The Motion Picture Association of America led by chief lobbyist, former Senator Chris Dodd, killed (it is denied officialy) a paper presented by the Republican Study Committee last Friday, which challenged long held views on copyright.
The paper, and it was just a policy paper, incurred the wrath of the studios, which were taken by surprise. Within 24 hours it was retracted by the committee.
In the paper the RSC questioned the very nature of our current copyright regime. It argued that current copyright laws stifled trade and innovation, and that the current approach to copyright is hugely outdated. The paper also argued that current copyright rules were basically a gigantic gift to the Hollywood establishment. (Which they are.)
The short lived paper was hailed across the Internet by liberal and conservative techie sites alike. Some even called it “courageous.” But it was not to be.
(From The Hill)
A policy brief that calls for major reforms to existing copyright law was posted to the Republican Study Committee’s website on Friday and suddenly yanked down just a day later — sparking outcry from tech bloggers and copyright reform advocates.
The brief, written by RSC staffer Derek Khanna, takes a critical view of the current copyright system, arguing that copyright “violates nearly every tenet of laissez-faire capitalism” and gives content producers a “government subsidized content-monopoly.”
Among its recommendations, the brief calls for copyright protection terms to be shortened and contends that false copyright takedown requests should be punished — changes that would likely result in fierce pushback from the entertainment industry.
“Today’s legal regime of copyright law is seen by many as a form of corporate welfare that hurts innovation and hurts the consumer,” the brief reads. “It is a system that picks winners and losers, and the losers are new industries that could generate new wealth and added value.”
“It’s hard to understate what a drastic rhetorical shift this piece represented,” Jordan Bloom, an associate editor for The American Conservative, said in an email to The Hill.
“Conservatives ought to support less government, including copyright liberalization,” Bloom added. “If they had the courage of their convictions they might even find that voters would reward them for it.”