House Overwhelmingly Votes To Empower Copyright Trolls And To Bankrupt Americans For Sharing Photos

from the sad dept

Perhaps not a surprise, but Congress did what Congress does and voted overwhelmingly to approve the CASE Act, which is better described as the “we need more copyright trolling” act, and which is very likely unconstitutional. Only 6 Reps voted against the bill, with 410 voting for it (15 didn’t vote — including, Doug Collins who infamously laughed that anyone might be inconvenienced by a “small” $30,000 fine). I will say kudos to the six reps who voted against it: Amash, Davidson, Gianforte, Kelly, Massie, and Norman. Frankly, the most surprising “yes” vote here was Rep. Lofgren, who historically has been great on copyright (and other issues). I’m surprised to see her on the wrong side of this bill and helping to enable trolling like this.

Rep. Hakeen Jeffries, who was the sponsor of the bill — and who (coincidentally, I’m sure) offered lobbyists the chance to join him at the recording industry’s biggest party for just a $5,000 contribution — made a bunch of utter nonsense statements in support of the bill:

?There is no gun that is being held to anyone?s head, because the small claims court like tribunal is voluntary in nature,? Jeffries told The Verge. ?Any argument made to the contrary, represents a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what?s at stake as part of the effort to do away with the content copyright laws that have been part of the fabric of our democracy since the founding of the Republic and in fact the Constitution.?

?The internet doesn?t change the Constitution,? Jeffries continued.

Sure. The internet doesn’t change the Constitution. But Congress sure has gone a looooooooong way in changing copyright law, away from its Constitutional roots, to the point that it is almost unrecognizable. Let’s remember that the Constitution only provides for copyright law if it is used to “promote the progress of science,” which at the time it was written meant “learning and education.” What about the CASE Act promotes education? Can Jeffries answer that?

Also, the Constitution promised us that copyright should only be for “limited times.” Yet, Congress has extended copyright over and over and over again such that no one can honestly claim that it matches up with the initial understanding under the Constitution.

So, sure, if you’re going to cite the Constitution as the reason for your new copyright law, I’m going to point out that, as originally interpreted in the very first Copyright Act, it was believed that the Constitution only provided for 14 years of protection for “maps, books, and charts.” What we have today is kinda different, don’t you think? Congress has made a mockery of the Constitutional concept of copyright. Rather than 14 years, it’s “life plus another 70 years.” Instead of “maps, books, and charts” it’s literally every newly created work. Instead of only applying to things that are registered, it now applies to everything. Instead of applying almost entirely to commercial operations, it applies to everyday sharing. If you’re going to cite the constitution for favoring a massive expansion of copyright trolling, you might want to at least acknowledge how unlike the original concept of copyright the law has become today. Or did the lobbyists paying $5,000 a pop to party with you at the Grammies forget to tell you that part?

The bill still needs to go to the Senate, but given the overwhelming vote in the House, it’s not encouraging. The only bright side is that we’ll have plenty of new stories to cover as this law gets widely abused by trolls.

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Comments on “House Overwhelmingly Votes To Empower Copyright Trolls And To Bankrupt Americans For Sharing Photos”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Two for one on gross dishonesty, nice deal

There is no gun that is being held to anyone’s head, because the small claims court like tribunal is voluntary in nature,” Jeffries told The Verge. “Any argument made to the contrary, represents a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what’s at stake as part of the effort to do away with the content copyright laws that have been part of the fabric of our democracy since the founding of the Republic and in fact the Constitution.”

Gotta love the classics, from the always popular ‘if someone doesn’t have a gun to their head it’s not that bad’ to a good old poisoning the well by implying(with the subtlety of a neon-lit sledgehammer) that anyone against the trainwreck of a bill is not only dishonest but trying to kill The Holy Copyright itself, rather than because they don’t want to see an absolute explosion of copyright trolling/extortion.

