Tag Archives: DMCA

Hell is a bit chillier: I give Kudos to John Doolittle

Since he got a scare last November, John Doolittle has been a bit … umm …bizarre.  It could be an impending indictment, or it could just be the fact that he is going to lose in 2008 to Charlie Brown. First, he gives up his role in Republican leadership in the House. Then he goes and votes for some of the 6 for ’06 legislation. (okay, one item, 9/11 report implimentation), and then saying that he’s cutting his wife off of the payroll.  All quite shocking. I’m sure there’s no self-interest in there.  He’s always been reasonable and honest, don’t you know.

Well, imagine my shock upon reading one of my favorite blocks, Engadget,  and I see John Doolittle once again doing something with a grain of intelligence. 

Ah, the day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived — well, sort of. Yeah, it is still a bill, but it’s a refreshing start on a long overdue amendment. While content guardians (we’re looking your way, MPAA / RIAA) have done their fair share of beating around the issue and insisting that DRM-laced content was the only way to go, consumers haven’t exactly been thrilled about such limitations since day one. In yet another glorious case of red and blue coming together for the good of mankind, Rich Boucher (D-Va.) and John Dolittle (R-Calif.) introduced a breath of fresh air they call FAIR USE, or Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship. The idea, of course, is to simply “make it easier for digital media consumers to use the content they buy” by amending the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; according to the duo, the DMCA simply “goes too far by dramatically tilting the copyright balance toward complete copyright protection at the expense of the public’s right to fair use.”

Well, as it turns out that Boucher is the shaker behind this particular piece of legislation, but yikes…Doolittle is standing behind common-sense legislation? I’m pretty sure if there’s a hell, it’s a few degrees cooler today.

The DMCA is a vile, spiteful, and totally unnecessary piece of legislation. It stifles innovation and persecutes innovators.  Hardly the role of leadership that we should be taking in the 21st century.  Don’t believe me? Ask Lawrence Lessig, that dude is way smarter than me.  At any rate, we need some sort of legislation to cut back the power of the DMCA…or, better yet, totally repeal it, and work on real, common sense copyright legislation that protects not only the interests of content providers, but also technology companies and, most importantly, consumers.

OK, that was my IP rant.  I try to keep my former job out of this, but you know, occasionally they intersect.