This will be a busy week in the House–Congress goes into summer recess Friday, but not before considering the Section 115 Reform Act of 2006 (SIRA). Never heard of SIRA? That’s the way Big Copyright and their lackeys want it, and it’s bad news for you.
Simply put, SIRA fundamentally redefines copyright and fair use in the digital world. It would require all incidental copies of music to be licensed separately from the originating copy. Even copies of songs that are cached in your computer’s memory or buffered over a network would need yet another license. Once again, Big Copyright is looking for a way to double-dip into your wallet, extracting payment for the same content at multiple levels.
Today, so-called “incidental” copies don’t need to be licensed; they’re made in the process of doing other things, like listening to your MP3 library or plugging into a Net radio station. If you paid for the MP3 and the radio station is up-to-date with its bookkeeping, nobody should have to pay again, right? Not if SIRA becomes law. Out of the blue, copyright holders would have created an entire new market to charge for–and sue over. Good for them. Bad for us.
Once TeleBloggers find out the truth, maybe they can have a little fun and try this out on our comatose American media.
The Faustian deal: I don’t care if Berman has generally been a good-guy liberal. I’m a lifelong Dem lib but am sick and tired of seeing my brethern think, “Oh, it doesn’t matter if they sell out the Net. They’re so perfect in other ways.” Enough! We had eight years of this under Clinton, and I’d suggest that Netfolks think long and hard before using the Net to empower even the worst of the RIAA-bought pols. The good news is that the Net is replacing radio and TV as Medium One. The old Hollywood business models won’t count as much as before.
Related: Slashdot discussion.