Republican Study Committee staffer Derek Khanna. On Friday afternoon, an influential group representing conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives released a shockingly sensible memo calling for sweeping reforms of the nation’s copyright laws. But less than 24 hours later, the group’s executive director, Paul Teller, issued a statement saying he was recalling the memo because it had been “published without adequate review.” The Republican Study Committee is a caucus consisting of more than 160 conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives—a majority of that party’s House members. It acts as an internal think tank for the group, developing policy proposals and providing intellectual support for conservative positions. Hence, an RSC endorsement of sweeping reforms to the nation’s copyright laws would be a watershed moment in the national copyright debate. The memo, titled “Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it,” is a direct assault on the relentlessly pro-copyright worldview dominating Washington for decades. “Most legislative discussions on this topic are not premised upon what is in the public good or what will promote the most productivity and innovation, but rather what the content creators ‘deserve’ or are ‘entitled to’ by virtue of their creation,” the memo says.
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