Senate Gives The White House A Copyright Czar

from the have-fun-with-it dept

The Senate has now unanimously passed the new entertainment industry-approved copyright legislation that was proposed by Senator Leahy earlier this year. After the Justice Department complained about the provision that would grant it the ability to take on civil cases, that provision was removed, but there's still plenty to be worried about by the bill -- such as the creation of a "copyright czar" position in the White House. While some of the worst provisions were removed, this still remains a bill that has one purpose: to protect an obsolete business model, rather than letting more innovative models proliferate.
The House still needs to vote on its version of the bill, but it's quite likely to pass quickly.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Aubrey, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 3:41pm

    What a poll

    Lets see, you have a poll on a website that you know from past comments on the mood of the group. Did you just have an extra applet you wanted to try out?

    Why not try a poll you may get some real information, like ummmm.....do we want to club seal pups or not?

     

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  2.  
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    Aubrey, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 3:45pm

    Re: What a poll

    My vote...club em

     

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  3.  
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    Ragaboo, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 3:47pm

    I don't see the problem

    The poll has to do with the legislation. These blogs shouldn't read as "I know you've read everything else I've ever written, so I'll leave out interesting stuff that you might have seen." I'd seen the poll (which isn't a Techdirt poll, it's an embedded poll from a legislation-tracking site) before, but I was still interested to see it again because I had forgotten how one-sided the public view of the legislation is.

    In summary: chill out.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    bob, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 4:09pm

    OMG

    Of course you want to club them, if you shoot them you run the risk of ruining the pelt.
    They make such a pretty coat.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Dave, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 4:10pm

    You know what would be REALLY funny?

    If the next president gives this Copyright Czar job to Lawrence Lessig.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Michael Long, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 4:18pm

    Paid Content

    You keep harping on "obsolete" business models, but to a large extent they seem to be working just fine. NBC, for example, returned to iTunes and quickly resumed its spot of selling 30% of Apple's TV shows.

    Hulu and network-specific sites are streaming record numbe14rs of shows, all "paid" by users watching ads (another "obsolete" model). In fact, IIRC didn't you run an article indicating that streaming video is bypassing P2P "sharing"?

    CD and album sales are down, but digital and single sales are way up.

    And yes, they're moving to protect their content, but which aspect of that do you find surprising? Music and movies are one of the US's few remaining profitable exports. You think they're going to just throw out a multi-billion dollar industry and start giving everything away for free?

     

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  7.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 26th, 2008 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Paid Content

    You keep harping on "obsolete" business models, but to a large extent they seem to be working just fine

    Working "just fine" is in the eye of the beholder. The only reason it's working at all, is because of the gov't propping it up. But every time it does that, it damages innovative business models that would work BETTER.

    Hulu and network-specific sites are streaming record numbe14rs of shows, all "paid" by users watching ads (another "obsolete" model).

    What does that have to do with anything? That doesn't rely on copyright. That relies on providing a better experience. And ads aren't an obsolete business model.

    And yes, they're moving to protect their content, but which aspect of that do you find surprising?

    I don't find any of it *surprising*. I find it awful that it's hurting much more innovative and important business models and creativity.

    Music and movies are one of the US's few remaining profitable exports. You think they're going to just throw out a multi-billion dollar industry and start giving everything away for free?

    No, but I think they should have to compete fairly in the marketplace without gov't monopolies to back them up.

    You favor the gov't picking the winning business model?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 4:38pm

    Re: You know what would be REALLY funny?

    That would rock

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Michael Long, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    Better for whom?

    "... it damages innovative business models that would work BETTER."

    Better for whom? As you yourself indicated, better is in the eye of the beholder.

    As far as I'm concerned there are two ends to the spectrum. The greedy mega-corporation who spends millions upfront making a Batman: The Dark Knight or The Lord of the Rings and who (horrors) would like a return on their investment, and the equally greedy consumer who believes that he's entitled to anything and everything he wants for free.

    Most people (as in individuals and businesses alike) fall somewhere between the two poles. I, for one, happen to think that having the film industry create a 100 million dollar plus movie and letting me judge the end result, and then, if I choose, pay a miniscule portion of the development cost to own it and watch as often as I like is an OUTSTANDING model.

    Better that than trying to figure out some way to get the film (which I want) for free by buying yet another t-shirt. A t-shirt, I might add, that I don't want, don't need, which is entirely incidental to the transaction, and the purchase of which only serves to make the t-shirt industry happy.

    Feel free to substitute "t-shirt" with any other product or service you feel I should be buying in order to get that which I actually wanted in the first place.

    Those models?

