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Group: Your senator needs an iPod

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2006
News Categories: iPod

IPAC, a group “dedicated to preserving individual freedom through balanced intellectual property policy,” has launched an initiative to buy a video iPod for every U.S. senator who works on legislation affecting technology. The iPods will come pre-loaded with public domain and Creative Commons-licensed material to help enlighten the senators to a more mainstream consumer viewpoint.

“Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on the ‘Broadcast Flag’ and ‘Audio Flag,’ a set of proposals by the MPAA and RIAA that would stifle innovation by giving content holders a virtual veto over new technologies and existing user rights,” IPAC states on its website.

“But Senator Stevens, the 82-year old committee chairman from Alaska, surprised the audience by announcing that his daughter had bought him an iPod, and suddenly Stevens had a much greater understanding of the many ways innovative technology can create choice for consumers. Content industry representatives at the hearing found themselves answering much tougher questions than they typically receive.”

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Comments

1

Sounds like a great idea, but why doesn’t Apple do this?  One thinks they could afford it.

Posted by Michael Portuesi on February 1, 2006 at 11:17 AM (PDT)

2

Because that would be illegal! They can’t give gifts like that to our Senators!

Posted by WldKt in United States on February 1, 2006 at 11:27 AM (PDT)

3

I was thinking the same thing.  Generally Senators are forbidden from accepting a single gift valued at over $50.00.
 
http://rules.senate.gov/senaterules/rule35.php

Who knows what they’re going to do with that in light of the current scandals.  Needless to say, this idea has merit but the execution is problmeatic.

Maybe CSPAN radio should start podcasting hearings so the elected officials can justify purchasing an ipod with offical funds.

Posted by Scott on February 1, 2006 at 1:24 PM (PDT)

4

Never mind.  After re-reading the IPCA press release, they’re looking to donate the iPods to the campaigns of the senators involved in technology.

Posted by scott on February 1, 2006 at 1:36 PM (PDT)

5

Maybe there are more important issues for the Senate to focus on than iPods and balanced intellectual property policy.  I can think of a few that I think are a better use of the the Senate’s time… 

Public Education. 

Accessible Health Care. 

Social Security. 

Wire Tapping. 

Iraq. 

Iran. 

New Orleans. 

Bird Flu. 

Having said all that, when the Senate finally does get around to setting some intellectual property policies, I don’t think Apple should be the poster child for the cause.  With the iTMS, Apple has a policy of restricting their content to use with only their player.

Apple has in essence vetoed the use of the iPod with any other service, and they have vetoed the use of their content with any other player.

Ironic that the most popular player and store are also the most limiting.

Guys, the iPod is not gonna save the world.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on February 1, 2006 at 1:49 PM (PDT)

6

How naive, Talking madness.  IP is going to be debated regardless of your opinion.  The RIAA and MPAA are going to steamroll their agenda right through Congress unless we do something to get Congresspeople to start thinking about the rights of consumers. 

Here we have a concrete example of how the iPod made one Senator finally wise up.  We’d be MORONS not to take advantage of that.

Posted by stark23x on February 1, 2006 at 3:20 PM (PDT)

7

If every copy must be paid for, why aren’t they taxing hard drives that hold the iTunes copy???

Posted by Countach on February 1, 2006 at 5:14 PM (PDT)

8

Congress loves their Blackberries.  In fact tried to intercede in the patent dispute on RIMM’s behalf, even though RIMM is Canadian company and their opponent is American.

Maybe get them hooked on iPods.

Posted by wco81 in West Coast on February 1, 2006 at 5:45 PM (PDT)

9

Stark23x-

Why so much anger, dude?  Are you saying that IP is more important than the things I listed?  I think those things are more important and I would hope the Senate can get closer to solving those before we worry about making sure they have iPods.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on February 1, 2006 at 7:43 PM (PDT)

10

You mean Ted Stevens couldn’t buy an iPod for himself after his buddies at Exxon banked $36.1 BILLION last year in windfall profits????

Teddy, old boy…you gotta get some new friends…your current ones must not be letting you benefit from the wholesale graft.

Posted by flatline response on February 2, 2006 at 1:59 AM (PDT)

11

The Senators probably cannot accept the iPods.  If I recall, members of congress cannot accept gifts above a certain dollar value. While these requirements have been ignored in the past, with Tom Delay and Duke Cunningham resigning from congress due accepting of gifts/bribes, members are being careful not to put them selves in jeopardy.

Posted by CK on April 12, 2006 at 4:11 PM (PDT)

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