Senators Want To Put People In Jail For Embedding YouTube Videos

This from the country which already has more people in prison than they have prisons to put them in.

Yesterday, I and some other commentators on the Standard blog objected to the fact that one of their writers copied and pasted an entire body of work and presented it as his own. While this blog also uses work produced by other people the rule is that I only copy part of the work and link to the originals site so that people have to go to that site to read the entire piece, assuring that the writer gets the kudos for all his hard slog. I would want people to do the same for me.

The Standard writers generally do the same and I sincerely hope that this case of plagiarism remains a single event because I think that the blog is a very necessary and high quality outlet for a lot of people in the political activist world.

So that is my opinion on copyright. I understand the right of the individual to be acknowledged and rewarded for the work he/she is doing and I even acknowledge the right of big corporations who have to finance big projects to be protected in a similar way. However does this have to go as far as huge prison sentences if at some stage someone does infringe on those rights. Were does the right of other individuals to take someone else’s creation to a different level especially if they don’t gain financially from the original creation?

What if the right of the original creator to be acknowledged as the owner of the work is respected. Would we have come this far if pieces of development had been monopolised say 5000 years ago??

Well in the US, the land of the free and the brave, if some senators have anything to say about it that is exactly what is going to happen.

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Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. A few weeks back, we noted that Senators Amy Klobuchar, John Cornyn and Christopher Coons had proposed a new bill that was designed to make “streaming” infringing material a felony. At the time, the actual text of the bill wasn’t available, but we assumed, naturally, that it would just extend “public performance” rights to section 506a of the Copyright Act.

Supporters of this bill claim that all it’s really doing is harmonizing US copyright law’s civil and criminal sections. After all, the rights afforded under copyright law in civil cases cover a list of rights: reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works or perform the work. The rules for criminal infringement only cover reproducing and distributing — but not performing. So, supporters claim, all this does is “harmonize” copyright law and bring the criminal side into line with the civil side by adding “performance rights” to the list of things.

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