Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Politics

Hollywood Nervous About Kagan's Fair Use Views 239

Posted by kdawson
from the fair's-fair dept.
Of the many commentaries and analyses springing up about Obama's Supreme Court nominee, this community might be most interested in one from the Hollywood Reporter. Reader Hugh Pickens notes that Hollywood may have reason to be nervous about the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next US Supreme Court justice. "As dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009, Kagan was instrumental in beefing up the school's Berkman Center for Internet & Society by recruiting Lawrence Lessig and others who take a strongly liberal position on fair use in copyright disputes. And Kagan got an opportunity to showcase her feelings on intellectual property when the US Supreme Court asked her, as US Solicitor General, to weigh in on the big Cablevision case. 'After Cablevision announced in 2006 that it would allow subscribers to store TV programs on the cable operator's computer servers instead of on a hard-top box, Hollywood studios went nuts, predicting that the days of licensing on-demand content would be over,' writes Gardner. Kagan's brief compared remote-storage DVRs to VCRs (PDF), brought up the Sony/Betamax case, and lightly slapped Cablevision on the wrist for not making fair use a bigger issue. 'It sounds to us like Kagan would love the Court to determine when customers have a fair-use right to copy, which should cheer those on the copy-left at the EFF, and worry many in the entertainment industry.' On the minus side, Kagan has surrounded herself with entertainment industry advocates in the Justice Department."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hollywood Nervous About Kagan's Fair Use Views

Comments Filter:
  • Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PeterBrett (780946) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:12AM (#32167604) Homepage

    A story on the Supreme Court appointment that's actually News for Nerds rather than Republocrat propaganda!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      So let me get this straight. If you agree with it, it's news. But if you don't, it's Republocrat propaganda? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...
      • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SolusSD (680489) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:13AM (#32168030) Homepage
        No, this time it is actually about something we here at slashdot give a damn about- Copyright/IP laws. Oh, and the previous story linking to america's watchtower- yeah, that isn't exactly an objective perspective on... anything.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by davester666 (731373)

        You have the fair-use right to watch the TV Show at the time the station broadcasts it, on the devices they choose to enable you to view. And you have to stay and watch the commercials, otherwise you're stealing candy from the network executive's babies!

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:13AM (#32167610)
    I hope they're nervous. They need a little "fear" to keep them honest (or at least as honest as they can be considering they are the some of the greediest bastards on earth).

    Looks like both Dem's & Rep's aren't exactly thrilled with everything Elena Kagan stands for. It always sounds like a good choice when neither side is happy with the possibilities.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The corporations only have themselves to blame. If they're unwilling to respect the populace's common-law rights like fair use, then those rights will need government protection, which means oversight. They're going to be like the kid who keeps stealing lunches, whining that the teacher's constantly watching what they're doing. Mark my words.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cyber0ne (640846) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:25AM (#32167692) Homepage

      It always sounds like a good choice when neither side is happy with the possibilities.

      That's a refreshing bit for me right there. I'll admit that I don't follow politics much and don't really know anything about this person. But if neither dominant party thinks she's toeing the line enough then that's _exactly_ the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

        by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:46AM (#32168482) Homepage Journal

        But if neither dominant party thinks she's toeing the line enough then that's _exactly_ the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.

        Your logic is broken. I presume neither party would like bin Laden, but I don't think that would make him a good nomination. Have you heard why people don't like her? Here's some of her thoughts on the first amendment [firstamendmentcenter.org]:

        Kagan argued in the government’s brief that speech was entitled to no First Amendment protection if its harms outweigh its benefits: “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.” Kagan did not argue the case before the Court.

        Someone who feels that freedom of speech is overrated - spare me the "fire! in a theater" exceptions we already know about - is not someone who I want deciding freedom of speech cases.

        She also argued [reason.com] that prosecutors who deliberately manufacture evidence to convict (by definition) innocent people should not be civilly liable for their actions. I don't have great hopes that she'd side with individuals when it most matters.

        It seems like there's something for everyone to dislike about Kagan, unless you're already a person in power and seeking to extend your powers. Then she'd be the woman for the job.

        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by cyber0ne (640846) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @09:02AM (#32168672) Homepage

          Your logic is broken. I presume neither party would like bin Laden, but I don't think that would make him a good nomination.

