Via Dan Gillmor, The Guardian, staff members of the Republican Study Group discovered that the purpose of copyright law is not the enrichment of copyright owners, but “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts…” as Article I sec. 8 of the Constitution puts it. Sure, if inventors and authors don’t get compensated for their work, they won’t do it. But the motivation for the government to protect their rights is the public interest. New concept!
There’s all kinds of interest points in the brief, such as
* “most legislative discussions on this topic, particularly during the extension of the copyright term, are not premised upon what is in the public good … but rather what the content creators ‘deserve’ or are ‘entitled to’ by virtue of their creation”
* “there are numerous examples of copyright being used … to stifle oversight and hide incriminating information.”
*”Because there is minimal or nearly non-existent punishment for bogus copyright claims today, false takedown requests are common and have a chilling effect upon legitimate speech”
* “Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets – rather it destroys entire markets.”
Needless to say, once these staffers’ bosses discovered that they had used the idea of the public interest in a Republican document, the document was quickly disappeared and the staffers shot and then sent to Siberia.