The latest daft idea to protect copyrights coming out of the Land of the Fee involves freezing all technology in the US until a Senate committee can prove that that any new invention cannot be used for piracy.
Yep, all new technology should be illegal until Congress says otherwise.
According to Tech Dirt, the former Register of Copyrights, Ralph Oman, claims that under copyright law, any new technology should have to apply to Congress for approval and a review to make sure they don’t upset the apple cart of copyright, before they’re allowed to exist.
Oman, who was the Register of Copyright from 1985 to 1993 and was heavily involved in a variety of copyright issues, has filed an amicus brief in the Aereo case.
Aereo is the online TV service that sets you up with your very own physical TV antenna connected to a device that will then stream to you online what that antenna picks up. This gets around some of the more silly aspects of US copyright law. TV networks sued Aereo, but were unable to get an injunction blocking the service. Oman wants that ruling overturned, and argues that an injunction is proper.
He claims that as part of the 1976 Copyright Act, Congress specifically intended new technologies to first apply to Congress for permission, before releasing new products on the market that might upset existing business models.
He said that anything even remotely disruptive and innovative must first go through the ridiculous process of convincing Congress that it should be allowed, rather than relying on the law.
If that was applied there would be no radio, cable TV, VCRs, DVRs, mp3 players, YouTube or anything really. Well, not in the US. This is because new technology always upsets some obsolete business models.
Of course this would throw the US into an “innovation dark age” where existing copyrights are protected at the expense of new ideas. Now all that is required is for the religious right to get a president into office and the US will become an Amish style paradise where everything is locked in the late 20th century. Or earlier.