          Granted, I could have elaborated more. But I assumed any reader would know what I meant.

          Have you heard why people don't like her?

          And how much of that was actually her? Or how much of it was her job as Solicitor General? It's a far cry from arguing the position of one's employer to actually holding one's own position on such matters.

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @09:17AM (#32168868) Homepage Journal

            Granted, I could have elaborated more. But I assumed any reader would know what I meant.

            I know what you meant, but still disagree with your conclusion.

            And how much of that was actually her? Or how much of it was her job as Solicitor General?

            I don't think that's a good excuse because it removes all personal responsibility. Compare with "Bush didn't really think we should invade Iraq, but he only did so because it was his job." Or more recently, "Obama really wanted to close Gitmo, but he kept it open because it was his job." I don't think either of those statements are more outlandish than the executive's top lawyer arguing that speech is too free.

            There's a time and a place to go along with work duties you disagree with, but there's also a time to stand up and say "this is wrong and I can't do this in good conscience." In my opinion, lobbying the Supreme Court for a position you disagree with is poor form if you eventually want people to trust that you don't agree with that position. It's bad morally, and it's bad politically.

            • by bws111 (1216812)

              It is the duty and responsibility of a lawyer to put forth the best possible case for their client, independent of their personal feelings. Saying otherwise is the same as saying it is OK to deny legal representation to some. Fortunately, the legal system doesn't work like that.

            • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

              by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:33PM (#32175986)
              I don't think that's a good excuse because it removes all personal responsibility. Compare with "Bush didn't really think we should invade Iraq, but he only did so because it was his job." Or more recently, "Obama really wanted to close Gitmo, but he kept it open because it was his job." I don't think either of those statements are more outlandish than the executive's top lawyer arguing that speech is too free.

              She had a boss. Her boss sets the tone of what he wants and why. Also, she was supposed to reflect the interests of the US government as best she could (which is broken in itself, as she should represent the US people, but that's not how it works) and did so.

              The president doesn't bow to the will of the people. He is to do what's best regardless of what others think. He can't be fired. He answers to no one (assuming no laws are broken). And for him to do something "because it's his job" stops when the oath is taken. No one could ever argue it was Bush's job to invade. If Congress declared war (and they didn't) then one could argue that it was his job. But there was no declared war, so he had no job related duty to invade.

              There's a time and a place to go along with work duties you disagree with, but there's also a time to stand up and say "this is wrong and I can't do this in good conscience." In my opinion, lobbying the Supreme Court for a position you disagree with is poor form if you eventually want people to trust that you don't agree with that position. It's bad morally, and it's bad politically.

              That's why it's so hard for senators to go on to president. They made fun of Kerry for "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." But that's exactly what happens. For political, personal, or financial reasons, people change their minds. The bills get a rider or are changed such that you were on the fence yes, then on the fence no, so you flip-flopped. That's politics. The Senate is much more an old-boys network where votes change that way (smaller and with more longevity than the House). Lawyering is the same way. If you ever defend a guilty person (and there isn't a defense lawyer that doesn't) you are arguing to release someone who is guilty. That takes a dedication to the system above the dedication to the truth or justice. That's how our system works. To fault someone because they do their duty to the system as required seems absurd. If she didn't take the position that's "wrong" and run with it, she'd have been fired. And taking the position she did, even if she doesn't agree with it, is still considered ethical and the proper thing to do. From your statements, you'd exclude all public defenders, all defense lawyers, and almost all prosecutors from ever serving just because they did their job as expected and required.

              It sounds like you either hate the adversarial judicial system we have, and are taking it out on her because she's in the public eye right now, or that you don't like her for some unrelated reason and are using this as an excuse when it applies to almost every lawyer universally and you aren't applying it to them.
        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          She's the new Harriet Miers, I think. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Miers)

          I'm leery of anyone who has no experience at being a judge serving as a judge.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by zz5555 (998945)

            I think most SC justices had never served as judges prior to joining the SC, so this isn't an oddity. As far as I know, neither Rehnquist or Warren served as judges, so there's precedent for both liberals and conservatives :). It would be hard to describe either's tenure as incompetent, so obviously the lack of judicial experience is not necessarily a hindrance to being a SC justice.

