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U.S. Reps Chu and Coble Start Intellectual Property Caucus 150

Posted by timothy
from the please-line-up-here-with-your-bribes dept.
cervesaebraciator writes "U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) will be starting a new caucus with the ostensible purpose of protecting the intellectual property rights of filmmakers, musicians and other artists. The new caucus, styled the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus, will be formed along with Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC). Chu's office released a statement, including the following: 'American innovation hinges on creativity – it is what allows our kids to dream big and our artists to create works that inspire us all. The jobs that result are thanks entirely to our willingness to foster creative talent, and an environment where it can thrive and prosper. [...] The Congressional Creative Rights Caucus will serve to educate Members of Congress and the general public about the importance of preserving and protecting the rights of the creative community in the U.S. American creators of motion pictures, music, software and other creative works rely on Congress to protect their copyrights, human rights, First Amendment rights and property rights.'"
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U.S. Reps Chu and Coble Start Intellectual Property Caucus

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  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @07:45AM (#42994621)

    The corporations?

    Eat a dick liars!

    • by White Flame (1074973) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:39AM (#42994749)

      And what caucus will promote the Public Domain?

      • Be Serious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by IBitOBear (410965) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @10:08PM (#42999341) Homepage Journal

        This "represetation of the artists" will be the DRM and studios... I get your point about the public domain, but who is going to represent the _actual_ artists and other creatives?

        • This "represetation of the artists" will be the DRM and studios... I get your point about the public domain, but who is going to represent the _actual_ artists and other creatives?

          More liars!
           
          (people who say they are representing some little private entity but are really just a strawman entity for the corps)

      • by Quirkz (1206400)
        He he. First thing I thought when I saw this headline was, "Somebody ought to go and start a Society for the Public Domain" already!
    • by flyneye (84093) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:47AM (#42994775) Homepage

      Meanwhile, the people are educated by the people who are vastly not fooled.
      Unfortunately, these are the same people who also know the corruption of government, the lies of the media, that taxes buy votes, that marijuana is safe,that guns don't kill people, that doctors do kill people, the lottery is an idiot tax, the war is over corporate interests, black is not white, etc...

                But , it just doesn't matter, because the government will always tip to those who fill their individual retirement funds and promote their continued office.

                Tired of voting Repubmocrat tyranny yet or do we vote for business as usual next time? Are you one of the educated or just another drone that is part of the problem?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Are you one of the educated or just another drone that is part of the problem?

        Are you kidding?

        You're talking to drone city here. Most of Slashdot is Microsoft or Apple reputation management teams, there's almost no real nerds left.

        • [Corporation] would not post on this forum, everyone knows that this forum is full of [enemy Corporation] trolls. You're just being an [enemy Corporation] fanboi.

          Sent from my new [Corporation gadget]

          Paid for by NerdRage LikeSoft, pay for your copy of LikeSoft today and get 100 likes and 10 slashdot Frist Psot's free!

      • This post makes little to no sense. It reminds me of TimeCube. Way to sprinkle in the correct phrases to get modded up. Maybe you had a point, but the only thing I got out of it is that people will mod up incoherent posts if they can catch just a single phrase or word that aligns with their worldview. Let's test out this theory:

        FUCK COPYRIGHT!

        Just so you know, I'm not accusing you of being an idiot or anything. I just think you failed to clarify and support your point.

        • by flyneye (84093)

          On /. I have the expectation that a certain percentage are cognizant enough to " get it" without paragraphs of explanations and an outline, in order to resonate.
          This is my target audience for discussion.

          No offense meant or taken, thank you.

        • by flyneye (84093)

          Yes, fuck copyright.

    • Every time, again and again, this video [vimeo.com] becomes more and more of a reality. It's a good thing that as a matter of happenstance the creators used the UK as the operating theater. The rest of Europe will be moving the other way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @07:47AM (#42994629)

    With the outsourcing of jobs and the cheap labour of Asia/India replacing the manufacturing sector in the USA, what does it have left to export or create jobs with?

