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Singing Cow To Attack CBDTPA 501

Posted by michael
from the stampede dept.
karmawarrior writes "Gateway is launching an advertising campaign against Senator Holling's CBDTPA bill, which, apparently will include its cow mascot encouraging computer users to legally download MP3s and burn their own CDs." Wired also has a story; see Gateway's website for more, as Gateway takes a page from Apple's "Rip-Mix-Burn" playbook.
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Singing Cow To Attack CBDTPA

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  • by Bob McCown (8411) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:05AM (#3323031)
    ...take a page from Chik-fil-a. I can see it now, 2 cows on a ladder, painting a billboard to say "Download more Zepplin"
  • whatever (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CodeMonky (10675) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:07AM (#3323045) Homepage
    The Hollings bill has drawn the support of major recording companies, who believe fast Internet connections and an array of digital devices such as MP3 players and CD burners, as well as Napster and other file-sharing services, were partly responsible for a decline in album sales last year
    Didn't sales go up when napster started and then descreased when RIAA went and shutdown napster?
    Hell I know people who used to get Mp3's so they could decide whether to buy an album who now just get them to piss off RIAA.
    • Re:whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pgrote (68235) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:37AM (#3323272) Homepage
      Bingo.

      That would have been me. My CD collection soared when Napster was online. I would spend hours going from song to song from groups I liked. The songs I found may have been from earlier CDs that I didn't no exist.

      The other thing that Napster did was turn me on to other bands. I would hang out in the chat rooms and ask for suggestions based on what I liked. People were happy to show me other bands. I'd download a tune, listen to it, if I liked it I picked up a couple more. If I liked them all I'd go buy the CD online.

      Why did I buy the CD? Was it for a sense of obligation? Sheepishly I'll tell you it wasn't. It was for the simple fact that I like to rip my songs at 320K. I'd buy the CD, rip the songs to 320K and use the resulting MP3s to listen to.

      That is fair use in my opinion and one that the RIAA wants to take away from me.
      • Re:whatever (Score:3, Insightful)

        by donglekey (124433)
        Booyah. I listen to very little music that most people have ever heard of. I buy new albums of them the day they come out when I can but for most of the music that I listen to I cannot find the CD's and would have to order them. Why wait 4 days when I only have to wait 15 minutes to download it. I think that another hidden motivation of the RIAA that no one seems to be catching on to is that diversity is bad for the RIAA They sell one album 15 million times and it works well. They can focus and keep only 40 albums on the shelves. When people like me go out and find out that the music that I really like isn't anywhere near those forty shitty albums, they are fucked, because it will be pretty hard to have me impulse buying Jordan Rudess, Nobukazu Takemura and Fantastic Plastic Machine in the checkout line at Walgreens. I wish there was a way to support them directly because they are who I want my money to go to, not the RIAA. I wish I could go to their concerts, (and I did go to Dream Theatre) but if I could buy the album directly from them for $10 then the effort would be worth it. What was my point again? oh yeah, fuck you RIAA.
    • Re:whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dark Paladin (116525) <jhummel@jo[ ]ummel.net ['hnh' in gap]> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:38AM (#3323276) Homepage
      Sounds about right to me.

      What I really see is the RIAA more concerned about *power* then *profit*.

      Example: I went to MP3.com and bought the Megatokyo collection - didn't like all of it, but enough of it was pretty cool (like the Megatokyo theme itself) that I figured the lost cost of $4 of an entire "CD" of MP3's was worth the cost.

      I was taken to a little secure site, and allowed to download to my local computer. From there, I've transferred that music to my iPod, and everybody's happy. Kim Justice gets my $, MP3.com gets my $, and I get some nice little tunes for cheap. And if I want a "real" CD, it's $10.

      Now, look at the RIAA. They still want me to shell our $15-$20 for a CD, which I'm going to burn to MP3's anyway. Why not put up a website where I can either pay $10 for the CD, or $2 per song? I'd go for that - I didn't like the entire Cherry Poppin' Daddies track, but I would have paid $2 for each MP3 track I wanted.

      But no - the RIAA hasn't learned what the Software industry has learned. Go after the big illegal distributors, and leave the little guys alone. If they gave me a way to go get Britney Spears "I'm a Virgin Slut and you Know It" single for $2, I would never feel the need to go online and get it illegally because I knew of a safe, secure, simple way to get it for a cheap ass price.

