Congress Leaks Draft Bill To Move Copyright Office Out Of The Library Of Congress

from the this-is-a-BAD-idea dept

Update: The bill has now officially been introduced.

Well, we all knew this was coming, but Rep. Bob Goodlatte has been passing around a draft of a bill to move the Copyright Office out of the Library of Congress. Specifically, it would make the head of the Copyright Office, the Copyright Register, a Presidentially appointed position, with 10-year terms, and who could only be removed by the President.

This is a bad and dangerous idea. It’s one that’s designed to give Hollywood and the recording industry even more power and control over an already deeply captured agency. As it stands now, having the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress provides at least some basic recognition of the actual intent of copyright law, as established by the Constitution to Promote the progress of science. That is, as we’ve pointed out for a long, long time, the intent of copyright is to benefit the public. The mechanism is to provide temporary monopolies to creators as an incentive, before handing the works over to the public. Yet, the Copyright Office eschews that view, insisting that the role of the Copyright Office is to expand those monopoly rights, and to speak out for the interests of major copyright holders (rarely the creators themselves).

Either way, by making this a Presidential appointment, the MPAA and RIAA know that it will give them significantly greater say over who leads the office. Right now they can (and do!) lobby the Librarian of Congress on who should be chosen, but the Librarian gets to choose. One hopes that the Librarian would take into account the larger view of copyright law, and who it’s actually supposed to benefit — and we’re hoping that the current Librarian will do so (if given the chance). But making it a Presidential appointment will mean heavy lobbying by industry, and much less likelihood that the public interest is considered.

The usual think tankers and industry folks will tell you — incorrectly — that the Copyright Office is only in the Library due to “an accident of history.” But that’s not the case. The role of both overlap dramatically — collecting, organizing and cataloging new creative works. Almost everyone agrees that the Copyright Office needs to be modernized, and that the previous Librarian failed (miserably) to do so. But because we had a bad librarian in the past is no reason to remove the Copyright Office entirely from the Library and disconnect it completely to its constitutional moorings designed around getting more creative works to the public.

Make sure to let your Congressional Representative know not to support this bill — especially if they’re members of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Goodlatte has said that he’d only propose copyright reform bills that have widespread consensus. This is not such a bill.

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Comments on “Congress Leaks Draft Bill To Move Copyright Office Out Of The Library Of Congress”

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morganwick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is the problem with the system of checks and balances the Founders established and why it matters that they didn’t envision the formation of parties. When Congress and the President are of the same party, Congress will happily vote away its powers to the President, but the President can veto any attempt to walk it back, and a party that has two-thirds control of both houses of Congress probably controls the White House too. It’s why we need to rethink the Constitution for what we’ve learned about political science in the intervening 200+ years, but are woefully ill-equipped to do so.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

they didn’t envision the formation of parties.

That’s not true at all. Washington was opposed to political parties, never belonged to one, and explicitly warned against them — hard to claim that he "didn’t envision" a thing that he warned against.

And every President except Washington belonged to a political party.

I think it’s probably more accurate to say they never envisioned the kind of polarization in our current political system, the likelihood that a single party would control all three branches of government, and the extent to which individuals would put the party line over individual policy beliefs or their constituents’ interests.

David says:

Thackeray to the rescue.

I mean, this reminds me so much of Vanity Fair. Just imagine Congress as Rebecca Crawley, the lobbying groups as Lord Steyne, and the American People as Rawdon Crawley.

Good old Rawdon who has a somewhat dim view of just who is paying Rebecca’s bills and baubles and is too clumsy to be kept around in high society.

The comparison, of course, breaks down once Rawdon finds Becky in compromising circumstances: she isn’t successful at explaining to him that this is how it is supposed to work and that he should be happy about it.

Also of course Lord Steyne isn’t actually stealing the money he gives to Becky from Rawdon. He’s interested in exploiting her rather than her husband.

So, well, our Congress Play is a lot more icky. We aren’t living in Victorian times where honour was formally considered more valuable than money: nowadays there is no honour but money.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Despairing point of view

What difference will it make? Unless substantial checks are included with the communication, they will just ignore it.