    You can't make a Hollywood blockbuster in China or India or South Africa, you can't outsource new music to India...

    But make no mistake about it, the word "preserve" here is code for "never allow into public domain."

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Now, why does this remind me of stories like these?
      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/life-pi-house-rhythm-hues-422482 [hollywoodreporter.com]

    • by Znork (31774) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:54AM (#42994785)

      IP is ultimately a form of taxation and redistribution and as such it contributes to the general cost level of the economy. Saying that IPR is needed because the jobs are the only ones that don't get outsourced to cheaper countries is equivalent to saying that we need higher taxes to pay for government jobs that are the only ones that don't get oursourced.

      IPR simply makes an economy less competitive and is part of the reason why everything is too expensive to do in the west.

      And frankly I can't see any reason why blockbuster couldn't trivially be outsourced. The script for most films could probably be written by, eh, a script. Effects can certianly be done anywhere and I really doubt actors will last beyond the decade before they start getting replaced by rendered versions.

      • The script for most films could probably be written by, eh, a script.

        If that's the case, what are you doing making posts on /.? Start hacking some Python and become a billionaire. Or maybe you should watch something other than Michael Bay films -- a script won't replicate the talent of Charlie Kaufman or William Goldman.

        When it comes to the IP issue, it's neither taxation nor redistribution. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks aren't necessarily detrimental to the economy; I would argue that they all have value. It's the implementation that's all screwy in this country. Pate

    • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Sunday February 24, 2013 @10:26AM (#42995071) Homepage

      You can't make a Hollywood blockbuster in China or India or South Africa, you can't outsource new music to India...

      Yet.

      CG technology is approaching full photo realism, including for simulated human actors. Voice simulation too is advancing enormously, just look at the most recent generation of the Vocaloid software line in Japan. In a few years all the pieces will be in place for any small CG studio in the world to produce entirely virtual Hollywood-level blockbusters indistinguishable from any "real" production. They won't be able to use the likeness of currently living famous actors, at least not if they plan to release in the US, but add a few more years of well crafted virtual actors reappearing and forging brand awareness and even that will be a moot point.

      Unless Hollywood discovers a way to out-innovate technological advances its prominence, a result mostly of the outrageous costs of state-of-the-art film making that so far only it could manage to fund, is a decline in the waiting.

      • by lennier1 (264730)

        Even a great job in the CG sector isn't worth shit when the business side of the industry runs the companies into the ground: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/life-pi-house-rhythm-hues-422482 [hollywoodreporter.com]

      • by Rakarra (112805)

        indistinguishable from any "real" production

        We'll see. We've been hearing that for a LONG time now and it always seems to be "just around the corner." Good CG takes manpower, 'indistinguishable CG" takes ridiculous amounts of manpower and time, and the very best effects films use a blend of CG touching up traditional physical effects.

        Every CG-human film I've ever seen has had what I'd considered "bad CG effects." They're noticeable, they really detract, and I usually end up wishing they'd filmed actual people.

        • by alexgieg (948359)

          We've been hearing that for a LONG time now and it always seems to be "just around the corner."

          No, not around the corner. This follows more or less Moore's Law. I don't remember the exact figures, but I remember one or two years ago reading someone had calculated the amount of time needed for we to reach full high-definition real-time photo-realistic 3D CG to be on the order of 14 to 22 years. I don't know about speech synthesis, but that time frame allows for tons of tweaking on emotional responses, not to mention other improvements. Then it'll be a matter of having easier and easier tools being dev

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      You can't make a Hollywood blockbuster in China or India or South Africa, you can't outsource new music to India...

      You [youtube.com] reckon? [wikipedia.org]

    • You can't make a Hollywood blockbuster in China or India or South Africa

      You don't say! Where do they make Hollywood blockbusters then? I just can't work it out...

