Tech at Night: RSC and Copyright, Purges have consequences

On December 8, 2012, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Gotta love it: I go to take a nap before Tech at Night but… oops, somebody forgot to press the Start button on that 2 hour timer. So, suddenly it’s Tech at Saturday Morning!

So yeah, we’ll start with a story that actually got me mad: the ongoing story of that now-famous RSC paper on copyright. There are conflicting reports out there, but most I’m seeing suggest there’s a real change going on at RSC, the same way there’s been a purge of a certain wing of the party elsewhere in the House.

I’m disappointed by all of this. If the RSC is going to oppose copyright reform the same way most of us oppose anarchic anti-copyright views, then the RSC is aligning itself with the most extreme perpetual-copyright views held by groups like MPAA. If there is to be no compromise, then I cannot work with them either, since my views have been declared to be in opposition to RSC.

Purges have consequences. It’s time we stopped pretending RSC is anything but an organ of the RSC establishment now. They’re clearly not speaking for the conservative reform wing of the GOP, as they once did long ago.

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It’s funny how the same House Judiciary Committee that took up SOPA is now taking up IRFA, opposed by a growing list of groups including Taxpayers Protection Alliance, ATR, CAGW, and ACU. SOPA of course would have grown government in the name of strengthening copyright. IRFA makes government meddle more in a way that weakens copyright. And not in a good way, either: IRFA would not encourage innovation or content creation. It just favors Internet broadcasters over everyone else.

Also yeah, the RSC paper on Copyright that I backed before it was wrongly pulled, it is not a statement against property rights nor is it against copyright at all. If the side favoring ever-lengthening copyright cannot argue honestly with us, and has to mischaracterize those of us who favor an approach to copyright that balances the interests involved, then that to me suggests a deficiency in their position.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.