Is it a sign when the LA Times thinks Hollywood is going too far? God, I hope so.
In today’s editorial, the LAT says:
[editorial summary: Copyright infringement is bad, intellectual property is good, yadda yadda.] But what the entertainment industry is seeking in this year’s proposals isn’t merely protection from piracy; it’s after increased leverage to protect its business models.
That’s why lawmakers must bear in mind the balance needed between copyright holders’ interests and the public’s, something Congress has not done well lately. In 1998, it gave copyright holders broad power to block legitimate uses of works, even those in the public domain, through the use of electronic locks that impede copying of digital products. And that same year, it prolonged the public domain’s starvation diet by extending copyrights an additional 20 years, to 70 years beyond the death of the creator.
As they weigh the entertainment industry’s pleas, lawmakers shouldn’t assume all consumers are bootleggers and every digital device is a hand grenade aimed at Hollywood.
I really ought to read the LAT more often, because this seems pretty sensible.