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Copyright Assembly

This is from today's USA Today:

"Creation of the so-called Copyright Assembly was announced Wednesday at a
congressional hearing. "(N.B.>: it is NOT a congressional initiative--)

"It includes a who's who of modern media. Among them: CBS, NBC, ABC/Disney,
MGM, Paramount, Sony, Time Warner, Universal, the Directors Guild of
America, the Writers Guild of America and all major sports leagues,
including the NBA, NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball, the NCAA and NASCAR.  "

The issue they are "all" concerned with:
Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America.
...pointed to ''illegitimate intruders'' on the Internet who ''steal
copyrighted works."

N.B.> It;'s unclear to me what "steal" means in this context, as part of
the article refers to media lawsuits against people who "copy" copyrighted
material on the net.

What is surprising to me is that commercial publishers don't seem to be
listed as members of this "copyright assembly" nor are user's interests
represented in any way. This seems to be "big" business getting together
to discuss how to protect a market they already monopolize. Where are the
librarians?  Where are the public interest groups. Not to worry corporate
America will take care of it??? (tongue in cheek alert)

Given the efforts we've seen with laws extending copyright with a major
impact on making cartoon characters live long past their natural lifetimes
in corporate bliss and the recent attempts by a drug maker to extend their
patents, this development is not, in my opinion, particularly a good sign
for the future of everything from standards for webcast media to what the
machines on the receiving end can do. This is not just about copyright,
but about the future of technology, and of technological capabilities and
of course of limiting future revenue streams to current perceptions of how
to be profitable.

Corporate owners of copyrighted material don't have a particularly "good"
sense of what is even in their own best interests, witness the VCR wars,
which if copyright owners had their way, would have prohibited the
development of the enormous revenue stream and businesses that developed
from renting videos, etc.  (in my opinion)

Chuck Hamaker