Continuing with the drm theme, the EFF have a lovely story about the Senate hearing last week on the RIAA's proposed audio broadcast flag.
"The agenda seemed set. In the face of it, those who objected to the Broadcast Flag--technologists, librarians, and civil libertarians--were forced to spend much of their Congressional time requesting narrow exceptions that might lessen its damage.
Then two things happened...
The first was the appearance of Senator John Sununu, the Republican Junior Senator for New Hampshire. Sununu, an MIT grad, interrupted to ask the question so far unconsidered by his colleagues: Do we need this mandate at all...
The second revelation, dropped into the later discussion of the RIAA's audio flag, was that Senator Stevens' daughter bought him an iPod.
This is unhappy news for the RIAA. Once again, their representative was forced to burst into praises of MP3 players (a technology his organization attempted to sue out of existence in 1998).
And when Stevens asked whether with the audio flag in place he would be able to record from the radio and put the shows onto his iPod: that's when the RIAA's Mitch Bainwol really began to sweat.
With that simple question, the octogenarian Senator encapsulated arguments about place-shifting, interoperability, and fair use that would have taken whole federal dockets to explain a few years ago.
Even more damning was Senator Sununu's follow-up question, in which he asked if, post-flag, the Senator might record three songs from the radio today, and listen to only one of them again tomorrow. Of course, under the RIAA's proposed controls, you may not: this is "disaggregation" in their language. This flag, which was sold to Congress to impede piracy, appeared to be designed primarily to control and inconvenience law-abiding, ripping, mixing, modern-day Senators. "