by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 1st 2008 8:31am
This isn't exactly a surprise, but the PRO IP bill, which is actually quite anti-IP, has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. This is the bill that would create a "piracy czar" with a new department reporting to the White House, whose sole job it is to crack down on piracy. Basically, it's turning the White House into the entertainment industry's private police force, allowing them to prop up an obsolete business model. This is extremely problematic. There's increasing evidence that piracy is not the real problem the industry is facing. The artists who are embracing file sharing and adopting new business models are finding that there are business models that work, that help to better promote and distribute content, while creating new avenues for making money. This is something that the market is working out on its own. Creating a special anti-piracy group within the White House is simply an anti-competitive move by an industry that doesn't want to update its obsolete business model. Yet, through misleading lobbying efforts, politicians have been convinced that this business model needs to be propped up. Why the White House should be forced to involve itself in a commercial dispute that is working itself out is beyond me. Even more to the point, why should the White House be setting up a special group just for this really narrowly focused "issue" when there are so many more pressing problems in this country?
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