      But because they are afraid of losing that power, because it might cut into their profit, they won't do it.

      Disney fought the VCR for the same reasons - and makes more money from it now than from all their movies combined. Yet they refuse to learn from their own history with the technology of MP3's.

      Those who don't learn from history aren't doomed to repeat it. They're just doomed.
      • Large corporations almost always have to be dragged, kicking and screaming (and suing), into the future. The only thing we can hope for is that Congress and the courts make the right decisions and force these corporations to conform to the market, rather than try to get legislation to make the market conform to their wishes.

      • Re:whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NachtVorst (310120)
        But no - the RIAA hasn't learned what the Software industry has learned. Go after the big illegal distributors, and leave the little guys alone.

        So very true, but they are still hoping to take out both 'professional' and 'casual' pirates. At least Sony is. I asked them for info on their key2audio 'protection', posing as a small record-company, and they told me it was to stop 'casual copying' (their words), which is ofcourse what (small) labels want to hear. Today they had a statement in the newspaper (here in Holland, de Volkskrant) that it was mainly meant to stop the 'big pirates', which is ofcourse what the public wants to hear.

        I was glad to see the mainstream media give attention to this issue, but disappointed that they gave Sony such a nice chance to 'legitimize' their 'protection' to the public. Their answers to the questions I asked them already made it clear they don't give a fsck about the public. There were a lot of funny answers in their e-mail, I should put it on the web, maybe. Does anyone know if it's legal to make an e-mail, sent to you personaly, public? I'd rather not get sued by Sony, but it would help the public to know the other side of the story.

        NachtVorst
      • Re:whatever (Score:3, Funny)

        by Jburkholder (28127)
        >the RIAA more concerned about *power* then *profit*.

        Damn straight! No punk kids with computers are gonna dictate to us how music is distributed and 'consumed'.

        *We* control the means of production and distribution and, by God, you'll only listen to the recording artists *we* decide at the time and place of *our* choosing.

        To do otherwise hands the terrorists their victory. It'll be anarchy! Old Testament fire and brimstone stuff... rain 40 days and nights ... cats and dogs living together... mass hysteria!
    • Re:whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Technician (215283) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:42AM (#3323300)
      Most recordings I own are ones I got because I heard them from friends in the service on a good system, not radio play. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon just doesn't have the punch on radio as FM just can't do the deep bass properly. FCC regulations in the US limit the carrier deviation permitted by a broadcaster and AFT(Automatic Fine Tuning) on many recievers eliminate the rest of the deep bass by tracking the carriers low frequency instead of permitting the detector to use it. Only a crystal locked systhesized tuner has any hope of capturing the little deep bass a broadcaster my transmit. Any Ace of Bass recording on FM and on a CD will make the diffrence obvious. I liked Dark Side of the Moon enough to get the Mobile Sound Fidelity Labs master edition. (I know i'm telling my age here) It was over twice the price of the standard pressing.
  • ...but for doing this, I now (temporarily) love that Holstein!
    • I watched the commercial and took it at face value. For the first time in five years, I felt the urge to buy a pre-assembled computer.

      The cow is now infinitely cooler in my book than the 'Dude' guy from dell.
  • by josquint (193951) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:08AM (#3323060) Homepage
    Ok i'm all for lobbying against the bill...
    but PLLLLLLLLLLEAAAAAAAASE dont show more of that cow!!!!! I hope Steve from Dell eats it! then gets mad cow disease and dies!!
    • Would you prefer 'The Brain' in a Cow suit? (The same guy does the voices for Pinky and The Brain)
      • "Would you prefer 'The Brain' in a Cow suit? (The same guy does the voices for Pinky and The Brain)"

        I think one of the few things funnier than this singing cow thing would be akin to what you are suggesting. (Shockwave/Flash Artists, Listen up!)

        There could be a Pinky and the Brain sketch except that it's Hilary Rosen and Jack Valenti or even better, Fritz Hollings & Mickey Mouse!

        Hollings: So what are we doing tonight, Mickey?

        M.M.: We're doing what we do every night, Senator! We're trying to take over the United States of America!!