        • by Bemopolis (698691)

          Someone who feels that freedom of speech is overrated - spare me the "fire! in a theater" exceptions we already know about - is not someone who I want deciding freedom of speech cases.

          Given that the current court gave freedom of speech rights to *corporations*, I'm willing to gamble on someone with a less sanguine outlook on it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by radtea (464814)

          I presume neither party would like bin Laden

          I dunno... they both are using him as an excuse for the largest power grab and rights-trampling stampede in American history.

          The US government is currently in the process of pre-trial hearings for an illegally detained child soldier in Guantanomo Bay, which demonstrates the New American Empire's power to ignore the American constitution whenever it feels like it. And the illegally detained child soldier is a native-born Canadian citizen, so it is pretty clear that the New American Empire intends to extend

        • by Golddess (1361003)
          Not defending her as I know zip about her, but care to elaborate on that? For all i know your little snippet could simply be referring to "the 'fire! in a theater' exceptions we already know about", though I can certainly envision it referring to more.
        • by weston (16146) <westonsd @ c a n n c entral.org> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:25PM (#32173312) Homepage

          She also argued that prosecutors who deliberately manufacture evidence to convict innocent people should not be civilly liable for their actions.

          Before you use her participation in support of the Pottawattamie prosecutors to extrapolate her entire character, I recommend reading the Pottawattamie County v. McGhee [scotuswiki.com] article over at SCOTUSWiki. Among other things, you'll find out that even the McGhee and Harrington side of the case agrees that prosecutors "enjoy immunity when they knowingly introduce false testimony during trial" based on the 1976 SCOTUS decision in Imbler v. Pachtman. All the legal wrangling was over drawing lines across contiguous situations, like whether or not that immunity extends to pre-trial conditions. The central idea of immunity for prosecutors during trial apparently wasn't even really being questioned, because much of the lawyering world apparently believes that if you open prosecutors to liability, it'll have a "chilling effect" on their ability to pursue justice even in situations where the defendant is guilty as sin because of the threat of being buried under lawsuits.

          Now, from an ethical and liberty-focused perspective, I completely agree that a lot of this is ridiculous. I think that fabricating evidence is flat-out simply beyond the job description of any state officer, and so by definition, whether or not it happened pre-trial or during the trial, it's outside of official prosecutorial duties and can and should incur criminal and civil liability. But there are beings who walk the earth who see court cases very differently than a normal citizen does, who don't operate directly on matters of ethics and policy and justice and liberty, but instead on the law as the instrument which serves those matters, and who apparently see a prosecutors role as such an important one in actually pursuing justice that it's deserving of considerable latitude. I disagree and I think there's a cultural problem here that needs to be addressed by legal means: we're apparently going to need a law stating that fabrication of evidence is explicitly outside any public duty and that no immunity of any kind applies.

          I'm unimpressed by Kagan's advocacy, and think everybody should contact their Senator -- particularly if they've got one that's on the judiciary committee -- if for no other reason to highlight this issue, which hasn't received anywhere near its due attention, but flogging Kagan in particular for it probably isn't going to address a systemic problem.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:20AM (#32167656) Homepage

    Her name is on the Bilski brief submitted by the Obama administration:

    No extant field of technology or industry--including software and diagnostic methods, the two fields addressed by numerous amici--is wholly excluded from patent protection under that approach;

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's her acting in capacity as Solicitor General, which doesn't really count. She's required to argue in favor of all current laws in that position, regardless of personal beliefs.

      Is this Groundhog Day or something? We run through this every time we talk about any administration's Solicitor General.

      • The USA has no law on software patents. The relevant law was written before anyone was manufacturing computers: Legislation in the USA [swpat.org]

        • The USA has no law on software patents. The relevant law was written before anyone was manufacturing computers

          By that token, the USA has no law on internal combustion engine patents, direct current electronics patents, or any other type of invention. Go back to the 1790 Act. They left it explicitly vague because otherwise, every time an inventor came up with something new, it would be unpatentable until Congress added a specific exemption. Inventors move faster than legislators.

          • by DinDaddy (1168147)

            Two congress men talking in a hallway. One looks down and sees a snail crawling near his foot. He stomps on it, grinding it under his shoe.

            "Why'd you do that?" asks the other in surprise.

            "That damn thing's been following me around all day."

