As a music blogger, I’d like to weigh in on this pending legislation that has burst suddenly into public consciousness. My “mission” here is to support artists who are still in the early stages of their careers (ok, and a few of my favorites), who rely on the internet to get their music heard – and hopefully purchased. Don’t I believe that their copyrights should be respected and that they alone should profit financially from their hard work? Of course I do! The same holds true for successful artists, and I understand how difficult it is to get other countries to comply with U.S. copyright laws. However, I worry about the sweeping language in these proposals, and the potential for abuse. Our current Digital Millennium Copyright Act also has the noble intention of protecting artist copyrights, and it is frequently used for purposes other than copyright infringement. Streaming audio can be served notice as can downloads, putting promotional efforts at odds with business strategies. The YouTube shenanigans of a few years ago had nothing whatsoever to do with copyright infringement, and while they got their deal, they paid a high price in customer relations. It’s a tricky business. I expect this debate will continue for some time. [The next discussion/vote on this is scheduled for January 24.]

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