Mossberg on DMCA

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, recently one of the first reviewers to get his hands on the Apple TV, has posted an opinion piece against the current state of copyright law and particularly the DMCA. As a consumer-level critic, Mossberg’s opinion is quite respected, and I hope this gets heard especially in Congress.

Most honest people wouldn’t consider it piracy to buy a CD, copy it to a computer and email one of the song files to a spouse or friend. But the record industry, backed by the laws it essentially wrote, does. Most honest people wouldn’t think that uploading to YouTube a two-minute TV clip, which they paid their cable company to receive, is piracy. But Viacom, backed by the laws its industry essentially wrote, is demanding that Google remove all such clips. …

We need a new digital copyright law that would draw a line between modest sharing of a few songs or video clips and the real piracy of mass distribution. We need a new law that would define fair use for the digital era and lay out clearly the rights of consumers who pay for digital content, as well as the rights and responsibilities of Internet companies.

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