        • The USA has no law on software patents.

          From 35 USC 101 [bitlaw.com]: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." A software patent covers an allegedly novel method of information processing; how is such a method not a "new and useful process"?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Mr. Slippery (47854)

            A software patent covers an allegedly novel method of information processing; how is such a method not a "new and useful process"?

            In Gottschalk v. Benson [wikipedia.org], SCOTUS ruled that a "process" does not include mathematical algorithms. Methods of information processing are mathematical algorithms.

    • by darkmeridian (119044) <william@chuang.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:39AM (#32167778) Homepage

      If she is nominated, Kagan will have to be recused from all the cases that she handled as Solicitor General of the United States. That could be a few dozen cases. The reason is that as Solicitor General, she does not have the power to come up with her own viewpoints; she represents the President's interests. This isn't an indication of what she thinks, but she's just the person in charge of arguing the President's position.

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        I have been hoping similarly about Obama's choices in too many cases. Now it is settled : as long as he doesn't propose Lawrence Lessig or someone with similar views a job in government, I won't trust their intention on this "intellectual property" thing. Come on ! The people with common sense on these issues are not that uncommon, it is not like they would be hard to hire in an official position !
        • The people with common sense on these issues are not that uncommon, it is not like they would be hard to hire in an official position !

          I think the most "common" sense on this topic would be that copyright infringement (and many instances of fair use) = stealing.

          The common / lay opinion is not always the correct-by-the-law or correct-by-founders-intent opinion.

          • by Yvanhoe (564877)
            Common ? copyright infrigement is much more common that stealing. I think that the ideas your present are less prevalent than what you think. After all, the MPAA says it better : "you wouldn't steal a car".
            • by DinDaddy (1168147)

              I'd tend to agree with you. Virtually everyone who sees the "you wouldn't steal a car" baloney, laughs at it as it is clearly NOT the same.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jbengt (874751)
          FYI, Kagan recruited Lessig to Harvard when she was dean of their law school.
          And he was a on cable news yesterday speaking in favor of her nomination and confirmation.
      • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:54AM (#32167860) Homepage

        Kagan: Hey, Barack. This software patent's issue is a real head scratcher. I can't find your stance on it. Can you remind me of it?

        Obama: Elena, Elena, I'm busy. To be a patentable process, innovations should involve significant extra-solution activity i.e. activity central to the purpose of the claimed method. And don't forget that no patent can wholly pre-empt the use of a fundamental principle - and I don't just mean that a field-of-use restriction will suffice, I want to be sure that the algorithm can still be used for other purposes even in that same field.

        Kagan: Thanks, I'll go fluff that out and add references. (done [swpat.org]) Sorry to have bothered you, I simply don't have the power to come up with my own viewpoints, so I wanted to clarfy what yours are.

        (...or just maybe it's not a purely clerical role and there's a bit of Kagan in the document she wrote and got approved by the president.)

        • You're not understanding the process. The Solicitor General is the office responsible for representing the US Government in the Supreme Court. Like US Attorneys, they do not have much discretion to decide what position to take on issues. The President can tell his US Attorneys to bust people for marijuana use that is legal under state law to make a political point. The President can also tell his US Attorneys to try to conjure up a voting fraud case right before elections to get votes. The US Attorney doesn

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:41AM (#32167786) Homepage Journal

      Her name is on the Bilski brief submitted by the Obama administration:

      Of course it is. She's the Solicitor General.

      But there's a big difference between when your job is to be the lawyer for the United States (in regard to SCOTUS at least) and when you are actually sitting on that highest court. We've seen lots of conservative people move Left once they get to the Supreme Court. I don't remember anyone who has ever moved to the Right.

      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:10AM (#32168000) Homepage

        I don't remember anyone who has ever moved to the Right.

        That's because Democrat Presidents tend to nominate moderates (with an occasional joke Marxist stalking horse so that they can then put forward a "compromise"), while Republican Presidents offer the Senate a choice between Ghengis Scalia or Attila the Thomas.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:34AM (#32168322) Homepage Journal

          hat's because Democrat Presidents tend to nominate moderates

          Except that the justices who have moved most to the Left have been the ones appointed by Republicans.

