Crazy enough to be believed

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 1:45 | Posted in copyright, Not serious, USA | Leave a comment

BBspot writes (via minut.ee) that MPAA is lobbying the US Congress for a legislation that would outlaw home theater facilities if a registration fee of 50 $ has not been paid to MPAA. Unauthorized theaters would have to pay a fine of 500.000 $ for each film shown. BBspot quotes chief lobbyist Dan Glickman as saying:

Just because you buy a DVD to watch at home doesn’t give you the right to invite friends over to watch it too. That’s a violation of copyright and denies us the revenue that would be generated from DVD sales to your friends.

There is also a definition of a home theatre:

The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29″ with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon.

While the article does not say what level of comfort a chair, couch or futon would have to fulfil to be regarded as comfortable, all of this sounds just so crazy that it could very well be true. It is almost too crazy to be bogus. However, a disclaimer on the site advices otherwise:

BBspot produces a variety of features like fake news stories satirizing the tech and political worlds, the BBspot Mailbag which pokes fun at the Believers (people who believe our fake news) and much more.

I would nevetheless be careful with providing copyright organisations with this sort of crazy ideas. The sense of humor most of them have demonstrated so far suggests that there is not an idea too goofy to be used as an excuse to make you and me pay them. You just spell it out as a joke and they take it as a serious lobbying argument.

The next thing we know, we just might be demanded to pay for appearing in public unless we do so completely naked. Exposing our clothes in public would no doubt infringe the copyright of a cloth designer.

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