RIAA and MPAA top ‘worst corporations’ list as new copyright legislation is proposed

January 2008

Record labels, film, TV

The film, TV and music industry have lobbied hard to toughen up copyright laws in North America but in both the US and Canada there is an increasing backlash against these industries as politicians, academics, consumer groups,  civil liberty campaigners, performing artists and even librarians resist what are seen as increasingly draconian and ridiculous ‘solutions’ to the creative industries’s problems. In the US, the governments own  Department of Justice has slammed intellectual property legislation introduced by Judiciary Chairman John Conyers last week that would re-organize its IP enforcement structure, calling it unnecessary and counterproductive to the work it has already accomplished.  “We have a current structure … that works quite effectively,” Sigal Mandelker, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, told the House Judiciary subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. And in Canada new, Industry minister Jim Prentice has backed down on tabling new copyright legislation after fierce criticism. The new digital age copyright legislation is seen as completely pro ‘industry’ and a ‘flash mob’ of outraged protesters descended on his Calgary office after he refued to answer questions on a TV show on state broadcaster CBC’s service. In particular there is growing resistance to DRM (which locks content) and against ‘anti-circumvention’ legislation with consumers arguing that once they have brought a piece of music they should not be restricted in how they use it. Apple are already fighting a backlash against this in Europe where music brought from iTunes is locked into Apple’s iPod only. Critics have labelled the new Canadian bill as the “Canadian DMCA,” after the  USA’s oft criticised Digital Millennium Copyright Act as their new act contains many of the same provisions – amongst them are the laws that have enabled the U.S. music industry to launch its well-publicized blitz of lawsuits against individuals who share files illegally.http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20071213/tc_zd/221645




ARTICLE LINK : The Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America are some of the most hated ‘brands’ in the USA – and now are number one and number two on the list of hated companies: The RIAA had already won a vote to become the ‘worst’ company in the US. this article explains why – in a fairly damning critique of the copyright industry’s bully boy tactics against consumers and technology companies and self centered lobbying of US politicians.

ARTICLE LINK : New US legislation – the new PRO IP (Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act), H. R. 4279, introduced with bipartisan support, would boost some fines from the current maximum of $30,000 for non-intentional infringements. Under the new bill, courts would be able to issue damages of $30,000 for each track on an album, as opposed to one $30,000 fine per album. Sponsors include Lamar Smith (Republican -Texas.), Howard Berman (Democrat -California.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va).

ARTICLE LINK : “ Imagine a world in which a single industry could control an entire continent’s access to particular web sites, force ISPs to install expensive deep packet inspection gear that would search the complete Internet data streams of millions of users, and force Internet applications to conform to its design parameters or risk being blocked. If you’re a European consumer, this might sound like a paranoid dystopia, but it’s actually a vision of paradise—if paradise were designed by the IFPI”

ARTICLE LINK – The Magnificence of Disaster – Reconstructing the Sony BMG Rootkit Debacle by Deidre Mulligan and Aaron Perzanowski ( Berkley Center for Law & Technology). An interesting analysis of Sony BMG’s now infamous foray into the world of DRM and the ongoing effect of the DCMA. Synopsis athttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1072229

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