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Author Topic: The US Registrar of Copyright herself calls for a mixed bag of reforms  (Read 2632 times)

40hz

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Mike Masnick over at TechDirt has outdone himself with this long article on US Registrar of Copyright Maria Palante's recent statement made during a Congressional hearing and her public address at Columbia University in which she talks about copyright reform.

Quote
More Details On Copyright Register Maria Pallante's Call For Comprehensive, 'Forward-Thinking, But Flexible' Copyright Reform
from the details,-details,-details dept


On Friday, we had two stories breaking the news that the Register of Copyright is expected this week to call for comprehensive copyright reform, including both a slight reduction in term as well as some of other changes. It's somewhat surprising that (as far as I can tell), no other publications are reporting on this, considering the magnitude of this bit of news. There was a brief bit of speculation in Billboard, but most other publications have stayed silent so far.
.
.
.
...the Copyright Office has released the full text of her speech at Columbia University from two weeks ago, in which she lays out her ideas in much greater detail. It's an interesting read, and I hope that most people here will take the time to read through the whole thing carefully before jumping into the discussion. There is a lot in there to process -- some of it good, some of it troubling, some of it that requires more thought and study. Assuming that Congress does move forward on this point, there is going to be an awful lot of back and forth over the next few years, and it wouldn't surprise me if it takes a decade or more before something is finally hammered out.

The text of Maria Palante's speech (along with with extensive footnotes) runs for 30 pages and covers a lot of ground. And it's something well worth reading several times since copyright law has broad implications for the future of information sharing and transmission.

This is good stuff. Budget some time and get up to speed on it. Because we have a steep and winding road ahead of us with this one.

the long and winding road.jpg

-------------------------

Links:

TechDirt article
Palante's statement to Congress (PDF)
Text of Palante's speech at Columbia University.(PDF)
 :Thmbsup:

Renegade

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Is this just to get people's hopes up so that they can dash them? Or is it serious?
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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^I think it's serious. But she doesn't speak for Congress which can (and does) do whatever it wants.

I was surprised, after reading it a few times, how balanced her comments were. There's some things in there that were a little troubling as TechDirt pointed out. But it was nowhere near the complete sellout to big media interests I expected it to be.

I think she presented what she considered a doable rather than another "in a perfect world" proposal.

The fact that her comments were left almost completely unreported (and uncommented on) by the major media and news organizations speaks volumes as to how her words have likely been received by those who have been aggressively advancing their own agendas regarding US copyright legislation.

It's a long and winding road indeed. Uphill...both ways - and in the snow too!  :)

Still...hope springs eternal:

sisyphus_1081965.jpg

 ;D


Renegade

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-- Off-topic - I like the images you've been adding to recent posts!  :Thmbsup: Makes your posts a bit flashier. (Not that you need it though! :) )
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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^Thx! :Thmbsup:

Tinman57

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  Now for some cynicism....  If congress ever even looks at it, whatever good idea's she has will be immediately ignored, whatever is troubling will be approved, and whatever requires more thought and study will automatically be included.  This seems to be the norm for our government(s), which is how we got the old saying "it's good enough for government work", and is why we're in such a pickle that we find ourselves.

  Now I would absolutely LOVE IT if they prove me wrong.  Hell, I would stand on my head in the corner of the room and chant the Pledge of Allegiance until I passed out!  But as I fear, I won't be doing that....

Renegade

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  Now for some cynicism....  If congress ever even looks at it, whatever good idea's she has will be immediately ignored, whatever is troubling will be approved, and whatever requires more thought and study will automatically be included.  This seems to be the norm for our government(s), which is how we got the old saying "it's good enough for government work", and is why we're in such a pickle that we find ourselves.

You reminded me of this:



It's hilarious! :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Tinman57

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You reminded me of this:

It's hilarious! :D

  And so true.  Nowwhodathunkit?   :huh:

40hz

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Now for some cynicism....  If congress ever even looks at it, whatever good idea's she has will be immediately ignored, whatever is troubling will be approved, and whatever requires more thought and study will automatically be included.  This seems to be the norm for our government(s), which is how we got the old saying "it's good enough for government work", and is why we're in such a pickle that we find ourselves.

Now I would absolutely LOVE IT if they prove me wrong.  Hell, I would stand on my head in the corner of the room and chant the Pledge of Allegiance until I passed out!  But as I fear, I won't be doing that....

Nope. You won't. ;D

Lookee here courtesy of TechDirt's Mike Masnick:

Quote
Congressman Already Claims That He Needs To Overturn Supreme Court Ruling In Kirtsaeng
from the and-off-we-go dept


We fully expected efforts in Congress to look to overturn the strong and important "first sale" ruling by the Supreme Court, and it looks like they're not wasting any time. Rep. Doug Collins has already put out a statement about how awful the ruling in Kirtsaeng is and how he'll look to remedy it.

