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Consumer Electronics Association Declares “Innovation Independence”

CEA rocks rectum declaring a series of principles to ensure that fair use, home recording rights and innovation are protected in legislative, judicial and regulatory debates regarding the “protection” of intellectual property.

Damn straight.

CEA unveiled the Declaration during its conference entitled “IP & Creativity: Redefining the Issue,” held March 16 in Washington, D.C.

“For too long, the content community has been allowed to define the terms of the IP debate. Today we reassert our independence,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “We reassert our independence from the content community’s stranglehold on determining the language of the debate. We reassert our independence to counter their efforts to inhibit the democratization of creativity enabled by digital technology. And we reassert our independence to ensure that legal activities conducted by consumers remain legal and are not inaccurately labeled as ‘piracy.’ The principles we present today are designed to protect the critical American values of innovation and creativity while preserving basic consumer rights,” he said.

The six main goals of the document are:

* Recognize that our founders instituted Copyright law to promise creativity, innovation and culture, and this goal can only be met if new technologies are not stifled and fair use rights are upheld.

* Reaffirm the Betamax holding that a product is legal if it is capable of substantial non-infringing uses.

* Resist pleas to create new laws, causes of action, liabilities, and avenues to obstruct new product introductions and technological innovation.

* Reestablish the fundamental rights of consumer to time-shift, place-shift and make full use of lawfully acquired content; and use that content on a platform of their choice.

* Reexamine the length of the copyright term and explore avenues for content to be reliably and readily available for creative works, scholarship, educations, history, documentation and innovation benefiting overall society and generated from creative minds throughout the general public.

* Realize that our nation’s creativity arises from a remarkable citizenry whose individuality, passion, belief in the American dream, and desire to improve should not be shackled by laws that restrict creativity.

“We recognize that digital technology presents a threat to the content industry. I am sympathetic. History is replete with technology disrupting existing businesses,” noted Shapiro. “But this change is called progress. I am unsympathetic if they insist on handcuffing new technologies with efforts to poison and undermine the critical Betamax holdings.”

Joining CEA in supporting these principles are, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Conservative Union (ACU), the Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC) and the American Library Association (ALA).

Man, it’s good to hear such sense spoken by those who can — hopefully — do something about the stranglehold the copyright owners seem to have over the legal and legislative processes of this country.

All of this is of particular urgency with the Grokster case going before the Supreme Court, with arguments starting March 29. The government, in the form of Acting Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, filed a brief supporting the entertainment industry in the case – wrong side, Paul.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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