This is bullshit. It’s not at all true that it doesn’t matter. Constituents reaching out — actually making phone calls — makes a MASSIVE difference. That’s what won SOPA, and I can assure you that those behind this bill are scared of anything that suggests they’re heading for another SOPA situation.

Yes, money works in Congress BUT ONLY WHEN NO ONE’S PAYING ATTENTION. If they get enough calls, the calls will ALWAYS beat out the money. Really. Voters trump everything else. And money only works when the people aren’t paying attention.

Your "it won’t do any good" attitude LETS THEM WIN. Don’t do that. Calls (especially) matter and make a difference. If the office starts receiving calls, and Reps realize this will piss off actual voters, it can and will scare them away.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Despairing point of view

A significant part of my issue is the depressing fact of the many losses the people have had recently, along with the express disinterest in ongoing political issues. If the constituents were paying attention to everything Congress does, then I would not be so angst filled. SOPA sized efforts don’t take place every day.

We have a republic, a representative government. The populace takes it for granted that the representatives will represent them. They don’t. We need a SOPA+ sized effort to make them aware of the need to participate, even after the elections. I don’t see THAT on the horizon. I wish I did.

Cowardly Lion says:

Re: Re: Re: Despairing point of view

One of my pet peeves is when lazy, uncritical thinking gives rise to awful generalizations such as “people get the government they deserve”. But that’s not to say there isn’t some grain of truth in such statements.

If you take the angst out of this and flip this on it’s head, i.e. look at it from the governments point of view, if no-one ever complains about their crazy proposals and policies, it isn’t a stretch to see how they could believe they’re doing good (appeased lobbyists, contented populace…).

Mike is 100% right on this. Pissed off? Then make a fuss. Badger these people. Be civil, but give them no respite. If nothing else, reminding them you exist and have a view is mildly satisfying, therapeutic even.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

dem sosh’list ferners gonna take awr copyrights somehow! Somehow I think that copyrights are made of capitalism and eagles and flags!! Only people who hate flags don’t want to make hollywood more powerful!!

“Promote the progress of science”? Sounds like more commie sosh’list nazi kenya talk to me, everybody knows that copyrights are for making mickey mouse money forever.


Anonymous Coward says:

Civil disobedience in the Era of the Eternal Copyright is going to be interesting. Best thing to do may be to simply ignore copyrights completely. Do all of your copyright related work through Antigua.

Or maybe just sic anonymous on all of them. Because I have to tell y’all, I was sick and tired of all of the copyright BS in the 80’s, and now it has entered the realms of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Mike’s pissed that the copyright office will now not be able to be bought by Google.

What? First off, since when has Google "bought" the Copyright Office? Second, Google FAVORS moving the Copyright Office from what I’ve seen (they’d like to move it into the PTO, which is also a bad idea). So, uh, no.

Copyright is the only protection artists have. Naturally, he hates copyright.

Everything in those two sentences is wrong. It must be tough angrily yelling at a fake strawman that says stuff I don’t actually believe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It seems to me you believe it too, Mike. I read article after article about how everyone would be better off if copyright did not exist. But perhaps I have you wrong, too. What is it you believe about copyright and patents? Good things, bad things, in the middle somewhere? I thought you model was that all technology should be “shared” for the good of the world, and enforcing ownership was the domain of the evil “trolls” under the “bridges” (which I always found particularly absurd). Do you hate copyright? Do you hate patent? Do you have an alternative? Can you make your view more clear?

orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You have read nothing but the graffiti on the straw windmills inside your head.

All the writers, and the non-lazy commenters here, have always been pretty damn clear and consistent.

The problems have always been abuse of the "IP" systems, and the warrantless extension of the laws behind them. And none of it protects actual creators any more than it ever did. Further, these systems no longer even produce results anywhere in line with the original (and good) intent of patent and copyright laws. (Trademark is almost 100% BS and let’s not even go there as it has about zero to do with creators, which seems to be your ill-informed fantasy whining point.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

A colorful but rather pointless comment. Are you a creator of anything besides vaguely insulting and absolutely pointless commentary? Have any patents? Any products? Any copyrights to literary work, music, video, art, anything at all that you can use to validate yourself as a creator? Ever create anything that was valuable to anyone other than yourself? Ever make any money from selling something of your own? Ever have anyone violate YOUR copyright or YOUR patent? I would guess not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

