Tuesday, October 05, 2004

New Intellectual Property Political Action Committee

I know this is fairly old news, but I've been getting slammed with work. Anyway, the new Intellectual Property Political Action Committee (IPAC) is a very exciting concept. IPac is working to educate politicians on IP issues and signing them on to their principles of consumer and innovation friendly IP law. Check here to see which candidates are public interest friendly when it comes to IP issues.

IP is an area of legislation where politicians can hand huge rewards to companies at the expense of the public without really getting any negative attention. People just don't know how important IP law is, don't realize they are actually the ones losing out, or don't care because IP doesn't make for a great above-the-fold story. As the copyright law has expanded so massively in the last decade, however, the public's interest in IP has really been piqued. Part of this phenomenon (both as a cause of it and because of it) has been the rise of so many IP blogs, the IP blogs have brought together many people who are particularly knowledgeable about IP issues and has provided them an outlet to provide that knowledge to the public at large (or at least the many techies and geeks who read their sites) and some of them are now looking like true journalists themselves with huge readership. The good 'ol internet is working it's magic, bringing people with common interests together to bring attention to something they care deeply about.

Concern about IP law is really going mainstream now, Wired News seems to run a story on IP at least once a week. Reporters are starting to pick up on IP stories and politicians are beginning to see it as an issue worth commenting on. With the new threat of the Induce Act damaging US technological innovation, the public is all the more concerned with IP.

It is only natural that eventually an IP PAC would pop up. It would obviously make a huge difference to the future direction of IP law if the public took such an interest in IP that politicians were forced to react, and particularly if donors other than the MPAA and the RIAA began to consider IP issues in who they supported financially. That will be a next step that may be a few years off but appears to be happening.

I will say for myself, I was very unhappy when my own Sen. Clinton signed on as a Co-sponsor to the Induce Act, a.k.a IICA. Prior to learning this I supported her completely, upon hearing the IICA news I was forced to question her loyalties - is it to Hollywood or to her constituents? Politicians count on their voters not knowing or caring about their stances on IP, hopefully it is only a matter of time before this changes. An IP PAC is the right move for getting politicans to listen up - "hey, we know what your doing with our property, and we actually care."

I'd like to congratulate everyone who was involved in bringing this idea to fruition and I wish them luck with IPac in the future.

Go, check it out - IPac.


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