The Copyright Reform Debate Continues Uncensored
The Copyright Reform Debate Continues Uncensored
The Copyright Reform Debate Continues Uncensored

    Get Involved Today

    Last month the House Republican Study Committee (RSC)
    released (and then retracted 24 hours later) a thought-provoking policy paper
    entitled Three
    Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It
    As the leading
    group for conservative policy ideas and discussion in the U.S. House of
    Representatives, the RSC could play a critical role in presenting the
    conservative arguments for copyright reform. 

    However, as PK President Gigi Sohn detailed,
    it is a sad day when pressure from content industry can stifle a policy discussion
    and debate before it even gets started.   The RSC Paper was retracted less than 24 hours after
    it was released under the explanation that the paper had not had adequate
    review and did not reflect all viewpoints.  It is not a stretch to believe that the RSC and other
    Congressional offices received quick, arm-twisting pressure from content
    industry advocates that who agree with the debunked myths in the paper.

    Fear not, the discussion on how to reform copyright for the
    digital age will not be censored! Tuesday afternoon Public Knowledge hosted a
    four-person panel briefing for Congressional staff interested in hearing more
    about these reform ideas and wished to discuss them openly. 

    PK Vice President Sherwin Siy led the almost 90 minute discussion
    about the challenges and solutions to extending the rights and benefit of
    copyright law to new digital uses, with a personal emphasis on how small
    updates to first sale protections can permit uses of digital media that your
    average consumer would assume already exist.  He was joined by Jerry Brito of the Mercatus Center at
    George Mason University School of Law, who led with why copyright protections
    are based in conservative and libertarian philosophy.  Brito advocated for shorter copyright terms, registration by
    rights holders, and a real searchable database of who those rights holders
    are.  Margot Kaminski from Yale
    University participated and argued that there should be bipartisan support for
    reform in Congress.  Kaminski
    raised concerns that efforts by Executive Branch agencies to control
    copyright  laws through trade
    agreements constitute a land grab of Congressional authority.  Matt Schreurs of CCIA rounded out the
    foursome with boiled down arguments as to how intellectual property protection
    are different from traditional property laws.

    However we will not edit or censor any of the views
    expressed in the briefing.  Watch
    the full video for yourself.

    Watch the video of the panel here

    Last week Rep. Bob Goodlatte was selected by the Republican
    caucus to serve as the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee starting
    in January.  He has said in the
    past that he looks forward to welcoming all ideas to the table on copyright
    issues.  However, as recent as this
    morning it was reported
    that some GOP members such as Rep. Marsha Blackburn have helped to keep other
    members from considering these ideas. 
    Even the author of the paper has been let go by the RSC.  Hearings and other open discussions
    will not happen in 2013 unless your representatives hear that this is a
    priority for consumers and our economy. 
    And they must hear it from you the public.

    If you agree that Congress should having open hearings and
    discussions about how copyright reform can promote innovation and new ideas, contact your
    Representatives and Senators
    and tell them that the Congress needs to
    promote copyright reform in 2013.