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More folks opposing Internet crackdown

The copyright industry's effort to tighten online regulations and perhaps wreck the Internet are drawing more mainstream attention and criticism this week.

Today, the Wall Street Journal's Gordon Crovitz is lambasting the two bills in Congress, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" in the House and the "Protect Intellectual Property Act" in the Senate. And Crovitz is certainly not some starry-eyed liberal who wants all content for free.

It's not surprising that industries would seek more protection regardless of the unanticipated consequences on technology more broadly. But the most effective solutions to problems caused by technology don't involve government enforcement. The movie industry says 90% of pirated movies are from illegal recordings made in theaters using video cameras; the industry now enforces its rights using technology to trace pirated copies back to individual theaters. Hollywood is now happy to work with services such as Netflix, which increasingly sell or rent digital versions. Similarly, the music industry fought Napster but now relies on iTunes.

-WSJ, November 28, 2011

The Op-Ed follows critical piecesĀ  in the New York Times and L.A. Times over the past few days. But given the lobbying might of Hollywood, the recording industry and other mass market content vendors, it may not matter much.

And p.s., Mike Masnick is doing yeoman's work following all the developments over at his Techdirt blog.

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Posted by Aaron Pressman

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