Required re-reading

In Defense of Piracy is ‘s latest, in . Some bottom lines:

  …our attention is not focused on these creators. It is focused instead upon “the pirates.” We wage war against these “pirates”; we deploy extraordinary social and legal resources in the absolutely failed effort to get them to stop “sharing.”

  This war must end. It is time we recognize that we can’t kill this creativity. We can only criminalize it. We can’t stop our kids from using these tools to create, or make them passive. We can only drive it underground, or make them “pirates.” And the question we as a society must focus on is whether this is any good. Our kids live in an age of prohibition, where more and more of what seems to them to be ordinary behavior is against the law. They recognize it as against the law. They see themselves as “criminals.” They begin to get used to the idea.

  That recognition is corrosive. It is corrupting of the very idea of the rule of law. And when we reckon the cost of this corruption, any losses of the content industry pale in comparison.

  Copyright law must be changed. Here are just five changes that would make a world of difference…

Specifically, deregulate amateur remix, deregulate “the copy“, simplify, restore efficiency, and decriminalize Gen-X. Under “simplify”, he says, “Tax-code complexity regulating income is bad enough; tax-code complexity regulating speech is a First Amendment nightmare.”

All helpful reform fodder for the new Congress and Administration.

4 comments

  1. vanderleun’s avatar

    “All helpful reform fodder for the new Congress and Administration.”

    Well, pack a lunch because you’re going to need a snack while you wait. No matter what sort of congress or administration we get, this is going to be far, far down on the To-Do list. It might even make the To-Don’t list.

  2. alan herrell - the head lemur’s avatar

    Probably the most interesting bit is at the end where he mentions bringing copyright back to 14 years.

    Copyright has always been a two-fer. A Limited Monopoly in exchange for increasing the creative and intellectual heritage (Public Domain) of the society that allows artists to flourish. 14 years is long enough. See if you can find any book, song, or movie that has been any top ten list for the last 12 months, let alone being in Copyright Purgatory for 75 or 95 years.

    Copyright is not a lifetime welfare program for the ”Entertainment Industry”, which is neither entertaining nor an industry. The Entertainment Industries greatest mistake was calling copying “Piracy”. There is no teenager on the planet who doesn’t want to be a pirate. Nor was it ever designed to keep things behind walls, and provide full employment for lawyers.

    We now have the tools, and the connections necessary to break the cycle of publication blackmail, but with very few exceptions, we do not have the will.

  3. Bill Seitz’s avatar

    We still haven’t learned the hopelessness/pointlessness of the WarOnDrugs or the WarOnTerror. I think it will be a long time before the WarOnPiracy gets given up on.

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