Friday, January 20, 2012

Looks like SOPA/PIPA is dead

Or at least seriously wounded. We should not allow injured animals to suffer, we need to follow the bloodtrail and finish them off.
Then we could have another go on copyright revision. The last copyright law extended the life of copyright to "life of the author plus seventy years" which is forever for all practical purposes. We ought to set copyright to a flat 17 years. All the serious money that is going to be made is made in the first 17 years. Stretching copyright beyond 17 years is welfare for lawyers, and red tape to overcome for libraries, websites, and people who need one more copy of an out of print work.
If we limited copyright to 17 years, then most music downloading would become legal. I never hear anything but "goldy oldies" on the radio. Few of my children's CD's have any artist that wasn't popular when I was in high school. Most of what is downloaded is older than 17 years, because stuff younger than 17 years mostly sucks.
Then we could look at the Constitution which only empowers Congress "To Promote the progress of Science and the Useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries". Not a word about music. Music is not one of the useful arts, it's a fine art. And it certainly isn't a science. In short, the plain language of the Constitution does not allow copyright on music at all.
Losing copyright on music would infuriate the RIAA and the labels, but it wouldn't make much difference to the artists, who mostly survive by doing live gigs for cash. Few of them get much royalties from the labels. In fact the labels have been suffocating the artists, which is why there is so little good new music out there. We would have more good new music if we didn't have the labels.


Evan G. said...

I agree with you 100%. Really annoyed that Congress has basically done nothing but fight. All of a sudden $97M in lobbying comes to Washington form the RIAA and MPAA and all of a sudden Congress and the Senate is lining up like pigs at a trough.

Dstarr said...

"An honest politician is one that STAYS bought." Robert A. Heinlein.

The Republicans would do well to come out for copyright reform, repeal of DMCA, and hands off the Internet, including no sales taxes on Internet sales and no "Net Neutrality".