I Pledge Allegiance to the Profit Margin of the United Corporations of America, and to the Conglomerate for Which It Stands, One Plan Under Copyright, Indivisible, with Profits and Bribes for All.*

(*The above title was a comment coined by Rekrul.)

The above title/comment was from this article, which continues the RSC Copyright “saga” (see my previous blog post to catch up to speed), aka “Hollywood Lobbying, Bribery, and Corrupt Bipartisanship.” To refresh, young Republican staffer Derek Khanna pens an excellent policy brief that was so good Hollywood felt threatened and had it pulled by Republicans. It was so good for the public that Hollywood would have lost some of its monopolistic privileges it has come to enjoy at the expense of taxpayers and the general common good.

But as they say, “All good things must come to an end” (or is the maxim I’m looking for, “No good deed goes unpunished”?). Derek Khanna, the young staffer who penned the policy brief, was relieved of his job at Capitol Hill. Hollywood and the Recording Industry can’t have public servants trying to do their job, can they? After all, it is much too dangerous for the content industry to have public servants suggest things that actually help the public even if it might hurt Hollywood.

On the plus side, Khanna is now able to express more openly his own ideas, and here is his interview with TechDirt’s Mike Masnick.

Some of Khanna’s thought on copyright as it relates to America’s economy and competitiveness.

Copyright law is a very blunt instrument, it’s effectively granting a government-imposed and subsidized monopoly over creation of content and most derivative works for over 100 years, so we have to be very careful in how these laws are crafted. Because it is currently crafted so poorly, it can create large negative consequences to the economy and for free speech.

He also mentions patent reform (see my short post for more) as key to innovation and economic growth:

Patent law is absolutely critical. Today’s patent law is an invasive regulatory scheme that appears almost designed to stop many forms of innovation. American growth has been fueled by innovation, and until we get this right, we are going to be at a major disadvantage. To be clear, I completely support patents and they are absolutely critical to many industries, but we have a large number of patents on non-novel ideas such as a patent on rounded rectangle devices. Patent law may need to be adjusted differently for different industries. The point is to create sufficient incentive to create new content, rather than to patent non-innovative discoveries to limit your potential market rivals. The recent New York Times article The Patent. Used as a Sword, though it has its critics, provides an interesting perspective of some of the vast problems.

The American public, please be informed about copyright. Our politicians will continue to get in bed with Hollywood and give them more and more perks (and receive perks in return from the MPAA and RIAA for sure) unless the public is sick of subsidizing Hollywood. Why let Hollywood take away your right to copy and allow them to retains their creator “rights” indefinitely and rob us of our public domain?


2 thoughts on “I Pledge Allegiance to the Profit Margin of the United Corporations of America, and to the Conglomerate for Which It Stands, One Plan Under Copyright, Indivisible, with Profits and Bribes for All.*

    • If you want to see a theological justification for why copyright in general may well be immoral, you can visit my other blog post at bit.ly/CopyingIsNotTheft. Also note the links to Poythress and Frame. Or search this blog.

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