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Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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Elizabeth Rader
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Jason Schultz
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Wendy Seltzer
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Aaron Swartz
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Alan Wexelblat
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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« Kembrew McLeod v. Dean Garfield on P2P | Main | New Copyright Law Blog »

April 28, 2005

Help Break the IP Stupidity Pact

Email This Entry

Posted by

Not long after James Boyle penned his excellent Financial Times column bemoaning the "evidence-free" way legislators craft intellectual property law and policy, Senator Rick Santorum gave us a prime example. Specifically, the Senator introduced a bill to stop the publicly funded National Weather Service (NWS) from publishing user-friendly weather data on the Internet. Why? Because he believes that private companies like AccuWeather would make even more money if they didn't have to compete with "free."

As Boyle pointed out in an earlier FT column, AccuWeather likely wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for the US practice of making taxpayer-funded raw weather data freely available at the cost of reproduction. In other words, the private weather industry is already benefiting -- richly -- from our tax dollars. Senator Santorum is proposing that we pay twice for our weather information in order to further line the pockets of private companies.

In my previous post on the subject, I suggested that very few people would challenge the Senator on his assumption that the weather industry can't compete with free -- even though it already is. Here's your opportunity. EFF has just posted an action alert on the Santorum bill with a model letter so you can tell your representative you oppose it. Check it out, add your own thoughts, and send a letter today. And don't forget to pass the word along -- we need each and every voice of reason out there to chime in on this one.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Abuse


COMMENTS

1. Asheesh Laroia on April 29, 2005 2:05 AM writes...

The EFF's letter isn't worded strongly enough for my taste. My letter begins:

I am an information security graduate student at the Johns Hopkins University. S.786 is abysmal public policy.

You can see the rest of it.

-- Asheesh.

Permalink to Comment

2. Thom on May 2, 2005 11:23 PM writes...

Just discovered this site. Thank you for a truly important notice about Rick Santorum's attack on the National Weather Service.

Just mindboggling.

Next, perhaps, he'll be calling for the closing down of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) itself.

This from a creationist who seems against public knowledge, science, and critical inquiry in general.

& he's the senator of the state I currently live in, Pennsylvania.

Please, all the copyfighters, keep up the necessary and outstanding work.

Permalink to Comment


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