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Joe Biden: RIAA stooge

Joe Biden, huh? Talk about strike three.

2000: Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman “loses” election. Flash forward to 2008 and this stuffy jerk – who spent part of his career going after Marilyn Manson – is plowing in fried tilapia at Olive Garden with John McCain.

2004: Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards loses election. Flash forward to 2008 and Edwards is admitting to having an affair (possibly a love child too!) while his wife was recovering from the cancer.

2008: Now we get Joe Biden? Please.

Biden’s tech voting record has gotten a bit of attention over the last few days, primarily because it exposes him as a close ally of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), two industry groups that spent decades bilking their customers before Napster showed up and set things right. Let’s not forget the Payola scandals. This industry has long been about telling you what to like and selling it to you at an exorbitant price. reported on Sunday that Biden last year proposed a $1 billion program to monitor p2p networks. That’s right: $1 billion of your tax money to ensure nobody steals the new Metallica album.

Biden also “sponsored an RIAA bill” that would “restrict recording and playback of individual songs from satellite and Internet radio stations,” according to Again, that’s all about the RIAA deciding what you listen to – and what you buy – as well as helping maintain a grip on radio advertising.

I know what some of you are thinking: “It’s only $1 billion. The Iraq War alone costs about $2 billion every week.” You’re also thinking: “But file sharing is illegal.” Yes, it is. But I still remember the nearly $20 list price on Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001. Napster broke soon after, ultimately helping to drive costs to $9.99 an album on iTunes. The RIAA’s thievery, legal as it was, was shameful. That Biden would play along with an industry that profited so disgustingly from its near-monopoly on popular music says a lot about where his priorities lie.

It also says a lot about his grasp of technology issues, especially when you also consider the fact that he once “sounded skeptical” about the need for net neutrality legislation, according to

Biden apparently missed the talking point that the proliferation of the Internet has changed the game for media distribution. He apparently doesn’t understand that it offers a once-in-a-century chance to provide something approaching equality of opportunity in this country. Don’t look for any post-Baby Boomer forward thinking from this guy.

Oh, and don’t even bother stealing the new Metallica album. It will be horrible. This band hasn’t put out a decent album since 1991 and show no signs of understanding why they were worthwhile in the 1980s. Their last four albums were so bad that it might even be possible to mathematically prove that Metallica has been terrible for more than a decade now.

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Alright, let’s make sure we are clear on the target please. The problem is not that copyrights are enforced; it is that they are essentially perpetual. Our founding fathers thought that innovation was to be supported, not squelched. They realized that intellect was a marketable commodity, just like cotton and tobacco. They also realized that if innovation was to be supported we could not have people sitting on their backsides raking in dough without adding value to the marketplace. Copyrights were supposed to expire so that others could build on a body of work and all of us would be better off. Instead, the copyright holders lobby congress, and congress, under no pressure not to do so, extends the copyrights for another set period of years. Every time the copyright for “Steamboat Willy” comes up to expire congress can count on a substantial influx of funds to their re-election campaign from the Disney corporation. It is a political game and consumers are sitting on the sidelines because we have some very small tools compared with Disney. When was the last time we had a candidate running on a platform that said, “I will work to make sure copyrights expire after twenty years?” This would only bring a preemptive strike and massive investment by Disney, and likely everyone else associated with the RIAA to fund their opponent. I am open to solutions to this problem, but enforcement of copyright is not the problem. Making copyrights perpetual is.
I expected that the articles appearing in this subject forum were to serve as a [I]proportional mix of news and wit[/I] - together with a bit of IT Knowledge. Unfortunately, this article contained none/little of any of the required information - only a political tirade. As Kille stated, let's work to address the real issue here and drop all the personal/political [I]trash talk[/I] and focus on the political issues that CIO's can expect to have to deal with and their implications on IT.