On Nov 16th, in a little over 8 pages, Republican Study Committee (RSC) staffer Derek Khanna put forward a succinct and accurate report on US Copyright laws, its problems and some policy solutions. About 24 hours later, the RSC issued a statement saying that they were retracting the policy brief as it had been published without adequate review and failed to meet their standard for publication.
(As per wiki page, "The Republican Study Committee [RSC] is a caucus of over 170 conservative members of the Republican Party in the United States House of Representatives." Thus it is certainly no lightweight in terms of policy recommendations.)
The study, referred to by Ars Technica as 'shockingly sensible', is titled "Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it" and is US specific, but it directly responds to the copyright expansionist attitude that is occurring all over the world while still maintaining that copyright law is essential.
The '3 main myths' it reveals are:
1. The purpose of copyright is to compensate the creator of the content
2. Copyright is free market capitalism at work
3. The current copyright legal regime leads to the greatest innovation and productivity
Khanna then gives 5 examples of ways that the regime is hurting innovation and progress, followed by 4 policy recommendations to fix the mess. They 4 recommendations essentially are reforming statutory damages, expanding fair use, punishing false copyright claims, and heavily limiting the terms for copyrights and creating disincentives for renewal.
It's a pity that it was taken back so quickly, showing a lack of interest, (at least from the leadership), in taking criticism of the copyright system seriously. Ars technica also reports, unsurprisingly, that a source said that content industry lobbyists pressured RSC leadership to repudiate the the memo.
The 8 page report is worth a read and has been made available by Infojustice here.