I'm not very happy about the fact that my late summer allergies have been making me sneezy all day, and I feel a bit dopey, too. If it keeps up much longer, I'll start to get grumpy. It wouldn't be so bad if they made me sleepy, because that might help me get my schedule back on track. Well, at least allergies aren't one of those illnesses that make anybody too bashful to go to the doc.
Meanwhile, as the world continues to disintegrate, the movie and music moguls are busy with a project they consider more important than the fate of humanity- namely, getting Congress to pass their favorite piece of legislation, the INDUCE Act. In essence, this law would undermine the Betamax decision of the Supreme Court, which made Sony's (and by extension all other) video recording device legal. The Betamax decision is the only reason we can have CD burners, ipods, and a host of other recording devices, including some as yet uninvented. The moguls would love to get around it.
While there are undoubtedly some more important things about which people could nag their representatives, the plans of the movie and music industries are potentially quite destructive to the public's right to communicate freely, and thus deserving of attention. Legislation which would force the manufacturers of recording and copying devices to install some sort of Draconian technology to protect copyrighted material could diminish the usefulness of these devices for other uses as well, thus reducing the possibility of competition for Big Entertainment from independent artists. I have cone to suspect that the main goal of the industry is not so much preventing copyright violation as it is heading off that competition, which would use the new technology to bypass the moguls' existing near-monopoly on distribution, and retaining their stranglehold on popular culture. This legislation is something we need to watch carefully.