OK, fine, I can respect your opinion, no problem. Copyright law could be improved. I’m with you on that. I’m not sure exactly how, but I am sure you are right. But Mike writes about Intellectual Property with things like “well, it’s not intellectual, and it’s not property, so it’s really not anything, is it”. I can’t get on board with that. Improve copyright law, great. You probably have some ideas how to improve it, right? Would love to read about it in an article. But just bashing the idea that people should own their own work product for the “good of the herd” with “creative economics” and forced “open source” such that everybody gets a free copy of everything is against my principles, and likely against yours, too, if you make a living selling your products.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Android is unbelievably successful, no doubt, and a great product. It being free makes cell phones substantially cheaper and better. We have all seen Microsoft’s attempts to do something in this space, and I could not be happier about Android. Great product. Maybe someday I would try a product like that, with “alternative” sources of revenue to compensate for the up-front money. Perhaps. But that is only really possible if you are very well capitalized, which often means someone else’s money, which is a terrible limitation for a small business. The beauty of copyright in particular is that the small inventor gets legal protection at very low cost. There is room in the market for both – those that choose to approach the market from an open source perspective, and those who do not. Let’s not forget that a lot of small contributors to our society need support too, and those small contributors depend on current copyright and patent law. (By the way, Thad, I think you’re a genius, really, you know a LOT about a lot of things)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

forced "open source" such that everybody gets a free copy of everything is against my principles, and likely against yours, too, if you make a living selling your products.

Red Hat are doing very nicely thank you, and they provide support to two free Linux Distros Fedora and Centos. The latter is a copy of Red Hat,with just the branding changed. They do what Mike keeps suggesting, sell something that is rare and valuable, software support, fixing of bugs in the software that they support. Oh, they also push their fixes upstream to the projects that provide that software..

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

But just bashing the idea that people should own their own work product for the "good of the herd" with "creative economics" and forced "open source" such that everybody gets a free copy of everything is against my principles, and likely against yours, too, if you make a living selling your products.

Mike has never said such a thing. Get your maximlist blinkers off. ‘Scuse me while I deconstruct your BS:

bashing the idea that people should own their own work product

What nonsense is this? Let’s begin with the term "work product." Assume we’re discussing music. First of all, music in and of itself is not a product and therefore can’t be owned. This is implicit in the Copyright Clause,

Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause, empowers the United States Congress: To 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.

You can’t own something "for limited times." You either own it or you don’t. You can transfer ownership but it’s either yours for all eternity until you give it up or pass it on or it is not. Therefore if you write a song you don’t own it, you merely have the exclusive right to your writings and discoveries for limited times. This used to be 28 years at the most. When Mike (and the rest of us) point out this truth you have a fit. Take it up with the Founders!

for the "good of the herd"

It’s not about the herd as such, it’s about my being able to walk about singing songs I like in public without being dinged for royalties. Per the letter of the law as it stands I would have to pay the PRS for a licence to sing Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s ‘Only Human,’ my current favourite, as I walk around the office where I work as it is a commercial environment. Per your opinion this is both reasonable and fair as failure to do so robs Rory of his rightful revenue. Owning and controlling aspects of culture the way you want to has actually stifled bands and performers. One paranoiac I got into an argument won’t share his work online so nobody has heard of him. The band is indifferent, the sound is generic, from what little I have heard. Now look at Ed Sheeran. That’s the way to go for the good of the individual artist and to secure his or her place in history.

with "creative economics" and forced "open source" such that everybody gets a free copy of everything

What the actual hell? Smart artists connect with fans and give them a reason to support them. That’s not forced open source. And how in the world do you "force" open source on anyone? If this is about pirating software, that’s not forcing open source on anyone; it’s infringement. I can understand why pirates download illegally; what they want is not available to them in a form they want at a rate they can afford. Personally, I "do without" and use GIMP and Inkscape instead of the bloated, overpriced, unintuitive Photoshop but do you know a university tutor once advised me to pirate it? Given the ridiculous cost of the Creative Suite I can understand why but I’m happy with GIMP and Inkscape, thank you. I might consider getting Photoshop if they drop the price. It’s way too expensive as it is.

is against my principles, and likely against yours, too, if you make a living selling your products

That’s a bit disingenuous, isn’t it? If I’m right in my assumption, you don’t actually SELL anything, you LICENCE it. Nothing is being sold; if I pay for a licence from yourself for a CD with your music on it I could sell the CD but per the letter of the law if I rip the CD so I can store the music file on an iPod or something I’ve infringed. If you sold oranges and someone picked one up and ran away with it, that’s theft. Now imagine I take a photo of you selling the oranges and you go nuts if I make a few dollars selling tshirts with a picture of the orange seller on it. There’s the problem.

