logo

Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


back

Draft letter to USTR on copyright extension

I propose to submit the following text to USTR tomorrow night. If you have any further comments, that is the deadline for me to incorporate them.

Should you wish to join in support of this statement, I would suggest you file your own as a statement referring to mine. I would greatly appreciate your doing so. Follow the procedure suggested by Public Knowledge link here

RE: 2010 Special 301 Review Docket Number USTR-2010-0003

Jennifer Choe Groves Senior Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation and Chair of the Special 301 Committee Office of the United States Trade Representative 600 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20508 Filed electronically via Regulations.gov

Dear Ms. Groves:

I write, basing my comments on copyright, by referring to Section 8 of Article 1 of the Constitution which states: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Copyright has been repeatedly extended with doubtful justification. If the author sells the rights to future incomes, the present value of each year's future income from copyright declines rapidly, approaching zero. The buyer of those rights gets little inducement to increase his payment for them. Thus, beyond ten years, copyright is not an inducement to create and is no longer consistent with our Constitution.

Moreover, the existence of copyright makes the creation of newly inspired derivative works unattractive because of the risk of being sued, even if unsuccessful, given the costs of litigation.

Finally, legal suits over copyright are a huge cost to the economy, as is the continual cost of lobbying for more favorable legislation by the large holders of copyrights. This has only gotten worse in recent years, as the potential gains from resort to law increase. This is particularly true in cases where the law is unsettled, as so often happens when courts or legislation make small changes in the law and its interpretation.

The lawsuits are made increasingly expensive by pressure to get courts to change the interpretation of the law and by seeking trial in districts where the courts have been found increasingly responsive to plaintiffs.

This analysis has been derived independently by a group of 17 eminent economists voiced in an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in Eldred v Ashcroft (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/openlaw/eldredvashcroft/supct/amici/economists.pdf)

This brings me to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). It is an anti-democratic outrage, not to have published the terms of the draft agreement and suggests to the skeptical that the USTR is engaged in a shady deal which will not stand the light of public disclosure and discussion. One must assume that we are trying to browbeat our trading partners into accepting terms that they are resisting rather than examining the pluses and minuses of such an agreement for each of the concerned parties.

Ultimately, it is a good thing if our laws and those of our trading partners are consistent. It is not a good thing however, to extend the term of copyright beyond, say, ten years, either to get consistency or to get a deal which is contrary to the broad interests of the American public or the clear meaning of the Constitution.

Sincerely,

John T Bennett


Comments

John Bennett writes (emphasis mine):

Ultimately, it is a good thing if the our laws and those of our trading partners are consistent.

Might want to fix that typo before submitting that to the guv-mint. Not that I think those douchebags will listen, but you can at least look your spiffiest while making your token protest.

RE: 2010 Special 301 Review Docket Number USTR-2010-0003

Jennifer Choe Groves Senior Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation and Chair of the Special 301 Committee Office of the United States Trade Representative 600 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20508 Filed electronically via Regulations.gov

Dear Ms. Groves:

The current administration ran on a platform of transparency and against "lobbying as usual." I can think of no form of corruption greater than negotiating - behind an arrogant wall of "national security" secrecy no less - only with trade representatives over an issue of as grave worldwide importance as copyright. To be clear I oppose the substance of the proposal as well: current copyright law has lost all balance, and attempting to press it on the rest of the world represents the worst type of "beggar they neighbour" mercantile. It is the opposite of free trade, and equally the opposite of fair trade.

For a more detailed analysis, I refer you to the statement of John T Bennett.

Sincerely,

David K. Levine

That, of course, would be "beggar thy neighbor" mercantilism. :)
Make some noise: Comment Tracking Number: 80aa0edd

Submit Comment

Blog Post

Name:

Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code
TwoThreeEightSeven:


Post



   

Most Recent Comments

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Good post. Thanks for this information. By the way, if students want to get rid of their

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,

What's copywritable? Go fish in court. @ Anonymous: You misunderstood my intent. I was actually trying to point out a huge but basic

Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the

Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples

Music without copyright Hundreds of businessmen are looking for premium quality article distribution services that can be

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you

Bonfire of the Missalettes!

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? I wondered about TFP, because I had heard that TFP was increasing. Apparently, it depends on who

Music without copyright I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will

Music without copyright It's strange, that sometimes the most simple suggestions are often the most useful! I will take the

Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art To Loup Vaillant: "So, you think we wouldn't have had those 9 technologies without patents? I can

Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art @anonymous: So, you think we wouldn't have had those 9 technologies without patents? I can accept

Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art The fact is that in the last 20-25 years the technologies of rapid prototyping (today known as