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Republicans Politics Your Rights Online

GOP Brief Attacks Current Copyright Law 296

Posted by timothy
from the political-parties-work-like-stopped-clocks dept.
cervesaebraciator writes "Regardless of how one feels about the GOP generally, it is always heartening to see current copyright and IP law questioned on a national stage. A Republican study committee, chaired by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan released a brief today titled Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it. Among other things, the brief attacks current copyright law as hampering scientific inquiry, penalizing journalism, and retarding the potential of the internet to allow the dispersion of knowledge through e-readers. In the briefs words, 'Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets – rather it destroys entire markets.' Four potential policy solutions are proposed: statutory damage reform, expansion of fair use, punishing false copyright claims, and limiting copyright terms. There may yet be hope for a national debate on the current oppressive copyright system, if just a fool's hope."
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GOP Brief Attacks Current Copyright Law

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:17PM (#42008275)

    Most likely, they're just interested in destroying that liberal bastion of big bucks, Hollywood.

  • by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <david@clarke.hrgeneralist@ca> on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:18PM (#42008287)
    Unfortunately, a Republican study committee != Republican policies and platforms.
  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:26PM (#42008337)

    If that were the case, a simple IRS audit of their expense reports would blow it away from orbit.

  • by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <david@clarke.hrgeneralist@ca> on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:31PM (#42008391)

    Sure it is, give credit where credit is due.

    Okay, I'll give credit to the EFF for promoting these principles for the last 22 years, and Socrates for proposing the concept of the freedom to share ideas.

    To be honest, I think theyr'e both just posers that stole ideas from others, but I don't know THEIR names.

  • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bunratty (545641) on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:33PM (#42008407)
    That's a bit of a fine line, because what will often promote the progress of science and useful arts is compensating the people who produce useful work so they can produce more of it by devoting themselves full time to it. And if they are compensated more for producing more and better work, they are more likely to produce more and better work.
  • by hondo77 (324058) on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:45PM (#42008521) Homepage
    Then some smart Democrats should throw their support behind this paper, tout their bipartisanship, and wait for some Republicans who, wisely, don't want to be further marginalized so they jump on the bipartisanship bandwagon. Kumbaya! It could happen...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:45PM (#42008531)

    then they're looking to transfer copyright ownership to another private entity, instead of giving it to the public.

    Prove it, or admit that you're lying. Those are your only possible choices.

    And no "they're Republicans" is not proof, and yes, that is what you were going to say.

  • Re:Holy Cow! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mooingyak (720677) on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:46PM (#42008541)

    That's a bit of a fine line, because what will often promote the progress of science and useful arts is compensating the people who produce useful work so they can produce more of it by devoting themselves full time to it. And if they are compensated more for producing more and better work, they are more likely to produce more and better work.

    While I certainly accept that concept, what I think is being said is that copyright law is first and foremost intended to foster innovation. If that means compensating authors and/or copyright holders, so be it, but remember that the compensation is the means to an end and not the desired end itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:55PM (#42008645)

    Everybody knows: Democrats are Entertainment and Republicans are Banking/Industry.
    While a gross simplification it pretty well describes the overarching legal policies of both sides regarding industry (outside of 'social' or 'religious' related reform.)

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:17PM (#42008831)

    Unenforceable. Who sets how much it worth? it also has huge implications for undermining long-term financial health of projects and properties.

    A better solution would be shorter copyright terms attached to renewal-with-conditions. Say, everything gets an automatic ten years when it is created. After that it can be renewed in ten year increments for a moderate fee, up to a maximum or 50 years or something. As part of the renewal process a high quality copy or representation must be provided to the copyright office, to be made available (probably for a moderate fee again) after the copyright has expired.

    So, as long as the creators are actively profiting off their creation they can keep on controlling it. Once it is no longer in active use it falls into public domain, with a high quality copy available.

  • by acid brother (2775575) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:26PM (#42008901)
    Perhaps it helps that the republicans don't have so many ties to Hollywood and the entertainment industry. That's just an assumption though.
  • by maugle (1369813) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:33PM (#42008961)
    "Four potential policy solutions are proposed: statutory damage reform, expansion of fair use, punishing false copyright claims, and limiting copyright terms."

    YES. That one alone would go a long ways towards leveling the playing field between individuals and huge corporations.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:37PM (#42008997) Journal

    Jobs and a balanced budget? Holy shit, that's some funny stuff. The straight Republican line has always been that the government can't create jobs. And a balanced budget? You do know that we're in this fucking mess because at the first sign of a surplus to pay off the debt, the Republicans put in a 10 year tax cut that wiped out every single dollar of surplus that would have retired the debt? And while they were giving the surplus back, instead of cutting costs they super-finded the military and decided to commit to two immensely expensive wars.

    And don't start crying about SS and Medicare. You know how they're actually doing at the moment? Well, they happen to be holding about 1/4 of the US Debt. That's right - the Republicans borrowed from the Democratic/Socialist piggy bank to bankroll their "war on terror."

    Don't fucking talk about jobs and economy - they're as guilty as they come. The only difference is that they want to put monitors in your bedroom so you don't do anything they feel is out of place with their perfect religion, which absolves them of fucking over their fellow man every Sunday so that they can feel like they're holding the moral high ground while they trample the poor on the way to paying for a hooker or bedding their neighbors wives.