    • by bbelt16ag (744938)
      um, first off music can be made anywhere, All you need is a studio and the hardware. Both are getting cheaper by the day. They will be posted on you-tube and the like. Movies like a blockbuster are going to take awhile, but not forever. The tv shows are dying off, and you tube is taking over as well. They intelligent and creatives are making videos and getting money from these. They have the ability to be sponsored by commercial entities like PBS or CBS or who ever. Its the perfect medium to get your
  • No Hope, No Change (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haruchai (17472) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @07:48AM (#42994633)

    looks like the RIAA / MPAA is, once again, stepping up their game

    • by _xeno_ (155264) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:14AM (#42994693) Homepage Journal

      Bingo. I was hoping that, even after seeing "(D-CA)", this would be someone talking about making IP laws sane.

      Nope.

      This is all about "strengthening" them because they're "ineffective."

      Really all you need to know is this bit from Rep. Chu's own press release:

      The motion picture industry has a strong economic presence in Rep. Chu's current district. According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), $437 million is paid by their member studios to local businesses, and almost 140,000 jobs are in direct film and television in Los Angeles County.

      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:44AM (#42994769)

        They are ineffective. And the only way to make them effective in the age of the internet is to make them draconian. You can't hope to enforce a law against a crime so trivial to commit and commonplace if you need to worry about things like proof, verified evidence, a fair hearing or all the other things usually seen as legal rights. Just like you can't hope to stop people shareing memory sticks full of music with their friends unless you ban the technology to make those copies, or at least impose a penalty far out of proportion so you can ruin a few lives as examples to the rest of the population. That is the price of effective copyright, and I'm not willing to pay it.

      • by KiloByte (825081) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:01AM (#42994809)

        I was hoping that, even after seeing "(D-CA)", this would be someone talking about making IP laws sane.

        You got party affiliation wrong. It's Democrites who suck on MAFIAA's teat more. Repugnicants prefer big oil and military contractors; both parties are all-out whores to big finance.

        But really, the difference between these two parties is pretty cosmetic.

        • Huey Long had it right.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvZb8y7Cp7w [youtube.com]

        • by _xeno_ (155264)

          But really, the difference between these two parties is pretty cosmetic.

          Actually, I was more focused on the "CA" part of "D-CA" than the "D" - since, as you point out, it's the state that the politician's from that determines which company they serve. D or R, if it's "CA," that means "film/record industry." TX would mean oil, and NY means finance.

          If it were anything other than a D or R that might mean something, but D or R, you're never going to hear any politician from CA interested in useful IP reform.

      • by Jetra (2622687)
        Life plus 70 isn't enough? Where will they stop? Life of the Universe + a couple of centuries?
    • by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:15AM (#42994699)

      True, but the voters are the ones to blame for this. Lobbyists can promote candidates, but they can't vote for them.

      I want to stress, by the way, that this isn't a republican or democrat thing and I'd hope to nip those blame games in the bud. The problem here is people not bothering to look at who they vote for. Among things that people vote for are this: whether it's a D or an R next to their name, whether or not their friends are voting for them, whether or not they like their appearance, or most recently the color of their skin (seriously, my sister voted for no reason other than she thought it would be good to have a black president.)

      If any of you have ever seen v for vendetta, he paints equal blame for an oppressive government on the citizens themselves. And that is exactly the thing - we're basically reaping what we've sown. And please, for gods sakes, don't go around telling people who they should vote for either. Tell them to either think for themselves about what they are voting for, or else do everybody else a favor and don't vote at all.

      If you want proof of this, just read slashdot. Not the articles, but the comments. It's pretty hard to find a liberal that is in favor of gun control, yet still they vote in droves for politicians who are in favor of gun control. It's hard to find a conservative that is in favor of big government, yet they still vote in droves for politicians that are in favor of big government. Quit voting for the god damn letter, and always second guess those advertisements that e.g. say Joe the politician voted against education funding when in reality the bill he voted against was aimed at something else entirely, but had education as an earmark.

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:24AM (#42994887) Homepage

        I want to stress, by the way, that this isn't a republican or democrat thing and I'd hope to nip those blame games in the bud.

