Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (“PRO IP”) Act of 2007
My Review: 2
I think Nancy Pelosi is a moron and a communist.
OK, that’s an overstatement, but I do think this bill is not the solution to the problem of illegal downloading and copyright infringement. Our friend Jeremy at LiveDigitally wrote an excellent post on this topic – you can find it here. While I don’t agree blindly with everything Jeremy has to say, I do agree with the gist of his argument.
Clearly lots of people are downloading music illegally. Sending them to jail and / or fining them thousands of dollars to protect wealthy people whose rights are being “infringed” upon is not a good solution. However, “80 million illegal downloaders can’t be wrong” is not a good enough reason (for me) as to why the law should be changed to make illegal downloading legal and free.
I think that the punishment needs to fit the crime. I do agree with him that large business, huge conglomerates, and fabulously wealthy musicians are not suffering egregiously from illegal downloading and copyright infringement. The only people I occassionally worry about are the starving, independant artists; I don’t want them to lose their meager royalties. But I would argue that they get at least as much benefit as loss from the downloading and trading of their proprietary work. All that distribution is probably a good thing.
I think sites like Amie Street which use a market driven structure to sell music legally, and at a very god price, make the most sense. These benefit newer independant artists, and benefit the consumer.
Solutions aside, the people who create and own property have a right to see that property protected. This bill does not protect their rights. It punishes people without acknowledging the reality of the situation. That reality being: technology is not going to go backwards, and publishers need to find a way to work with it, not use congress as a blunt instrument to beat up the people who pay their salaries.
In any case, I say write to your congressperson to oppose this bill.
And take a crap on Pelosi’s lawn next time you’re in San Francisco. Just don’t get caught.
The PRO IP Bill gets a 2.