Groups Urge Senate Not To Turn The Justice Department Into Hollywood's Private Police Force

from the bad,-bad,-bad-ideas dept

As we noted earlier this summer, Senator Patrick Leahy had introduced a companion bill to the House's dreadful Pro-IP bill, except that Leahy's bill went further. Beyond just adding a "Copyright Czar" position to the White House, it would authorize the Justice Department to start prosecuting civil copyright infringement lawsuits. In other words, it would have the government act as the private police for of the entertainment industry. This is scary stuff. Beyond already handing out unnecessary gov't granted monopolies, the gov't would now be using taxpayer money to settle business disputes from an industry that was only in trouble because it stubbornly refused to update its business model.

It's difficult to see why taxpayers should be paying FBI agents to protect one industry's obsolete business model.

A bunch of special interest groups made that argument to Senators this week, noting that it was a pure gift to Hollywood -- pointing out that all of the companies and groups in the industry already have their own enforcement arms, and it made little sense to have the FBI take part in private business disputes. Hopefully, there are still enough Senators who haven't been convinced by the propaganda provided by the entertainment industry on this issue to recognize what's actually at stake here.

Filed Under: business models, copyright czar, justice department, patrick leahy, politics, proip, senate


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2008 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Need to do more than just complain

    You bet I do. I try and get people involved in causes that just have any common sense to them. I'm with a grass roots group (website coming soon), that recently has formed to get people off the couch and stop them from thinking that someone else will deal with the problem.

    The sad thing is that there isn't anyone else dealing with the problems. You'd be surprised how many people slam the door in my face or don't want to take the time out to hear about problems that will affect them.

    No money is asked for. The problem is represented, and along with the issue a sheet with their local reps, congress, etc.. are given to them so that they can take 10 minutes out of their busy schedule to inquire and at the very least write their government. In a nutshell here is the approach:
    Here is the issue, here is what affect it will have on you/community, here is what you can do about it. You can read all about it here & here (both sides)....
    Then as a free country should be allowed to do, voice their opinion.

    You'd be surprised how many conversations go something like this 9after the info is given)"Wow, this is really happening?", Yes I say and you should call or write, or attend the hearing, etc... then I get the usual reply "I would love to help, but I'm very busy. I don't have time." to which I reply, "you don't have 10 minutes to make a call? If you don't like what is going on, while you are walking or driving home, take 5 minutes and call and just tell them that you don't like this idea/rule/etc...". Then I get, "Thanks for the info, but I'm too busy and have to go".
    Then another lazy ass walks off into the distance.

    So to answer your question, yes, I do get involved and I am TRYING to do something. But Ultimately I am convinced that this is a Doomed Nation because people have the time to watch TMZ or American Idol, and are more concerned with who is wearing what to another boring award show, than taking just a few minutes a week to either attend a county hearing or call or write their officials.

    Look at it this way, in the development that I live, 90% of the residents there can't even attend a quarterly board meeting that lasts all of 1/2hr.

    I was once very excited about trying to get people involved. After doing it for a while, the novelty has definitely worn off.

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