As Mike points out in the article it’s also beyond rich to try to spin copyright as this grand thing that’s been around since the founding of the country, ever so conveniently ignoring that thanks to various congressional changes it’s been long warped well past any semblance of what it originally was, both in form an execution.

It may have sailed through thanks to a bunch of corrupt, ignorant and/or willfully ignorant people in the house, and the odds may be against it suffering any notable pushback in the senate for the same reasons, but if anything that’s just all the more reason to fight back if you can. Call, email, post on social media, whatever you can to make your opposition heard, such that even if this boon to legalized extortion makes it into law it will be in spite of, rather than thanks to the indifference from, the public’s wishes.

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Anonymous Coward says:

These are the things I expect to get overturned

  1. fosta/sesta because it can be read to outlaw political activism to overturn fosta/sesta just like the anti-horrible-porn bill that got overturned because it can be read to outlaw hunting videos

  2. DMCA provisions that overturn the supreme court precedents that established fair use as a first amendment right, not as a part of copyright

  3. This bill for making a court in the executive branch

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Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: "fair use as a first amendment right", eh?

Fair use is a defense at trial, not anywhere near a right.

"Fair Use" as legally defined may be a defence at trial but, though you may not credit it, the vast majority of the human world does not use language according to the often skewed or constricted rules of the legal profession’s use.

How about this, then:

"Use" of an owned object is a legal right that proceeded from an obvious natural right, which copyright law has consistently and counter-intuitively eroded.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Everyone keep your eyes on their social media streams.

Find those copyright owners & let them know these elected officials stole from the but we have this new court where they can get paid.

Sometimes you just need to weaponize the stupid & use it to collect the heads of the idiots who said it was a good idea. Let see how many 30K fines we can get from Collins until he stops laughing about it.

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You write propaganda wrong. says:

You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

In trying to say copyright is now unrecognizable, you quote only the part you find useful:

promote the progress of science

Actually the clause includes "Arts", and states specifically how to be done:

[t]o 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

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You write propaganda wrong. says:

Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

Copyright is available to every individual who can string words or notes together; it’s not qualified by some gov’t clerk like patents are, because Arts are ineffable. — And yet YOU just entirely leave out Arts, stopping at "science"! You commit FRAUD by leaving out crucial parts.

it was believed that the Constitution only provided for 14 years of protection

SO? Was purposely left flexible with "limited times". As I’ve pointed out and makes you crazy, writings and inventions are worth more today, are far more important to technological society than to agrarians, so deserve longer terms and more protections. — You only trot out "original intent" when serves your purpose. Let’s see you state Second Amendment support to degree the Founders understood it, you gun-grabbing elitist!

And finally, you leave off words for KEY qualifier here:

Instead of applying almost entirely to commercial operations, it applies to everyday sharing.

You left off: "OF SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK". You are free as ever to share your own work. Don’t be grabbing that of others to incorporate in "mashups" or "mixes", it’s dicey both legally and morally and cannot possibly result in "progress", only serves the most mediocre.

Just take an idea and make your own expression of it. — And that is EXACTLY as in the Constitution, you money-grubbing legalistic little thief, you.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Copyright is available to every individual who can string words or notes together; it’s not qualified by some gov’t clerk like patents are

…except for the fact that one largely needs to register a copyright — which requires some government clerk to qualify the registration — so they can use the full spectrum of copyright law in re: enforcing that copyright.

You commit FRAUD by leaving out crucial parts.

So have him arrested, jackass.

Was purposely left flexible with "limited times"

Key word there being “limited”. At this point, copyright may as well be perpetual, because no one who was alive in a given artist’s lifetime — or in that artist’s prime — will ever see that work become public domain. As an example: I will be dead, buried, and rotting before Michael Jackson’s work ever enters the public domain. (Try not to get an erection when you think about that.)

writings and inventions are worth more today … so deserve longer terms and more protections

Pop quiz, hot shot: How does the longer copyright terms afforded to Michael Jackson’s works help encourage him to make new works, seeing that he’s dead? And if you say “it’s for his family”, you’ll be explicitly admitting that copyright is welfare for the wealthy.

