Feeds

MPAA, RIAA seek permanent antitrust exemption

Get out of jail free

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Just weeks after an antitrust suit was filed against the RIAA by webcasters, the music labels' lobby group, is, along with Hollywood, seeking a permanent exemption from similar litigation. The proposal seeks to extend the exemption to anything covering mechanical copyright: a sweeping extension of the copyright cartel's immunity.

It's buried away in a piece of legislation co-sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch called the EnFORCE Act, or the Enhancing Federal Obscenity Reporting and Copyright Enforcement Act of 2003. With 12-year old girls being threatened with $150,000 fines, and the computer industry embracing social engineering technologies such as locked music, you would think the last thing that the nation's cultural heritage needs is stricter enforcement by the copyright cartel.

Hatch said the big studios and major record labels need the exemption because of "market realities...The bill authorizes appropriations to ensure that all Department of Justice units that investigate intellectual property crimes have the support of at least one agent specifically trained in the investigation of such crimes," he said last week.

Hatch was a former critic of the RIAA, and advocate of compulsory licensing, who was seduced by the lobbyists, as Joe Menn describes in his book All The Rave [website - our review]. "Online systems provide a cheaper and easier method of self-publishing," Hatch said. He compared the musicians' predicament on major labels to "it's kind of like paying off your mortgage, but the bank still owns the house."

Hatch had discovered this because he had become a songwriter and performer of inspirational Christian music. At a gala awards dinner in March 2001 hosted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Hatch was awarded a "Hero Award" and the diners heard Nashville star Natalie Grant perform one of his songs, "I Am Not Alone".

The flattery certainly proved inspirational to Hatch, whose own view of "market realities" has changed substantially since then.

"Any bill that further increases the RIAA's power over consumers is extremely disconcerting to us," president of the Webcaster Alliance, Ann Gabriel told us today.

With the Democrat Party so heavily reliant on campaign contributions from the pigopolists, the Bill requires a Republican revolt to avoid becoming law. Perhaps citizens should start reminding their Senators of the United States' cultural heritage as eloquently as Mr Gene Mosher did here did here. ®

Related Stories

Webcasters slap RIAA with antitrust suit
Radio royalties: the ticking timebomb under the RIAA

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.