How Much Is Enough? We've Passed 15 'Anti-Piracy' Laws In The Last 30 Yearsby Mike Masnick
Feb. 15, 2012
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Last week, I spoke on a panel at Stanford Law School concerning SOPA. There were two lawyers representing the MPAA's views, and at one point one of them said that he hoped that Hollywood just wanted to "meet in the middle" with those opposed to SOPA and find "a solution" that worked. Lawyer Andrew Bridges got up and asked a rather reasonable question: when, in the past, has the entertainment industry ever been willing to "meet in the middle" on copyright issues? He began listing out every single expansion to copyright law from the past 30 years. In 1976, we got the Copyright Act of 1976, which flipped copyright on its head and expanded it massively. Not only did it switch from an opt-in system with registration and renewals to an "everything is automatically opted-in," but it also massively expanded the length of copyright. You might think that the industry would be satisfied from that point forward. In fact, as key SOPA supporter Steve Tepp from the US Chamber of Commerce recently claimed: "To me if I get what I ask for, I stop complaining."