Let’s see you state Second Amendment support to degree the Founders understood it

Look at the world of the Founding Fathers before you say another word about this. In their time:

  • guns were single-shot weapons that took time and skill to reload
  • political leaders feared the tyrannical potential of a centrally controlled professional army, and imagined that the United States would have either no army in peacetime or a small one
  • private citizens played a larger role in law enforcement
  • the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to state and local governments (FYI: constitutional restrictions didn’t generally apply to the states until the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were passed and the Supreme Court eventually interpreted “liberty” in the 14th to include the rights described in the Bill of Rights)

Now consider how different a time we live in now as compared to the founding years of the nation. The Second Amendment is effectively meaningless because it was written for a society that no longer exists. We can talk about what the Second Amendment means, but we can never reach a consensus on the matter because we can’t find a single meaning to converge on. Talking about what it should say, on the other hand…

Don’t be grabbing that of others to incorporate in "mashups" or "mixes", it’s dicey both legally and morally and cannot possibly result in "progress"

Under this logic, Disney could no longer use public domain material as inspiration for animated features because it would be “grabbing that of others”. Culture grows when people are allowed to build on the works of others, contemporary or otherwise. To deny that ability based on a profit motive is far more morally repugnant than someone making parody videos using Marvel movies.

Just take an idea and make your own expression of it.

And if that idea requires someone else’s work to create — directly or indirectly — what should the inspired party do? Because you’ve been right on the edge of saying fan art of all kinds, which is technically an infringement of the derivative works right in copyright law, should be outlawed and offenders should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

And that is EXACTLY as in the Constitution, you money-grubbing legalistic little thief, you.

The Constitution of the United States says Congress has the power to pass IP laws. Feel free to show me the exact particulars of those laws as they appear in the Constitution…if you can, that is.

And before I go, I have two questions for you: How can a corporation control and enforce a copyright when you believe corporations have no legal rights, and how do you feel about corporations using copyright to censor speech?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The Second Amendment is effectively meaningless because it was written for a society that no longer exists.

"…, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Simple, declarative. The reasons for it may be a topic for discussion, but the describe right is pretty damned clear.

If the society for which the second amendment no longer exists, the society for which the constitution and all of its amendments (up to some arbitrary point in time defined by the author) also no longer exists.

How about a serving of analogy: Technology has changed communication out of all recognition from the days of the founding fathers. People talk and conspire across the entire country instantly. People have more time to spend talking now than then. (Further comparisons omitted for brevity.) So the [first amendment] is effectively meaningless because it was written for a society that no longer exists.

If you wish to void or change the second amendment, there are procedures for that. We did it with the 18th amendment, we can do it again, if enough people want to.

Until we do, though, I’d thank you to remember that rights are not ala carte, and the constitution still has to be interpreted, as best we can, as a whole. Ugly duckling clauses and amendments included. You cannot annul an amendment with the words "that was then, this is now".

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Oh, this is cute. This is real cute.

How about you quote the whole thing instead of cherrypicking the one part that helps your argument?

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Founding Fathers may have intended for personal gun ownership like we have today, but the context of that ownership is what has changed between then and now. Society changed, but the Constitution didn’t — and now we have all these arguments about what the Second Amendment means instead of what it should say.

If the society for which the second amendment no longer exists, the society for which the constitution and all of its amendments (up to some arbitrary point in time defined by the author) also no longer exists.

It doesn’t — at least, not exactly as it was in the time of the Founding Fathers. (For starters: Slavery was still a thing back then. The country changed that with a Constitutional amendment.) We cannot, and should not, hold back society because the Constitution is considered a sacred text that cannot be changed. Trying to uphold the Constitution as written because of peer pressure from centuries-old dead men and the NRA doesn’t do anyone any good.

So the [first amendment] is effectively meaningless because it was written for a society that no longer exists.

