…For the first time ever, the Internet had taken on Hollywood extremists and won. And not just in a close fight: the power demonstrated by Internet activists was wildly greater than the power Hollywood lobbyists could muster. They had awoken a giant. They had no clue about just how angry that giant could be.
The real question now, however, is whether this community recognizes the potential it has. Ours is not a Congress that has made just one mistake—almost passing SOPA/PIPA. Ours is a Congress that makes a string of mistakes. Those mistakes all come from a common source: the ability of lobbyists to leverage their power over campaign funds to achieve legislative results that make no public-good sense.
The (Internet) giant has stopped this craziness—here and now. But the challenge is for the giant to recognize the need to stop this craziness generally. We need a system that is not so easily captured by crony capitalists.
As the result of a ruling the Supreme Court handed down yesterday (Golan v. Holder), copyright just got worse.
The contemporary businesses who have registered a powerful stake in exceptionally restrictive monopolies over intellectual property have themselves been enormous beneficiaries of a conception of the public domain as a fundamental and irreversible right of a free society. No matter: they would now see it ended. Better to kill the future than live in a present where you can only have two Ferraris in the driveway.
Hollywood and the music industry have tried repeatedly to kill media technologies and practices which ultimately have returned them enormous profits. …
What’s increasingly apparent about law, rights and liberties in the United States is that we have lived in our times in a bubble, an interregnum, a moment where some agencies and operations of the U.S. government, most particularly the Supreme Court of the United States, have moved to align the operations of law and authority with a properly expansive vision of human freedoms and Constitutionally-protected rights. That moment is passing, the pendulum swinging to more Gilded Age norms of brutalist law enforcement, oligarchic license, and an open sanction to the use of military power at the whim of the executive.