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It's 2008. Now What?

Tuesday, Jan. 01, 2008 3:49 AM

Happy New Year!

The RIAA has, quite simply, lost their marbles. They're pursuing legal action against a Scottsdale, Arizona man who has done nothing more than load some 2,000 titles from CDs that he purchased legally onto his personal computer.

Now, technically, 'fair use' is implied, not explicitly stated in law - but a ruling in the RIAA's favor would turn consumers worldwide into criminals - even those who have purchased music through a service like Apple's iTunes Music Store, since that content is then transferred from computer to one or more iPods.

President Bush signed a law that ostensibly 'toughens' the Freedom of Information Act, but actually only rescinds a directive from former Attorney General John Ashcroft, which forbade the release of information when its national security implications could not be fairly determined.

And I'll wait to see how this newfound 'transparency' translates in practice, as the Bush Administration has a record of losing e-mails, memory lapses, and even claiming the Vice President isn't part of the Executive Branch to cover up their activities.

Maybe the New York Times' idea of balance is to publish an editorial bemoaning the loss of the American identity while giving conservative pundit Bill Kristol a regular column.

Kristol once stated that the New York Times and its staff should be prosecuted for treason. This kind of irresponsible commentary - the calling out of 'enemies of the state' practiced by Kristol and others - is not behavior that should be rewarded with a platform upon which to indulge it.

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