The Payoff

Hollywood delivered for Obama in the last election, and he is ready to pay them back.  The world's most open and honest administration is again using closed hearings and executive fiat to force legal changes that likely would create a firestorm of controversy in a normal legislative process.

It's hard to know, then, which is more appalling: the fact that the Obama Administration has conducted the ACTA negotiations in secret, or that it has indicated that it plans to adopt the final Agreement as an "Executive Order," one that does not require submission to or ratification by the Senate (or any Congressional action whatsoever) to become effective. ...

But even this summary makes it clear that, once again (see Clinton Administration) the Democratic Party has caved in to Hollywood's demands regarding intellectual property enforcement. As David Fewer of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic and the University of Ottawa noted, "if Hollywood could order intellectual property laws for Christmas what would they look like? This is pretty close."


  1. rxc:


  2. IgotBupkis:

    This whole thing is yet another brake on the economy. More IP laws (especially stupid, nonsensical ones which ignore the nature of the process) means more friction in an IP driven economy. More friction means less wealth generation. More people will have to spend time and money on compliance issues, will lose money from absurd liabilities foist upon them, and so forth.

    And it won't do any good. This is just "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic of historical copyright law", which has no chance of surviving in a functional IP & Services Economy.

    The Economy of Ideas

    This article is not some ivory tower exposition, it's a guy whose band got rich as hell doing exactly what he says.
    It's how IP works.
    It's 15 years old, but only a limited few have grasped its significance.

  3. Joel:

    This is of course appalling, but it's worth pointing out that ACTA was conceived under the Bush administration, who insisted on similarly disgusting levels of secrecy.

  4. anon:

    I laugh at all the Obama voters that bitch about evil copyright laws.

    Joel wrote: "but it’s worth pointing out that ACTA was conceived under the Bush administration, who insisted on similarly disgusting levels of secrecy."

    First, Obama presided over the final version and the last year+ of negotiations. He gets full credit/blame.

    Second, you can't blame Coke for Pepsi's shortcomings. Pepsi, despite the promises on the packaging and a different marketing strategy, is a lot like Coke. But it isn't Coke's fault that Pepsi is nothing more than bubbly brown water in a red, white, and blue can.

  5. smurfy:

    per the link:
    "ACTA expands the international definition of criminal copyright infringement to explicitly include Internet “piracy” done for personal benefit alone....“significant willful infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain.” ...and it mandates that “penalties that include actual sentences of imprisonment as well as monetary fines."

    So you're going to jail for that media server. 10TB seems significant and willful, and a desire to skip trailers and select your preferred aspect ratio would seem to be criminal motive.

  6. Mike Lorrey:

    There is only one word to describe rule by executive order: Dictatorship.