Good News, Bad News: Net neutrality and Internet Radio

18Jan07

This is our first edition of good news, bad news for the new Democratic Congress.

The good news is that we have a really good chance of getting Internet neutrality enacted, thereby preserving the premier digital commons in America. I just went and signed the newest petition over at Save the Internet. You probably should too.

The bad news is that a couple of our Democratic Senators (Feinstein and Biden) are joining with a couple of their Republican cronies (Graham and Alexander) to try and garrote Internet radio and the mp3 music format on behalf of their soulless masters in Hollywood. I guess Feinstein and Biden think that we’re all too busy watching the First 100 Hours over in the House to notice what they’re doing in the Senate. It might be a Very Good Thing if the Gang of Four got a good spanking on this, right now, while the Democrats are still figuring out what they have to do to keep us happy and what they can get away with. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a good, short analysis here that focuses on the attempt to outlaw mp3s. I’m still looking for a good analysis of the part of the bill that tries to jack up fees for Internet and satellite broadcasters.

I almost signed EFF’s petition on this today as well, but I want to take a minute to customize my letter to Diane Feinstein, since she is MY Senator, after all, and I want her to know *exactly* how I feel about this.

On the bright side, while following links on this issue I discovered the existence of the Home Recording Rights Coalition. Always nice to stumble onto friends that you didn’t know you had. Is this what momentum feels like?

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