I was ecstatic when I read this yesterday.
the Republican Study Committee expresses support for expanding fair use, treating the reduction of statutory copyright damages as a kind of tort reform, punishing false copyright enforcement claims, and limiting copyright terms to twelve years, with increasingly expensive extensions available for no more than 34 years.
It is the most radical proposal for overhauling copyright that we have seen in recent years — and the most head-turning change of direction in decades for either party on intellectual property issues.
This would have been a major step forward for the Republican party in two crucial areas. First, it's an issue that is important to many younger voters, a demographic that has little affection for Republicans. Second, it would have demonstrated that the Republican party is something other than a reflexive protector of big businesses.
Sadly, the Republican Study Committee withdrew their brief within 24 hours.
”Yesterday you received a Policy Brief on copyright law that was published without adequate review within the RSC and failed to meet that standard. Copyright reform would have far-reaching impacts, so it is incredibly important that it be approached with all facts and viewpoints in hand.”
Yes, the Republican Party has just caved to a major big business (Disney) representing a major industry (Hollywood) that hates Republicans. In the process, angering many younger voters and technology savvy voters. How, exactly, do the idiots running the party think that this will help them out? This only proves, again, that the Republican party protects big businesses no matter and cares nothing for other Americans.
Worse, our cultural heritage is rapidly disappearing. Virtually the entire cultural output of the 20th and 21st centuries—movies, music, art, literature—is locked up in restrictive copyright. All of these works will be lot forever, unless the copyright owner sees a clear, commercial benefit to keeping these works available. Copyright reform—and limiting the term of copyright—is a vital part of preserving our cultural heritage.
From a political, cultural, and policy standpoint, this is an absolutely stupid decision. I'm furious with the Republican Study Committee and the craven cowardice that they've spinelessly demonstrated.