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Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (“PRO IP”) Act of 2007

My Review: 2

I think Nancy Pelosi is a moron and a communist.

OK, that’s an overstatement, but I do think this bill is not the solution to the problem of illegal downloading and copyright infringement. Our friend Jeremy at LiveDigitally wrote an excellent post on this topic – you can find it here. While I don’t agree blindly with everything Jeremy has to say, I do agree with the gist of his argument.

Clearly lots of people are downloading music illegally.  Sending them to jail and / or fining them thousands of dollars to protect wealthy people whose rights are being “infringed” upon is not a good solution.  However, “80 million illegal downloaders can’t be wrong” is not a good enough reason (for me) as to why the law should be changed to make illegal downloading legal and free.

I think that the punishment needs to fit the crime. I do agree with him that large business, huge conglomerates, and fabulously wealthy musicians are not suffering egregiously from illegal downloading and copyright infringement. The only people I occassionally worry about are the starving, independant artists; I don’t want them to lose their meager royalties. But I would argue that they get at least as much benefit as loss from the downloading and trading of their proprietary work. All that distribution is probably a good thing.

I think sites like Amie Street which use a market driven structure to sell music legally, and at a very god price, make the most sense.  These benefit newer independant artists, and benefit the consumer.

amie.gif

Solutions aside, the people who create and own property have a right to see that property protected.  This bill does not protect their rights.  It punishes people without acknowledging the reality of the situation.  That reality being: technology is not going to go backwards, and publishers need to find a way to work with it, not use congress as a blunt instrument to beat up the people who pay their salaries.

In any case, I say write to your congressperson to oppose this bill.

And take a crap on Pelosi’s lawn next time you’re in San Francisco. Just don’t get caught.

The PRO IP Bill gets a 2.

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