Friday, June 03, 2011

The Creeping Monolith

It doesn't take a genius to know that if you control information you can control the population. If their only source is the voice of the state, then they can easily be indoctrinated. They will only hear the government's side of the argument and they will brook no opposition to their oppression.

On the other hand, I hold several copyrights for published material. I have an appreciation for the value of intellectual property. I approve of the reasonable use of quotes (with attribution) and I encourage reviews to spread the word about what I've created. But, please do not grab the entire work wholesale and put it out as yours.

This, however, scares me:

Five Years in Slammer for Embedding Videos

I've got a problem with that. Music and video is a decidedly difficult medium to manage. Attempts by music producers to restrict reproduction and sharing of their songs are a two-edged sword. On one hand you want to gain royalties from sales, but on the other you seek the widest dissemination of your talent so that your fame and popularity grow. Most have determined that the tight leash is counter-productive. The big bucks are going to flow from the road tour, the licensing agreements, the appearances, etc. And sales of the next product will soar.

When I grab a video, I depend upon YouTube to vet it before offering the embed code. I depend upon the copyright holder, if the license is still current, to communicate with YouTube their objections. Many videos have embedding disabled by request.

Those that do make it to these pages are clearly labeled. There is no doubt who is doing the music and there is no attempt to either profit from it or claim that it is the production of my talents. I have no musical talent. None at all!

But that isn't what the proposed legislation is about, is it? It's about control. It's about regulation and bureaucracy. It's about the threat of criminalization of free speech and political criticism in the long run.

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