    They put up what was probably the most moderate Republican candidate since, hell, before I was born in a lousy economy that needed real business know-how...and he still lost by almost 3 million votes to a black man who's never run a company because they forced him to wear that super-conservative Republican platform around his neck like a God damned albatross.

  • by tbird81 (946205) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:40PM (#42009017)

    Sad that most of Slashdot is against it because of the colour of their ties.

    Getting rid of crony capitalism corporatism is more important that rep or dem.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:57PM (#42009129) Homepage Journal

    Parent is modded troll - despite the fact that we see both parties working hard to extend draconian copyright laws?

    The "rights holders" have carte blanche in treaty negotiations, as evidenced with ACTA and NPP. These so-called "rights holders" work around the clock to write ever more restrictive treaties, that will trump national laws around the world. Nations with reasonable laws will be bullied into signing these treaties, then be required to enforce the measures in the treaties.

    Troll? If Mozumber's post is a troll, then I'm a troll as well.

    The GOP cannot claim innocence in any aspect of what is going on in the copyright/patent wars.

  • by causality (777677) on Friday November 16, 2012 @09:13PM (#42009219)

    See this is the bullshit. Why is this jackwad getting a 1 from some slashdot fairy for engaging in mindless partisan bomb throwing? What he wrote is approved group think so he (or she) get a pat on the head?

    It is easier when you understand that much of this comes from the frustration of never really feeling represented by anyone in Washington. Especially when the facts are so well-established and becoming more and more obvious. Copyright is just such an issue.

    The War on (some) Drugs is another such issue. What that and copyright have in common is that the current laws just aren't working, this is obvious and well-known to anyone who looks into it, and there is no serious effort underway to reform the system.

    He even labelled his comments as "sarcasm" and said he would like to be proven wrong. He was rather transparent about it. That's why the context surrounding it must also be considered, otherwise you really would just think he's engaging in mindless partisanism.

  • by mellon (7048) on Friday November 16, 2012 @09:17PM (#42009229) Homepage

    The majority of the current batch might not, but it's by no means the case that this is a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Lamar Smith, who sponsored SOPA, is a Republican in a gerrymandered district. Most of the people who took down SOPA in committee were Democrats. Pat Leahy, a Democrat, sponsored PIPA, SOPA's sister legislation in the Senate.

    Point being, if this is an important issue to you, pay attention to which party is likely to win in your district, and register for that party and vote in the primary. Try to get one of the candidates in the primary to take positions in favor of some of the ideas mentioned in TFA. Work to get that candidate to win the primary.

    Seriously, this is that rare issue where neither party has a strong position for or against, so it's entirely possible to get enough people to vote in favor of changing the law to be less in favor of copyright holders. But you have to actually work at it—it's not enough to grouse about it on Slashdot.

  • by OneAhead (1495535) on Friday November 16, 2012 @09:22PM (#42009241)
    3) The GOP will distance itself from its own committee's results (like we've never seen that happen before) and we won't hear another word about it.
  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Friday November 16, 2012 @09:36PM (#42009321)

    Aren't you thinking of a Libertarian? I've never met a Republican who advocated no taxes at all. Republicans are not Libertarians any more than Democrats are socialists.

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Friday November 16, 2012 @09:42PM (#42009351)

    Troll? If Mozumber's post is a troll, then I'm a troll as well.

    I disagree; you are not a troll. I suspect that the parent was modded troll because he acted as a provocateur, charging the GOP with representing monopolists as though it were peculiar to the GOP. Your statement was far more reasonable in that it recognized both parties can be thus implicated.

    I do not say this to exonerate the GOP, nor is this a false equivalence. The fact that people habitually act as though one side or the other has sole responsibility for the problems we face is part of what allows those problems to persist (i.e. when the consequences arise, both parties always have a scapegoat). The cure to this problem is, as far as is possible, to praise and punish those lawmakers who do good or ill according to the good or ill they do. When some lawmaker says we need copyright reform because our current system, we will never get anywhere by saying, "Well, that's coming from a member of the [fill-in-party-here]." If I have a problem with the absurd wars started under Republican administrations, I'm not going praise Joe Biden [senate.gov] for being a Democrat. If I've a problem with deficits, I'm hardly going to support Paul Ryan [house.gov] on account of Republican rhetoric.

  • by IorDMUX (870522) <mark.zimmerman3@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @12:16AM (#42010083) Homepage

    Sad that most of Slashdot is against it because of the colour of their ties.

    Have you been reading the same comments that I have? As I'm not quite certain where you discovered that most everybody opposes it...

  • Perhaps.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @01:04AM (#42010251) Homepage Journal

    They should have proposed this prior to the last presidential election? Or made a point to mention it during the debates? It's quite possible they might have swayed a few votes their way. Guess that was too risky?

  • by dryeo (100693) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @02:41AM (#42010559)

    You weren't born into a society that was set up to increase your survival chances? You didn't grow up fairly safe due to society making it so the odds of you growing up were fairly high? You didn't get educated? You didn't live on land that was stolen by society? You have never benefited by having food delivered over the road system? You have never benefited by being able to go to work? You have never benefited from having a workplace to go to?
    The list of benefits that you have received is huge.
    If you don't want to use government services, quit working, get dropped off on a random piece of the Alaska highway and live without government services.
    You seem to believe that you haven't benefited from society and live separate from society. Proof it, quit using anything supplied by society and you won't have to pay taxes.

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