So it looks like President Obama is keeping his promise regarding the importance of the plebian voice, at least in the way of intellectual property reform. Back in September our country received its first ever copyright czar (coolest government title ever, BTW) Victoria Espinel and now, just a few months after taking office she's turning to us common folk for advice on how the country should proceed.
To summarize the summary: The office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator is inviting the public to share their thoughts on an improved enforcement strategy in regards to intellectual property, it's also curious about how intellectual property violations affect public health and safety.
We're not too certain there's any case where sampling a Beatles song could lead to a threat against the safety of an individual (okay, maybe a DJ might get punched by someone's dad or something), but the more important thing here is the fact IPEC is actually looking for citizen feedback in the matter.
The notice itself remarks about the landmark nature of this, and we can't help but agree. Copyright and intellectual property law is so ass-backwards and archaic, we've seen many albums go completely unreleased, we've seen senior citizen sued, college kids sued, animals sued, and perhaps most importantly of all, we haven't seen a new Avalanches album.
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Chances are the government will lean towards a more strict enforcement, where record labels, movies and what-not all have too much power. However, if we can at least reach a point where we have consistency, even if it's something as simple as artists having to prove they've actually lost money because another song samples there's, we'd be happy.
To be clear, we have no qualms with current laws and rules about piracy, but the abnormal and outrageous settlements in recent history are out of hand. Stealing isn't okay no matter how you cut the chips, but sampling, reusing, reinterpreting and reimagining something doesn't really pull money out of anyone's pockets.
Don't get us wrong, we're cynical enough to realize our thoughts probably don't matter much, but at the same time we can't help but feel a little fuzzy inside thinking we're actually making a difference. Besides, if Kanye can sample an entire Daft Punk song because he has mountains of money, why can't Girl Talk sample 45 seconds?
If you'd like to tell the government how you feel, let your fingers do the talking.