A lawmaker makes sense about intellectual property

One of the things I follow is the debate over Intellectual Property rights.  This is all about copyright and fair-use and has huge ties in with digital media.  For years, I’ve been trying to adopt and use various digital versions of books, newspapers, magazines, music, TV and movies, but have been consistently frustrated by publishers’ reluctance to make the content available at a reasonable price.  When they do, they usually do so with Digital Rights Management (DRM) software that makes it difficult to use the content on more than one device, or even on the one that you purchased it for if you need to reinstall your software.  And most of the time, they just don’t make it available at all.

Rep. Dick Boucher, (D-VA), makes the case for fair-use in this Wired article:  "Lawmaker Revs Up Fair-Use Campaign" In it, he actually makes sense:

"First of all, while the arrival of the internet creates a potential hazard and peril for content creators, it also invests in them broadening abilities. It becomes another distribution medium that they can use and they need to do that. I have been saying (that) to the recording industry every time they have come crying to us (saying), "Oh piracy is costing us this, that and the other and we need to do something about it."

I would spend my time as a committee member when I was addressing them saying, "OK, why don’t you do something about it yourself? Why don’t you put your entire inventory up on the web and make it available in a user-friendly format for a reasonable price per track and get away from clinging to this old, outdated business model of selling the whole CD?" [emphasis added]

Do I have sympathy for them? Not when they’re clinging to a relic and when that’s getting in the way of making good current business decisions…. They can make a fortune if they do that.

It’s a pity I can’t vote for this guy. 

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