An Ode to Monty Python Mondays (but the serious kind)

I’m sorry to start off this week with politics.  Even sorrier that it has to be to talk about something that I view as absolutely absurd, too.  Please, bear with me because, honestly, this is something many bloggers might want to be in the know about.  There is a lot of legislation being offered forth regarding copyright infringement and the like and, while I’m not going to get on my high horse and talk about copyright issues right now, I will say that the legislation is BAD.

Here’s the first bit:

If you embed a YouTube video that turns out to be infringing, and more than 10 people view it because of your link… you could be facing five years in jail.

The full article can be found at Tech Dirt.  Now, I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind is the amount of policing that’s required to make this kind of thing have any teeth; the second is the concerns that this could effectively make many US citizens into criminals.  Easily.

We can always play devil’s advocate and proclaim that OF COURSE it’s going to be one of those laws that isn’t taken seriously, but it is set up to be dealt with rather seriously and as such should not be diminished simply upon the premise of “they won’t do anything about it”.  Added to this issue is the Protect IP Act which is a brain child of Senator Leahy of VT.  I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – law needs to be considered first for all the bad it can do and ONLY IF that is amenable should the good be considered.  Never would I presume to defend piracy, but I most certainly will always – ALWAYS- champion the first amendment.  Any law that encourages the shutting down of websites upon presumption of guilt without due process of law is against the first amendment.

Any thoughts on these pieces of legislation?  What about copyright law? 

Wednesday’s Post: A Wall Street Journal article about YA literature that seemed to cause quite a hubub. 




14 responses to “An Ode to Monty Python Mondays (but the serious kind)

  • laurelrainsnow

    Wow! Just what we need…more laws that turn “law-abiding citizens” into criminals. It’s bad enough that people seem to be presumed guilty these days…Oh, don’t even get me started!

  • shari

    Well! I’m certainly too grumpy already (and not far enough into my morning coffee) too dig into Leahy’s bill, but when I read your post, I dimly recall something Leahy was in in the news for a while back. I am boggled by the idea that YouTube – which seems to be a phenonmenal creative outlet for a lot of people – doesn’t seem like an area where this can do ANY good. I’m trying to think about who benefits – is it people that are likely financially well-off enough to pursue legal action? Hope the All-Hockey Hair Team video doesn’t fall into this category, or my tushie is COOKED! I need to find out who sponsored this WHACKED legislation and whine. Digitally. and at great, great, length.

  • shari

    OH crap. It’s Amy Klobuchar – who actually has a lot of legal experience. She’s one of my senators and I could so kick myself. Damn, I think I voted for her. Time to get to work!!!

    • kimberlyloomis

      Shari- Lol! I feel your pain. Most of the guys from my state would back something like this in a heartbeat – I didn’t vote for any of them- and I find it infuriating. If these people would just do what’s in their job description…

  • Johm Blair

    I guess they will have to put all the News people in jail too! Who steals more than the bias news media and broadcasts it.
    You can thank our communistic minded congress and President for even thinking like this.
    All our problems began when we allowed our congress to vote themselves to be paid!!!!

    • kimberlyloomis

      It would be nice. Heck, most of our “news media” are all Statist anyway and therefor don’t have any journalistic integrity. I really need to look up about when that pay thing happened. My guess would be after the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 – although I could be wrong. Shiesters. Don’t trust anyone who actually passes laws making themselves exempt from laws (Congress is exempt from insider trading charges).

  • Arlee Bird

    Well, there is the upside. If you go to jail you don’t have to look for a job, you are guaranteed room and board, you get medical care that may be better than you can currently afford, you can get on a good exercise program, you have time to do more reading and watching TV–come on! Stop being so negative! Pretty soon everyone will be in jail.

    Tossing It Out

  • Hart

    So interesting. So is this only embedded, or if you link to the YouTube page are you ALSO in trouble. That is usually what I do, though more because I am technically challenged than anything else.

    Totally agree with you on due process–I think the majority of people who would violate this, would do so unknowingly, and frankly, deserve a warning first. Seems easier to just have them pull it from YouTube and then it’s gone, problem solved. I can see putting some teeth into repeat offenders, I guess, though another part of me knows that ANY CLIP, if it isn’t the full thing, is actually going to drive traffic. Every MP clip watched makes more and more people think, huh, I have to see that movie! And what happens if all 10 people who see it already OWN it? eh? (just being devil’s advocate… sounds like a hot mess on the enforcement front)

    • kimberlyloomis

      Hart- Totally agree about the hot mess. Makes my head spin to even contemplate laws like this. The MPA, I’m sure, support this youtube thing (just as they support the Protect IP Act) even when it’s exactly as you said- more people want to watch the film/show if they have something tantalizing to draw them in. Not the same thing as bootlegged copies and the like. At all.

      Pretty sure it’s just the embedding. I do embed, but now… I’m thinking I’ll stay away from it for a bit. Ugh.

  • shari

    Lee, you reminded me of something that happened in my hometown. A 17 year old kid came home from school one day and his family had clearly moved away – without him. The poor guy ended up committing one semi-serious crime each fall so he’d have a place to be over the winter (we lived in Northern Minnesota.) My mother knew him, so at Thanksgiving her mother (despite having 9 kids of her own) would always send up a turkey dinner. Jail was a lot less ‘fun’ then, though.

    No YouTube.

  • litlove

    Have there actually been any test cases yet? I’ve heard about the legislation because of the twitter and youtube problems over privacy problems here in the UK, but as far as I knew, people were still at the head-scratching stage and trying to decide how legislation might be possible. I think if it came to pass you’d have the courts clogged up for decades to come with thousands of cases. But still, that definitely makes it timely to discuss the issues involved here.

    • kimberlyloomis

      LL- No test cases yet as it’s a pretty recent law. Please keep me posted as to what the UK decides to do regarding such things. Definitely agree about the court issues and the lack of timeliness in processing the cases. Seems to me there could be no other way to resolve this but to also increase the size and scope of the “justice” system. Unless this then becomes merely a financial penalty based offense..?

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