[Welcome Senator Tillis to shining sunlight on the astroturf “Restatement of Copyright”, which in our view is a epitoma suprema of Silicon Valley shillery. The letter that Senator Tillis refers to is the December 3 letter his colleagues and he sent to the American Law Institute asking some questions about the proposed Restatement (which isn’t all that proposed anymore as the drafting is moving along briskly). I gather from Senator Tillis’s op ed that he hasn’t gotten a reply yet. Which must mean that the mumbletank in the Silicon Valley policy laundry hasn’t quite figured out how to reply. But here’s the question that no one seems to have asked yet: Who is paying for the Restatement of Copyright? I don’t mean which non-profit accountability blocker wrote the check, I mean who is the ultimate donor who is the source of donor directed funds?]
With millions of jobs and over a trillion dollars at stake, as lawmakers, we must ensure copyright laws continue to protect the livelihoods of our nation’s creators.
It is for this reason that we have sent a letter questioning the effort by a well-established legal organization to “restate” and reinterpret our copyright laws for the nation’s judicial system. Last time we checked, Article I of the Constitution specifically grants Congress the authority to make laws to allow for individuals in the creative industries to be fairly compensated – not law professors.
Read the post on The Hill
You might also be interested in these MTP posts from 2018:
Shocker: Is Spotify Lawyer Leading “Scholarly” Project to Create Fake Treatise?
The American Law Institute’s Restatement Scandal: The Futility of False “Unity”
A Look at Christopher Sprigman’s Recent Record
And from 2013 about the Copyright Principles Project, the precursor of the Restatement of Copyright:
The Copyright Principles Project: Selflessness, Valley Style Amongst A Dedicated Group of Likeminded People
Who ever thought that the American Law Institute–of all places–would become the center of a corruption scandal over–of all things–its “Restatement of the Law” series. Chances are good that MTP readers outside of the legal profession have no bloody idea what a “Restatement” is and will sleep well in that knowledge deficit. But for lawyers (particularly litigators), the Restatement series has had some passing value.
However, there appears to be a trend at the ALI to trade on the “Restatement” series brand value to provide a vehicle through which those who control the pen in drafting both new versions of old Restatements and new Restatements on new topics can try to change the law to what the drafter thinks it ought to be–rather than a tool for practitioners to quickly learn what the “black letter law” is. This is a way to make an end run around the democratic process. Why? To deny voters and their elected representatives their proper Constitutional role. What’s different is the potential for the moral hazard of astroturfing making it more important than ever to know who is behind the pen and hiding behind the Restatement brand….
Setting aside the potential corruption (which is a question across the board for the ALI in both the copyright and other restatement debacles), this is a teachable moment. If anyone in the creative community is approached to participate in these things, do not believe that participation is worth it “to have a seat at the table” or any of the other metaphors for having your name used, abused and ignored in the final work product of whatever it is. That this process repeats itself is almost as irritating as our lobbyists saying they are “friends” with the other side, that they are “fond” of an opponent. If our people were in the room when those “fond friends” were discussing them, trust me–these “fond friends” do not return the affection. They are not your friend and they are not fond of you. And as Rogers & Hart wrote, unrequited love’s a bore.
Let me be blunt: They are screwing you, get it? And to be blunter still–there’s something to that. These people are not stupid, they can see a sucker stepping up to the thimblerig.
So if you’re going to keep showing up for their tricks, do not cry about it afterwards. There’s one answer when that call comes in–pass.
Embrace the Apocalypse. There is no “unity.” Or you can buy Bitcoin futures from the Winklevoss Twins.
Read the post on MusicTechPolicy