Won't Somebody Please Think of the Corporate Executives?

The Electronic Freedom Foundation has a Mxrk-style annotated post up concerning the "Comments of the Creative Community Organizations."

Thoughts: I think we all agree that artists deserve to be compensated for their work and that outright stealing is wrong. But, once acknowledged, the "Comments of the Creative Community Organizations" relies on many presuppositions and premises that are anything but "natural" or "shared common sense." We don't currently allow police officers to stroll into a home any time they want (even though we might all agree that this would make their jobs a heck of a lot easier).

Working within the constraints of conservative economics, what I hear in these requests is the death-throws of an industry begging the federal government to bail it out. Perhaps, like the auto industry, we will. The EFF is certainly nervous (if a bit over the top rhetorically in a few places) that big government will continue its trend. The difference, for me, is that without government intervention the American automotive industry would have likely collapsed. Yet we need cars, and the people who need cars need those jobs. The entertainment industry, however, seems ready to transform itself in a number of different ways. To allow issues of copyright to develop without direct government intervention (such as, say, unconstitutionally extending copyright well beyond its original 20 year scope) would not lead to the death of the music industry. It would lead to its rebirth. There will still be plenty of jobs and plenty of music, even if those jobs are in different places. And that's what scares the hell out of an army of CEOs, executives, and middle-men who live off of other people's talent.


On the heels of yesterday's post, the Guardian features an article today by Cory Doctorow on the recently passed Digital Economy Act--it sounds very close to the kinds of control measures sought in the Comments of the Creative Community Organizations. Doctorow has a unique ethos for this discussion, in that he is a writer who gives books away for free and a publisher in the new digital economy. I like the tone of his conclusion:

I'm not such a techno-triumphalist that I believe that the free and open internet will solve all our socio-economic problems. But I am enough of a techno-pessimist to believe that baking surveillance, control and censorship into the very fabric of our networks, devices and laws is the absolute road to dictatorial hell.

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