          John Paul Stevens is an example of that. He was appointed by Gerald Ford and sold as a conservative. He is arguably the furthest Left of any Justice currently sitting on the Court.

          But maybe you have a point. Recent Republican presidents have appointed justices so far to the Right that there's really no place for them to go but Left.

          Robert Bork would almost certainly be considered not conservative enough by today's Republicans because he took the 2nd Amendment literally and believed it only applied to "well-regulated militias" and did not give everybody the right to pack heat.

          • by tepples (727027)

            Robert Bork would almost certainly be considered not conservative enough by today's Republicans because he took the 2nd Amendment literally and believed it only applied to "well-regulated militias" and did not give everybody the right to pack heat.

            As long as the right of the people to form "a well-regulated militia" is not infringed, I don't see how this would keep gun nuts from forming clubs and keeping and bearing arms. And given the historical classification of high-grade encryption as a munition, I can even see a Second Amendment argument against the DMCA's device bans (17 USC 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b)).

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Wyatt Earp (1029)

              Are free-speech advocates called "speech-nuts", are press advocates called "news-nuts" or are folks who hang out in groups called "assembly-nuts"? Of course not, rights spelled out in the Constitution are generally held up and honored, and things not in the Constitution like privacy and marriage are also generally up held and honored.

              Except right to bear arms, if you support that you are a "gun nut".

              The Supreme Court threw out the need to form clubs and established that firearm ownership, ammunition ownersh

          • Recent Republican presidents have appointed justices so far to the Right that there's really no place for them to go but Left.

            As John Paul Stevens said: I didn't move the the left, the supreme court moved to the right.

            /Paraphrased

  • technology changes law. technology does not fit into the confines as defined by law, law adjusts and accommodates to new technology

    and when law pits itself against technology, law always loses. technological progress has destroyed and swept aside so many legal, social, and political structures in this world

    why does anyone believe hollywood stands a chance? the internet has permanently changed media distribution, in favor of the consumer. all that media companies can do is adapt, or die. of course, in the adaptation period, plenty of absurd attempts at preserving the legal status quos of past dead technological eras will be attempted, but this is just denial

    in the end, we, the consumer, win. because technology empowers us to route around the old status quo. and if the law is pitted against the technology, then it also empowers us above the law (in this one narrow issue)

    • So law has lost against technology such as explosives?
      Or has that technology been massively restricted?

      Has law lost and changed when faced with technology such as radar detectors?
      Or has that technology just been more heavily restricted.

      plenty of technology is restricted or stunted by law.

      • think about the changes the gun wreaked on the feudal system

        think about the changes the printing press wreaked on traditional religious/ monarchical power structures

        think about the changes the nuclear bomb wreaked on warfare and international relations

        now think about the internet and its effects on copyright law

        the technology came, and changed everything. time and time again

        i'm not talking about civilian restrictions on dynamite or radar guns, these are tiny dots. i'm talking about the larger technological themes: the introduction of electronics, the introduction of sailing ships, the introduction of the cotton gin, etc. surely you can see how technology alter society and the law in ways no one can foresee or even understand when the technology is introduced. its not like the guys fiddling with the arpanet in the 1960s said "hey, lets destroy the recorded music industry", but that's what their invention is doing

        surely you can see technological change trumps existing law, and law must alter itself and adapt

        • There's a massive selection bias there.

          Any technologies which are sucessfully suppressed or regulated/controlled into obscurity by definition don't get much attention.

          • dynamite? plutonium? rocket propelled grenades? weaponized anthrax?

            obviously these technologies need to be controlled

            otherwise, what technologies can you possibly be talking about that has any merit on this subject matter?

            • That's the point.
              We can't know.
              I'm not even talking about malicious suppression etc.

              Perhaops well meaning regulations on radioactive isotopes have prevented/delayed the discovery of some really novel tech.

              If the whole betamacs case had gone another way technology around digital recording/playback may have been massively stunted.

              Hell the current biotech industry is looking very interesting but I'm wondering if fears about people cooking up viruses will cause it to be regulated to the point that advancement i

              • no one is going to outlaw biochemistry, no one is going to outlaw physics

                people ARE going to outlaw, and rightfully so (surely you can't say otherwise), working with SMALL SUBCLASSES of technology that only result in death and destruction

                otherwise, you get stupid morons like this:

                http://www.timw.com/2007/08/06/weird/radioactive-boy-scout-charged-in-smoke-detector-theft/ [timw.com]

                i understand your point completely, and your point is completely without merit

                you apparently cannot tell the difference between large overal

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by HungryHobo (1314109)

                  every large overall class has started out as a minor subclass.

