Ex-RIAA Boss Ignores All Criticisim Of SOPA/PIPA, Claims Any Complaints Are Trying To Justify Stealing

from the this-is-how-you-got-into-such-a-mess dept

Over the long weekend, Jay Rosen was kind enough to tweet out a link to my recent "definitive" post highlighting all the problems with SOPA and PIPA. Lots of folks picked up on it, but the one that struck me as the most interesting was from Hilary Rosen, who tweeted back:
The Definitive Post?? Think analog. If a store doesn't sell u what u want, u are justified stealing it?
Hilary Rosen, of course, spent many years as the CEO of the RIAA. And while she hasn't been in that job since 2003, she presided over the Napster lawsuit and the beginnings of the Grokster lawsuit. I believe she left just before the RIAA started suing individuals for file sharing. She also appeared to have second thoughts about the strategy she led while in charge of the RIAA. However, this comment suggests otherwise.

Thinking analog has been the major problem that the RIAA (and MPAA, among others) have had for a long, long time. Rosen's big mistake when she was in charge of the RIAA was that she kept thinking analog. Isn't it time, perhaps, that she started thinking digitally?

But, even more to the point, it's getting ridiculous how many people defending SOPA/PIPA are doing so using this logic. They brush off all of the specific concerns, the highlights of problematic language, and they conclude "why are you justifying theft?" Of course, that's ridiculous. Beyond the fact that "theft" and "infringement" are very different (don't get me started), nothing in anyone's complaints about SOPA or PIPA have anything to do with "justifying" infringement. In fact, in the post that was being discussed, we clearly noted that infringement is a problem. We just disagree that PIPA and SOPA are reasonably, or even effective, solutions.

It's really quite ridiculous to lay out in such great detail all of the problems of the bill, only to have someone -- and someone who is partially responsible for the mess the record labels are in today -- brush off the entire thing by falsely stating that we're "justifying stealing." Unfortunately, this kind of "debate" is all too common. It seems that almost no one is interested in actually discussing the problems of the bill. They just insist that if you highlight problems in the bill you're trying to justify something.

Filed Under: copyright, hilary rosen, pipa, protect ip, sopa
Companies: riaa


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  1. identicon
    rubberpants, 28 Nov 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: SOPA

    This hit's the nail on the head right here:

    I know of no business that can succeed outside of a monopoly without giving their customers what they want.

    No one is arguing that a business doesn't get to decide the terms under which they will sell their goods.

    However, they don't get to decide which set of terms will make them the most money, their customers do. (Unless you have a monopoly over something, then you can dictate whatever terms you want.)

    The Internet is doing an end-run around the copyright monopoly. So, which should we keep, the Internet or copyrights? Thankfully, it's not an all or nothing choice. We can adjust one or both so that they can exist together more harmoniously.

    Do we adjust the Internet only or is it more reasonably to adjust copyright as well? Seems to me that all the adjustment up to this point has all been on the Internet side of the equation (DMCA, etc.)

    It's time for copyright to make some concessions as well. Perhaps we should repeal some copyright laws. Then, there's no need to enforce as much. Maybe reduce copyright terms? Further limit the things that can be copyrighted? Outlaw the concept of perpetual royalties? Just brainstorming here. There are a lot of dials that could be adjusted.

    It's time "the Internet" started writing some bills of it's own methinks.

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