Tell the copyright czar how US enforcement should work: 9 days left!

You've got nine days left to file comments for Victoria Espinel, the Obama administration's new copyright enforcement czar, and her department's inquiry on how the US should best enforce copyrights. Given that the president himself has spoken out in favor of the secret and sinister Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (AKA ACTA -- a punishing copyright treaty that seeks to expand the American DMCA and push it around the world), and that he plans to bring it down by executive order, without an act of Congress, this is especially urgent.

The good folks at Public Knowledge have worked up a tool to help you file comments, along with a good, easy-to-follow briefing on issues that Ms Espinel needs to hear about.

The Joint Strategic Plan should carefully examine the basis for claims of losses due to infringement, and measure credible accounts of those losses against all of the consequences of proposed enforcement measures, good and bad.

Measures like cutting off Internet access in response to alleged copyright infringement can do more harm than good. Internet connections are not merely entertainment or luxuries; they provide vital communication links, often including basic phone service. This is even more clearly unfair in cases where users are falsely or mistakenly accused.

Internet service providers should not be required or asked to violate users' privacy in the name of copyright enforcement beyond the scope of the law. Efforts to require or recommend that ISPs inspect users' communications should not be part of the Joint Strategic Plan.

Alert: Tell the Government to Support Balanced Copyright! (Thanks, Sherwin!)


  1. Well, I, for one, think anyone convicted of copyright infringement should suffer a sharp slap on the wrist and a stern lecture!

    That will teach the little bastards!

    Seriously, having made a few trips through the US legal system, just having to defend yourself in court is enough punishment for non-profit infringement. Kafka was an optimist.

  2. What if $20 extra on your ISP bill, given to the RIAA and MPAA, would get them to leave you alone about downloading their stuff?

  3. Everyone should consider all the possible sources of IP that this could affect, and not just movies, music, and computer software. For example, farmers don’t buy and plant seeds anymore. They buy a one-season license from Monsanto. They are not legally allowed to store some seeds away for next year, or give seeds away to someone less fortunate. It’s an IP racket that needs to stop.

    Another issue is RIAA suing on behalf of musicians who never see a nickel of the settlement money. Another IP racket that needs to stop.

    Most “IP” owners are trying to build a juke-box environment, where none of us, ever again, own anything. We pay for the privilege of using it in limited circumstances for a limited time. You can’t watch that movie on your phone – you paid only to watch it on your laptop. Now extend this to things like: your car… your bicycle… your toaster… No, you can’t give your old car to your daughter for college. You paid only for the privilege of driving it yourself.

    So how do we stop these IP rackets before they start?

  4. Is there any point in someone like me talking to the government? Even what I consider a painfully moderate stance would be dismissed out of hand as radical.

    For example, I think it would be an acceptable compromise to dial back US copyright law to pre-1900 levels. No Disney-purchased ridiculous term extensions, no automatic copyright on all created works.

    Don’t even get me started on patent reform. I’d like to see anyone who so much as mentions the phrase “software patent” beaten about the head and shoulders with a baseball bat ;-)

    1. Read the US-News article if you want to change the way laws work in this country! Farmerinthedell’s column:
      “warfare coming to a town near you”
      see attached Ref. too. Makes a good calm moderate out of you…( checking blood pressure ).

  5. I think it is revealing that her apparent goal is to protect IP rights, whereas the constitution clearly states that copyright is to ‘promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts..’ Protect or promote? Which do we want?

  6. “and that he(The President) plans to bring it down by executive order, without an act of Congress, this is especially urgent”.After having read this in the article, I’m wondering what good will voting do? Sounds like a done deal or as good as done.

  7. If anyone has a few hundred thousand dollars lying around, please donate it to the Democrat’s re-election campaign fund and then also write to the Copyright Czar. They might then listen to you.

  8. Intellectual property should be a perishable commodity, so a patent holder can not hold back the march of progress. How can someone own the virus that causes Lyme disease and refuse to allow others to research possible treatments and cures? Piracy is the red herring of the super wealthy…

  9. Exclusivity of knowledge is an illusion. Creativity and information for the enlightnment of all is the only way that the system will not implode on itself with dot the I and cross the T legal stuff that will overflow our court system with rubbish and give the government a more heavy hand in personal lives.
    An ecouragement of proper credit attitude that assists others in establishing the chain of creativity and contribution would be a far grander use of resources.

  10. If “it” is completely exclusive, perhaps “it” ain’t “knowledge”.

    Be that as it may, I have decided that the proper way to address a czar, if I should come across one whilst wandering, is to beseech him or her (them?). To humbly beseech such.

    Is it just me, or does “beseeching the czar” sound like a euphemism for masturbation?

    Oh well, I’m off to “beseech the czar” !;)

Comments are closed.