Thursday, June 24, 2010

A letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch: ACTA Treaty

Mr. Hatch,

I see that you and the Obama Administration agree upon something: aggressive copyright enforcement. Copyrights now last up to 70 years after the death of the owner, thanks to Disney.

Evidence is emerging that aggressive copyright enforcement is leading to unintended results, particularly with respect to digital media. Kids are using content in ways that were never contemplated when copyrights were first conceived. Even the DMCA does not anticipate every possible use of digital media. And with the hidden negotiation of the ACTA treaty, Fair Use is an obvious target of copyright owners. It is conceivable that with these two acts together, we could see the end of Fair Use.

It has also been observed that the "stakeholders" involved in these hidden negotiations are very large media corporations, not ordinary content producers. Those involved in the negotiations seem to think they can speak for the rest of us by creating a document for an up or down vote without consulting the people they serve. How soon they forget how the courts have ruled. In the eyes of the courts, within the context of the Constitution, the lowest priority is the copyright holder. The copyright laws and the relevant clause in the Constitution were intended to allow for the free flow of information among The People, not just the lowly corporation. For the corporation exists at the pleasure of the State.

The DMCA and the ACTA are clearly designed to impede the flow of information.

You will probably have a chance to consider the ACTA treaty during your possibly final term in Congress. During your considerations, remember that you serve the people, NOT the corporate interests behind aggressive copyright enforcement. Remember that Beethoven wrote his music without copyright protection. Einstein gave us his Theory of Relativity without patent protection.

Information, like light, seeks to be free.

Please vote NO on ACTA if it should EVER come before the Senate AND you are still there.


Scott Dunn
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