Bill H.R. 5889/Bill S. 2913—PLEASE OPPOSE!

The issue that this cartoon addresses is hugely critical to the possible future careers of artists everywhere and it must be opposed. The vote on the bill is coming up very shortly and I encourage every one of you to write/fax/email/call your representatives and beseech them not to vote for this bill. I do not want to have to rely on George Bush, who doesn’t know what the veto pen is for, to have to nullify it.

The issue is about weakening copyright protections for artists. Interestingly enough, Microsoft and Google are behind the bill. There are enough politicians behind the bill on both sides of the aisle, that I wonder if any there is any nefarious activities going on between them and Google/Microsoft. It is receiving bipartisan support, and those in favor should not be reelected. The bill legalizes the theft of intellectual property, and it will remove from artists the ability to make a living. If this bill passes, don’t think it will stop with the art industry. It will move forward to the music industry, the writing industry, eventually every creative industry. The end result will be a society that is content with artistic mediocrity, as true artists will simply find other ways to make a living.

For more information on this bill, click here and take the following actions. If you wish to download the high res version of this cartoon to include with your letter, I authorize the right to do so. This issue is of utmost importance. ACT TODAY!


Anonymous said...

I support this Bill.

Fair use has been gutted, we can have a private free exchange of information on the internet or we can have copyright laws. There is not room for both.

I will not sacrifice freedom of speech, privacy and the basic realities of the internet to maintain outdated business models.

Benjamin said...

The bill, as it stands, is poorly written. It may have come about by good intentions, but it is a far cry from that now. The current copyright laws work just fine. People rip off intellectual property for personal use all the time with no consequence. We don't need a bill legalizing the habit on a much larger scale.

I do not think this is an issue about the free exchange of ideas. The bill does not forbid the making of profit on another's intellectual property, which is my biggest contention. The bill also places the burden of proof on the creator instead of the infringer, a large departure from current copyright laws. It would also make the protection of intellectual property a much more time consuming and expensive process, and this is in an industry where most workers can barely make ends meet as it is. Finally, in this litigious society we live in, it comes at a great shock that congress would severely limit damages in this bill, when they continue to do nothing about frivolous lawsuits in other industries.

I am a staunch defender of free speech. However, I do not believe the theft of someone else's intellectual property constitutes free speech. It is not even in the same category.

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