U.S. Congress & World Community:
Music Relief Association
More Info at:
Reports of battles and litigation over Intellectual Property rights - specifically copyright - from the four corners of America and from around the Free World attest to the fact that equity & equality no longer exist in domestic or international Copyright Law. Recent changes in copyright law have not served the public well, while the corporate welfare has been served time and again - their power and control over their "property" expanding at the expense of others.
It is evident, then, that a Good and Proper Balance be struck between the artists/creators, the monied interests who finance them, and the enjoyers and consumers of the arts: the public at large.
To this end, the Music Relief Association strongly puts forth the following points, which we view as pre-requisites to balance and justness:
1) Expand the Fair Use Doctrine to protect ALL not-for-profit applications;
Copyright law was written by the founding fathers to protect against unlawful commercial infringement, not to keep individuals from sharing inspiring creative works with others;
2) Limit copyright lifespans to a reasonable time;
Exclusivity was granted for a short period of time so that creators and their backers maintained a reasonable expectation to profit from their work, not to control said works beyond their lifetimes;
3) Repeal the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA);
The DMCA, with its provisions for criminalizing technology and its presumption of guilt, is patently unconstitutional, as are any future proposed laws that accomplish similar or same;
4) Re-invigorate and protect the Public Domain.
The Public Domain, as the repository and the very fountain of our Cultural Heritage (the "commons", as it were), requires our collective and rigorous protection.
Therefore, we offer these provisions and request they be made immediately to the US Copyright Code and to the Berne Convention, to be adopted by all Free Nations in the Free World.