Incumbent technologies do not want to give ways to new tech.
Copyright is now on the radar in some of the most powerful/rich people in the US. The new 6 strikes law goes a little far. Example: If you don’t pay a toll 6 times, you don’t have access to the road any more. Things have moved from civil to criminal, so there are no protections for people pulled down if it is incorrect.
DMCA provides safe-harbor provision for content sites. Self-protection created this law, not foresight. The internet is about expression, and we don’t know what the future of expression is going to be because it doesn’t exist yet. Intellectual Property is NOT property. Things exist for the public good.
Copyright is the “engine of free expression”. Copyright is a negotiated exclusion – who is invited to the table to make the laws? Typically the incumbents who already have copyrights. In 1998, the DMCA the entertainment industry and internet service providers negotiated that law.
The copyright institution was created to provide a content monopoly. Cell phone unlocking is now a federal crime (after the DMCA removed that provision this year). You can get 5 years in prison and half a million dollar fine. A petition received 140,000 signatures which got legislation turned around. Next Step: DMCA was written in a way to make certain technologies illegal going forward. It makes assistive technology for the blind and deaf illegal.
Existing copyright law used to go after individual users through on certain platforms (napster, kazaa, gorkster). There has a been a shift to move the cost of copyright enforcement from individual companies to tax payers. NET Act of 1997 and PRO-IP Act of 2008. New measures going forward: ACTA, TPP. TAFTA (and we don’t know what is is these trade agreements).
How do you pick an issue Derek? It is about small victories – disentangling the myth with actual on-the-ground issues.
How does copyright overlap with 1st amendment issues? The courts have thrown it back to congress as long as it doesn’t touch freedom of expression.