Thursday, November 18, 2004

bribing Congress

OK, this makes me angry enough to blog again (link from the corner). Congress is trying to pass a law that makes it illegal for DVD manufacturers to help viewers bypass the promos on DVDs.

I hate those promos. It's not like TV where I'm getting the broadcast for free. In the case of a DVD, I paid for the damn thing. It's my property and I can do whatever I want with it. What kind of jerk tries to sell you something and then try to control how you use it? This is just beyond the pale.

This is typical of the entertainment industry, which is constantly trying to extend their control over their customers. From trying to block the sale of tapes to arm-twisting of DVD chip makers to persecuting innocent free-software writers that had nothing to do with piracy, they have become more and more obnoxious in the name of preventing piracy. And from the Disney copyright extension to the Digital Millennium copyright act, they have bribed congress to use the power of the federal government in helping them to extend their power.

And make no mistake; this is bribery. Nothing else can explain Congresses complete lack of concern for consumers. In other areas, Congress has passed consumer-oriented laws that are actually so pro-consumer that they punish industry. But the entertainment industry has so many members with so much money, that they have successfully bribed Congress like few other groups.

Just who's interest is served by this legislation? Certainly not the voters. Certainly not the consumers. Certainly not the DVD manufacturers. The only people who are served by this kind of legislation are the big-money contributors in the entertainment industry. It is blatant. And shameful.

And I'm ashamed that this is happening with a Republican majority in both houses and a Republican president. It's egregious abuses like this that let the Democrats bash Republicans for being pro-business and anti-consumer (Never mind that lots of Democrats are supporting this too).

No comments: