The Anti-IP Turn for the GOP Lasts Less than 24 Hours

Though Democrats are generally thought of as the party of “Hollywood” hosting numerous fundraisers are bigwigs’ houses, it shouldn’t be forgotten along with their “free market” and “pro-big business” stances, the Republican party also tends to support strong protections for intellectual property.

That’s why it was interesting on Friday when the conservative Republican Study Committee released a brief with reasonable and smart reform suggestions towards how we handle intellectual property in this country. The report was released to the House Conservative Caucus and various think tanks and laid out “three myths about copyright law” and some ways to go about correcting the broken system.

The paper also suggests four potential solutions:

  1. Statutory damages reform — in other words, saving average folks the legal headaches and crippling fines
  2. Expand fair use
  3. Punish false copyright claims – something that’ll save us from false mass take downs
  4. Heavily limit copyright terms, and create disincentives for renewal – supporting creativity

Late Saturday, the document disappeared, less than 24 hours from when it was posted. A memo was sent around as to the reason.

From: Teller, Paul
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 04:11 PM
Subject: RSC Copyright PB

We at the RSC take pride in providing informative analysis of major policy issues and pending legislation that accounts for the range of perspectives held by RSC Members and within the conservative community. Yesterday you received a Policy Brief on copyright law that was published without adequate review within the RSC and failed to meet that standard. Copyright reform would have far-reaching impacts, so it is incredibly important that it be approached with all facts and viewpoints in hand. As the RSC’s Executive Director, I apologize and take full responsibility for this oversight. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and a meaningful Thanksgiving holiday….

Paul S. Teller
Executive Director
U.S. House Republican Study Committee
Paul.Teller@mail.house.gov
http://republicanstudycommittee.com

Leaks and reports from the inside instead point to something more insidious than “adequate review.” It turns out the RIAA, MPAA and the entertainment bullies lobbyists didn’t take too kindly to the report, demanding it be removed. These are the same organizations that blamed us techies for our unwillingness to discuss these issues during the SOPA/PIPA battles of last year. Here, they’ve stifled an honest look at a system that’s gone completely off the rails and needs to be reformed. Interestingly, a viewpoint and idea track that could help with the Republican’s issue of youth vote. It showed a generational divide on the issue and for once was a policy that sided with the younger generation, as opposed to the Hollywood overlords.

You can read the document yourself below:

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