CCIA: copyright wiretaps are Hollywood’s “PATRIOT Act”
Yesterday’s White House wish list of new intellectual property laws focused on things like counterfeit medicines, but it also included proposals to extend wiretaps into copyright cases and to ensure that illegal streaming video is a felony. A DC trade group representing companies like AMD, Facebook, Oracle, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft today objected loudly to the plan, saying that legitimate concerns about counterfeiting have been “hijacked to create draconian proposals to alleviate the content industry of the burden of protecting its own interest using its own extensive resources.”
And that was just the beginning. Computer & Communications Industry Association chief Ed Black tapped his inner prophet to roll out a barnburner of a response to the White House. Over the top? Decide for yourself:
Some in Congress and the White House have apparently decided that no price is too high to pay to kowtow to Big Content’s every desire, including curtailing civil liberties by expanding wiretapping of electronic communications. Even the controversial USA PATRIOT Act exists because of extraordinary national security circumstances involving an attack on our country. Does Hollywood deserve its own PATRIOT Act?
This new punitive IP agenda follows just weeks after dictators spying on citizens online was the lead story in every major newspaper. Perhaps the obvious hypocrisy caused someone to decide to wait to announce the US goal of expanding our government’s powers to spy online. A screenwriter could almost market this plot as a comedy—if it weren’t so serious.
Maybe we should be grateful our government only wants to make streaming a song or movie a felony with potential prison time as punishment. What’s next, corporal punishment?
This is the latest indication of the extent to which the content industry has infiltrated this administration and managed to turn the Administration’s IP agenda into a policy which protects old business models at the expense of consumers, citizens’ rights, and our most innovative job creating industries.
That sound you hear is Obama “IP czar” Victoria Espinel scratching Black’s name off her Christmas card list.