Last week, we wrote about just how awful
Congress' proposed "PRO IP" law was, suggesting that it would help to kill off creative industries by giving excessive power to enforce obsolete business models. Of course, I'm somewhat skeptical about all
intellectual property laws, as there's enough evidence out there that they're not needed in most cases, and only serve to distort markets in unnecessary ways (and there's very little evidence that they actually serve their purpose of creating incentives for the creation of new content). Thus, you would expect me to have problems with a bill that would drastically strengthen copyright, since that's clearly going in the wrong direction in my book. However, to get another opinion on the bill, why not listen to William Patry, a man who is clearly in favor of intellectual property laws, having been a copyright lawyer for 25 years, including representing copyright holders and various trade associations, as well as working in the US Copyright Office. He has written up a great piece explaining why the "PRO IP" bill is very "anti-IP"
when you understand the details:
"The question is not whether copyright is a good thing: properly calibrated copyright is very good, indeed essential for certain classes of works. Sir Hugh and I are both pro-IP in this most important of senses. But an excessive amount of something that is beneficial in measured doses can become fatal in overdoses, and copyright is already at fatal strength. Yet, when they are not alienating their customers, copyright industries spend the rest of their time in efforts to obtain new, powerful, undeserved, and unnecessary remedies. Content owners act as if obtaining more and more and more will save them: it won’t, quite the reverse: it only continues an unfortunate trend of making copyright law and content owners among the most despised elements in society. While proponents of such efforts describe themselves as being pro-IP, they have the opposite effect by bringing disrespect on the entire system. I call that being anti-IP, not pro-IP."
And that's somewhat near the beginning of the piece. It's worth reading the whole thing.