Until now, lawmakers have been reluctant to speak out against [the Broadcast and Audio Flags]. A combination of expert lobbying and technological ignorance has made Congress suicidally willing to consider proposals to break America's televisions....But in yesterday's Commerce hearings, two Senators altered the course of events. First MIT grad John Sununu of New Hampshire said that government mandates "always restrict innovation" and then 82-year-old Ted Stevens of Alaska talked about the iPod he'd gotten for Christmas and put the RIAA's Mitch Bainwol on the spot about whether his proposal would break Stevens' ability to move digital radio programs to his iPod and listen to them in the most convenient way (it would)....This is a momentous occassion: two powerful senators have woken up to the impact that these proposals will have on their voters...This is unhappy news for the RIAA.
"Suicidally willing to consider proposals to break America's televisions." I love that. Beautifully written Corey. It so eloquently gets the point across.
So, here's what to do next. This is a Congressional election year. Write letters to John Sununu and Ted Stevens praising them for protecting the rights of the People rather than those of special interest groups. Even if you don't live in their States, remind them that you'd vote for them and against any candidate that sees this issue differently. Then, make sure you cc: your local Congresspeople.
Thanks to ZDNet reader Steve Ackerman for pointing me to Doctorow's post.
Update: Despite the way Bainwol was put on the spot (see above), BroadcastEngineering.com has a story that suggests that Senator Stevens actually favors the broadcast flag.