The wording of the First Amendment is both relatively clear in its meaning (with the possible exception of the word “press” aside) and largely applicable to society today. If it wasn’t, we would need to rewrite it so it would be applicable to society today. (That would make for an interesting though exercise.)

If we go by the Second Amendment as written, it inarguably means to apply only to “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”. Back then, the United States didn’t have a standing military as it does now. Society changed in a way that makes the Second Amendment, as it is written, incompatible with society. Updating or rewriting the Second Amendment to account for modern society and modern gun ownership seems like the best path forward…but good luck getting people to agree with that.

If you wish to void or change the second amendment, there are procedures for that. We did it with the 18th amendment, we can do it again, if enough people want to.

Thank you for regurgitating my point back to me.

[T]he constitution still has to be interpreted, as best we can, as a whole. … You cannot annul an amendment with the words "that was then, this is now".

Yes, I am aware of that. That doesn’t make discussion of the Second Amendment, 2A jurisprudence, gun ownership/gun control, and anything related to those subjects off-limits — nor should it. The constitution is not sacrosanct; let’s not treat it as such.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I did not write this

Wasn’ it you who said that it was acceptable for the names of many people to be used in a poll in support of net neutrality repeal, despite said people not agreeing to the usage, because the poll wasn’t "official" and nobody should care?

What do you think some joker using your name on a site you critics claim nobody reads is going to do? Make people care? Maybe I might have, then I remembered what a thoroughly unpleasant douchenugget you are.

Live by the sword, asshole!

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

As I’ve pointed out and makes you crazy, writings and inventions are worth more today,

As the Internet has demonstrated, writings and inventions are only limited by the number of people writing and inventing. traditional publishing created an artificial scarcity of writings, including descriptions of inventions, because editors looked at only a few of the submitted works, and selected even fewer for publication.

The usual income from creative efforts used to be zero, as the creators could not get it published, and now anybody at least has a chance of gaining an audience and an income by publishing on one of the many platforms that allow them to do so for free.

Also when will you admit that the main beneficiaries of copyright laws are lawyers and corporations?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: You falsifyingTroll

I would be willing to bet that there are a number of mid-west dirt farmers here. While there are still a lot family farms there are a huge amount of corporate farms owned and traded by large corporations on the stock exchanges.

You may be a mid-west dirt farmer because you have a 401k or something.

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Wyrm (profile) says:

Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

And you purposefully didn’t emphasize "useful" arts.
Which at that time meant craftsmanship more than our modern use of the word art. So that was more about parents than copyright.

And then you try to pretend that a lifetime plus 70 years counts as "limited times", which is contrary to the intent and expectations of the founders.

Nice try, but you won’t convince anyone who really reads the text and knows a bit of the context.

Hugo S Cunningham (profile) says:

Re: Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

Also in 1787, "science" meant knowledge in general, rather than today’s usual restriction to natural sciences. The term "social sciences" is consistent with the 1787 meaning. So, in the last 222 years, there has been a reversal of casual understanding of "science" and "art" (unless you notice the modification "useful arts").

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cpt kangarooski says:

Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

In the Constitution’s copyright and patent clause, the word "science" refers to knowledge and the words "useful Arts" refers to technology. Curiously, the meanings of these words have virtually flip flopped over the last 230 years, but that’s English for you.

Aside from just looking up the definitions as of 1789 in a convenient pocket unabridged OED, this is also clear from the structure of the clause which always goes in order copyrights, then patents:

The Congress shall have power … to promote the progress of science and useful Arts

Science is knowledge, which copyright seeks to promote the progress of

The useful Arts is technology, which patents seek to promote the progress of

by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors

Authors create copyrightable works

Inventors invent patentable inventions

the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

Writings are the subject matter of copyright

Discoveries are the subject matter of patents

Additionally, the technological meaning of the word Arts is still present in our language, particularly with regard to patents. After all, patents deal with state of the art technology, and are only granted for novel inventions, which means that they are not already known in the prior art, and must be described so that the invention is disclosed to a person having ordinary skill in the art. Utility patents are also only granted for useful inventions, which is to say, they have to actually do something — a nonfunctional invention, like a perpetual motion machine, isn’t useful and so cannot be patented under the clause that requires promotion of progress of the useful Arts.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

Actually the clause includes "Arts", and states specifically how to be done:

I left out "arts" because, it’s "useful arts" and at the time the Constitution was written that meant "inventions." "Useful arts" was about patents, not copyright, and thus, since we were talking about what’s in the Constitution, it was irrelevant to the discussion of copyright.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

How about this?

