Maria Pallante, the acting Register of Copyrights, testified at a Congressional hearing on Monday. That hearing was the first in a series on “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online”.
If you want, you can watch the hearing. I wouldn’t, though. The resolution is low on the video and it’s only available in the one obscure streaming format. Also, it’s boring as all get out. Fortunately, you can also download .
Her testimony is a treat.
If you’ve been following the stories about how ICE has seized website domains then you probably already know that the Obama administration has sold its soul to the RIAA, MPAA, and Big Content in general. Her testimony toes the party line perfectly. In fact, it reads like it was written by one of the major movie studios, not a government official. There are a couple of really good parts that I’d like to show you.
Here’s one half-truth that she was fed by Big Content and then regurgitated in the hearing:
Aside from being illegal, the existence of such websites undermines the incentives and
the ability of legitimate companies to engage in the production, sale, licensing and other
dissemination of copyrighted content to compete in the marketplace.
So Hollywood produced fewer movies last year? And the RIAA released fewer songs last year? Actually, no. Of course, that’s not the worst part. She really does support going after websites that aren’t breaking US law:
Indeed, the pressing issue is how to tackle rogue websites based in foreign jurisdictions. Copyright owners have few options to pursue websites that are based abroad and that do not take advantage of U.S.-based Internet registrars or registries. Finding methods to address the illegal activities of foreign websites and non-U.S.-based actors who may not be subject to U.S. jurisdiction can be a challenge in many areas of U.S law enforcement
This would include sites like Rojadirecta.org, a Spanish site that is hosted in Spain, owned by a Spanish company, and isn’t even breaking Spanish law. Nor has it been charged with breaking any US law.
My government has sold itself to Big Content.
To be fair, it’s not just Obama; it’s politicians in general. Whoever succeeds Obama will be just as bad, regardless of party affiliation.