                  Pleanty of currently available tech can make people dead yet is accepted because of it's benefits.
                  Pleanty of old tech if it were developed today would be stopped in it's tracks before it's benefits could be shown.

                  I know academics who work in drug trials who just love to point out that penecilin would almost certainly not even make it through the early stages of trial were it invented today because so many people are severly alergic to it.

                  It would

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The way I see it, America is gearing up for a new "war" that is never supposed to be won: the war on "piracy." Just like the "war on drugs," I see a scenario where millions of people are arrested for sharing books, music, and movies, and their lives are ruined. Children are already being fed propaganda, and I do not think it will be long before they are asked to turn in parents, siblings, and friends for sharing.

      In the end, it is not going to be a question of whether or not the law can defeat technolo
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      circletimessquare, that is one insightful post.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      technology changes law. technology does not fit into the confines as defined by law, law adjusts and accommodates to new technology

      I'm sorry, to double-post here, but the more I think about it, the is one of the most significant comments I've read on Slashdot.

      The only question I have is whether or not there is a boundary condition when corporations become so powerful that are able to make nations bend to their will. Yes, the internet has permanently changed media distribution, but corporations are exerting

  • by Pojut (1027544)

    Usually, if the movie industry opposes a view or a law, that's because it benefits their customers more than it benefits them :-)

    • by bws111 (1216812)

      So you usually support views and laws that benefit someone else to your detriment?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Pojut (1027544)

        So you usually support views and laws that benefit someone else to your detriment?

        If I'm being a douche about something, yes, I do support laws that benefit someone else at my expense.

        Sending Youtube and other websites takedown notices to remove five minute clips from movies (i.e. free advertising) is a douche move. Not allowing me to show a movie to my family because it has too many members and qualifies as a "public performance" is a douche move.

        Laws protecting fair use are appropriate and needed.

  • ...because of the last line in the summary:

    On the minus side, Kagan has surrounded herself with entertainment industry advocates [blogspot.com] in the Justice Department.

    • by Eharley (214725) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:56AM (#32167888)

      Elena Kagan doesn't run the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder does.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Slashdotters should be sympathetic to this; she obviously just trying to get laid! Entertainment industry advocates are quite well known for their aptitude at screwing people! (Kagan has never been married; I suspect she may be sympathetic to same-sex marriage issues, which in itself is a good reason to support her.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Protoslo (752870)
      If Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, then her replacement will likely be a former RIAA litigator [theatlantic.com]. I don't actually hold that against him, though, only his work on state secrets [firedoglake.com].

      Personally, I am not overly concerned about Kagan's fair-use views, whatever they may be (ultimately I think that problem will and should have a legislative solution), but I think there is a snowball's chance in hell that she will be as or more liberal than Stevens on executive power. Until being appointed Solicitor Gener
  • Wonderful! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:50AM (#32167846) Homepage Journal

    Hey, it's refreshing to hear of any public official actually being in favor of Fair Use.

    I don't know how it'll play out, but considering the pro-corporate stance most have taken, I'm encouraged by the fact that she even knows Lawrence Lessig and has apparently some understanding of the issues involved.

    Most of the Justices would just call up Jeff Bewkes and say "Whaddya think, Jeffie? You got it! Now can you get Seth Rogan to do standup at my nephew's birthday party"? (or, in Clarence Thomas' case, "Do you really know Jenna Jameson?")

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <{taiki} {at} {cox.net}> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:55AM (#32167874)

    A great HuffPo Piece [huffingtonpost.com] by none other than Lawrence Lessig, Mr. Creative Commons himself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gambino21 (809810)

      Unfortunately, much of Lessig's argument is based on his personal knowledge of her, and lacks evidence about what her political positions/ideology actually is. He even concedes at the end of the article that by replacing stevens, she will move the court further to the right, which wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that the current court is already pretty conservative.

      http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/27/lessig/index.html [salon.com]

  • liberal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @07:58AM (#32167898)

    I don't see what's "liberal" about fair use.

