Wednesday, November 17, 2004Just To Prove I'm Not As Ideological As I Might Look
In a battle between, say, the Motion Picture Association of America and the American Conservative Union, which side do you think I'd be on?
The MPAA? Bzzzzzt. Sorry, wrong answer. In this instance -- maybe the only one ever -- I'm aligning myself, at least nominally, with the ACU. The battle is over a new law that would, among other things, allow the Justice Department to go medieval on file-sharers; would mean that I'd have to sit through endless boring ads every time I watch a DVD; it would mean that Conservative Christian families, rather than just avoiding grown-up movies, can hack them to ribbons without permission; and would make Fair Use something about which we tell nostalgic stories to our grandkids.
For me, Fair Use is the biggest issue... the concept behind Fair Use is that when, say, CNN broadcasts eight hours of election night coverage, I can take that coverage and use it for my own nefarious filmmaking purposes, and as long as I don't make any money off of it or pretend that it's my original work, I can do whatever I want with it and not get my ass sued off. It's a nice thing for us little people to have, and we don't want to give it up.
So the enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess... at least for now. I'm not sure exactly why the ACU thinks this law is bad -- making sure huge corporations can obliterate regular folks and independent artists in court while simultaneously slicing all the good bits out of slightly-risqué movies seems like something right up most conservatives' alleys -- but I'll take what I can get. |