--- On Sun, 8/29/10, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] (copyright vs public domain vs value
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010, 11:29 AM

Given the level of uninformedness on the hill concerning sound copyright issues encountered by our lobbyist during his tenure, the effectiveness of any further similar activities can only help.  This would be combined with the positions taken by other professional, musically concerned organizations as been previously posted to this list.

One step we are working toward is to have the Federal Government take over the pre-1972 authority from the states so efforts can be focused in one place rather than 50+.

It's a process, not an instant solution.  I feel it much preferable to the stress of operating below the radar and hoping the radar doesn't get better.

I greatly admire your optimism regarding the potential for change. Yet, my reading of history tells me that only when a system fails to the point of "no return" will it be substantively redesigned. We have lived with copyright abuse ever since we have had an easy means to abuse it. 
Speaking of the "radar," I am reminded of the laws which govern the speed limits on our roads. They are usually enforced when there is some economic imperative to do so...How often have you ever encountered a speed trap on some road in the back woods?  Some countries don't bother with speed limits. 
I believe that the copyrights are enforced only when there is an economic imperative to do so. It seems that the current approach to enforcement is something of a fear tactic. You catch, perhaps by accident, one violator and then give them a heavy fine in the hopes that it will bring fear to those who would also break the law. Obviously, that approach isn't working. 
It was about year ago when I got an email from a woman in Argentina. She wrote to tell me how much she appreciated one of the releases on my label. She also apologized by saying that she had downloaded it illegally. Her rationale was that "CDs cost so much in my country." I asked her for her address and sent her copies of several of our releases. No distributor in South America had any interest in our label, and even if they did, with all of the problems with the postal service and corruption, it would be pointless to try. Amazingly, she got the discs I sent.
I wish your group well, but I doubt that there will be much progress until you can find some economic imperative for a substantive rethinking of the law, and I fear that the system has not yet reached a point of diminishing returns. And perhaps it won't. So, in the meantime, I'll keep my radar detector on and do my speeding on country roads.