Obama’s choice of veep is far from comforting. An active opponent of our basic fair use priveleges, Senator Joe Biden introduced and actively promoted legislation that would have criminalized far more than the already-rather-wretched Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1996. The “bill would [have? – is it dead?] make it a federal felony to try and trick certain types of devices into playing your music or running your computer program. Breaking this law–even if it’s to share music by your own garage band–could land you in prison for up to five years. And that’s not counting the civil penalties of up to $25,000 per offense.” Aren’t Democrats supposed to be gung-ho for consumer rights? May this man’s vision never be implemented – The last thing any knowledgeable consumer wants is crippled hardware that, to hack/fix would be a criminal act.
The law could have conceivably outlawed or prevented development of any number of unendorsed/unsigned applications for a number of different devices:
- Rockbox – Open Source Jukebox – Firmware replacement for iPods et al
- All the iPhone/iPod Touch jailbreaks
- Ports of Linux to myriad architectures – Xboxes, Dreamcasts, Gamecubes, Wiis, etc, etc (to say nothing of XBMC)
Actively undermining consumer rights, creative fair use, and open source development sure as hell ain’t change I can believe in.
Now if only the Republicans were any better. *le sigh* – I guess I might just end up throwing my vote away on a third party candidate again – Biden’s worse than Bush, Kerry, and Gore combined in this respect. (Update: Lawrence Lessig might not write off McCain too quickly.)
- http://news.cnet.com/2010-1071-946732.html Pirate this, go to jail – CNET
- http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/obama-veep-wa-1.html Obama VP Pick Joe Biden: Good on Civil Liberties, Friendly to Hollywood
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