Tech at Night

I remember when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act passed. It created a boatload of new rules and restrictions on Americans, in the name of tightening copyright online. One of the key provisions of the DMCA is the “safe harbor” rule, which effectively turns ISPs into agents of copyright, by making them honor so-called DMCA takedown notices in exchange for not being held responsible for what’s put by their customers on their public servers.

We were supposed to accept harsh limitations on basic practices like reverse engineering, in order to get what we were told were strong and effective copyright protections. So when I see new copyright criminalization proposed, I have to ask: Did the DMCA fail? Should we repeal it then? Or are we just throwing a bone to the RIAA and MPAA who don’t want to have to bother enforcing their own rights anymore, and get a subsidy from the DoJ to enforce it for them? Come on.

Sure, Some are saying it’s not as bad as it sounded, but if one policy failed, we can’t just keep adding new ones. Repeal and replace, don’t just create an ever-greater web of problems. Or better: just tweak the DMCA instead of adding whole new criminal provisions! Let’s not grow government more than we have to just because big business asks for it. I’m not anti-business, but I’m always wary when big business and big government work together.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.