Target: Senator John Rockefeller IV, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Goal: Ensure protections for the individual in copyright legislation
As computers and the internet become more inextricable from our daily lives, it becomes increasingly clear that the copyright laws we have in place in the U.S. are not sufficient to protect individuals. The current set of copyright laws are already long outdated, with the last major bill being passed in 1976 (the U.S. Copyright Act). The only real changes to copyright law since then have been favors to the recording and film industries, which disenfranchise individual citizens to benefit major corporations.
There is no doubt that rewriting copyright law in the U.S. will be extremely complicated and controversial, however as citizens we need to ensure just one thing: that our individual rights will not be trampled by corporate lobbying. The Obama administration has already been involved in talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international agreement that would greatly benefit massive information and entertainment companies at the expense of individuals the world over. We need to protect ourselves from these kinds of power-grabs.
If we can ensure our rights as individuals under U.S. law, the TPP’s effect can be minimized or even nullified. We need to pressure our legislators to pass copyright laws that protect individuals from corporations, and not the other way around. Industry figureheads will claim that the real threat to copyright protection is digital piracy and file sharing, when in fact the actual threat to copyright protection is big business trying to claim dominion over what should be public information, including things like breakthrough medical research and treatments. Sign the petition to demand legislative action from our Senators.
Dear Senator Rockefeller,
U.S. copyright law is in serious need of reform, a process that will be arduous and complicated. The only real question, however, is whom the laws will be designed to protect: the corporation or the individual? The few adjustments to copyright law in the last 30 years have been highly in favor of corporate benefits at the expense of the individual. This trend needs to be reversed, or else science and commerce in the U.S. will suffer greatly.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be a crushing blow to individual freedom as it is written now, especially concerning copyright protections. Things like breakthrough medical research will be kept from the public in order to increase corporate profits. In addition to fighting back against the TPP, Congress ought to rewrite U.S. copyright law to protect the individual, which could help to nullify the TPP if and when it goes into effect. Please address our current copyright laws by building protections for the individual, not corporate profits.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: opensourceway via Flickr