Philosophical Musings

July 17, 2006

Copyrights first, Democracy second

Filed under: capitalism,Copyrights,Democracy,Freedom,society — Elad Kehat @ 8:52 am

Today I stumbled upon the website of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), where I found something that made me explode with anger.

The quote the U.S. Constitution’s Patent and Copyright Clause:

“The Congress shall have Power . . . To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries . . .”

And then land the bomb:

“Before free speech, before freedom of assembly, before freedom of religion, there was copyright protection in our Constitution. The founding fathers knew copyright protection could improve society by preserving the economic incentive for people to come up with brilliant ideas and inventions.

That as far as the RIAA is concerned, copyright protection is more important than our freedoms is nothing new. But that they’re willing to hijack the Constitution and the founding fathers to support that claim goes beyond fair.

Consider this: the RIA of America is a body that thinks America is first and foremost all about the protection of their economic interests. Forget freedom of speech – that comes later. Forget freedom of assembly – democracy is secondary. First pay the music industry, then we’ll give you some rights.

Silly me: I always thought that America was about freedom first. Thanks to the RIAA I now know that it’s about narrow economic interests and outdated business models first, freedom second.


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