No amount of shouting "Copyrighted items are propertly like a house or a car" is going to make it so. Get over it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Personally, Wendy, I think you’re hot. I don’t agree with pretty much any of your views, but I do love to hear them. I really like your articles that pretty much go over the history of the entire political and economic universe, explaining in grand sweeping gestures everything imaginable in a few hundred words. They’re great, really, I so admire your effort and willingness to share. Don’t agree with a thing, but admire you “work product” anyway. And yes, of course, I sell physical products, as well as licenses. Which can (of course) have limited terms, and other “impossible” things that you outline above. I think we are kindred spirits,Wendy, and I am always happy to hear from you.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Uh, thanks. Let me make this clear: we’ve all got to pay the rent. The trick is to find a way to get paid that is effective and doesn’t mess with the individual rights of other people. Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose, kind of thing.

RE: “impossible,” the word you’re looking for is “intangible.” The trouble with intangibles is that their inherent value is in the eye of the beholder. That, in effect, is what we’re arguing about; you assign a greater value to the intangibles you produce than I do.

Besides, there’s no practical value in paywalling my articles: who would pay for them? It’s a popularity contest when all is said and done and I’m not popular enough to make paywalling work. I write in the hope of winning an audience that might pay me at a later date. I’ve got some ebooks out that can be bought and paid for but they’re not selling; people aren’t interested. I think it’s more to do with a lack of marketing support (I’ve not exactly gone nuts trying to get people to buy them) than people not wanting to read my fiction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Actually I think your gift is the ability to abstract ideas at very high level. My differences with you have to do with fundamental concepts like human nature, I think people are inherently selfish and self-centered, and only a few achieve enlightenment regarding anything. What I so admire is your drive to describe issues at such a high level. It’s brave and interesting. And you know, I think we make a great couple. You already hate me so we can skip the first few years of marriage. I don’t agree with anything you say but I still love to hear you say it.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Ever create anything that was valuable to anyone other than yourself? Ever make any money from selling something of your own?

Obviously, I am not who you directed these questions at, but I would like to answer for myself, if I may.

The answer to both of those questions is yes and I still consider myself a copyright minimalist. I am a graphic artist who creates designs everyday (which all have copyright by default) and I do not care if they are copied or not because what I really do is sell signs and printed graphics.

In my free time I am a hobbyist programmer and I have released one of my programs under the GPLv3 License because I have enjoyed using Linux for almost a decade and wanted to pay something forward.

Gvpngate – VPN Gate frontend for Gnome

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

OK, that’s pretty good. Making money being a graphic artist is cool, I can admire that, not much of an artist myself, but I do appreciate art. I would agree that Linux is pretty impressive and useful for a lot of things. I have no problem respecting your opinion about how you consider, market, and monetize your own work, that is totally your business. My feathers get ruffled when it sounds like you want to effect how I market and sell my own work. I am a minimalist in terms of how my ideas and decisions should effect other people, their ideas and their work. Copyright law, as it stands, works for me pretty well, as does patent law. I really hate the whole “troll” concept, it’s really crazy, IMHO. You seem like a decent fellow, though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And just tell me one other thing – you guys get together behind the scenes, right, and “tag team” anyone that falls outside your socialist and Un-American agenda, right? You have your little “insider dashboard” to keep track, and then have your private conversations, and then do your VERY best to keep your socialist agenda alive. That’s true, right? Message to socialists – the money is drying up, the sympathy to your cause is drying up, America and Americans are making a comeback. American Inventors are making a comeback after years of your dishonest socialist propoganda, complete with your advanced “groupthink” behind-the-scenes technology designed to weaken or destroy American constitutional values.

teka says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. It’s not just a catch-all for “meanyhead I don’t like”

pssst: Government IP laws are more or less a massive socialist program that the founding fathers were very conflicted about and/or against. They are the government using the full power of law and regulation to attempt to control what people do in the spirit of working for the “greater good”.

