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The Definition of Irony


The Definition of Irony

This morning, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) wrote a letter to Senators urging them to pass the "PROTECT IP Act" (you know what they say about legislation, the better sounding the name, the worse it is).

This bill would allow the Department of Justice to shutdown websites "dedicated to" copyright or trademark infringement.

Senator Ron Wyden placed a hold on the bill in May after it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, but House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith is promising to introduce House companion legislation.

[The DHS and ICE are already in the habit of seizing domains and shutting down sites even without legislation, but that's unrelated to today's story.]

The ironic part of this whole story goes back to the founding of Hollywood as an attempt (a successful one) to escape enforcement of Edison's patents on motion picture equipment.  The modern film industry actually has its roots in "piracy," yet today, when they find themselves and their hegemony of the film industry threatened by new technologies of the day, they are the ones suing and fighting for laws to protect their control.  


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