    “The Supreme Court's ruling in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley raises concerning questions about the future of U.S. copyright law,” Collins said. “Many industries and businesses in Georgia rely on strong copyright protections to create jobs and invest in our local economies, including the established and exclusive right to import in to the United States. When a U.S. business harnesses innovation and creativity to develop a product, they should have certainty their copyrighted work will be protected against unauthorized importation of foreign products.

    “As a Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I look forward to discussing the need for strong copyright protections with the Register of Copyrights at a subcommittee hearing tomorrow afternoon.”

No, actually, it doesn't raise any serious questions. It confirms a basic principle that "you own what you've purchased." It's amazing that a Representative who claims that he wants government to get out of the way and and that "the private sector is best at generating economic growth" would suddenly pipe up in favor of centralized monopolies handed out by the federal government. Furthermore, it's ridiculous, wrong and misleading to argue that Kirtsaeng is somehow antithetical to "strong copyright protections." The first sale doctrine has existed in the US for ages and nothing in it goes against "strong copyright protections." The Supreme Court decision standing up for first sale is hardly an attack on copyright. Even the claim about "being protected against unauthorized importation of foreign products." That's not a copyright issue, but an import issue. Here, again, Collins, who pretends to be for free trade, appears to be arguing that the US should have tariffs. It's funny what copyright will do to politicians -- including highlighting their own hypocrisies.

Now that didn't take very long at all did it? :-\

Tinman57

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Nope. You won't. ;D
courtesy of TechDirt's Mike Masnick:

Congressman Already Claims That He Needs To Overturn Supreme Court Ruling In Kirtsaeng
from the and-off-we-go dept


Now that didn't take very long at all did it? :-\ 

  Amazing, it takes congress years and years to get some things done, but totally screwing up something only takes them a few days or less....   :(

TaoPhoenix

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Re: The US Registrar of Copyright herself calls for a mixed bag of reforms
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2013, 06:14:29 PM »
Nope. You won't. ;D
courtesy of TechDirt's Mike Masnick:

Congressman Already Claims That He Needs To Overturn Supreme Court Ruling In Kirtsaeng
from the and-off-we-go dept


Now that didn't take very long at all did it? :-\  

  Amazing, it takes congress years and years to get some things done, but totally screwing up something only takes them a few days or less....   :(

Actually, you may have stumbled on a post-modern flaw of the "checks and balances" that the framers never intended - pure malice in Congress.

(Trivia: Anyone know how long it took them to get the copyright terms extended as soon as Disney wailed about the Mouse?)

Sometimes troubling rulings pop up at the circuit levels - there's no sensible reason why a ruling from California should be different in the exact same case as one from Texas etc. So for this scenario, we got:

Circuit court: "Selling stuff violates copyright because of four cent piece of plastic from Hong Kong is in there."
Supreme Court: "No it doesn't. That isn't the law. Now stop making us do your job and gtfo."

(One of many congresscritters gets phone call/email from an Important Constituent from ... uh ... "registered in Delaware"...)
Congresscritter to press: "That didn't go my constituent's way, so sudo here's a new law that says it's the law now." (Total time to pass the law: One week.)

Supreme Court: "It will be a year before we get another case to go overturn your new law. We're going to go over here and throw up our hands now."

 :mad:

40hz

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Re: The US Registrar of Copyright herself calls for a mixed bag of reforms
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 07:23:44 PM »
(Trivia: Anyone know how long it took them to get the copyright terms extended as soon as Disney wailed about the Mouse?)

The first rumblings to extend started in 1995 IIRC with Disney lobbying everybody who would listen. Then Congressman Sonny Bono introduced the bill. The copyright term extension got passed in early 1998. So I'd say it was a little less than three years.

Like the Sonny & Cher song said: I got YOU babe!"

Actually, you may have stumbled on a post-modern flaw of the "checks and balances" that the framers never intended - pure malice in Congress.

Interestingly, that actually was something the Founding Fathers had anticipated and attempted to plan for.

Unfortunately, the system of checks and balances has been steadily eroded over the years such that we now find ourselves in an era where all real power and authority has been centralized in the executive. And what's so disturbing is that this change was largely engineered without the consent (and largely outside the notice) of most of the general public. So I guess you could say that it basically took about 40 years to pull off what, for all intents and purposes, was a silent coup d'état.

Those who did most of their growing up in the late 80s and early 90s probably aren't aware of just how different a country the United States now is from what it was less than 40 years ago.

The Al Stewart song On the Border has a section that sums up much of how it feels for many of us who date back before our system of government was overthrown by our very own government.

Quote
In the village where I grew up
Nothing seems the same
Still you never see the change from day to day
And no-one notices the customs slip away

Late last night the rain was knocking at my window
I moved across the darkened room and in the lampglow
I thought I saw down in the street
The spirit of the century
Telling us that we're all standing on the border

In the islands where I grew up
Nothing seems the same
It's just the patterns that remain
An empty shell
But there's a strangeness in the air you feel too well

So be it. This too shall pass. :o