The Politics of Librarians

Castle makes an excellent point here. The entire Google/Soros funded anti-copyright astroturf industrial complex is dead. Did they overplay their hand? Sure, the orchestrated attacks on the Register of Copyrights by groups like Public Knowledge and followed by her apparent unlawful constructive termination by the newly appointed Librarian of Congress (herself a former Open Society Foundation board member) would suggest they did overplay a bit. But ultimately I think Castle is right. The main reason that they lost is that there is a sea change on Capitol Hill: No one is afraid of Google and their pathetic astroturf groups anymore.

Music Technology Policy

The lopsided vote this week on HR 1695 (the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act) this week invites an explanation (378-48).  Some people were surprised by just how few votes the opposition got but the spread in our office pool was at least 300 voting “yes”.  Why?

You hear different explanations for this such as Republicans like property rights so they want strong copyright laws and the Democrats like Hollywood, so naturally they’d all support an independent Register of Copyrights.  Neither stereotype is universally true, obviously–House Minority Leader Pelosi voted against the bill.  The more interesting stereotype is the one about Republicans.

While it may be a transitive aspiration (“Republicans like strong property rights so they ought to like copyright”), it is simply not true that all Republicans like strong copyrights no matter how they feel about property rights in general, particularly the Republicans who work at think tanks…

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