Is it time to get the DMCA repealed? Do you think the RIAA has gone too far? Do you think it's wrong that Disney can get a law passed to keep Steamboat Willie from passing into the public domain - a law that makes it impossible for anyone to expect a newly copyrighted work pass into the public domain during their lifetime?
How about making copyright reform a central issue in the upcoming election?
Very likely most politicians don't know if the DMCA is fit to eat, feel Disney and the RIAA are important campaign contributors whose requests should be given priority, and music downloaders are simple thieves who deserve every bit of punishment they get.
You can change that. But it's going to take some work. But there are enough people sharing music in America - more people than voted for George Bush - that if you get off your collective asses and get active politically, you can get laws passed to get the RIAA off your back.
In Change the Law, I explain that copyright is not a Constitutional right, like free speech. Instead copyright is allowed (but not required) to serve a useful purpose, a purpose which I feel has long since outlived its usefulness.
I suggest steps you can take to bring about copyright reform, ranging from speaking out to practicing civil disobedience.
One thing I'd like you all to do today is to write your elected representatives to ask their opinion of the current state of copyright law given its widespread abuse by organizations like the RIAA and MPAA, and to urge them to work towards copyright reform. Let them know your vote will depend on a positive response.
When you're done writing that letter, write to the other candidates for each office in the upcoming elections, to ask them the same thing.
Sixty million american peer-to-peer file traders have the potential to raise a lot of Hell with the politicians. I want every candidate to be peppered with questions about copyright reform at every campaign stop and in every press interview. I want the repeal of the DMCA to be discussed in the Presidential debates.
People marched in protest when Dmitry Sklyarov was arrested. Dmitry Sklarov is free now - but the law under which he was jailed is still on the books.
If you agree with me that something needs to be done about copyright, I need your help.
Thank you for your attention.