Law Professor Mark Lemley: Hollywood Is Simply Wrong About FCC's Set Top Box Plan
Art Law

Law Professor Mark Lemley: Hollywood Is Simply Wrong About FCC’s Set Top Box Plan

from the not-a-copyright-issue dept We’ve been discussing for a while now about how the MPAA, with the help of the Copyright Office, has been propping up the complete myth that the FCC’s plan to create more competition in the cable set top box space involves violating the copyrights of studios. It’s a complete myth. The cable industry has been leading the charge here, mainly because it makes billions of dollars by charging people to "rent" its crappy boxes. But it found a strong ally in copyright maximalists who have repeatedly misrepresented the proposal. As we noted, the Copyright Office put out a report that flat out lied about what the FCC’s proposal entailed and about how copyright itself works (arguing that contracts between two third parties could somehow eliminate the fair use rights of private citizens). And, incredibly, the basic argument being put forth by copyright maximalists, if taken to its logical conclusion, would mean that VCRs and DVRs are illegal too . That’s not how copyright law actually works — but the message has caught on, and the FCC has already been forced to weaken its proposal — and the industry is still bitching about it . Thankfully, […]


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