Former top US copyright bureaucrat thinks all communications/entertainment technology should be illegal until Congress approves it
By Cory Doctorow at 4:26 pm Thursday, Sep 27
Oman’s brief argues that the intention of the US Congress in passing the 1976 Copyright Act was to establish a regime where anyone who’s got an idea for using technology to change the way we interact with copyrighted works was to force that person to get permission from Congress before they made it into a product.
In other words, Oman believes that in America, the law says that all innovation that touches on copyright is presumptively illegal, and each idea must be individually vetted by Congress before being brought to market: “Commercial exploiters of new technologies should be required to convince Congress to sanction a new delivery system and/or exempt it from copyright liability. That is what Congress intended.”
The patent system itself has the effect of making all innovative technology ‘presumptively illegal’, so IF the Constitution intended Congress to grant the privilege of patent, it would also have no qualms about a super-patent law that, like copyright, automatically registered a patent over any new technology (100 years long say), and charged for licenses, those who wanted to utilise this new technology (the inventor gets no concessions – has to pay for a license too).
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