        Hollings: I will introduce the new CBTTPAPCDTPA bill in the Senate to prevent people from listening to their music at work AND at home. MWWAHAHA!

        M.M.: Excellent ... and I will teach the small children that it is always buy a new copy of the music they already own instead of comverting the one they already have if they want to play it at school on their mp3 players.

        Hollings: Soon now ... we will rule the World!!

        M.M.: Long live America!!! Freedom for alll!!

    • by denzo (113290) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:30AM (#3323226)
      Dude, you're havin' a cow!
  • *sigh* (Score:5, Informative)

    by Carmody (128723) <slashdot@dougsh a w .com> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:09AM (#3323062) Homepage Journal
    While I think this is good news and all...

    Gateway is another large company with an agenda, and ITS agenda happens to coincide with my interests, and so I think it is good news.

    But really, what is the online-privacy and free-speech fight really? It is large corporations fighting each other to see which one gets to write the laws. There is a debate going on, but we are not really part of it, except as the Prize. If a divorcing couple fight over who gets to keep the Car, they aren't really worried about what the Car wants.
    • by ThePlague (30616) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:25AM (#3323185)
      Where interests coincide, support. Where conflict, oppose. It's very simple. There are no "good guys" and "bad guys", just different people and groups of people with varied agendas. They do not have to be exactly like you, and insisting that unless they tow your line all the way down the line they are enemies is rather childish.

      Hell, I've got about zero respect for Gateway products. They have effectively filled the consumer space crappy OEM PC manufacturer vacated by Packard Bell. But, at least they realize that stringent hardware requirements mandated by the government are not in their best interests. As this conicides with mine, yeah I'll support them by pointing out the issues they are bringing to light to the less tech-savvy. Doesn't mean I'll be recommending their products any time soon.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by firewort (180062) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:29AM (#3323218)
      Because, it isn't primarily about privacy or Free Speech. It's about the doctrine of Fair Use (17 USC 107) and the doctrine of First Sale (the notion that once something has been sold, the buyer can do as he pleases with the bought item.)

      Gateway wants to retain the freedom to manufacture computers as it pleases. It sees this as potentially hurting their sales when buyers no longer want computers that restrict a buyer's possible uses for the machine.

      Buyers are the prize in one sense, but the greater prize is "who gets to keep and protect their business model" - the content companies, or the computer companies--

      The Car doesn't have free will to stop running reliably if it doesn't like the divorcee who wins custody. The Buyer does.
  • Surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rhadamanthus (200665) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:09AM (#3323067)
    I was under the impression that the tech companies were not all to concerned with DRM as long as they still had stuff to sell to "consumers". Gateway is taking a strange stance for a large OEM in actually protecting its customers... what a novel idea...

    However, wouldn't it just be easier though for them to fight "fire with fire" and send lots of campaign bribes..er..donations to some congresspeoples?


    -------rhad
    • I think some bright boy at Gateway figured out that once DRM is mandatory on new computers, the pre-DRM Gateways are going to be worth more money than new ones.

      That has to be a bit scary for the marketing folks.
    • Re:Surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Binky The Oracle (567747) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:50AM (#3323347)

      DRM being mandatory is a whole different ballgame for tech manufacturers. I think that most PC makers either already realize or are beginning to realize that the media industry is trying to leverage them into a "media appliance" role, and that's not what sells computers.

      Home computers are sold because the consumer is convinced that the computer is a magical device that will enable them to do just about anything. Even if the vast majority of home consumers buy a PC so that they can use email, surf the web, and maybe work on work-related documents at home, it's the unlimited aspect of the computer that's attractive. If it becomes harder to get the content you want from the web, or send a cool "thing" to your friends via email, you can bet that PC sales which have already started hitting commodity status will atrophy even more as some of the perceived functionality and allure is removed.

      I suspect that we'll also see a huge rise in black/grey market electronic components and used computers (e.g. "Pre-2002 motherboard, $800, 2001 AMD chip, 750, 800 mhz iMac, $3000").

      One other thing that is going to be interesting to watch is this: the major media companies are trying to lock down digital content at the same time that very powerful, easy-to-use content creation tools are becoming available to the average computer user (e.g. Apple's digital hub products like iMovie, iDVD, etc.). It wasn't so long ago that nearly every home had a piano in it, and a large percentage of the population knew how to play. The reason for this was that entertainment was needed, and it was often expensive and/or inconvenient to "go to a show." People entertained themselves.

