crowdfunding, we wouldn’t have this problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

so, first thing to find out, if not already known and documented, is who is funding her in general and in this crock of crap in particular? why on earth would anyone want to be associated with something like this that is about as much like encouraging innovation as getting Ford to stop making cars and going back to horse-drawn buggies!

Marilynn Byerly (profile) says:

what can and can't be copyrighted

If you want to talk about copyright and not sound like an idiot, you should know what copyright does and doesn’t cover. It doesn’t cover ideas, plot and theme tropes, character names, or works already out of copyright. What it does cover is the specific expression of ideas, etc. By that, I mean the words or media.

Anyone can write a story about angst-filled vampires and the girls who love them, and many have, but if you write and sell a vampire story where the vampires glitter, the main characters are Edward and Belle, and the plot and setting are very similar to the TWILIGHT series, you can expect a call from Stephenie Meyer?s lawyers.

Any story or idea from other authors or sources can be used by an author as long as she makes the idea her own with her own characters, setting, and plot. I have read a CAPTAIN BLOOD retelling as an historical romance, a Klingons-in-love STAR TREK inspired futuristic romance, and a paranormal romance that billed itself as HARRY POTTER for grownups. None of these authors were sued for copyright infringement because they added enough of their own ideas to create something different.

Since Tolkien, who was a Medieval scholar, took his inspiration and names from various older texts, he wasn’t a copyright thief, nor was he lacking in creativity since he took these ideas and names to make his own astonishing creation.


Re: what can and can't be copyrighted

If you want to talk about copyright and not sound like an idiot, you should know what copyright does and doesn’t cover.

So that’s why the publisher of Star Wars tried to sue the publisher of Battlestar Galactia.

It is fortunate that Kurosawa is a nice guy. Otherwise Hollywood would be much worse off for it.

The more you know about something, the more your see and understand just how derivative some stuff is. Although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Not everyone has delusions of artistic megalomania.

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