Senator Thom Tillis Pushed Awful Patent Reform Idea Last Year; Now Looks To Top It With Awful Copyright Reform This Year

from the dude,-seriously? dept

Last year, Senator Thom Tillis was pushing a completely ridiculous patent reform bill that would have enabled massive patent trolling, by expanding what would count as patent-eligible subject matter. After his bill was released — and basically everyone who wasn’t a patent troll explained what a disaster it would be for American innovation, Tillis quietly let the matter drop.

Given that experience, you might think that Tillis would think twice before stepping into the even more fraught arena of copyright reform. And yet, Tillis has been champing at the bit to change the DMCA to make Hollywood happier with it. Now, there are lots of complaints to be made about the DMCA. Section 512 enables blatant censorship and puts tremendous pressure on platforms to take down non-infringing content. It also favors larger platforms which can deal with a barrage of takedowns over smaller upstarts. Section 1201 of the DMCA is utter garbage and makes it “infringing” to merely talk about ways to remove DRM — even if the underlying reason for doing so is non-infringing. There are obvious ways to fix both of those.

But, instead, Tillis and his staff seem ultra focused on making Section 512 worse and importing awful ideas like the EU Copyright Directive, which forces platforms into being Hollywood’s personal police, and bringing in dangerous, censorial ideas like “notice and staydown,” which would require expensive and unreliable internet filters. While he’s made some nod towards perhaps making a few cosmetic changes to 1201 as a “trade” for making 512 that much worse, the overall impact of what’s being discussed would be terrible. 1201 would remain in some form, and what few exceptions would be made would be minimal in impact. But bringing in things like “notice and staydown” for 512 would inevitably lead to much more censorship.

It’s unclear why Tillis is rushing headlong into this debate, when it seems that neither he nor his staffers grasp the details of how copyright works. Given how silly and uninformed Tillis came out of last year’s attempt to pass a patent bill, it’s bizarre that his office hasn’t bothered to be more careful on the copyright front before leaping into that arena.

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Comments on “Senator Thom Tillis Pushed Awful Patent Reform Idea Last Year; Now Looks To Top It With Awful Copyright Reform This Year”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Should've Stopped Article 13

And this is why it was vital to stop Article 13. Because they passed it in the EU, rightsholders are demanding that they pass in the US now. It was only a matter of time before they demanded that the US "catch up" to the "brilliant" new copyright standard of the EU.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Should've Stopped Article 13

Article 13/17 may have passed but it’s likely the EUCJ will drop the axe on most possible implementations of it, effectively neutering or abolishing it completely.

Article 11 though, is a harder nut to crack and we may have to go through the process of actually seeing european news media choked almost out of existence before the EU parliament dimly realizes the link tax was a shit idea to begin with.

The US is both more and less sensitive to possible implementations of the copyright directive. I don’t see any way SCOTUS could let either of those provisions fly without an outright statement that the online environment of the USA wasn’t to be considered part of the US.

What will truly prosper in both continents, though, is piracy which has been given a veritable renaissance under the copyright directive.

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Patrick Henry says:

Assumes facts not in evidence...

it seems that neither he nor his staffers grasp the details of how copyright works.

Maybe they do know exactly how copyrights and patents work. They just want them to work differently – "work in a way that benefits Hollywood, RIAA, MIAA and others that are likely large contributors to his political life".

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AC says:


So, all that’s happened so far is that Tillis is holding hearings? No bill is written. But Mike jumps in with four paragraphs of name-calling. I guess he’s offended by even talking about section 512 so he’s going to sling insults at anyone who tries. Mike has become a parody of himself – he sounds like the French knight in Holy Grail, "Go away or I will taunt you a second time." Weak, even for you, Mike.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Weak

You fucknuggets make self-identification so easy, your stench can be smelled from a solar system away.

But now that we’ve got your attention, you remember the lawsuit that you claimed Perfect 10 had given to copyright holders? That they gave excellent precedent for plaintiffs? Norman Zada got his ass nuked, and had he not hid his assets via bankruptcy claims he’d have been nuked from goddamn orbit.

Glad to see you’re still lurking on this site that you have such a hateboner for, you were dumb enough to pay money for it at some point until you realized that Masnick wasn’t going to fuck you.

Stay classy, antidirt, and remember to wipe the shit off your tongue. I know Shiva Ayyadurai rimjobs are how you cope with the loss these days, but e.coli infections are not sexually arousing for most people.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 'Come on, they've barely even started their swing...'

If someone makes a dead serious proposal that they should punch you in the face how long do you wait before you object?

As soon as they say it?

As they are pulling their arm back?

As the fist is coming towards your face?

Or only after you’ve been punched?

If a politician makes a stupid and/or dangerous proposal the sooner they are called on it the better, as that raises awareness and allows people to watch to see if it’s going anywhere, along with giving them time to object to what’s being proposed before it’s already in the works and it’s more difficult to get the proposal, now bill, scraped.

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