        Absolutely, it's not a Democrat thing nor a Republican thing. What it is is an entrenched corruption thing. For instance, a freshman congressman can show up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for their first session, ready to debate the issues of the day, and will promptly find out that their own party leadership (who controls the agenda) will ignore them unless they raise $5 million for the party's congressional campaign fund. If they don't play the game, they don't get any kind of serious say in what's going on, and are doomed to life as a backbencher who's bills never make it into a committee hearing, much less a floor vote, and all the federal pork will move out of their district (creating unemployment), until they either give up and decide not to run again, or play ball.

        That's the game in Washington, and everyone is playing it, except possibly Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME). For those of you wondering why I left out Joe Lieberman (I-CT), it's because he may be nominally independent, but he's a major fundraiser for the Democrats, so they protect him from even the primary voters from Connecticut.

      • by jmichaelg (148257) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @01:13PM (#42995857) Journal

        It doesn't matter who is voted into office, what matters is who is willing to pay for the campaign. It takes money to run for Congress and these creatures are acting no differently than their predecessors or successors.

        It takes a small number of people with a strong vested interest to fund a campaign when the opposition is not willing to fund an counter campaign. To wit

        Judy Chu, a Democrat, [opensecrets.org] has raised $80,000 from people, pacs and companies associated with the movie industry.

        Howard Coble, a Republican, [opensecrets.org] has raised $40,000 from the same sources.

        $120,000 tells you why these people are doing this. Slashdot isn't raising $120,000 against the legislation so it goes forward..

        This snippet sums it all up, "I've put in two calls to your PAC director, and I haven't received any return phone calls," the Congressman said, according to Williams. "Now why am I taking this meeting?" The minute he left the office, Williams called his PAC director, and she cut those checks. " [npr.org]

      • by Rakarra (112805)

        If you want proof of this, just read slashdot. Not the articles, but the comments. It's pretty hard to find a liberal that is in favor of gun control, yet still they vote in droves for politicians who are in favor of gun control. It's hard to find a conservative that is in favor of big government, yet they still vote in droves for politicians that are in favor of big government.

        That's because we don't have politicians for single issues (usually). Instead, when voting, we have to decide the following: Do I want to vote for candidate 1 whom I agree with on issue X and Y, but disagree on Z, or do I vote for candidate 2 whom I agree with on Y and Z but disagree with his position on X? You'll almost never find someone whom you agree with all the time, always you'll have to choose someone who -best- represents your interests, not perfectly represents them. If I vote in candidate 2, doe

  • I love good music (Score:5, Insightful)

    by balsy2001 (941953) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:10AM (#42994679)
    And good films. However, it is only possible to make money on those when people in other industries are employed and have disposable income. These jobs are secondary effects of others having money to spend on them. It is maslow's hierarchy of needs, if everyone else is broke they can't and won't buy the media. Some will turn to piracy and some will just do without. You can't create jobs or support an economy with a circle of media industry workers buying each others stuff. By necessity there needs to be other people involved. If the law makers wanted to help, they would work on improving the economy. With more disposable income in the hands of the masses, media sales would increase. If the media industry wanted to help they could improve the quality of their product and/or lower prices (I feel like there is not nearly as many good movies any more, but maybe it is just because I am getting older). While "strengthening" the IP protections of artists may prevent some people from pirating media, I don't think this is the big problem. I'm not sure I know any adults in the work force that pirate stuff. Most just buy the things that they think are worth the price and don't bother with the other stuff.
    • While "strengthening" the IP protections of artists may prevent some people from pirating media

      I actually think that would just anger even more people.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "American innovation hinges on creativity â" it is what allows our kids to dream big ..."

    - and then pay royalties on those dreams. We can't let them kids steal those dreams. Think of the children!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, I'm over it and past it. Do I still directly contribute to the individual artist or inventor if I can? Yes.

    Do I respect the patents, copyrights, and trademarks of large corporations? Well, not any more.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My property rights when I've bought a movie?

    No, apparently you're fighting to remove my property rights.

    My First Ammendment when it comes to saying what I've heard?

    No, apparently you're fighting to remove my First Ammendment rights.

  • by cjonslashdot (904508) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:05AM (#42994819)

    Nowhere in the US Constitution does it equate protections of rights pertaining to intellectual works as "property".

