Republicans propose copyright reform

Techdirt links to a remarkable Republican policy brief on copyright reform:

The purpose of copyright is to compensate the creator of the content: It’s a common misperception that the Constitution enables our current legal regime of copyright protection – in fact, it does not…[L]egislative discussions on copyright/patent reform should be based upon what promotes the maximum “progress of sciences and useful arts” instead of “deserving” financial compensation….

Today’s legal regime of copyright law is seen by many as a form of corporate welfare that hurts innovation and hurts the consumer. It is a system that picks winners and losers, and the losers are new industries that could generate new wealth and added value.

This has the potential to mark the beginning of a huge political shift on intellectual property issues. Heretofore, most copyright reform advocates have pursued a judicial strategy, trying to persuade courts to narrowly read (or overturn) sweeping statutory language. By and large, courts have declined to limit copyright laws in this fashion. If those laws were actually changed, however, that would compel different outcomes.

A policy brief is not even a bill, let alone a law. But the conversation has started.

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