Senator Hatch Gets Top Copyright Job

By Jon Newton 3/19/05

Any hopes you may have had of seeing senator Orrin ‘Terminator’ Hatch go the way of the DoDo now he's been replaced by Arlen Specter as chairman of the Senate Judiciary panel, have been dashed.

Hatch, who tried to drive the anti-p2p INDUCE Act through congress on behalf of the entertainment industry, is the new chairman of the Senate Intellectual Property subcommittee responsible for overseeing the US Copyright Office and drafting legislation and treaties relating to copyright and patent laws.

Jon Newton

His answer to alleged p2p copyright infringers was to have their computers remotely blown up. He later qualified his suggestion by saying, "I do not favor extreme remedies unless no moderate remedies can be found."

This earned him the sobriquet 'Terminator' after the governor of California's equally destructive bio-droid.

Hatch is also infamous for making loud and very public 'mistakes' about p2p technologies that incorrectly paint them as the enemy of all that's good and holy, and which are subsequently reproduced as gospel by the mainstream media.

“A few years ago, Hatch was one of the more vocal Washington critics of the Recording Industry Association of America,” CNET News points out.

“He urged the RIAA to be more flexible in licensing music to online distributors and even called a federal appeals court decision against Napster ‘shortsighted from a policy perspective.’ But when Napster's progeny arose in the form of peer-to-peer networks, Hatch's political views seemed to flip-flop. Instead of defending novel - and disruptive - technologies, Hatch became one of their most vocal political antagonists.


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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