    The term "property" implies that it can be sold, that it can be inherited, that it can be owned - and owned by non-persons at that. Nowhere does the Constitution say these things, nor does it even use the term "property" in this context.

    Rather, it says that Congress shall have the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." And that is all it says on the matter.

    Note that it says "Authors and Inventors". It does not say businesses: if it had meant to include businesses, it would have said so, but the Constitution starts out with "We the People", and it is about the rights of people and the powers and limitations of government over those people (much less corporations or unions, which are not people: a group of persons is not a person any more than a human body is a cell). And note that the Constitution uses the term "exclusive Right": it does not use the term "property". A right is akin to a lease. It is not ownership of the object in question. Thus, in the term "intellectual property", the "property" is merely a lease of sorts granted to Authors and Inventors (people) - for a limited time. That does not automatically imply inheritance to me, nor does it automatically imply that it can be bought and sold as we assume that property can: those are extrapolations of the "rights" intended and we should question those extrapolations and not take them for granted: do they actually promote science and the useful arts? I therefore think that the term "intellectual property" implies extrapolations that might not have been intended.

    Copyright and patent law (these terms are also not in the Constitution) have made huge leaps beyond what the Constitution intended. That is why we are off track.

    • It would be perverse indeed to assume that the founders intended a system where every copyright holder would have to own a publishing company. Because that is exactly what you are proposing.

      It was certainly NOT true under English law that this was the case, and there is no evidence that such was the intent of the founders to require this.

      The existing process in English law included the sale of the copyright to publishers, and in fact this process was encouraged by people like John Locke when the reform of L

      • And yet we live in a world where every artist / writer / collective CAN have their own publishing company and it is trivial to set up. The cost of distribution is nearly zero, the cost of transaction is the same as any business and again trivial. The cost of marketing is probably the biggest expense and time consumer.

        Creative people don't need publishers, they just need good PR. They don't need to sell their copyrights for that. There is no need to allow businesses to own copyrights.

        • > And yet we live in a world where every artist / writer / collective CAN have their own publishing company and it is trivial to set up.

          Sure, they can do that, which is a really cool thing. However back in 1787 the problems of being a publisher were much more severe. Ben Franklin had all kinds of issues publishing his periodicals, including such basic things like there being an extremely limited supply of paper in the US. The history of RittenhouseTown is pretty interesting if you are interested.

          And can

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > It would be perverse indeed to assume that the founders intended a system where every copyright holder would have to own a publishing company. Because that is exactly what you are proposing.

        That's pretty much the way it was in 1776.

        Publishing was much more decentralized then. You didn't have a cartel of gatekeepers deciding what would get published. Business entities in general were much smaller.

        The idea that some variation on the British East India Company would control the creation of art or inventio

    • Yeah, but corporations are people don't-ya-know

      • And since I think you are being ironic, I think you will agree that that is part of the point I am making. The Constitution is about the powers of government over people, and the rights of people. Nowhere does it say "business" or "corporation". (I believe that corporations of sorts did exist at that time, especially in Europe, although US corporate law was still someone non-existent I believe but I could be wrong.) Regardless, the assumption that the Constitution's provision "...securing for limited Times
    • I agree. This is why when I submitted the article I put the term "intellectual property" in quotes. This did not survive the editorial process but I suppose one can't complain. We are, whether we like it or not, compelled to use this dreadful term if for no other reason than to identify it as a problematic concept. "(Thus the age perfects its clench.)"

      My favorite thing about the press release, however, was the name of the caucus. "Creative Rights". Who can argue with creative rights? Rights is a trump card

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      Nowhere in the US Constitution does it equate protections of rights pertaining to intellectual works as "property".

      There is a LOT of things the Constitution does not enumerate or spell out or define. That doesn't mean much.
      As you point out the Constitution offers Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right... And there is an implication that the Author and Inventor can transfer that right, otherwise what is the point of having an exclusive right? Note that it also refers to Authors and Inventors, it doesn't refer to people or corporations or groups, or anything. Just "Author" and "Inventor."

