Innovative Technologies and Copyright Law: A Topic of Discussion at Young Republican Convention

New Orleans, LA – Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation’s (CSEF) Erick Gustafson, director of the Center for Consumer Choice, participated in a panel discussion on the Napster court case and copyright reform before an audience at the annual Young Republican Convention. Also included on the panel moderated by Tulane Law Professor Justin Zitler were recording industry representative Marc Racicot, the former Governor of Montana, and Manus Cooney of Napster.

The discussion focused specifically on Napster’s affect on the recording industry with regard to its innovative file-sharing technology and the ninth circuit court decision. Gustafson highlighted concerns about the affect of copyright law on the emergence of new technologies – such as file sharing – and called for a debate over copyright law and the need for reform.

Panel members (l to r) Erick Gustafson, Gov. Mark Racicot, Justin Zitler, Manus Cooney.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the issue of copyright will affect the Internet policy debate for years to come. Policymakers must address this issue as quickly as possible so that consumers don’t miss out on innovative technologies. It is the responsibility of the court system and lawmakers to ensure that the myopic goals of the few do not jeopardize the broad-based benefits of a free and open marketplace. The free enterprise system must prevail and consumers must be afforded the benefits of progress.”

Grassroots Education – Complementing Gustafson’s participation on the panel, CSE Foundation grassroots managers also manned a booth that provided convention attendees with educational material on the Napster debate, other core CSE issues, and information on grassroots organizing and mobilization techniques. Included in the distributed grassroots material were CSE Tech Bytes and Tid Bits articles on the Napster and copyright, and copies of CSE’s new Capitol Comment by Policy analyst Jason Thomas titled “Public Choice, Copyright, and Napster.”