|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] We're going to Washington. Meeting announcement
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Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 16:57:11 -0500
From: Ruben Safir
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Subject: [hangout] We're going to Washington. Meeting announcement
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In-Reply-To: <20020206082724.B20635-at-zgp.org>; from dmarti-at-zgp.org on Wed, Feb 06, 2002 at 11:27:24 -0500
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One of the discussions I had the the Expo was with Don Marti, who
has an angle on the DMCA which at first I thought was probibly not
a great idea, but after further explanation, it seems like we might
brign this up when we talk to congress next week, or try to leverage
in some regard in the near future. The basic idea is to sick the
Conservative Religuos organizations after Hollywood, using COPYRIGHT
and the DMCA as a tool to attempt to affect a cleansing of some of the
porn out of the movie industry.
I guess the hope would be that the MPAA would then raise OUR issues
about information control through copyright, and allow us to reframe
our traditional arguments in the words of Hollywood.
Of course, you might never know what you get when you stir up a
hive of wasps.
On 2002.02.06 11:27:24 -0500 Don Marti wrote:
> Can you again explain what you wanted done in terms of contacting the
> Religious sector of our society in terms of the DMCA?
Congress Can Take the Profit Out of Selling Sex and Violence to Kids
(The Op-Ed Piece the San Jose Mercury News Wouldn't Print)
By Donald B. Marti Jr.
In an report issued on April 24, 2001, the Federal Trade
Commission found that the entertainment industry is actively
marketing R-rated movies, along with violent music and video games,
to children. But FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky said, "Because
government intrusion in decisions about content raises important
First Amendment concerns, self regulation continues to be the
preferred solution to problems in this area."
Self-regulation? From the industry that brought us "American
Psycho," "Cop Killer," and "Mortal Kombat"? I'll believe that when
I see it. But conventional wisdom says it's impossible to regulate
explicit sex and violence in the media, because regulation wouldn't
hold up on First Amendment grounds.
Does that mean it's "self-regulation" or nothing? Of course not.
Congress has a legal, effective tool it can use to cut back
big-budget sexual exploitation and violence in the media. It's called
copyright law. All Congress has to do is reduce the copyright term on
sexual or violent movies, music, and video games to one or two years.
Reducing the term of copyright on porn is not a "taking".
Some so-called conservatives call copyright an "intellectual
property" right and insist that reducing the length of a copyright
would be an unjustified "taking" from the copyright holder.
This point of view has no basis in Constitutional law, and in fact
simply puts corporate interests ahead of the purposes for which the
Founders wrote copyright into the Constitution in the first place.
Copyright is granted for a limited time only, unlike a property
right, and exists "to promote the progress of science and useful
arts." (Article 1, Section 8) The term "intellectual property" does
not appear in the Constitution, and nowhere does the Constitution
identify a copyright as a property right.
Porn and media violence do not promote the progress of anything.
They do precisely the opposite. According to the Constitution,
Congress has the ability, and the duty, to stop promoting them.
The Constitution doesn't specify how long a copyright must last,
and the First Amendment only protects an individual's right to free
speech, not a copyright holder's exclusive right to distribute it.
With a shorter copyright term on harmful materials, the financial
incentive for the media corporations to invest in explicit sex and
violence will be low enough to make it easier for them to do the
Take the profit out of porn
But wouldn't reducing the copyright term for harmful materials
just result in more low-priced copies being available at stores, or
copies being freely downloadable on the Internet? Not if copyright
term reduction only applies to new music, movies, and video games,
to give the media corporations time to redirect their investments.
How would copyright term reduction for harmful works change America's
entertainment market? Certainly some sexual and violent movies
made cheaply or abroad would play in urban areas and college towns.
And people would continue to make amateur and low-budget pornography.
Copyright term reduction is only one tool among many.
But without the prospect of years of video and television sales,
entertainment executives would be reluctant to put Hollywood's
biggest budgets into sex and violence. And, perhaps most
importantly, the entertainment industry's promotion machine would
take up the task of promoting wholesome media, for which the
copyright holders would keep exclusive rights for a longer period.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Motion Picture Association
president Jack Valenti said, in response to the FTC report, "It's
not easy being a First Amendment advocate." Cutting back copyrights
on sexual and violent media will take the money out of messing with
kids' heads, and make his job a little easier.
FTC Releases Follow-Up Report on The Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children
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