Statutory ‘Piling On’ to be Removed from PRO-IP Act

The ill-conceived and draconian PRO-IP Act got some of its feathers clipped by the elimination of a requirement known as Section 104 of the proposed bill to treat compilations of music as a separate violations. Had this been allowed to stand, the fines would have been multiplied many times, because they’d be determined based upon the sum of the violations and not by treating the incident as the violation itself.

For example, if someone sold a compilation of copyrighted tracks from multiple sources for which they did not have the rights, the fines would sum over the number of tracks at $150,000 each.  A ten-track CD would require a fine of $1.5 million. If it was a publication that got hold of a host of materials, from text to pictures, the fines could be astronomical. As it stands now, violations will be determined on a per-incident basis, rather than a sum of individual violations.

The argument in favor of this approach describes the current fines being sufficiently high without being excessive (some make the argument that they are, in fact, excessive). Consider the possibility that a company makes a good-faith mistake of publishing copyrighted materials it thought it licensed but had not. Had Section 104 stood, such a mistake could expose the company to immediate bankruptcy – which is certainly not the intent of the law. (Although it could be the intent of the RIAA and MPAA, since those organizations represent entities that are failing to compete well through normal business practice.)

For a complete round-up, check out the article on Ars Technica.

7 Responses to "Statutory ‘Piling On’ to be Removed from PRO-IP Act"

  • Ismail

    November 14, 2015

    Hey Rob, Really nicely wetrtin post — I love the synopsis and reflections on Bill Hartman’s talk at the recent UXPA session — and, of course, enjoy any literary or poetic reference brought into the fold of UX and Design with a capital D’ On the user experience evening out at Velir — don’t forget Jillfrances from AIGA Boston and the UX Roundtable we got to co-moderate back at that other place’ ;] —a0I’d love to co-moderate again if the opportunity suddenly comes up.Thanks for your writing here, really inspiring and valuable and just easy to read and consume. Such an elegant and clear writing style. And this Confirmation Bias’ just runs rampant and creates, all too often, a closed-minded approach to what can be a very collaborative and engaging set of initial sessions for a project that help formulate the who, what, when and where of what can contribute to the proper guidance for the usable designs we aspire to create in the realm of UX.Best,lou

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