Remember that 4th of July post about the US Marine Corps Band’s dubious (albeit inadvertent) chilling of access to public domain material with scary-sounding—and entirely made-up—restrictions? Well as it turns out, the Band isn’t the only piece of the federal government trying to illicitly tack on fake, copyright-esque limits onto public domain works.
Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), approved S 517, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. The bill allows consumers to "unlock" their cell phones so they can take a phone with them from one service provider to another.
Imagine you’re in charge of promoting your community’s 4th of July parade this weekend, and are making a video to spread the word. Naturally you’re looking for patriotic music. You know that Stars and Stripes Forever is old enough to be in the public domain, so all you need is a performance of the song also in the public domain. Fortunately, you’re pretty sure recordings produced by US government bands are in the public domain. But when you visit the US Marine Band’s website, you read otherwise.
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