      • 'chrismcb', you wrote, "Note that it also refers to Authors and Inventors, it doesn't refer to people or corporations or groups, or anything. Just 'Author' and 'Inventor.' "

        But the Constitution starts out with "We the People..."

        I think that if we continue down the road of imputing personhood to every kind of grouping of persons, then we are in big trouble; and I think that if we continue down the road of conferring the rights that people have to every kind of grouping of persons, then we are in even bigger

  • Corporate interests (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:06AM (#42994823)
    Do they realize that 99% of theses rules that corporations want will hurt artists, creators, etc. The record companies want to bring back the days where they can sell a million records and the band hardly gets enough money to buy a new van.

    A great but typical example of this would be the guy who wrote the book, "Nature of Code"(great book) he now gives people the option of buying his book online for a price you choose ranging from 0-10 dollars. Other than the transaction fee he gets 100% of the money resulting in his getting up to triple as much as he did when his previous book sold through a traditional publisher while the consumer gets it for 1/5th as much.

    I don't see any need to protect the traditional publisher one iota. If any new laws are needed they should be there to protect the little guy from the traditional publisher. But in this day of big money politics politicians aren't there anymore for the voter. If anything they seem annoyed when voters get their own act together and boot them out.
  • by jbmartin6 (1232050) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:15AM (#42994857)

    American innovation hinges on creativity

    so let's do everything we can to stifle it.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      American innovation hinges on creativity

      so let's do everything we can to stifle it.

      Why do you hate Orwell so much?

    • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:52AM (#42995441) Homepage

      In the past, America's greatness was a result of its vast natural resources. While those resources remain, they no longer seem so endless and are becoming increasingly hard to tap into, due to NIMBY syndrome and other factors. It is easier to look outside our own borders and take what we need from other nations, regardless of the cost in lives to the natives of those lands.

      In the past, America was great because it was open to new ideas. Its not that it necessarily had more ideas than anyone else, but a less rigid class-system - supported by a vast frontier that allowed anyone daring enough to remake themselves - fostered an environment where even the wackiest ideas could be considered... and some of those ideas bore fruit. But now, rich and wealthy, the nation is becoming increasingly conservative and close-minded to anything that might jeopardize the security of that wealth.

      In the past, America's manufacturing might was bolstered by a motivated workforce. The country was the factory of the world. But as cost-of-living increased, it became cheaper for all those jobs to migrate to other nations, and now whole cities once dedicated to industry lie in ruins.

      In the past, America was breadbasket to the world. More than just feeding ourselves, our fruits and grains were shipped out to the starving nations of the world. Now, thanks to plummeting shipping costs, it is oft-times cheaper to grow those plants in far-off lands and ship them back into the country. Meanwhile its heartlands become increasingly less productive from decades of overproduction and over-fertilization.

      In the past, America's strength was its highly-educated technicians and scientists, who created electronic marvels that changed the world. But now, these marvels have become commonplace, we sell our know-how to our erstwhile allies, and educate its own rivals. Meanwhile, its own children falter at the most basic tasks because their own education is hampered by backwards-looking fanatics.

      In the past, America was a noble beacon to the world, a land of opportunity and freedom. People thronged to America's shores, bringing with them their vitality and industry and bettering their adopted country with their skills. Today, that beacon is guttering as opportunity fades due to an increasingly classist society within the nation's borders, and unilateral actions without. If people come to the country, it is only to take what they can from the nation - education, resources, technology - before returning to their homelands, which reap the benefits.

      Why do American politicians and industrialists focus so much on IP law? Because, more and more, it is the only advantage the country has left! For one hundred years, America used its strengths to build up a huge war-chest of patents, copyrights and trademarks as one method to protect its interests. However, over the past few decades, other nations - China, India, Mexico, just to name a few - have stepped up to the plate and matched America in industrial output. America depends heavily on resources from other nations to keep its own faltering engine running. Its own workforce is no longer as competitive when compared to those in erstwhile "third world nations". Short-sighted politics squandered many other of its advantages. Those patents, copyrights and trademarks - once just a single weapon in its arsenal - are increasingly becoming America's /only/ strength.

