Artists : Be The Change, Send A Letter! July 25th Deadline

Here is something every artist, musician and creator can easily contribute to.

Our U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel has asked for your assistance to, “Help Us Shape Our Strategy for Intellectual Property Enforcement.”

DEADLINE For Comments : Wed July 25, 2012 @ 5Pm EDT 

Here is the Direct Link to Post Your Comment:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=OMB-2012-0004-0002

Read more here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/jsp_2013_frn_final.pdf
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/25/help-us-shape-our-strategy-intellectual-property-enforcement

Example Comment as Submitted by East Bay Ray:

Stop Easy Money to Unethical Businesses

I am an independent musician, my band Dead Kennedys earned a Gold Record while being independent our whole career. But those days are gone, the reality is that internet businessmen now make more money off of our music than we do. And they do it because of a loophole in the current copyright law, a law that is supposed to protect artists from greedy businessmen. It’s analogous to a pawn shop allowing stolen merchandise to be sold and then using the excuse “I didn’t know it was stolen.” (They make money by selling advertising on the internet pawn shop walls.)

The current internet business model:
1. Gather music, video, art, etc files from around the internet
2. Host them on a website
3. Slather them in advertising
4. If someone claims copyright infringement, throw your hands up in
the air and exclaim “It was our users who uploaded your music! We had nothing to do with it! We’re innocent!”
5. Cash six figure advertising checks from other artist’s stolen creations

The reality is that the current DMCA take down notice system does not work.

A solution is that the same technology that websites like Google and Facebook use to track and sell people’s information to advertisers could be used to track and stop payments to sites that make money from distributing illegal files; and to stop search engines from generating advertising income from the search traffic to those illegal sites. Not anything more than what a pawnshop is required to do.

And business websites should be required to show their agreements that they have the right to post and distribute other people’s files for profit to credit systems like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc before they are allowed an account.

The distinction needs to be clear that there is a profound moral and legal difference between sharing something with a friend and distributing, without permission, other people’s files for commercial gain.

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3 thoughts on “Artists : Be The Change, Send A Letter! July 25th Deadline

  1. “And business websites should be required to show their agreements that they have the right to post and distribute other people’s files for profit to credit systems like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc before they are allowed an account.” How would that even be possible? You’d have to show that every potential complaining party had OK’d the site. That’s more than several billion possible people. That’s even harder thanks to instant, assumed-claimed copyrights(Berne Convention 1976).

    • Actually you are not separating an artist with a right to claim infringement from an artist who has authorized and/or licensed distribution (or expressly waived the right). These are very different things. Websites choose to distribute content, so they self-select the universe of distributed movies, for example. Showing a license is no more burdensome than a CD duplicator wanting to see a license before they let a customer hire them. The point of getting a license is to limit the number of potential claimants for improper distribution because the license authorizes the distribution and typically indemnifies the licensee from some claims (at least claims for that). The fact that copyright attaches without registration doesn’t really come into play. I would also point out that stronger verification up front increases consumer confidence that any site accepting PayPal, etc., is in fact legitimate rather than just trading on legitimate brands to convey the false impression that the site is legitimate when in fact the operators know it is not.

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