Register Of Copyrights Expected To Call For Reduction In Copyright Term
For a long time now, the idea of an overhaul of copyright law in the US has mostly been seen as a pipedream. However, it appears that the Register of Copyright, Maria Pallante, may actually be angling for a major bit of copyright reform. Coming up next Wednesday, she’s going to be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on her supposed “Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law.” Apparently, on March 4th, she gave a talk at Columbia University which has remained amazingly under the radar until now, in which she proposed a long list of possible copyright reforms, which are likely to headline the hearings next week. It’s fairly impressive, given how much attention copyright law has been getting lately, that she could present a surprising call for massive changes to the law, and not have a single person report on it immediately after the event ended. However, that is the case.
Having spoken to a few people who were either there or who spoke to people who were there, it appears that Pallante is proposing changes touching on nearly every part of copyright law, and as you might expect, it’s a very mixed bag, though I’ll withhold final judgment until we see the full details. However, the big one would be a change in copyright term length, to effectively “roll back” the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act with one caveat. That is, she’s proposing switching us back to a life plus fifty year copyright, but with the ability to renew for that additional 20 years for the tiny percentage of works that makes sense for. While, in the grand scheme of things, life + 50 is still ridiculously too long for copyright, this would be the first major reduction in copyright terms in the history of the US. That’s notable.
There are a number of other issues that she apparently is suggesting, including expanding collective licensing, “reforming” the DMCA exemptions process that has generated so much controversy lately over phone unlocking, a change to the DMCA’s safe harbors, some sort of effort around dealing with the orphan works issue (something the Copyright Office has been trying for for a while), and a “review” of statutory damages. This could get very interesting — though it’s unclear if it will be interesting in a good way or bad way. Once you open up the law, you have to realize that things could go in either direction. At the very least, a lot of lobbyists on all sides of copyright are about to be very busy for quite some time.
As we get more details, we’ll be writing more about this, I’m sure. And, of course, we’ll do our best to cover the hearing on Wednesday.
It’s a start.
Pennsylvania may finally privatize the liquor stores after years of having it run by the government. Getting liquor is ridiculously hard because the stores are very scarce.
The ruling is happening Monday in Harrisburg, and unions are expected to be out in full force.
Go figure, unions fucking shit up for people.
Why the fuck must the unions get in the way of having privately owned liquor stores?
They want to preserve their monopoly on labor and the monopoly on liquor stores.
Monopolies are not good and yet you defend them?
You defend government granted monopolies when there isn’t one cost-benefit analysis of why it should be monopolized.
State-run is not the same thing as monopoly, and you know that.
Yes it is.
When the government prevents private enterprise from owning and operating liquor stores, that’s monopolization.
Private businesses can sell beer. But just at beer stores. You can’t buy beer at Wal-Mart like other states. You can’t buy liquor anywhere except at state-owned and run liquor stores.
If the State is the only one who can operate a store, the State has a monopoly on the stores.
God damn it, rknjl is such an idiot. Does this guy really teach economics somewhere? Got to make sure my kids avoid it like the plague.
5 everyday things you won’t believe are copyrighted.
“Hooray for insane IP laws!” Shouted the ‘libertarian’ idiots who think they are defending ‘markets’ but actually are defending state granted privileges and monopolies.
I read this earlier but forgot to post it.
More reasons why IP laws needs to be abolished.
Once again, it’s not IP laws that are the issue here. It’s poor understanding and idiotic implementations on the part of lawyers and government. There needs to be protection of people who have created products or inventions because it is their property and their mind the made it possible. What happen is that the government, overvaluing and completely misunderstanding property rights allowed for this sort of thing to go on.
While property rights are important for ownership of one’s belongings, things purchased, land, etc.; IP laws (like copyright laws) are supposed to protect people from using the inventions or the creations of others without proper recognition (or compensation). Which is proper and as it should be. Yet this kind of crap is where lawyers and poor misinterpretations lead to insanity.
you’re doing it wrong.
why should ‘ownership’ of ideas (which can only exist through state granted privilege) outweigh actual ownership of actually existing things?
So I’m not allowed to do write The Virtue of Selfishness because Rand owns those letters in that arrangement? Even if I had never read anything she wrote, and had lived my whole life in a cave completely separated from the outside world and just happened to come up with the exact same arguments on my own? Just because she got her special state certificate, she “owns” those ideas, and I don’t? Those are “her” ideas, any my ideas, created independently of her, are somehow not the product of my own mind? (all that is assuming-just for the sake of argument-that all ideas just spring out of the mind without any relationship to previous ideas and that nothing depends on what Leonard Read called the “think-of-that’s” of previous thinkers)Her ownership of that arrangement of letters is so great, that it interferes with my right to use my pen and paper (you know, real physical property) as I see fit? So in a sense, she owns my pen and paper, at least to the extent that she can dictate what I can and cannot do with them?
I enjoyed this read on IP law: http://c4ss.org/content/7048