Help Limit the Digital Millenium Copyright Act

This post is for my US readers, so for all of you outside our borders, my apologies. You can disregard this (or not, if you’re of that kind of mind).

I’m not one to push my political agenda, and certainly not on my blog, but some things just call for it. This issue hits home for a lot of us, I think.

There’s a bill on the Hill, HR 1201, which will limit the very evil Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). It’s called DMCRA, or Digital Media Consumer’s Rights Act, and it removes the copy protection circumvention powers when it comes to fair use acts. The DMCA is just flat-out bad for our country… so use this handy EFF form and contact your representative. They will ascertain who to contact based on your address, and they even provide a form letter urging reps to support the bill.

But, judging from my experience in DC, interns and lackeys who read the majority of senators’ email don’t give two hoots about form letters. Take 5 minutes, stand out, and write your own. If you need some inspiration, here’s what I wrote. And yes, it’s a bit cheesy, but these folks don’t have the same sense of humor that we do.

Note: I don’t like the EFF’s example of “backing up DVDs,” because it reeks of piracy. Who really backs up their movies? Just about nobody. The other things, on the other hand…

        <span id="more-7128"></span>
I’m one of your constituents, and I’m writing to urge you to support the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act or DMCRA (HR 1201).

This bill will limit the DMCA, which makes it criminal for people to circumvent copy protection for legal things such as academic research into copy protection and cryptography, using screen readers, printing documents they purchased, backing up music purchased online, and so on. These are fair and fundamental uses for things which we have legally paid for, and they should not be illegal under any circumstances!

The founding fathers clearly thought that the copyright and patent controls should be limited, and I agree, even though I make my living creating things which are copyrighted (designs, books, art, code!) which could in theory be “ripped off” and destroy my livelihood. There are things which are more important than the potential loss of a small amount of revenue, and one of those things is the right of individuals to modify and secure their legal property. And the right to investigate and study technologies which shape the world (see the story of Dmitri Skylarov for an example of an academic researcher being attacked, and jailed, for fair use behavior).

I believe that this country was one made for the people, not the corporations. I believe that capitalism is the best economic system in the world, and I think that it’s clear that this kind of corporate protectionism does nothing to aid capitalism, and even undermines it.

Please endorse HR 1201 and bring rights back to us, the people.

And for clarification, I think capitalism plus free health care is the best system in the world (when it’s actually capitalism; what we have now isn’t any more), but I chose not to push that particular button.

No Comments

  1. The problem is my browser…

  2. I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but such is life. I don’t care. So it goes. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about. I’ve just been hanging out waiting for something to happen, but that’s how it is.

  3. Not much on my mind right now, but it’s not important. I’ve just been letting everything happen without me. I just don’t have anything to say right now.

  4. I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but such is life. I don’t care. So it goes. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about. I’ve just been hanging out waiting for something to happen, but that’s how it is.

  5. I haven’t been up to much these days. Today was a loss. Nothing seems important. I’ve just been letting everything happen without me these days.

  6. I’ve just been hanging out not getting anything done. What can I say? I’ve basically been doing nothing worth mentioning, but pfft. Not that it matters. Pretty much nothing exciting happening to speak of. I haven’t been up to much these days.

  7. My life’s been pretty dull recently. Shrug. My mind is like a void. I haven’t gotten anything done lately. I can’t be bothered with anything recently.

  8. Not much on my mind right now, but it’s not important. I’ve just been letting everything happen without me. I just don’t have anything to say right now.

  9. I haven’t been up to anything recently, but so it goes. Such is life. What can I say? Pretty much not much exciting going on to speak of. I haven’t gotten much done lately, but I don’t care.

  10. I haven’t been up to much lately. I’ve basically been doing nothing , but it’s not important. I can’t be bothered with anything recently. I’ve just been letting everything happen without me lately.

  11. Not much on my mind these days, but what can I say? It’s not important. I just don’t have much to say lately. I’ve just been letting everything pass me by recently, but eh.

  12. Not much on my mind these days, but what can I say? It’s not important. I just don’t have much to say lately. I’ve just been letting everything pass me by recently, but eh.

  13. I use Firefox in Ubuntu :)

  14. I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but such is life. I don’t care. So it goes. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about. I’ve just been hanging out waiting for something to happen, but that’s how it is.

  15. I’ve just been staying at home waiting for something to happen, but I don’t care. Basically nothing seems worth thinking about. I can’t be bothered with anything recently.

  16. I’ve just been hanging out not getting anything done. What can I say? I’ve basically been doing nothing worth mentioning, but pfft. Not that it matters. Pretty much nothing exciting happening to speak of. I haven’t been up to much these days.

  17. My life’s been pretty dull recently. Shrug. My mind is like a void. I haven’t gotten anything done lately. I can’t be bothered with anything recently.

  18. I haven’t gotten anything done today. I feel like a fog, but what can I say? I’ve just been letting everything wash over me lately, not that it matters. Shrug.

  19. A1 Telefon says:

    I think it would be usefull for other users also.

  20. My life’s been basically bland today. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about. My mind is like an empty room. I’ve more or less been doing nothing to speak of. Not much on my mind recently.

  21. I had and the fix I found…

Hey, why not get a shiny
Freckle Time Tracking
account?