      Sadly, like SCO, America is becoming a patent troll (and IP troll in general), relying on draconian enforcement of ethereal "intellectual property", because it cannot otherwise compete. It will increasingly sacrifice all else - industry, Constitutional rights, political allies - in the vain hope that somehow this single weapon of IP law can be sharpened enough to cut itself out of the draconian knot of political missteps that have caused its current economic malaise.

  • by jrincayc (22260) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:20AM (#42994877) Homepage

    Howard Coble stated that the Copyright Term Extension act (which retroactively extended copyright's terms by 20 years) was good for consumers: "It is also good for consumers. When works are protected by copyright, they attract investors who can exploit the work for profit. That, in turn, brings the work to the consumer who may enjoy it at a movie theater, at a home, in a car, or in a retail establishment. Without that exploitation, a work may lie dormant, never to be discovered or enjoyed." (Congressional Record, Volume 144, 1998, H1458 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/citation.result.CREC.action?congressionalRecord.volume=144&congressionalRecord.pagePrefix=H&congressionalRecord.pageNumber=1458&publication=CREC [gpo.gov] )

    • by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:34AM (#42994917)

      Coble is well-known as Public Enemy #3 when it comes to copyright, with Mary Bono Mack being #2 and Howard Berman at #1. Fortunately for us, Mack and Berman both lost during the last election, but Coble is still a very dangerous man in this regard.

      We can only hope that Zoe Lofgren will start a caucus in support of the rights of the public.

      • by jrincayc (22260)

        I agree that it would be good to have a caucus in support of rights of the public. I am also curious who are public enemies #4,#5 ... for copyright.

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:26AM (#42994891) Journal

    of setting up and announcing a task force of this type.

    Right now, the MPAA, RIAA, and other organizations that represent artists have a difficult time figuring out to whom they should make political donations in order to protect artists' rights. 450+ representatives and 100 senators- that means a lot of money has to be spread far and wide in order to have the desired outcome. By forming and announcing the existence of a group dedicated specifically to protecting artists' rights, this group of senators has provided a focal point for the flow of donations, easing the burden on contributing organizations and leaving more money for the artists whose works are going to be protected.

    The representatives should be applauded for their efforts to ensure that artists rights are protected and that there will be more money for those artists now that the lobbying groups will have to spend less to acquire that protection.

    • By forming and announcing the existence of a group dedicated specifically to protecting artists' rights, this group of senators has provided a focal point for the flow of donations, allowing the *AA to keep yet more of their ill gotten gains, whilst fucking over the artists whose works are going to be protected.

      FTFY

  • Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EzInKy (115248) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:31AM (#42994903)

    As long as the U.S. provides for the time tested tried and proven methods of letting people freely experiment with building on existing ideas and technology it will be just fine. Woe be the day though when artists and inventors have a say in which direction the next generations creator's choose to take their ideas, for that will be the death of innovation in this nation.

    • by paiute (550198)

      As long as the U.S. provides for the time tested tried and proven methods of letting people freely experiment with building on existing ideas and technology it will be just fine. Woe be the day though when artists and inventors have a say in which direction the next generations creator's choose to take their ideas, for that will be the death of innovation in this nation.

      That day of woe is soon. Disney is lobbying Congress to allow the patenting of movies and songs, so if you want to make a movie which in any way uses any of the themes, settings, character types, or is suggestive in any way to a viewer of any aspect of a patented Disney film the Federal Copyright Bureau of Investigation will raid your set and cart you off.

  • by cellocgw (617879) <cellocgw&gmail,com> on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:54AM (#42994979) Journal

    Hey, Chu and Coble: Fuck you and the horse you rod in on.

    All that needs to be said.

  • Disney
  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @10:51AM (#42995201)

    Wow! This is what we needed. I'm so GLAD Congress has finally come to its senses and organized to protect the rights of a minority which has been so shortchanged and hard pressed. Next we really badly need a lobby for mega-yacht owners, they get such a raw deal.