      I can't help but think that as major media tries so hard to make it expensive and inconvenient for people to obtain entertainment, that they won't turn to the new "pianos" that are appearing in a large number of homes - their computers. Couple that with the ease of internet distribution (assuming decent proliferation of broadband) and the model definitely changes.

      • "I suspect that we'll also see a huge rise in black/grey market electronic components and used computers (e.g. "Pre-2002 motherboard, $800, 2001 AMD chip, 750, 800 mhz iMac, $3000")."

        Gentlemen, start your hoarding!
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:09AM (#3323069)
    Old media companies like the RIAA/MPAA are busy trying to control every aspect of their customers' lives in order to maximize profits. Meanwhile, it looks like the tech companies have realized that supporting customer rights (or at least appearing to do so) is more in their favor. If a company is seen as anti-consumer, people are less likely to buy from them. All things being equal, I'd be more likely to buy a Gateway computer with Gateway opposing the CBDTPA than with them supporting it (or remaining silent on it). (Of course, I build my own computers, but that's another matter entirely.)
    • "All things being equal, I'd be more likely to buy a Gateway computer with Gateway opposing the CBDTPA than with them supporting it (or remaining silent on it)."

      One thing that I just noticed about this attitude that many of us (including me) share is that we're essentially saying that "either you're with us or you're with the anti-freedom nazi media groups"

      I hope that we're not falling to the level of Dubyah. (i.e. "Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists.")



  • Sony's recording division just showed a commercial that promotes breaking into Gateway Country stores and cleaning them out.

  • Strange bedfellows (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainSuperBoy (17170) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:10AM (#3323085) Homepage Journal
    This is certainly a case of strange bedfellows.. you have the content industry and the US Senate in one corner. In the other corner, you have big tech corporations and.. the EFF? It's understandable that Gateway feels their profit margins are being threatened by this bill. The best way for them to fight it is to drum up public support, which means educating users about what they can do with digital music now (rip MP3s, burn CDs, download music) even if it means hinting to people that yes, you can do illegal stuff right now (but you won't be able to soon).

    Basically, both sides are rallying around a cause in order to drum up support. The recording industry is chanting, "The artists! The artists!" At the same time, tech seems to be saying, "The consumer! The consumer!" But in the end, everyone's just looking out for their own threatened business model.

    • The recording industry is chanting, "The artists! The artists!" At the same time, tech seems to be saying, "The consumer! The consumer!"

      Yeah, exactly.

      The funny thing, I'm an artist (a pianist and composer), and my skin crawls when the RIAA claims to be looking out for me. Eeech.

      One of the important points artists out there need to keep making loud and clear is that the RIAA is not representing our interests. Artists and consumers are on the same side of this issue -- limited access to creative work hurts those who create at least as much as those who receive.

      Many artists are already speaking out. More need to. If I'm going to be some corporation's rhetorical pawn, I'd like to at least agree with what they're advocating!
    • by imadork (226897) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @12:09PM (#3323470) Homepage
      It's understandable that Gateway feels their profit margins are being threatened by this bill. The best way for them to fight it is to drum up public support, which means educating users about what they can do with digital music now (rip MP3s, burn CDs, download music) even if it means hinting to people that yes, you can do illegal stuff right now (but you won't be able to soon).

      There's a fundamental difference between the Content Companies' position and the Tech Companies' position. The Tech companies just want to be able to make new technology without government intervention. The Content companies see technology as a threat, and want that threat to be legislated away. The Content companies want their "right to profit" protected by Congress, and they don't care what other industries' "right to profit" gets clobbered in the process. (never mind the fact that no company has a "right to profit" - a company that doesn't profit simply fails!)

      The reason why I think Gateway's support is a good thing is that the entire Copyright debate has, up until now, been framed by the Content Companies in the Media. They frame the debate in terms of what we can't do with copyrighted material. Up until now, anyone who framed it in terma of what we can do has been dismissed as a Commie Pirate Hacker. Seeing Gateway do this almost makes me want to sell my Macs and home-built Linux boxen for a computer in a cow box. almost.

