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Silicon Valley Who's Who Pings White House

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Silicon Valley Who's Who Pings White House

I Can Has Cheezburger

An early "I Can Has Cheezburger" cat, creating the meme without even knowing it. The founder of Cheezburger is one of several tech innovators who want less enforcement, not more, of intellectual property rights.

Founders of some of the best-known digital brands have drafted an opinion that, gently put, differs with how the White House wants to handle intellectual property.

Foursquare, Twitter, Reddit, Fark, TopSpin, OpenDNS and Cheezburger's founders/CEOs address the issue of infringement in a filing that offers perspective on the administration's proposed Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Enforcement [PDF].. 

The goal is to protect American intellectual property rights. The administration's main thrust is creating more legal enforcement. The point the tech heavy hitters make is that enforcement merely stifles innovation -- and doesn't really protect things very well, either.

What's needed, they say, is more room to innovate, not less. Of course, that reads like "piracy is OK" and the content creators are not going to abide that sentiment. 

Unfortunately, most of the focus to date, instead, has been on increasing the power of law enforcement, which actually is counterproductive in that it tends to have massive collateral damage in terms of both potential attacks on free speech, but more importantly by creating chilling effects on the very innovation that is needed to respond to widespread infringement. 

The flip side of this that the innovation sought could actually lead to more property rights, as they now exist -- and are likely to as long as Sumner Redstone or any other studio mogul takes breath.

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