Tin Soldiers and Orrin’s Coming

July 23, 2004

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Hon. Senator Orrin Hatch (R. Utah), is after your fair use rights.  In order to shore up the current copyright insanity, the senate is considering The Induce Act, which among other things wants to ban any technology that has the potential for copyright infringing use.  Yes, as many have pointed out, this means such tools of the devil as computers and photocopiers. 

Things have calmed down a bit, but Sen. Hatch seems to be adamant that “something has to be done” about this problem.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the likely thing to be done will be coming up with revised approach to copyright, as has happened every time this sort of thing has happened in the past (see Larry Lessig’s “Free Culture” for a fascinating and informative overview of the historical context of copyright.)

As always, the copyright holders are in there lobbying with big bucks to try to gain whatever ground they can, and attempt to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube, while (as Neil Young once suggested), we’re finally on our own.

If you want to protect your rights to media, first off you need to inform yourself as to what’s going on (Corante’s Copyfight is a great place to start, as well as where most of these links came from).  Next, if you haven’t done so already, you need to head over to the EFF’s Induce Act Action Center and send a message to your congressthing reminding them that they’re supposed to be up there representing YOUR interests, not that of the MPAA, RIAA, or BSA. 

As long as you’re there, tipping a few bucks in EFF’s funding jar would be a fine thing to do as well.


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