    I think people should stop trying to shoe-horn every single issue into a liberal/conservative spectrum.

    • by wurp (51446)

      Granting humans rights in lieu of giving the complementary power to a business is liberal, at least as liberal/conservative are defined today.

      I just refuse to define myself in terms of liberal/conservative, personally. My opinions do not live on a one dimensional scale.

    • Re:liberal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:05AM (#32167958)
      Perhaps you have not been paying attention: in America, "conservative" means "always do whatever corporations want," and "liberal" means "sometimes do whatever corporations want."
      • by mcvos (645701)

        More precisely: conservative means: "do whatever the oil industry wants", and liberal means: "do whatever Hollywood wants".

        Or, as a slightly more serious addition to this discussion: "liberal" comes from "liber", which means "free". You'd expect liberals to defend liberties, and I think fair use counts.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Liberal. Noun.
      4.
      favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible,
      5.
      favoring or permitting freedom of action
      11.
      not strict or rigorous; free; not literal

      Mind you, the meaning of the word isn't as politicised out here.

      • by skywire (469351) *

        That's all very true etymologically, but it does not accurately describe current American usage, which is much more complicated. At some point in the US, liberals became enamored of the use of state power to achieve equality, even at the expense of individual freedom. And an important component of American 'conservatism' is the preservation of American liberal values against the encroachments of the state. On issues related to copyright, there is no clear alignment of pro- and con- with 'conservative' and '

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          It is however the most accurate terminology for non-American speakers, and is unambiguous from context. There is no clear "Liberal" stance on fair use as in many other issues, just a "liberal" one. There's plenty that's liberal about fair use.

        • by dpilot (134227)

          I suspect it depends on where you see the greater threat to your personal liberty...

          The government, with laws and regulation...

          OR

          Corporations and/or other people, with economic coercion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by flanaganid (900938)

      liberal –adjective

      1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

      2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.

      3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.

      4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.

      5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with resp

  • Some people need to realize it isn't just "the man" in hollywood. By ripping off shows and movies they are also hurting the folks who work with the CG departments, lighting and sound, construction etc. Many of these people make an average or slightly above average salary and when people don't pay for content these people suffer. With that being said, Hollywood needs to stop the blatant abuse of the copyright system. Fair use should be just that, FAIR. I should have the ability to use the content I paid for
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      When Hollywood stops abusing the copyright system, we'll talk. Until then, it's lobbying and legal BS vs. human nature, advancing technology and the combined resources and intellect of every nerd on the planet. Which one do you think is going to win?
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @08:34AM (#32168314)

    Hollywood may have reason to be nervous about the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next US Supreme Court justice.

    You refer to the prophecy of The One who will bring balance to the Copyright. You believe it's this girl?

  • mgm vs grokster was unanimous. i think hollywood can live happily with 8 to 1 rulings. unfortunately it's going to take a lot more than one supreme court nominee to bring balance to america's copyright laws.
  • Question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Barrinmw (1791848)
    Why is it completely legal to link on a website to things like The Anarchist's Cookbook and other materials that can be used for seditious acts and mass murder...yet completely illegal if you link to copyrighted material?
  • by chainLynx (939076) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @09:48AM (#32169256) Homepage
    1) Recruiting people does not mean you share their ideological views. Indeed, one of the selling points of Kagan (according to her supporters) is that in spite of her supposed liberal views she was able to recruit people from across the ideological spectrum, including conservatives, to Harvard Law School.

    2) As the Solicitor General, you are a lawyer for the government. You argue their cases. We should not confuse positions she took as the Solicitor General with her own personal opinions on the cases.

    If anyone wants the real story on Kagan (she's woefully unprepared for the Supreme Court) please read what Glenn Greenwald has recently been writing about her http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/13/kagan [salon.com] and a debate yesterday http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/10/progressives_divided_over_obamas_nomination_of [democracynow.org]
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @12:17PM (#32171594) Homepage

    > And Kagan got an opportunity to showcase her feelings on intellectual
    > property when the US Supreme Court asked her, as US Solicitor General, to
    > weigh in on the big Cablevision case.

    Not her views. She was repersenting the adminstration. He personal views may or may not be the same as those she presented on behalf of her employer.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

Working...