Sunday, November 06, 2011

A Letter to my Congress Critters: On Copyrights


Dear Representative, 

The E-PARASITE Act and the PROTECT-IP Act, collectively known as the Internet Destruction Acts, represent yet another attempt by Big Content to impose their aging business models onto the Internet. Big Content has seen fit to fashion legislation in their own image, for their own benefit, without regard to the public. In recent years, Big Content has made steady encroachments onto the Public Domain through legislation and through misappropriation. They seem to think that consumers have no rights with regard to content, such is the attitude expressed in these Internet Destruction Acts.

These acts set aside due process rights in favor of the rights of Big Content. They set aside First Amendment rights in favor of Big Content. And they seek to create a captured audience, unable to choose which media they wish to view and where they'd like to view it.  Though Big Content benefits from and even capitalizes on copyright laws, they seem to have forgotten who the copyright laws are intended to benefit:

"The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the [copyright] monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors." --- Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal, 286 US 123, 1932

We the People, in the end, are the sole beneficiaries of the copyright laws. Not the multinational Big Content corporations who impose region codes on the DVDs they wish to sell, who issue DMCA takedown notices even in cases where their rights are not even proven, who have imposed DRM - a failed and broken technology that fails immediately when the authenticating servers are shut down, who have created secret agreements with Internet Service Providers to create a defacto 3-strikes law without the consent of the People and who have disregarded the will of the People at every opportunity to do so.

Big Content, and you, my representative, hear this: the only reason we still have copyright laws today is because it is the will of the People. As one of the People in this country, I urge you to vote no on these Internet Destruction Acts and others like it. They have no place in a free society. Remember, a free idea will create more jobs than an encumbered idea.

Scott Dunn
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