    • by Spectre (1685)

      Wow! This is what we needed. I'm so GLAD Congress has finally come to its senses and organized to protect the rights of a minority which has been so shortchanged and hard pressed. Next we really badly need a lobby for mega-yacht owners, they get such a raw deal.

      The mega-yacht owners already have a group to protect them. It's a private union, though, your level of protection is determined by the amount of dues you pay under the table. That union is colloquially known as "congress".

      • Ahhhh, yeah, I wasn't sure how that worked. I've only made it to the 'life preserver' level of yacht ownership so far... Luckily we have something called the Coast Guard, just make sure they don't decide to sieze your property, lol.

  • Before Chu and Coble get too far into this propaganda exercise, they should educate themselves about the background for the culture they're presuming knowledge of:

    If the terms of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 were instead enacted in - say - 1920, a good portion of our current legacy of movies and music likely would not exist. Example: Walt Disney & company borrowed liberally from the works of the Brothers Grimm. If the brothers' estate had retained rights, would Walt been able to afford it? If the Grimm tales had become orphan works, with the rights holders unknown, would Walt have been able to proceed at all?

    • by boorack (1345877)
      They know very well their "reforms" will hurt everyone but their corporate sponsors. Their only concern is to push it down everyone's throat by any means possible - cheats, lies, threats, bribes etc., so they'll get their money for next elections or at least some well paid jobs in one of corporations they "represent" in the Congress. Educating those two fucke is pointless excercise - the only possible outcome is that their lies and cheats will be more sophiscated. Educating people in their districts makes m
    • Tar and Feathers.

    • by Rakarra (112805)

      If the terms of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 were instead enacted in - say - 1920, a good portion of our current legacy of movies and music likely would not exist.

      But they weren't prevented from doing it back then, and that's all they care about. They don't care if current laws stifle progress, prevent works from entering the public domain, and cheat the public. All they care about is protecting existing rights-holders and their current libraries and protecting whatever they can currently make under the current regime. The "think of what works could be created if copyright lengths were sensible" argument is very nebulous, current executives and lawmakers will look ar

  • Ruh Roh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by paiute (550198) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:33AM (#42995347)
    Sounds like our Congress has already been retrained to believe that copyright violations are a criminal matter to be prosecuted by the government rather than a civil disagreement to be adjudicated between private parties.

    Yeah, I'm being obvious. But it got me thinking: What civil matters are the next to become criminal through lobbying by corporations?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    MPAA, RIAA are just going to keep beating this dead horse and people are going to keep walking away from them. I've already stopped going to most movies, buying music that isn't indie and good and cut the cable cord. I'm not the only one.

    I see music in particular heading in a new direction. Bands will become more popular via places like Youtube, etc and then use a kickstarter like site to raise funds to record an actual album. Touring live shows will bring in income and the music will be pretty much giv

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Posting as AC because I've forgotten my password.

    I've been partaking in copyright legislation discussions on a sound engineering forum called Gearslutz. One opinion that seems to be spread with a considerably large amount of people on that board is the idea that copyright legislation is constantly on retreat and that the music industry is being bullied by masses of lobbyists from the tech-industry (Microsoft, Google, Apple) weakening copyright legislation and filling their own pockets with money made from p

  • That this is probably not about protecting the rights of artists, but extending the rights of corporations over the people. Next up, music copyrights taken over by companies because it is produced as work for hire, extension of copyright terms for "limited times" of 999 years, overrides to laws of first sale, increased use of trade marks to block copyright expiry etc.

  • This looks like the first salvo in the upcoming "Mickey's Law" that is expected when the copyright on Mickey Mouse again comes up for expiration (2018, I think). 5 years is about the right time-frame for the caucus to establish itself and starting putting out "studies" showing how beneficial extended copyright is.

    Meanwhile, it's a nice big sign to the world saying "Hey Hollywood and patent trolls, we want your money!"

  • I think this is a great idea. Makes it really easy and really transparent for voters to identify these people.

  • Therefore it is good by definition.

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

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