On Friday, the Republican Study Committee released a report that had been vetted and reviewed on copyright reform. It was a well thought out and reasonable study. By Saturday, they had retracted the report claiming it wasn’t supposed to be released and that it isn’t their policy. RSC executive director Paul S. Teller then sent out an email trying to explain the situation.
From: Teller, Paul
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 04:11 PM
Subject: RSC Copyright PB
We at the RSC take pride in providing informative analysis of major policy issues and pending legislation that accounts for the range of perspectives held by RSC Members and within the conservative community. Yesterday you received a Policy Brief on copyright law that was published without adequate review within the RSC and failed to meet that standard. Copyright reform would have far-reaching impacts, so it is incredibly important that it be approached with all facts and viewpoints in hand. As the RSC’s Executive Director, I apologize and take full responsibility for this oversight. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and a meaningful Thanksgiving holiday….
Paul S. Teller
U.S. House Republican Study Committee
You can read the report below. You can also read TechDirt’s analysis of the report.
Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform.
There is a difference between theft and copyright infringement. Until the politicians learn the difference, there isn’t going to be much compromise between individuals and the MPAA/RIAA backed politicians.
In January 2012, two controversial pieces of legislation were making their way through the US Congress. SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, were meant to crack down on the illegal sharing of digital media. The bills were drafted on request of the content industry, Hollywood studios and major record labels.
The online community rose up against the US government to speak out against SOPA, and the anti-online piracy bill was effectively killed off after the largest online protest in US history. But it was only one win in a long battle between US authorities and online users over internet regulation. SOPA and PIPA were just the latest in a long line of anti-piracy legislation US politicians have passed since the 1990s.
“One of the things we are seeing which is a by-product of the digital age is, frankly, it’s much easier to steal and to profit from the hard work of others,” says Michael O’Leary, the executive vice-president for global policy at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The US government says it must be able to fight against piracy and cyber attacks. And that means imposing more restrictions online. But proposed legislation could seriously curb freedom of speech and privacy, threatening the internet as we know it.
Can and should the internet be controlled? Who gets that power? How far will the US government go to gain power over the web? And will this mean the end of a free and global internet?
Fault Lines looks at the fight for control of the web, life in the digital age and the threat to cyber freedom, asking if US authorities are increasingly trying to regulate user freedoms in the name of national and economic security.