     

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  10.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    Re: What a poll

    Ummm... This is the blog whose commentators created an Internet phenomenon known as Masnick's Law. So it's pretty obvious to most of us that people don't come here to agree with or worship Mike or any of the other bloggers that post here.

     

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  11.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 26th, 2008 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Better for whom?

    Except it is Not an outstanding model at all.
    They want to control when you can watch it, what you can watch it on, and how many times you can watch it. If they had their way, you would pay every single time you watched it, probably in addition to buying it originally.
    Do you really think they care at all about anything other than your dollar?
    Their model is bad.
    What we, the consumers want, is to pay once, and then be able to do anything we want with it. Watch it on any device, whenever we want, as many times as we want.
    They have made it extremely apparent that they oppose that.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    pawnblue, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Better for whom?

    I'm glad you like the current model. But it doesn't work. My issue is that movies suck, and the current model is too profitable to make studios make an effort.

    I'm just saying, you pull up two movies as an examples of movie goodness. One of them is from 2003. That's 5 years ago.

    On top of that, LotR or Batman are already successful in other mediums. You'll have a hard time thinking of a blockbuster movie that isn't a screen adaption of something else.

    And that's why it doesn't work for me. Despite always wanting $10 for a ticket, movies typically are mediocre and derivative.

     

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  13.  
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    Greevar, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Re: Better for whom?

    "movies typically are mediocre and derivative"

    Wow, talk about hitting the nail on the head.

     

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  14.  
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    Rekrul, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 11:36pm

    Of course it will get passed. The government has been bought and paid for by the media companies.

    I can't wait until they start seizing people's computers in copyright infringement cases, even before the people show up in court.

     

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  15.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 27th, 2008 @ 3:17am

    Re: Paid Content

    Michael Long wrote:

    NBC, for example, returned to iTunes and quickly resumed its spot of selling 30% of Apple's TV shows.

    But is that saying much? The iTunes Store isn't that big. Looking only at other legitimate download services, for example, it's dwarfed by the ringtones business. And of course illegitimate downloads are many times larger. iTunes doesn't bring in much profit for Apple; the lion's share goes to the record companies.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Wow, Sep 28th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Amazing

    I thought Congress had more important things to do right now.

    And yet they still have time left over to intelligently discuss, negotiate differences and pass legislation which shouldn't even be on the floor for vote.

    Amazing, simply amazing.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Better for whom?

    *laughing*

    Movies suck...

    Tell that to the millions of people who pay ever increasing amounts of money to see these in the theatres, buy the DVDs, etc...

    Your definition of "suck" is highly subjective and does *not* apply to the vast majority of consumers. Feel free to use that fact to boost your likely already overblown ego in the asinine assumption that such a sense of superiority of "taste" makes you "special".

    It does. It does, indeed....though likely not in the way you'd like to imagine it would.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 10:23am

    Re: Amazing

    ...because no-one is capable of taking on more than one issue at a time?

    Wow.

    So..how's the job at McDonald's going? Hope they never ask you to watch the burgers *and* the fries....you'd probably explode...

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    McCain, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re: Amazing

    "..because no-one is capable of taking on more than one issue at a time?"

    Hey, easy there big boy. I cancelled my campaign for a very good reason, and then decided to attend the debate anyway. It sure got me in the spotlight for a while huh.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Glenn Charles, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Paid Content

    I'm curious as to what you conceive of as the correct business model. I'm so dubious about most aspects of current government that I'm completely skeptical that its model works. It's time for the steel umbrellas (I still haven't found a way to patent this) for when the Wall Street swan dives start [you know, for the ones still walking to their offices to find a suitable site]. What with "Wamu" crunching, it shouldn't be long or maybe they just have netting up.

    In sum, I'm not sure how pertinent this is for how long, right now. A rigid (or absolute) representative system for an apparently ordered system which is relative will incur increasing error with usage, particularly with unstated assumptions. I think that the patent system is shortly going to be irrelevant for all but a few. Of course, I'm a pessimist. I agreed with John Brunner, Sheep Look Up (or Stand on Zanzibar) and still do. Of course, I'm old, insane, inane, and feeble-minded. Maybe I should be a patent lawyer in my spare time.
    --Glenn
    8]

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    mike, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:29am

    Recently, Direct TV has stopped letting TIVO users keep a purchased video longer than a day. My wife and I work over 40 hours a week so this was a big blow for us. We buy and record new movies but now we have to watch them that same day.
    I am assuming that this is related and that Direct TV is just covering their hind-ends. I guess just like everything else, it is all about the money. Well what about us poor consumers? How much money does a person need?

     

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