      If Copyright is really supposed to be a two-way street, with the government (also known as the People in the USA) granting certain rights to copyright holders in exchange for public use of their works, then we really should outline what we can do with these works, because my idea of what I can do and Michael Eisner's idea are polar opposites. The role of legislation should be to clarify what we can and can't do, and it's obviously not doing a good enough job! The bill of rights at digitalconsumer.org does, though. The more I think about it, the more I realize that THAT needs to be our next copyright law.

  • by graveyhead (210996) <fletch.fletchtronics@net> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:13AM (#3323106)
    Open Source advocates may find opposing Hollings bill makes for strange bedfellows. [newsforge.com] It actually suggests that Microsoft might be our ally (gasp!) because of their recently found devotion to streaming media and peer to peer networking.
    • by Binky The Oracle (567747) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @12:03PM (#3323434)

      I don't mean to resort to typical Microsoft bashing, but I seriously doubt that Microsoft is going to fight DRM for those reasons. Instead, I think that they'll fight DRM as a government-mandated issue, all the while working on their own Windows-integrated DRM scheme which they'll then license to major media conglomerates.

      If they can pull it off, it's a Win-Win for Microsoft: No government interference on DRM and a near-instant monopoly on DRM due to buy-in from the major content providers.

  • Analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiendo (217830) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:13AM (#3323107)
    Following the RIAA's logic, I guess car companies that advertise their wares are really encouraging the breaking of speed limits, reckless driving, and driving too fast for conditions when they show advertisements with the disclaimer "professional driver on closed course".

    Do insurance companies then complain that auto manufacturers are behaving irresponsibly? No.

    Should the RIAA be complaining about Gateway's ads? No.
    • Re:Analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jeremy f (48588) <jmf_24@hotmail.com> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:50AM (#3323348) Homepage
      An analogy I've always liked is a take on the old Guns-Don't-Kill-People argument.

      It's perfectly legal to buy a handgun. It's perfectly legal to buy bullets. It's perfectly legal to use the two together. It is, however, very illegal to use the two together in certain conditions.

      However, the Government does not mandate the crippling of potential gun owners' hands in order to decrease one's killing capacity. Nor does the government mandate that guns be as inaccurate as possible in order to stem victims being hit by bullets. Our Government says Here. Buy this gun. Do what you want with it. But if you use it to break the law, you're going to jail.

      That's how most of our laws are, right now. Ex post facto -- you break them, you do the punishment. The RIAA/MPAA wants to undermine this situation, and prevent people from breaking the law. We already tried this once.

      It was called prohibition.

      The only way this bill will pass is if people aren't educated about the facts, and don't speak out against it.

      It's incredibly admirable to see companies such as Gateway take a stand against the SSCA/CDCPBUATNAUWHATEVERTHEHELL; it's even moreso to see them want to educate the public on their rights in this area.
      • Re:Analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @01:08PM (#3323908)
        That's how most of our laws are, right now. Ex post facto -- you break them, you do the punishment. The RIAA/MPAA wants to undermine this situation, and prevent people from breaking the law. We already tried this once.
        It was called prohibition.


        I don't see how prohibition fits this definition. In fact, in the history of American law, there is no analogous legislation I can think of to what they are proposing. The closest thing I can think of is safety regulations (you can't sell a car that doesn't incorporate seat belts, for example). And smokestacks must have scrubbers, apartment buildings must have fire escapes, restaurants must have wheelchair ramps, etc. But all these things are to prevent accidents, pollution, tragedies, etc. I can't think of one that has the sole purpose of preventing you from breaking the law.

        But I don't see why we should just legislate piracy out of existence. We could stop rape with technological barriers, for example, by forcing all women to wear steel chastity belts. And why can't we do this with murder as well? Surely murder is a lot worse than piracy. And a law to mandate prevention of murder would run into problems just as easily as a law like this one that mandates prevention of piracy. We would have to ban guns, knives, axes, boxcutters, chisels, wrenches, and hammers. Buckets would have to be banned too, because you can fill one with water and hold someone's head down in it. You can also kill someone by smashing their head against a wall. Therefore all walls in all houses and buildings must be covered with foam padding to prevent this. But the padding can't be stapled or nailed on, because you can kill someone with staples or nails. And it can't be glued on, because glue is also illegal (you can glue someone's mouth shut and make them starve to death). Oh well, let's just mandate that the hardware industry come up with a solution!

