Sunday, October 01, 2017

Bad Behaviour In High Places

According to the DOJ,
"Thomas Jefferson wrote: 'The most sacred duty of government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.' This sacred duty remains the guiding principle for the women and men of the U.S. Department of Justice."

Maybe so. Maybe not so much so when it comes to equal and impartial justice for copyright owners, book authors, song writers, musicians, and other creative small businesspeople.

From Mountain View to Capitol Hill, from Menlo Park to the metaphorical foot of the Seattle Space Needle to the high buildings of the DOJ, to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, to the Library of Congress, there's rampant bad behavior that's gone virtually unnoticed for far too long (in this writer's humble opinion.)

Please read this week's selection of copyright-related works:

For the Authors Guild, Douglas Preston discusses how deeply embedded (even in the highest ranks of law makers, educators, and the judiciary) is the piratical idea that it is unseemly for writers to be paid; that books
are worth less than a bad cocktail; that the greatest disaster for American culture is the important book that is never written because publishing it does not make financial sense..

The Trichordist makes a similar point about the short songs that may never be written because writing them, and publishing them no longer makes financial sense.

Also, on the effect of copyright infringement on musicians' incomes since 1999,  even though music consumption is now at an all time high:

Here's a startling allegation. The government of the USA is like the governments of North Korea, China, Rwanda, and Vietnam. These are the only governments in the world that refuse to pay musicians for radio airplay.

Apparently, a prominent Chinese music executive quit his job, and opened a restaurant. When asked why, he explained, "When I make good roast duck, people pay and thank me. When I make good music, nobody pays me and some even ridicule me."

It seems that, if you are a creative person, the Senate is not your friend. From a copyright perspective, the American Senate is where good legislation goes to die.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

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