You may have noticed that posting has been very slow as of late. After seeing that Prof. Paltry is closing down his blog, I am following suit. The reasons for ending the blog are the same as why I have not been blogging much and why Paltry is quiting.
1. There are some strange people out there. You would not imagine the strange and abusive emails I recieve because of a stance I take on something as benign as balance in copyright law.
2. Time. I only have a limited amount of time, and I would rather spend my academic time writing articles on domain name disputes or orphan works, arguing with people who actually know what they are talking about. My academic career needs work, my marriage need work, my work needs work. Something has to give, and this is it.
3. It is depressing. As in all things, there are a number of people out there who want to get more than their fair share of rights/money/power, etc. These people who try to do evil seem to have infinite patience, as they always seem to outlast those who are trying to do good. There are a number of bills introduced yet again this year to serve as examples. For example, there is nothing in the Pro-IP bill to benefit actual people or even creators, only things to put the screws to anyone unlucky enough to get to in the way of a record label or large movie house. Copyright law already favors rights-holders too much over the public good. And, nothing seems to staunch the flow of the rights grab by big business. I am tired of writing about how large corporations are pushing the boundries and arguing for more, more, more.
4. It is really depressing. The phone calls I get are the worst. On average, I receive about one phone call every other day from someone being sued for file-sharing music. I have my response memorized. There is no good news for (usually parents of) someone getting sued by RIAA, et, al. I believe that given the right case I could win. I have a dozen arguments against these suits and a complete plan of attack ready, starting with having the record company prove they are the rightful holder of rights, that each file contained both what it purported to be and that it was a enough to be infringing, that the sharing does not equal distribution, that the collection of information equaled unlicensed private investigation, that the collection of information was without permission and equals hacking, abuse of process, etc. However, no person with anything to lose would do anything but write the $4-5k check and go on with their lives. The sadness in their voices pains me. This is the reason I didn’t do criminal law or family law or even personal tax law. I love the law, I don’t like the messiness of peoples lives. I really love IP law. If someone would give me a full time IP law teaching gig, I would likely die in that job. However, I really can’t take anymore of these calls from people being hijacked by record companies for (what is usually) their life savings, or more.
I have a business plan I am launching in the Spring, I am sure that I will be blogging about that and will give details later.