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When Elephants Dance

Michael Frasse has an interesting essay on the Arts and Farces site called When Elephants Dance that covers the battle between the entertainment industry and everyone else. Here’s some stuff from the essay:

When elephants dance, it’s best to get out of the way. That’s exactly what’s happening now as the entertainment industry — the recording, publishing, and motion picture industries, mainly — attempts a worldwide intellectual property power grab with two distinct targets. Think of it: a coup and a lock on all published content in the same year, amazing isn’t it?

Target number 1 is the average customer: anyone who purchases software, an audio CD, an electronic book, or a movie on DVD. The entertainment industry sees customers as pirates, plain and simple. In their collective mind’s eye, we all have a wooden leg, eye patch, and a filthy talking parrot on our shoulder. While the Constitution grants customers certain rights with regard to copyrighted material, the entertainment industry very much wants to separate us from those rights.

Target number 2 in the sights of the entertainment industry are technology behemoths like Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and Apple. These companies, in the perverse worldview of the entertainment industry, make the tools — computers mostly — that allow customers to practice their piracy.

He covers a lot of ground in the essay: copy-protected CDs, Internet radio, copyright, moral rights, the DMCA, the CBDTPA and the entertainment industry’s “soft money” donations made to the Hollywood ass-kissing senators who introduced it:

And finally, he proposes these measures:

  • Revert the term of copyright to 14 years, immediately and retroactive to all existing works.
  • Recognize moral rights in the works authors create, like every other civilized country on the planet. Make it immediate and retroactive to all existing works.
  • Prohibit any corporation from owning a copyright. Corporations create nothing; they’re consensual hallucinations and exist at our pleasure. I don’t know about you, but I’m not much pleased any more.

Make sure you check it out.

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