Shoot, that sounds like socialist commie talk!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Careful there, keep saying Socialist and the ghost of Marx is going to be summoned to your closet to rattle chains and decry the dastardly Capitalists. Lenin of course is already under your bed and ready to make a grab for your ankles if he can, so make sure to jump to and from your bed to avoid that.

I have to say, it’s almost impressive to watch you come up with this convoluted conspiracy ‘to keep the capitalists down’ to explain why people aren’t taking you seriously and reporting and/or marking your comments as funny.

By all means, if your claims are ‘facts, plain and simple’, then you should have no problem with a [Citation Needed].

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I like your writing. I’ve just got to say, you guys have playing stupid down to an art form. Really. That guy Thad is wicked smart, but the rest of you “insiders” seem to drift between slightly interesting and downright stupid. Not that I think you are stupid, no I don’t. It’s a tool you use to wear people out. Consider yourself the winner. Wear your badge with honor.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Well Peter ran back to the village and cried, “Wolf! Wolf! There’s a wolf in the sheepfold!”

“Meh!” said old Gertrude, who was sitting in her porch.

“Whatever,” said Stephen, who was carrying a bundle of sticks.

“Give it a rest, Peter,” said the smith, who continued to pound the horseshoe.

“But there is! There is! There really is a wolf in the sheepfold this time!” cried Peter. But no matter what he said or did, no one paid him any mind since they had heard him say it so many times before and every time he had been playing a trick on them. This time they refused to fall for it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You know, the funny thing about making public claims like that is that those of us who’ve been around on TD know that they’re full of bunk, and based upon the strawman Mike/TD that’s been kicking around in your head for years now.

Or put another way, if you’re going to lie it helps your case if you’re not surrounded by people who know that you’re lying and aren’t even remotely interested in Mike’s answers so long as they continue to differ from what the shadow-Mike you’ve got in your head believes.

Mike has stated his position on copyright, quite a few times. Likewise his position on piracy, he’s been pretty consistent and clear about it, you just don’t like his answers and so insist that he didn’t actually answer and demand that he give what you think his position is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Does this sound familiar (Masnick on Intellectual Property)?

The main reason why I have trouble with the “property” part isn’t just the fact that it leads people to try to pretend it’s just like tangible property, but because it automatically biases how people think about the concept. As I’ve written before, the very purpose of “property” and “property rights” was to better manage allocation of scarce resources. If there’s no scarce resource at all, then the whole concept of property no longer makes sense. If a resource is infinite, it no longer matters who owns it, because anyone can own it and it doesn’t diminish the ownership of anyone else. So, the entire rationale for “property rights” disappears.

It matters who owns my property, Mike, the property that I created, with my own investment, time and toil. Mine. Not everyone’s. Mine.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

… followed by continuing to beat up that strawman Mike in your head, despite the fact that anyone who cares to can check the three links in my above comment to get an idea as to Mike’s actual position on copyright.

But hey, enough about Mike’s position on copyright, let’s talk about yours.

With your ‘I made it, it’s mine’ mindset, should copyright ever lapse, or should it be treated like a house or car, where you own it perpetually?

Do you support the idea of Fair Use, a clear ‘violation’ of the copyright owner’s ‘Mine!’ right, and if so to what extent should it be allowed?

If copyright is a ‘property’ right like what people normally think when they hear the term, should it be taxed like one as well?

What do you feel is the purpose and goal behind copyright law, is that goal being satisfied with the law as it currently stands, and if not what would you suggest could be changed to make it better fulfill it’s goal?