George Washington used the term in a letter to Lafayette (Jan. 29, 1798). Washington distinguished commerce from useful arts by stating, “While our commerce has been considerably curtailed for want of that extensive credit formerly given in Europe, and for default of remittance; the useful arts have been almost imperceptibly pushed to a considerable degree of perfection.” THE WRITINGS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT SOURCES, 1732-1799 (Fitzpatrick ed.). Other literary sources are collected in the PTO Supp. Br., In re Bilski, p. 11 n.4 (useful arts are manufacturing processes).

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

Got a cite

I do.

These are from the Oxford English Dictionary:

useful arts n.
now chiefly historical = industrial arts

1787 E. A. W. von Zimmermann Polit. Surv. Europe Pref. iii A new branch of scientific knowledge, viz. technology, or the theory and accurate description of useful arts and manufactures, was much cultivated in Germany.

science n.

Etymology: < Anglo-Norman cience, sience, Anglo-Norman and Middle French science (French science ) knowledge, understanding, secular knowledge, knowledge derived from experience, study, or reflection, acquired skill or ability, knowledge as granted by God (12th cent. in Old French), the collective body of knowledge in a particular field or sphere (13th cent.) < classical Latin scientia knowledge, knowledge as opposed to belief, understanding, expert knowledge, particular branch of knowledge, learning, erudition < scient- , sciēns , present participle of scīre to know, of unknown origin + -ia -ia suffix1.

  1. Knowledge or understanding acquired by study; acquaintance with or mastery of any branch of learning. Also in plural: (a person’s) various kinds of knowledge. Obsolete.
  2. a. A particular area of knowledge or study; a recognized branch of learning; spec. (in the Middle Ages) each of the seven subjects forming the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) and quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy). Cf. art n.1 9a(a). Now archaic.

a1616 W. Shakespeare Taming of Shrew (1623) ii. i. 57 I do present you with a man of mine Cunning in Musicke, and the Mathematickes, To instruct her fully in those sciences .

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Maz.

Doesn’t take a mindreader. Just access to any of the history on the subject, including tons of research and court rulings. Others have already cited a few, but the Supreme Court in Eldred repeatedly highlighted that the "science" part is for copyright (and, for what it’s worth, repeatedly discusses whether or not copyright law must "promote the progress of science" similarly leaving off the "useful arts" part, because as everyone understood, that was for patents).

This point is raised in lots of other scholarship on the history as well. It’s not hard to find. Here’s just one (of many) examples in a history of the entire clause: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1070&context=jipl

How did these terms find their way into the final
product? One can explain the use of the word "science" is explained
by noting that in the latter part of the eighteenth century "science"
was synonymous with "knowledge" and "learning.""’ Madison
had, however, included the promotion of "knowledge" in his original
proposals. Thus, if Madison was the author, it would have readily
occurred to him to use the shorter and more succinct "science" in
place of the term "knowledge." Moreover, in the context of the
clause’s balanced style of composition, "science" would have
appeared more aesthetically pleasing.

One may also plausibly determine the origin of the phrase "useful
arts." In 1787 "useful arts" meant helpful or valuable. trades.
Therefore, to promote the progress of useful arts presupposed an
intent to advance or forward the course or procession of such
trades. Less than a month before the Committee of Eleven
first set forth the Intellectual Property Clause, Philadelphia was
the birthplace of a new group entitled the "Pennsylvania Society for
the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts." Its
name was quite descriptive of its purpose. The inaugural
meeting of the Society occurred on August 9 and was well attended. Consequently, good reason exists to believe that Madison
and the other members of the Committee of Eleven were not only
aware of its existence but were conversant with its aims as
well."" For much the same reason that "knowledge" was replaced with "science," "manufactures" as first proposed was
replaced with "useful arts." The new term was more aesthetically
pleasing and encompassed the same meaning."

