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2004-09-14

Savebetamax Call-in Day Today!

Today is Downhill battle's Savebetamax call in day. I am scheduled to call 3 senators at 10:17 this am (10:17? yes, 10:17).

Didn't know much about Savebetamax until I saw it referenced on Slashdot (direct link at Savebetamax), but it seems like it's currently the best defense against the INDUCE act and its proponents. What's the INDUCE act, you say? It's the RIAA/MPAA's custom written bill intended to keep anyone from developing any technology that might possibly ever be used to "induce" someone to defeat copy protection schemes. Like the people who produce Sharpie markers. Seriously (maybe). One of the many problems with the act is that it's worded so vaguely that since Sharpies can be used to defeat some copy protection schemes, the company that makes them could be sued under the terms of the act. There have been suggestions of revisions to the INDUCE act to clarify some of the language, but it's still a remarkably chilling attack on fair use principles.
The Supreme Court's "Betamax" decision (full text) determined that even though a particular technology could be used for illegal activities (such as copyright infringement) did not mean that the technology itself could be outlawed, so long as it has legitimate uses.
In any case, one of the interesting things about the call-in day today is that I'm scheduled to call 3 senator's offices, but none of them are my senators. I'm curious about this - I mean why should they even listen to me? I don't vote for them and have basically no recourse against them should they not act as I request. I'm going to call, since I signed up to do so, but my email to Downhill Battle has as yet gone unanswered.

In other news, to day is also primary election day for state and local elections in my neck of the woods. Nobody terribly important on the ballot I'm going to vote on (just a State Senate race), and I seriously considered using my vote as a poison vote in the Republican Senate primary (since my state has an open primary), but even if that kinds of thing were to make a difference, I'd have no idea who to vote for. Anyway, civic duty and all of that....

Links:
Stanford's Fair Use Center
--Great resource for fair use principles
Downhill Battle
--"... working to end the major label monopoly and build a better,
fairer music industry"
RIAA Radar
--great tool to check if the music you're about to buy is produced by the evil
zombies of the RIAA
Electronic Frontier Foundation
--"Defending freedom in the digital world"
Creative Commons
--great alternative to copyright

2 Comments:

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