Senator Thom Tillis Pushed Awful Patent Reform Idea Last Year; Now Looks To Top It With Awful Copyright Reform This Year

from the dude,-seriously? dept

Last year, Senator Thom Tillis was pushing a completely ridiculous patent reform bill that would have enabled massive patent trolling, by expanding what would count as patent-eligible subject matter. After his bill was released -- and basically everyone who wasn't a patent troll explained what a disaster it would be for American innovation, Tillis quietly let the matter drop.

Given that experience, you might think that Tillis would think twice before stepping into the even more fraught arena of copyright reform. And yet, Tillis has been champing at the bit to change the DMCA to make Hollywood happier with it. Now, there are lots of complaints to be made about the DMCA. Section 512 enables blatant censorship and puts tremendous pressure on platforms to take down non-infringing content. It also favors larger platforms which can deal with a barrage of takedowns over smaller upstarts. Section 1201 of the DMCA is utter garbage and makes it "infringing" to merely talk about ways to remove DRM -- even if the underlying reason for doing so is non-infringing. There are obvious ways to fix both of those.

But, instead, Tillis and his staff seem ultra focused on making Section 512 worse and importing awful ideas like the EU Copyright Directive, which forces platforms into being Hollywood's personal police, and bringing in dangerous, censorial ideas like "notice and staydown," which would require expensive and unreliable internet filters. While he's made some nod towards perhaps making a few cosmetic changes to 1201 as a "trade" for making 512 that much worse, the overall impact of what's being discussed would be terrible. 1201 would remain in some form, and what few exceptions would be made would be minimal in impact. But bringing in things like "notice and staydown" for 512 would inevitably lead to much more censorship.

It's unclear why Tillis is rushing headlong into this debate, when it seems that neither he nor his staffers grasp the details of how copyright works. Given how silly and uninformed Tillis came out of last year's attempt to pass a patent bill, it's bizarre that his office hasn't bothered to be more careful on the copyright front before leaping into that arena.

Filed Under: copyright, copyright reform, dmca, dmca 1201, dmca 512, eu copyright directive, notice and staydown, notice and takedown, patent reform, patents, thom tillis


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  • identicon
    bobob, 2 Mar 2020 @ 10:53am

    It isn't at all unclear why he's rushing into this bill. Money from the entertainment lobby/pacs. What better way to keep the peons from succeeding with their own content than to ensure lots of that gets taken down "by mistake."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 2 Mar 2020 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      It isn't at all unclear why he's rushing into this bill. Money from the entertainment lobby/pacs.

      He's more of a "money from the banking industry" kind of guy. He's getting Comcast money, but it's pretty far down his list of donors.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        bobob, 2 Mar 2020 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re:

        It's still more than the zero dollars he's getting to oppose comcast and the pac money isn't very transparent. Senators may be crooked, but they aren't totally stupid. It certainly must make sense to tillis for some reason which doesn't appear to be the bill itself.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 2 Mar 2020 @ 1:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's still more than the zero dollars he's getting to oppose comcast

          I mean Google hasn't exactly been the best ally but I think it's a mistake to say they're unopposed to expanding the takedown process.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2020 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      It's because the rightsholders in the US want to "harmonize" the copyright standards with Europe's Article 17 and found some idiot to do their dirty work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 4:32am

        Re: Re:

        "...and found some idiot to do their dirty work."

        And oddly enough it's a republican this time around. The copyright cult's usual stooges tend to be democrats like Biden.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2020 @ 11:14am

    If we're going to notice things and make them stay down, can we start (and end!) with the DMCA itself? Let's take it down and make it stay down. It doesn't need to be "reformed"; it needs to be killed with fire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2020 @ 12:09pm

    Should've Stopped Article 13

    And this is why it was vital to stop Article 13. Because they passed it in the EU, rightsholders are demanding that they pass in the US now. It was only a matter of time before they demanded that the US "catch up" to the "brilliant" new copyright standard of the EU.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2020 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Should've Stopped Article 13

      Its likely that Article 13 will be taken down in court.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 4:40am

      Re: Should've Stopped Article 13

      Article 13/17 may have passed but it's likely the EUCJ will drop the axe on most possible implementations of it, effectively neutering or abolishing it completely.

      Article 11 though, is a harder nut to crack and we may have to go through the process of actually seeing european news media choked almost out of existence before the EU parliament dimly realizes the link tax was a shit idea to begin with.

      The US is both more and less sensitive to possible implementations of the copyright directive. I don't see any way SCOTUS could let either of those provisions fly without an outright statement that the online environment of the USA wasn't to be considered part of the US.

      What will truly prosper in both continents, though, is piracy which has been given a veritable renaissance under the copyright directive.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick Henry, 2 Mar 2020 @ 12:12pm

    Assumes facts not in evidence...

    it seems that neither he nor his staffers grasp the details of how copyright works.

    Maybe they do know exactly how copyrights and patents work. They just want them to work differently - "work in a way that benefits Hollywood, RIAA, MIAA and others that are likely large contributors to his political life".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2020 @ 1:06pm

    I think we need to look into congressional reform.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2020 @ 7:12pm

    From what I’ve heard, Hearings will happen throughout the year with a draft expected to be released by the end of the year.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    AC, 3 Mar 2020 @ 7:16am

    Weak

    So, all that's happened so far is that Tillis is holding hearings? No bill is written. But Mike jumps in with four paragraphs of name-calling. I guess he's offended by even talking about section 512 so he's going to sling insults at anyone who tries. Mike has become a parody of himself - he sounds like the French knight in Holy Grail, "Go away or I will taunt you a second time." Weak, even for you, Mike.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 11:38am

      Re: Weak

      Yep. Another no-substance rant from Masnick. Yawn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re: Weak

        How's that SOPA fund coming along, antidirt?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 3:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Weak

          LOL! Hi, Mike! Any place, any time, any issue, my friend. I won't hold my breath.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 12:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Weak

            You fucknuggets make self-identification so easy, your stench can be smelled from a solar system away.

            But now that we've got your attention, you remember the lawsuit that you claimed Perfect 10 had given to copyright holders? That they gave excellent precedent for plaintiffs? Norman Zada got his ass nuked, and had he not hid his assets via bankruptcy claims he'd have been nuked from goddamn orbit.

            Glad to see you're still lurking on this site that you have such a hateboner for, you were dumb enough to pay money for it at some point until you realized that Masnick wasn't going to fuck you.

            Stay classy, antidirt, and remember to wipe the shit off your tongue. I know Shiva Ayyadurai rimjobs are how you cope with the loss these days, but e.coli infections are not sexually arousing for most people.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 8:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Weak

            How about we debate the validity of Malibu Media? Care to debate that?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2020 @ 5:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Weak

              I'm still waiting for him to debate Prenda Law, but credit where credit is due, at least antidirt is smart enough to fold 'em when he knows he's fighting a losing battle. The same cannot be said of horse with no name, aka John Smith...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 4:29pm

      Re: Weak

      I have read the post twice and don't see any name calling. Help me out here? He's reporting on what's actually going on and expressing his opinion as he usually does.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 11:29pm

      'Come on, they've barely even started their swing...'

      If someone makes a dead serious proposal that they should punch you in the face how long do you wait before you object?

      As soon as they say it?

      As they are pulling their arm back?

      As the fist is coming towards your face?

      Or only after you've been punched?

      If a politician makes a stupid and/or dangerous proposal the sooner they are called on it the better, as that raises awareness and allows people to watch to see if it's going anywhere, along with giving them time to object to what's being proposed before it's already in the works and it's more difficult to get the proposal, now bill, scraped.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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