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Re: Copyright Assembly

> 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.

I think you've answered your own question here, Chuck -- they're concerned
with predatory copyright violation.  "Stealing" may seem like an
unnecessarily inflammatory term for that practice to you and me, but I bet
it doesn't seem that way to those who write (or publish) books for a
living, or to those who make (or distribute) movies for a living.

Publishers, the MPA, the RIAA etc. are not wrong to be worried about the
Internet; the Internet makes piracy ridiculously easy and the enforcement
of copyright law ridiculously difficult.  Putting scare quotes around any
reference to the ownership of information strikes me as short-sighted --
libraries and their constitutents will not ultimately benefit if the idea
of copyright dissolves into info-anarchy.  Information doesn't appear
magically out of nowhere; it's created by people, many of whom do it for a
living.  Who will create information if controls disappear and there's no
money to be made by doing so?  Do we want to have nothing but government
documents and academic journal articles to read?

On the other hand, librarians aren't wrong to be concerned that a forum
like this is taking place without any apparent participation by groups
with the public interest at heart.  Seems like someone from the ALA ought
to be there, to raise questions if nothing else.

Rick Anderson

Rick Anderson
Head Acquisitions Librarian
Jackson Library
UNC Greensboro
(336) 334-5281