GIZMODO had a great article on Digital Copyright a few days ago titled “Everything Wrong with Digital Copyright (And How to Fix It).” It provides an excellent summary of many of the biggest problems with copyright today. Unfortunately, it didn’t mention the obnoxious length of the current copyright term (which is well over 100 years when you include the life of the author/artist/creator). Despite that shortfall, if you’re one of the majority who think that copyright is just fine the way it is (& that all file sharers are thieves), then I strongly recommend you read this article.
Recently, the head of the US Copyright Office, Ms. Maria Pallante, gave a speech & spoke to Congress about the need for improving US copyright law. She even proposed reducing the current copyright term from 75 yrs (plus life of creator) to 50 yrs + life of creator. I’m sorry… that’s still about an order of magnitude too long. Five years, renewable only once for maybe 5 more years, would be more than appropriate.
But no worries… the content industry (MPAA, RIAA, book publishers, etc.) isn’t going to allow ANY changes which could reduce their monopolistic hold on our culture. They have Congress in their pocket and have been responsible for all of the copyright extensions over the past several decades. They’ve pretty much stolen the public domain from… guess who? Yeah… from us, the public! Nothing entered the public domain again this year, and won’t until 2018 or 2019 (assuming there’s no more ‘content industry’ copyright extensions).
Speaking of copyright reform, the MPAA Talking Points on Copyright Reform have just been leaked. As usual, the MPAA does an excellent job of disinformation by completely rewriting copyright history (along with the real purpose of copyright) as pointed out by Mike Masnick at Techdirt. It’s an EXCELLENT read.
Even worse, with “official” talk of copyright reform, the Copyright Lobby (aka content industry) is doing everything they can to ensure that the Public will have no place in any future copyright policy discussions. In reality, there is only ONE true stakeholder in copyright policy, and that’s us — the PUBLIC. I’m afraid that it’s the “content industry” that has NO place in copyright policy, and yet they’ve been writing US copyright law for decades. It’s time to wise up, folks. Please read the full article “Copyright Lobby: The Public Has No Place In Policy Discussions” by Mike Masnick @ Techdirt, which states:
Apparently the public is simply too stupid to understand copyright law and is easily led astray by groups like Public Knowledge.
Taken together, you see both the fear and outright contempt that the copyright lobby has for the public. To them, the public are interfering with “the industry’s rights” and are apparently stupid, gross and easily led astray and into mob behavior.
It’s high time we, the “public”, got off our arse and put the content industry in their place (which, ideally, is NO WHERE NEAR any copyright policy discussions). But that’s not likely to happen, so stand by for even more ridiculous copyright law additions/modifications that further lock up our culture and make criminals of millions of more Americans. Yup… copyright is seriously broken… and you know what’s really sad? It’s probably just going to get worse.