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 You're falsifying by leaving out words again, Ma

Recorded music should be governed by patent laws as it is considered science throughout recorded history. Written forms of mysical compositions should be covered under both patent and copyright laws. No judicial review or pending judgements should come soley through the Judicial branch without including the Patent Office.

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AC says:

This is the best you’ve got, Mike? An irrelevant screed about copyright term when you know the CASE Act doesn’t change the term at all? Shadowy allusions to lobbying when there were plenty of lobbyists working and making political contributions (totally ineffectively) against the CASE Act, too? This is weak, even for you.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So what if they do? If there’s a legitimate dispute, I’ll have the option of a less expensive avenue to resolve it. And if its not a legitimate claim, or even if it is and I just want to make life difficult for the copyright owner, I can opt out of the small claim process. Not really a problem at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Not really a problem at all."

Really now … how much is the typical retainer and how much is the typical defense for one of these shake down tours?

Now take that number and multiply it by how many robocalls you get every friggin day and you might get an indication as to how friggin bad it will get – no? Say goodby to your 401K and say hello to your shopping cart. And please stop mumbling to yourself as you walk down that cold dirty ally.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

How much money do I have to spend on a lawyer to opt out of a copyright small claim action? None. I write back and say I opt out. Done. If they want to sue me in federal court, they can. But they can do that now, so nothing about the CASE Act causes me to incur any legal fees.

And if it becomes as bad as robocalls in either frequency and/or fraudulent actions, I can use small claims process to get money from THEM.

On a different but related subject, why do so many people here end their posts with insults and snark?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The issue wouldn’t be you getting a deluge of notices and having plenty of chance to opt out of it all, it would be you not getting said notices (aka "sewer service") and then finding out about your predicament when you get hit with a default judgement.

Rocky says:

Re: Re:

It’s the stupid people who don’t see the consequences of synergy-effects.

In this instance we have a very large body of culture locked behind copyright for a century or more, we have the people out to make a quick buck and finally we have the CASE act that enables copyright trolling by the people out to make a quick buck.

That means the trolls have a vast body of material to use when shaking down victims due to the CASE act which wouldn’t happen if copyright actually had a time-limit that was sane.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Setting aside your insult and mischaracterization of copyright law, the CASE Act has numerous provisions to make it an ineffective tool for fraudulent claims. First, the defendant can simply say no, I don’t want to do this and opt out of the system entirely. Second, even if the case is allowed to go forward, if its a fraudulent or meritless claim, they’re going to lose and its going to happen a lot faster and cheaper for the defendant than in a federal court. Third, there are penalties for fraudulent and repeated abuse of the system.

So, like Mike, it appears you just don’t like copyright. I’m just glad that only six members of the House of Reps agree with you.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

How many times have the ‘perjury’ penalties in the DMCA been successfully applied? Answer 0 or so close to zero as to not matter

Now how many DMCA claims contain lies about who owns the content, and where it’s located (effectively perjury)? Answer HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of fake claims full of lies, yet nobody is held to the perjury provisions.

So just the fact that the CASE act contains provisions for fradulent or repeated claims means JACK SHIT if nobody is willing to apply them and hold the corporations (who will be the ones filing hundreds of fradulent claimes) accountable.

I can take a shit in a box and put a guarantee on the side of the box, but in the end you still just have a guaranteed pile of shit… much like the so called ‘fradulent’ claimes provisions…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You’re actually undermining your own argument. The DMCA provisions about fraudulent notices are only enforceable if the injured person files a law suit. As the CASE Act acknowledges, that’s a big burden.

