A relative of mine was once worked in government. For years we’d argue about whether government was really for the people or simply an instrument of corporate interests. He always took the side that government was for the people and that while special interests had excessive clout, government was made by people who genuinely wanted to make the world a better place and fulfill the mandate of our constitution.
Then came the Sonny Bono copyright act, an act that made no concession what so ever to either the Constitution (Copyright is a limited monopoly offered for the sole purpose of promoting the progress of science and the useful arts and is not, and never was a “property right”) nor to the public good (entirely selling out the public interest for private gain). He lost confidence in government and now works as a lobbyist.
As disheartening as the fundamentally unconstitutional direction copyright law has taken in recent years in order to prop up a largely unnecessary publishing and distribution business, a model that has been obviated by the technology of the internet, it takes a far more sinister turn with the Pro-IP act.
This act does more than merely turn the government into a strong-arm profit enforcement agency for the entertainment industry as recent bills such as Sonny Bono, NET, and the DMCA have done by criminalizing what is fundamentally a civil complaint, it creates a Stazi-like federal enforcement agency with the power to seize property in a way that seems on it’s face to violate the 5th amendment.
The irony of violating the spirit and letter of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 by creating a false property right that retards the progress of science and the useful arts and enforcing that false property right by violating everyone’s Fifth Amendment right to real property is extraordinary.
I cannot help but imagine entertainment industry lobbyists falling out of their chairs laughing and snorking their champagne.
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