... as content producers and distributors, they rely on the very freedoms and fair use exceptions that they are constantly seeking to curtail.
As sad as the eventuality would be, it would amuse me immensely if they succeeded in curtailing Fair Use. Watching their own ability to produce and distribute become curtailed to the point where they can no longer profit from their content would be hilarious.
How do we show them that this is self-destructive?
I've been racking my brain trying to think of a way to show them that these kinds of rules are like putting a gun to their own heads - enforcing it will only kill them in the long run as their market ultimately abandons them and their assets shrink to nothing.
If they manage to get fair use outlawed, only outlaws will have the creativity to create. And then where will they get the content and inventions to sell?
It amuses me that they were careful to use the word "linked."
Indeed, we've seen a lot of studies that show a link between video games and violence, but we've also seen that there's an significant lack of studies that show that violent video games can cause violent behavior.
So while their attempt to get this labeling legislated is rather misguided, their proposed labeling is quite correct.
What they should do is mandate a series of studies: Figure out what aspects of Copyright law have a net benefit on the economy.
Each lawmaking session, repeat the study, and make some "best guesses" on the long-term effects of the current laws, based on all of the evidence presented by those studies.
Then, craft a law that exploits some aspect of that evidence - for example, if studies show that shorter terms have a net economic benefit, then shorten the term - and apply a "sunset" provision that requires a new set of studies. If the newly-enacted laws show a net benefit, then they may be extended with a new sunset period. If they show a net negative impact, the provisions should be repealed.
Repeat ad nauseum.
I predict that the end result of this process would be a maximal Copyright term of not more than 5 years from the date of the "fixed form," an elimination of criminal provisions, abolition of Patent laws, an elimination of DMCA-like anti-circumvention laws, and abolition of takedowns and domain seizure in all forms.
A 5% increase in traffic isn't really statistically significant. Many sites see a lot of up- and down-swings to the tune of up to 10% on a regular basis. Merely saying they had an increase of about 5% (and it doesn't say of what) doesn't mean much.
Along those lines, all new laws (and any re-authorizations of old laws) should come with clear and stated metrics that will be used the next time around to determine if the bill was successful. If the metrics are not met, then the bill should not be allowed to be re-authorized without significant changes.
I LOVE this idea. I've had similar thoughts myself.
In particular, I think we should do this to the entirety of USCFR, all Titles. On Copyright and Patent laws, for example, effective metrics could be to require that the actual economic benefits, as measured by a diverse team of economic analysts (from different backgrounds in academia and business, as well as government), are used to determine what new changes must be made to the laws.
That would be an excellent way to lead to clearer, stronger, more sensible laws that benefit everyone, and not just "stakeholders."
Policy makers had recognized a constitutional (and economic) imperative to protect American property from theft, to shield consumers from counterfeit products and fraud, and to combat foreign criminals who exploit technology to steal American ingenuity and jobs.
Oh, never mind that the Constitutional imperative is to "... Promote the Progress of Science and of the Useful Arts," not to "protect [...] property form theft." We must keep copies from being made at all costs!
While no legislation is perfect, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (or PIPA) was carefully devised, with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate, and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA), was based on existing statutes and Supreme Court precedents. But at the 11th hour, a flood of e-mails and phone calls to Congress stopped the legislation in its tracks. Was this the result of democracy, or demagoguery?
Well, the bipartisan support was the result of bribes and "campaign contributions," but we can ignore that! Those pesky kids with computers ruined everything!
Since when is it censorship to shut down an operation that an American court, upon a thorough review of evidence, has determined to be illegal? When the police close down a store fencing stolen goods, it isn’t censorship, but when those stolen goods are fenced online, it is?
Usually a thorough review of evidence is done by both the defense and prosecution, but what the defense doesn't know doesn't hurt anyone. Right?
I propose a 5 year limit on Copyrights and Patents, with no opportunity to renew. That way we get that touchy-feely "Artists get compensation" feeling without adversely impacting the economy or the creation of future content.
After all, what reason is there to create content if you can just spend the next 100 years living off what you've already done?