Not To Be Overlooked In SOPA: Massive Expansion Of Copyright Maximalist Diplomatic Corp

from the regulatory-capture dept

Regulatory capture is defined pretty simply as:
In economics, regulatory capture occurs when a state regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead advances the commercial or special interests that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.
As is noted, this is a form of economic failure, because it creates (sometimes massive) negative externalities, in terms of inefficiencies and costs to the public. While we've covered the many, many horrific parts of the E-PARASITE Act (since renamed SOPA), there are always more problems lurking. One section that has received almost no attention at all is the final section of the bill, Section 205.

The simplest way to describe this section is that it's the creation of the entertainment industry's own copyright police force within the diplomatic core. It's pure regulatory capture. The entire section is about massively extending US bureaucracy, in the form of a diplomatic force of copyright maximalists, whose sole job it will be to travel the world and push for more and more draconian copyright enforcement in the interest of the US entertainment industry. It's pretty scary just how blatant this kind of regulatory capture is. Nowhere in the bill does it talk about more effective copyright policy. Instead, it requires "aggressive support for enforcement action" throughout the world, in the interest of a few US companies. We already have IP attaches and the USTR going around the globe pushing the interests of Hollywood, against the interests of the public. Do we really want more of that?

This is a problem, especially considering just how much evidence there is that over-aggressive copyright enforcement and ever expansive copyright law has actually been quite harmful for culture. If the role were to support more effective copyright law, that would be sensible. But it's not. Instead, it's just creating a new bureaucratic role to send copyright maximalists around the globe, employed by the US government, but whose sole purpose would be to do the bidding of a few US companies.

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  1. icon
    xenomancer (profile), 10 Nov 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: And we thought it was bad...

    "it takes the burden out of the entertainment industries"
    A burden that they (at those owning the copyrights) are supposed to bear as the justiciable persons pursuing reasonable (well, not anymore) compensation (or economic slavery) for contestable (if you have enough money) damages. As a corollary, the DOT is not responsible for the court costs involved in a traffic accident, and it would be incredibly short sighted for such a policy to exist as it would place the cost on the rest of the consumers (everyone).
    "leaves them free to create more jobs"
    What new jobs? Larger legal departments? If anything, they need to have less jobs for a little while so they can clear out the useless people they have now and make room for some people with an original idea. I think three full tries at a spiderman brand (ya, there was another one before the recent trilogy) is indicative of exactly how much they really value creativity and artistic talent (they don't). In fact, the new movie is essentially an expanded version of the game Mirror's Edge. If this is gonna be the next big seller, they are doomed (... still).
    "very reasonable"
    "instead of spending money on fighting infringement"
    They will ALLWAYS be "fighting infringement". Patting them on the head for burying it in sand will only push it in deeper.
    "Mother Teresa of Calcutta would be proud"
    Funny you should bring up someone who believed in and actively encouraged channeling divinity though the depths of prolonged suffering.

    Now, please shill just a little bit harder next time so when we call the proctologist to find your head we can use the echoes to make the job a little easier.

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