I’ve been reading about the nominee for the Supreme Court, and some things are popping up besides the nominee.s curriculum vitae. In the news about her views, we are shown that she may possibly have a problem with net neutrality as applies to the FCC versus Comcast, which should be good news for those who work for cable companies. On the other hand, and much more to my liking, she seems to have problems with those in Hollywood who would try to restrict fair use concepts and their application.

A small piece in slashdot tells us about that part of her views –

Of the many commentaries and analyses springing up about Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, this community might be most interested in one from the Hollywood Reporter. Reader Hugh Pickens notes that Hollywood may have reason to be nervous about the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next US Supreme Court justice.

“As dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009, Kagan was instrumental in beefing up the school’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society by recruiting Lawrence Lessig and others who take a strongly liberal position on fair use in copyright disputes. And Kagan got an opportunity to showcase her feelings on intellectual property when the US Supreme Court asked her, as US Solicitor General, to weigh in on the big Cablevision case. ‘After Cablevision announced in 2006 that it would allow subscribers to store TV programs on the cable operator’s computer servers instead of on a hard-top box, Hollywood studios went nuts, predicting that the days of licensing on-demand content would be over,’ writes Gardner. Kagan’s brief compared remote-storage DVRs to VCRs (PDF), brought up the Sony/Betamax case, and lightly slapped Cablevision on the wrist for not making fair use a bigger issue. ‘It sounds to us like Kagan would love the Court to determine when customers have a fair-use right to copy, which should cheer those on the copy-left at the EFF, and worry many in the entertainment industry.’ On the minus side, Kagan has surrounded herself with entertainment industry advocates in the Justice Department.”

So perhaps we have a Mexican standoff at worst, with the court holding to the views established now. Sometimes no change is better than change in the wrong direction.

The President has made me confident in all his decisions, save for the advance of the war in Afghanistan, so I will trust he has chosen well, and also the confirmation process will bring out any idiosyncrasies in her thought process, giving the Congress a way to backstop the President. As with the President, I do believe that the Congress may screw up on other things, but they are alert and cognizant about lifetime nominations that affect the bedrock of our lives, so the utmost caution will be taken in the confirmation process.


Quote of the day:
If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.

– Doug Larson

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