How The Monkeys & Copyright Debate Explains Why Congress Shouldn't Rush To Approve PROTECT IP
from the it's-not-that-simple dept
The key point that we discuss is that, contrary to what some supporters of PROTECT IP would have you believe, determining what is, definitively, infringing is not as easy as they believe. They keep saying not to worry about PROTECT IP because it "only" applies to "rogue sites," or "sites dedicated to infringing activities." But all of that presumes it's easy to define what is a rogue site. But it's not. And that's proved by the fact that the list of "sites dedicated to infringing activities" put together by WPP/GroupM, with help from Universal Music, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., includes tons of perfectly legitimate sites, including the Internet Archive, Vimeo, Vibe Magazine and a bunch of hip hop blogs. It also includes 50 Cent's personal website... even though he's a Universal Music artist!
It's further highlighted by a stroll through history, and a look at the list of things the industry has previously declared as infringing, including the player piano, radio, the photocopier, cable TV, the VCR, cassette tapes, the DVR, the mp3 player and YouTube, among many other things. Frankly, the industry has a dismally poor track record in figuring out what's really dedicated to infringing activities and separating that from what's the next major platform for growth.
And where do the monkeys fit into all of this? Well, as Bob Garfield pointed out, it's this kind of confusion over copyright law, where some people insist that it's simple to understand this stuff, that leads to bad, overly-generalized legislation like PROTECT IP. Either that, or he was making a comment about the simian nature of our elected officials. Or maybe both. Either way, if you want to take a listen, get the podcast here.