Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has a rejoinder to those who argue copyright laws must be further strengthened: “I think if we were to do nothing on copyright law, we would be getting it just about right.”
Lofgren, who represents Silicon Valley, spoke this week at a meeting of the Intellectual Property Breakfast Club in Washington, DC. She offered her typically blunt assessments of digital copyright, arguing that “the focus on copyright has almost been an impediment for content owners to really embrace streaming and to really understand how to make money utilizing the Internet.” In her view, copyright was partially responsible for a mindset that focused too much on control just as the Internet was offering a different distribution model.
“I can remember arguing with people from the RIAA in the 1990s,” she recounted. “Is Napster your enemy or your friend? Are you going to worry about controlling content or getting paid for content?” In her view, getting paid is what it’s about, and the content industry should have embraced the creative chaos of the ‘Net by finding innovative ways to get paid for things like file-sharing.