August 3, 2004 · Tim Wu
Last week I was chatting with a friend who now works on the House Ways and Means Committee. Talk turned to the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, which Congress passed in July and which President Bush ratified yesterday.
“That DMCA and copyright term extension stuff,” he said to me, “None of it was really seen as controversial.”
“Some people consider it controversial” I said.
“I’m sure you’re right, and that’s what I thought” he said, “But we only got letters from the library people.” A pause. “Its become a standard clause, and doesn’t really get much attention. If people care about it, they need to do more.”
He’s right. Years of DMCA & term extension criticism can easily boil down to “not controversial.”