The Continuing Saga of Copyright Reform

On Friday, I saw this article on Techdirt:

House Republicans: Copyright Law Destroys Markets; It’s Time For Real Reform

And it gave me such hope that our elected leaders might finally openly acknowledge and own up to everything they’ve done wrong with copyright over the past couple of decades! This passage, in particular, echoes everything I’ve been arguing about copyright for years:

Thus, according to the Constitution, the overriding purpose of the copyright system is to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” In today’s terminology we may say that the purpose is to lead to maximum productivity and innovation.

This is a major distinction, because most legislative discussions on this topic, particularly during the extension of the copyright term, are not premised upon what is in the public good or what will promote the most productivity and innovation, but rather what the content creators “deserve” or are “entitled to” by virtue of their creation. This lexicon is appropriate in the realm of taxation and sometimes in the realm of trade protection, but it is inappropriate in the realm of patents and copyrights.

But, alas, perhaps it’s not to be (yet). Today, Techdirt posted this follow-up:

That Was Fast: Hollywood Already Browbeat The Republicans Into Retracting Report On Copyright Reform

I don’t think anyone in full possession of their senses has any doubt that copyright has been hijacked by narrow interests who only want to protect their own profits, who care nothing for the good of society as a whole.

So why can’t we get this right? Why can’t we fix it?

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