The CASE Act is about fraud in the context of an action that has ALREADY BEEN FILED. So, the fraudster has already put themselves in front of the decision-maker. The analogy is a poor one, even assuming your generalization about DMCA notices is accurate.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

The DMCA provisions about fraudulent notices are only enforceable if the injured person files a law suit. As the CASE Act acknowledges, that’s a big burden.

And the CASE Act does nothing to lighten that burden because it isn’t going to do shit about false DMCA notices.

even assuming your generalization about DMCA notices is accurate

It is accurate. A little research would tell you that. (Seriously, go look up how many people have been successfully penalized by a federal court for filing a false DMCA notice.)

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Anonymous Coward says:

  • Copyright is available to every individual who can string words or notes together*

How can you be this retarded? Copyright is not available to every individual. In case you’ve missed the fucking point, you retarded jelly donut, it’s our rights which are being taken from us due to these ever-increasing bullshit laws.

Let’s assume for a second you get your damn wish and copyright is infinite.

FAIR USE still applies, but under your dicatorship of idiocy, this would no longer be applicable.

I want to make one thing clear to you, the result of a failed QA inspection of a condom: IF ARTISTS DO NOT WANT PEOPLE COPYING THEIR WORKS, THEY SHOULD NOT BE RELEASING THE WORKS TO THE PUBLIC.

Making money from ones work is NOT THE SAME FUCKING THING as protections of those works.

Yet, this bullshit bill is all about the money, not the protection of the works.

The majority of human beings on this planet will "copy" someone’s work, by an act as simple as "Hey, listen to this band and let me know what you think."

Yes, by "definition", it’s infringement, but I fucking dare you to show me one fucking artist who’d call out the public in this instance despite it being "against the law", you fucking waster of oxygen.

You’re a pathetic human being, Blue.

Scratch that. You’re pathetic, Blue. Being human means to understand human behavior, something you clearly lack.

Damn, that felt good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Free Speech vs Copyright

Copyright is the right of corporations

The anti-copyright argument is stronger if we avoid blatantly incorrect statements such as this. I am not a corporation and yet I hold several copyrighted works. There is no doubt corporations abuse copyright for the purpose of censorship but that is not all that copyright is.

The stronger argument is that we need more explicit protections for and definitions of fair use that corporations (and others) cannot so easily do an end-run around.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Free Speech vs Copyright

There is no doubt corporations abuse copyright for the purpose of censorship but that is not all that copyright is.

Copyright is inherently only the right to censor speech. "I can publish this but you can’t."

It is true that individuals can hold copyrights – but do you have the same right granted to corporations to scan my ISP traffic in case I’m infringing on your works?

If, as some here insist, that corporations have no "right" to free speech, how can they have the right to inhibit mine?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Free Speech vs Copyright

This is not a debate we’re going to resolve in the comments section of a blog on the intarwebz. The framers of the constitution failed to satisfactorily resolve it in their own time and, sadly, their worst fears have indeed become reality. However…

Consider the small-time creator who creates something currently considered copyrightable. Without that copyright, if his creation becomes popular (goes viral, hits the bestseller list, etc) bigger publishers, clearinghouses or really any entity with more money to support wider distribution can quickly republish and distribute the creation and keep all the money to themselves. The creator is outright screwed. That is the problem copyright was intended to solve. What it has become is almost completely unrelated.

When you argue, and I’d call it disingenuously, that copyright’s only purpose is to allow corporation to censor everyone else you are doing no service to the movement to fix copyright. You might as well join the Fake News bandwagon for all the truth and usefulness that argument carries.

Instead, fight to fix copyright. To return it to its intended purpose. The extremes of today’s copyright law and complete abolition of copyright benefit only large, moneyed corporations.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

The extremes of today’s copyright law and complete abolition of copyright benefit only large, moneyed corporations.

