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Convoluted Copyright

Monday, January 23, 2012

Protests against SOPA and PIPA in New York on January 17, 2012 (flickr/Photo Gallery)

Copyright made big headlines last week. File-sharing site Megaupload was shut down following a dramatic FBI raid. The Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) generated widespread web protests, resulting in a postponement of both bills. And the Supreme Court upheld a decision to restore copyright to works that previously had been part of the public domain - like Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." We'll break down these convoluted stories with our go-to copyright expert, intellectual property lawyer Jon Reichman.


Jon Reichman

Comments [7]

Maria from nyc

People reject SOPA because it allows corporations and govt to shut down any website at will. As it currently is written, it gives too much power to the already powerful.

@ Inquisigal I agree, the tech community is slanted very much against regulation of copyright, which is particularly annoying since most of those within industry are supported with advertising dollar and/or venture capital.

Jan. 23 2012 02:40 PM
Bob from Harlem

Hey we need to keep in mind that without copyright the "free information" version of the internet (Wikipedia and etc) deflate the model of a prosperous economy. Why should we support things like Wikipedia when it has destroyed the jobs of thousands of Encylopedia creating employees, and then begs for donations to keep a very small office (less than 30 people) employed? We need to look at the bigger picture.

Jan. 23 2012 02:31 PM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

I've got to wonder if Ms. Kaufman makes a living as an artist. What has irritated me about the protest of SOPA and PIPA is the blanket ignorance of artists and people like Ms. Kaufman who think any regulation is dangerous.
Artists and entrepreneurs NEED to be able to maintain and prosecute violations of copyright.

The legitimate question is - is the bill written in a way - and has it been researched enough by people with technology experience - to see what the smartest way is to protect copyright without going too far.

All the general - and often young, and uninformed - public is hearing is that the tech companies flat-out think it's wrong.

Jan. 23 2012 02:26 PM
Bob from Flushing

I've never heard a better example of the pre-fab nature of pop music than that "Firewall" single just played.

Whaddya think? Took maybe an hour to produce?

Jan. 23 2012 02:25 PM
Shannon from UWS

Fox guarding the hen house when Google and American Express "stand up" for us...

Jan. 23 2012 02:22 PM
Jerry from UWS

Concerning SOPA/Pipa, a lot of people on the internet would like to think they helped halt this legislation but I don't think this is so. It seems to be more about a battle of private interest in our government. Big Hollywood is fighting for SOPA and Google and American Express are fighting for it. While I'm not for SOPA, I think we should be just as cautious when corporations "suppert" us. It is the old fox guarding the hen house.

Jan. 23 2012 02:19 PM
Dave from Teaneck

The power to protect copyrights, granted to congress by the constitution, enabled one of America's greatest accomplishments – the success of its music and movies worldwide. Given the ease with which this protection can now be defeated, many have come to see it as unnecessary. Some say new models are needed and suggest musician’s incomes should derive chiefly from concerts.
This will create a world with no Abbey Roads (which took forever to record), and, for that matter, no Beatles, who stopped touring. Songwriters will need to operate on a pro bono basis. No George Gershwins. No Jimmy Webbs.
Naturally, advocates of copyright infringement cite rich musicians and movie studios as deserving no protection, but the greatest damage will be done to aspiring musicians and filmmakers trying to earn an honest living from their art.

Jan. 23 2012 01:39 PM

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