        Of course, like the CBDTPA, a murder-preventing law like this one would contain a meaningless provision saying, in effect, "this law shall have no effect on lawful behavior." That way, any letter a Senator receives that complains about the bill's restrictions on lawful behavior (i.e. fair use) will go straight into the trash. Keep this in mind when you write your anti-CBDTPA letters.
    • On that same note..
      My Ford Aspire has 68HP and I can still exceed the legal speed limit in every single part of the US (except going uphill in Montana). One of the recent trends with automakers is to add even more power. Are they encouraging people to drive faster and with less responsibility? Strange how when its digital or computer related the rules somehow change.
  • Go Gateway! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zaren (204877)
    As a die-hard Apple user, I've always said that if I *had* to get a Win box, it'd be a Gateway, even if they do have a spokescow now.
    They seemed to use decent components, and their products felt like they had a personality, like they weren't just another mass-produced consumer computer. The cow spots added a touch of irreverance that made them feel like less of a corporate tool.

    This just increases their chances of getting my business when that dreaded someday comes :)

    Rip. Milk. Burn?

    Aww, FSCK! [cafepress.com]
    • A long time ago, back in their early days, Gateway had great customer support, which is what set them apart from everyone else. (The machines were built-to-order and of good quality as well).

      I personally have not done business with them in a long time, but I have heard that their support isn't what it used to be. Sad to see that happen.
  • by cygnusx (193092) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:15AM (#3323119) Homepage
    From the article:
    The spot, a continuation of the company's campaign, features CEO Ted Waitt and a bovine companion driving into the sunset singing a cover version of Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" by hip-hop artist Elwood.

    As Waitt and the cow trade verses, messages appear on the screen that read, "Like this song? Download it for free on gateway.com...or load it on an MP3 player. Gateway supports your right to enjoy digital music legally."


    Emphasis mine. Way to go, Gateway! Just what we need -- a few more high profile companies to echo this particular line. First Apple, then Gateway. Maybe if the moneybags at IBM and Intel stepped into the game, this war could be considered won. But (sigh!) they're too busy planning copy-protected processors and hard disks to actually think of the consumer :-(.
  • Tell me the cow's name is Hillary!
  • by seldolivaw (179178) <me@seldo . c om> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:18AM (#3323150) Homepage
    Apart from saying they support your right to mix-rip'n'burn, this doesn't really take issue against the CPDB... CPTDB... Bad Law Thingy(TM). (Maybe because it's so hard to remember the acronym, especially since they keep changing it)

    This ad doesn't go far enough, or bring home the true horribleness of the law. We need shock tactics, like those highway-safety ads. I want to see the cow standing in the middle of the highway with a big placard, screaming "The CBDTPA SUUUUUCKS!" and then getting run down by a Disney truck, preferably driven by a Senator Hollings impostor.
    • Well... (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrP- (45616)
      If you watch the commercial, then go to gateway.com to download the song at http://gateway.com/home/deals/offers/music/dmz.sht ml, if you click the "Protect your rights" link, it talks about the CBDTPA, sort of. It doesn't actually name it but it talks about how the senate wants to take our rights away and links to http://www.digitalconsumer.org/ for more information. So it helps a little, to bad they don't link to digitalconsumer or stoppoliceware.org on the commercial.
  • ...when you post something about "launching" and "cows" I picture a certain movie [imdb.com] and catipulting bovines?
  • Editorials (Score:3, Informative)

    by Misch (158807) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:22AM (#3323170) Homepage
    For those of you keeping score at home, here's another one for the opposition of CBDTPA (or whatever they're calling it today)

    This one from eWeek [eweek.com]

    enjoy
  • by SkyLeach (188871) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:22AM (#3323171) Homepage
    On NBC while watching the Great Race. It was funny as hell.

    My wife rolled her eyes and it gave me the perfect chance to let her know *why* they were running that commercial.