The extremes of copyright law benefit only corporations and the wealthy. The abolition of copyright, on the other hand, would generally benefit society — because we’d have a whole shitload of content to build from in making new culture. For example: Spider-Man would be public domain, meaning Marvel and Sony could do whatever the fuck they wanted with him and not worry about the effect they’d have on the MCU. (Oh, and they could both use Michael Jackson’s music in their films without licensing deals.)

Besides, copyright was effectively destroyed by the Internet. Placing limits on distribution and such made a lot more sense when the average person didn’t have the most effective content-copying mechanism ever in their back pocket.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Rico R. (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Free Speech vs Copyright

I used to think the same way about the extreme of copyright abolition. In all honesty, if the case of someone selling copies of someone else’s copyrighted work was the ONLY thing copyright was able to curtail, I might be on board with leaving some level of copyright in place. However, as Stephen said before me, abolition would also open the doors for an immense more amount of creativity that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

Another thing worth considering is the problem of a creator being paid for their work (or even the reason they created the work in the first place) has NOTHING to do with copyright. I guarantee you your favorite band doesn’t write songs because of copyright. Furthermore, consider the fact that if you buy a CD (using the same music example), it’s often because you wish to support that band financially. So, even without copyright, chances are you would seek out chains of commerce that pay the members of the band when you buy the CD. A bootlegger, big or small, wouldn’t be making money long-term because eventually, the fact that the band is not getting paid when you buy from this source will be outed, and therefore demand for their CDs would go down.

See, it’s not a matter of whether or not a work is copyrighted, but the source of acquiring the copyrightable good in question. This is similar to the reasoning behind Nina Paley’s creator-endorsed mark. If you wanted to, you could create some sort of false advertising tort for claiming that a source of a creative work is a chain of first sale that benefits the artist when it really doesn’t. I’ll admit this solution isn’t perfect, but it shows that copyright law isn’t strictly needed to solve this problem.

Also, remember the Prohibition period in the United States? No one here will say that prohibiting the purchase and sale of alcohol was done with ill intent. However, after about a decade, it became clear that Prohibition wasn’t having its intended effect. Rather than stopping most crimes, organized crime rings sprang up prolifically financed mainly by bootleg purchases of alcohol, thus making the problem worse. So, we literally passed and ratified a new Constitutional amendment to overturn the previous one that prohibited the sale of alcohol.

So my question is this: Is stopping this one type of copyright infringement (selling unauthorized copies of copyrighted works) worth the countless problems that is current copyright law, especially with the Internet making such bootlegging operations increasingly rare? I’d argue it’s not, and while I don’t foresee the repeal of all copyright laws within my lifetime, I do believe it is possible that it could be repealed in the not-too-distant future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Irritated

Dear lawyer sir “whoever”

Do you own said thing “whatever” and if so show proof so I don’t countersue your ass into a life decadent poverty doing things not even rats deserve while I live off the money from the trial Because I promise you I will ask for twice as much if not more then what i expect to Get though obscure laws?

Signed: the harassed in question.

Anonymous Coward says:

One thing I think will make it a harder sell in the Republican controlled Senate is that the Republicans do not like a lot of the liberal rubbish that Hollyweird celebs are spewing out. Stuff like Alyssa Milano comparing Pence to Nazis or Miley Cyrus saying she refuses to have children on account of man made global warming (which is a bunch of Rubbish) are not likely to get Hollywood any favours right now in the Republican controlled Senate. I don’t see the Republicans in the Senate in any mood to give Hollywood much of anything they want right now, or least Trump would proabably veto the the bill to give a big f you to Hollyweird. I don’t put it past Trump to do that. He does not not like Hollywood and Hollywood does not like him.

So the CASE act, I think, will be harder sell in the Senate.

I think that is a lot of what brought down SOPA almost eight years ago. The Senate was controlled by Dems, but the Republicans controlled the House, and Republicans are not exactly on good with far left liberal Hollywood, so the Republicans, most likely, decided to say f you to Hollywood and support started to drop for SOPA, even if the main sponsor was Republican.

Even if PIPA had passed the Senate, it would have been a harder sell in the Republican controlled House at that time.

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