Inquiring minds are curious as to your stance on copyright law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Answer: I like it. Who are you, anyway? An American? An Attorney? A Senator, a Congressman? My bet is a foreigner, which is fine, be happy with your ideas. Go start a country with them, let us know how it goes. We’re coming up on 250 years of the best country in the world. When you do better, brag about it. Until then, respect it, at least a little. About US copyright law, go ahead and attempt to improve it, if you actually have any ideas. I have not heard any that are fair to inventors. Got any?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Usually you do better with your responses – you asked me about my stance on copyright law. I responded: I like it. It could be better – It would be nice if I could keep my stuff forever, and pass it down to my children, that would be cool. Do I want to be taxed? No, who does? Of course, if I sell it, it does get taxed. Fair use – not really, I’d rather keep it to myself, thank you. Look – if I invent something new, is it mine or not? Can I keep it secret and use it exclusively to my benefit forever? Why not? Do you have a right to it, having contributed nothing at all? No, you don’t, it’s mine, and as long as I keep it secret, tough cookies for you. Copyright seems like fundamentally a good idea to me, to reward people for their hard work and encourage them to share it with others. Patent the same, reward for hard work and public disclosure. Would I like more rights? Certainly, perpetual rights would be just fine with me. Why should I ever share my good ideas with someone else for free? I am not a priest, this is not a religious discussion. And I’m pretty sure you’re not a priest either – just someone looking to get something for nothing.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It matters who owns my property, Mike, the property that I created, with my own investment, time and toil. Mine. Not everyone’s. Mine.

Another difference between intellectual property and other property are the rights granted to the original owner after the transfer of ownership. One doesn’t get to dictate how the person you sell your used car to uses it, but the author of a book gets to restrict how the book is used after he sells it.

If you are willing to give up any and all rights after the sale of your intellectual property, than I would be willing to treat as any other property.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Why in the heck would I give up anything that is both legal and good for me? Because you asked? Are you kidding? My suggestion: learn how to create something valuable and then use the laws to your benefit. Or, become an attorney or a politician, and take a serious crack at improving them. Who are you, anyway? A paid shill of TechDirt? The granter of “insight”? Foreigner, right? Not American (I’m just guessing).

aerinai says:

Greenhouse & Open Secrets proves All

If you don’t have Greenhouse extension for Chrome, get it. It shows you that Mr. Goodlatte’s biggest donor is TV/Music/Movies… and is representing constituents in Virginia…. I don’t know of very many TV/Music/Movie producers or content that come out of Virginia. Something smells fishy, but at least now we know the cost to buy a bill is $164,000.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just put the Copyright Office inside MPAA or RIAA’s HQ already. Give all the copyright trolls enough rope to hang themselves with.
It’s a shame that a lot of people will suffer but at least they’ll (hopefully) realize some sort of compromise (other than “give us all the copyrights, forever”:P) has to be reached.
If not, well they’ll eventually get what they want anyway. Why waste more time ?

Honestly, the only real chance consumers would stand would be if we had some sort of non-profit watchdog constantly lobbying and or protesting these attempts.

Citizen boycotts work, in a pinch, for specific laws, but these assholes will just sneak what they want as soon as we stop looking.

ShadowNinja (profile) says:

A 10 year term why?

At first I thought this didn’t sound all that bad, until this line:

a Presidentially appointed position, with 10-year terms, and who could only be removed by the President.

There’s a grand total of one whole position, Director of the FBI with a 10 year term.

The reason for the FBI’s 10 year term is try to insulate them from politics more (which Comey has obviously failed to do with all his recent controversial decisions in the last election, but that’s not the point here).

But why does the head of a copyright department need a 10 year term? What partisan politics are there that justifies trying to insulate them from politics? Copyright and IP isn’t a partisan issue that one party supports and other opposes.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: A 10 year term why?

There’s a grand total of one whole position, Director of the FBI with a 10 year term.

That’s not the only one. The Library of Congress is now also a 10 year appointment. It used to be "until stepped down or fired" but after the last LoC stepped down, it was changed so that it’s now 10 year appointments.

I believe that the inclusion here is for the same reasons it was included for the LoC. Just some concerns about effective "lifetime" appointments to head agencies.

techie1 (profile) says:

Contacted my Congressman's office today

This bill’s central idea of moving the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress is a bad idea. Especially the part of making the Office subject to a Presidential appointment for a term of 10 years! I protested the bill to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s office via the telephone. Lesson for others: Please be sure to have the receptionist/clerk at your Representative’s office to read back to you the complaint he/she writes down. It is alarming how easily the message came to be garbled!

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