Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time Warner's Parsons to Commerce? Copyleft's Collective Head to Explode?

Time magazine's The Page blog reports that Obama may tap former Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons, now a member of the Time Warner board, as Commerce Secretary. Time Warner, of course, is one of the largest copyright owners in the world as parent of such entertainment giants as Warner Bros. and HBO (though its anti-piracy zeal is sometimes tempered by its ownership of AOL, which has cross-cutting interests as a host of others' content).

So Obama is appointing a music industry lawyer as Associate Attorney General and a defender of the 20-year copyright-term extension as Deputy Attorney General, and looks likely to appoint an industry-friendly White House IP Czar. All of which raises the question: when will the copyleft's collective head explode?

1 comment:

  1. I'll admit, I'm very disappointed with these picks. Maybe we really did buy into the whole "Barack Obama is your new bicycle" thing, projecting our hopes onto the Obama candidacy.

    But we're mobilizing for a long-term debate over these issues, which is going to take a lot longer than a single presidency. The halls of government buildings is only one place where we will clash with big content - we'll be working the market forces as well, rewarding companies with friendlier fair-use views and who shy away from DRM. With the big iTunes announcement, it looks like it'll shape up to be an interesting time with multiple skirmishes between Big Content and the copyleft.


Comments here are moderated. I appreciate substantive comments, whether or not they agree with what I've written. Stay on topic, and be civil. Comments that contain name-calling, personal attacks, or the like will be rejected. If you want to rant about how evil the RIAA and MPAA are, and how entertainment companies' employees and attorneys are bad people, there are plenty of other places for you to go.