Post

A Puppy Named Creativity

June 30, 2006 , , , ,

At Tuesday’s broadcast flag [hearing](http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/Hearings/06272006hearing1960/hearing.htm), Mitch Bainwol of the RIAA declared that XM’s new devices “will starve–literally starve–Creativity.”

Who could be against creativity? Creativity is like a puppy: almost universally acknowledged to be a good thing, certainly not anything we’d want to see “starved–literally starved.” I kept having a mental image of a puppy named Creativity, maybe a puppy like this:

![picture of a corgy puppy](http://static.flickr.com/33/41632952_8090f17ac9_m.jpg)

[Thanks Martin!](http://www.flickr.com/photos/fullaperture/41632952/)

And then the representatives from the MPAA or the RIAA: “You see this puppy? Do you want this puppy to be destroyed/starved/ deincentivized?” Kind of like this [famous magazine cover](http://www.marksverylarge.com/issues/7301.html).

But [Gary’s right](https://www.publicknowledge.org/node/492), there are other types of creativity that matter, creativity that isn’t controlled by ten companies, creativity that is just as threatened by the legislative agenda of the content industries: [the analog hole](https://www.publicknowledge.org/articles/50), [the broadcast flag](https://www.publicknowledge.org/articles/51), fighting [DMCA reform](https://www.publicknowledge.org/node/495). And other endangered puppies, maybe a [bucket of puppies](http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwehler/13099667/), with names like Democratic Discourse, Home Taping, Parody, and Fair Use. We haven’t always done a good job of describing what’s at risk, so consider this a first step.

Check out these [puppies](http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattsidesinger/42903621/) (sorry for the gratuitous [puppy](http://www.flickr.com/photos/marlana/135516859/) linking), that would be threatened by the video broadcast flag and analog hole legislation, three sites that legally use excerpts of television broadcasts to offer commentary on politics and the media. While there’s an exception for “news and public affairs programming whose primary economic value is timeliness,” the networks get to decide what these programs are: [an exception that swallows the exception](https://www.publicknowledge.org/node/452). As you can see, the broadcast flag is non-partisan; these shows will be locked down whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat.

* [Crooks and Liars](http://www.crooksandliars.com)
* [Hot Air](http://www.hotair.com)
* [PowerLine Video](http://www.powerlinevideo.com)

And a bonus [puppy](http://www.flickr.com/photos/shine20/2701521/), this from the House Commerce Committee itself, whose [homepage](http://energycommerce.house.gov/) currently features a [legally excerpted video](http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/GMA2.ram) from ABC News, including comments by Chairman Barton!

*Also, thanks to [flickr](http://www.flickr.com) and its members for the [Creative Commons licensed](http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/) pictures of puppies . . . and the hour of my life I will never get back.*