    Now that Gateway has clearly chosen sides, I think we can start selling tickets to the battle royall:

    "In this corner weighing in at a puny few billion in stated revenues is MPAA, AOL/Time Warner/CNN, RIAA and the BSA. In the Far corner, weighing in at an incalcuable sum is Gateway, IBM, Sun, Dell, Apple and all the people. This ain't really gonna be a long fight folks so don't blink."
  • emusic? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bilbobuggins (535860)
    anyone catch the link in one of the info windows to emusic [emusic.com]?
    apparently this is one of gateways 'partners' and a 'good place to download music legally' or something like that.
    anyone know anything about them?
    • Re:emusic? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nurlman (448649)
      Emusic.com is one of the first companies to Get it Right(tm).

      They've struck deals with artists and/or labels to provide subscirbers with unlimited downloads of good-quality, non-crippled mp3's. Subscribers pay in the ballpark of $15 a month, and royalties get paid to labels out of those funds based on the number of downloads a track has.

      The doenside is that their catalog is sketchy, since only those labels willing to offer their wares up on such an expirmental basis participate. They Might Be Giants are one of the biggest names, making almost their entire catalog available. There are also some offerings from Elvis Costello, Matador Records, and a few other prominent names, along with lots of people you've never heard of, but who are cross-referenced to similar, well-known bands, allowing easy sampling of content suitable to your tastes.

      Even if their offerings are only mildly interesting to you, I encourage you to subscribe for a few months. Success by emusic.com might help open the eyes of the bigger labels to an online business model that actually works.
  • From Hollings's Point of View:

    "First, they attack you.
    Then they laugh at you.
    Then they moo at you.
    Then they win."
  • Why Gateway? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Boone^ (151057) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:27AM (#3323208)
    Gateway is a struggling PC manufacturer. Why can't a few tech companies with deeper pockets spend money for this quest? I admire what they're doing, hopefully people buy a Cow next time they're buying a pre-built box so their $$ isn't spent without a return.
    • I bought a Gateway awhile back and have been very happy with it. I am upset that GW has dropped AMD as a processor [osopinion.com]. I am happy that GW is doing something against this stupid legislation. I still don't know if I would buy another GW PC though.... and I am in the market for 2 [slickdeals.net] for my kiddos.
      • When I was looking for a computer, Gateway refused to sell me anything other than a complete system.

        "But I already have a monitor... and pentablet, and keyboard, and printer, and software"

        "But you must buy the system. It is your destiny"
    • Why can't a few tech companies with deeper pockets spend money for this quest?

      Apple's got something like $4 billion sitting around, as well as a hardcore cult following, so I'd say they are a pretty good company to have on our side.

      mark
  • by thesolo (131008) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:29AM (#3323217) Homepage
    "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it," said Hilary Rosen

    <sarcasm>Yes, because all CD burners are sold to make discs full of illegally downloaded music!</sarcasm>

    Maybe if the RIAA would price their CDs more reasonably, actually give money to their artists, and stop the overwhelming and unnecessary homogenization of the music which they promote to (read: push on) the public, people wouldn't be so inclined to download music.
    • by rudedog (7339) <dave@ruded[ ]org ['og.' in gap]> on Thursday April 11, 2002 @12:07PM (#3323461) Homepage
      More importantly, where does the RIAA get off on expecting other companies to spend money to solve the RIAA's piracy problem? If a company sells products that allow consumers to partake in legal activities, why shouldn't that company be able to advertise those products? More importantly, why does the RIAA seem to think that they should be able to prevent that?
    • Exactly. If the RIAA would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on their intimidation tactics and lobbying to come up with attractive alternatives and marketing those alternatives....

      How is it the record labels aren't even operating like normal businesses in this arena? Find out what the customer is willing to pay for, provide it, market it. How much have you heard about PressPlay or whatever the fuck their thing is called? And from what you've heard about it, how much does it sound like anything you'd want to use?

      Gateway, OTOH, is actually trying to operate like a capitalist business. "Hey, this is what our product does. Pretty cool, huh? You want it, right? Buy it!" The labels do that just fine with conventional distribution methods. How is it that in their hysteria over digital distribution, the word capitalism seems to have fallen out of their dictionary? Unfortunately they didn't lose up through E; they still have extortion.
    • Maybe if the RIAA would price their CDs more reasonably, actually give money to their artists, and stop the overwhelming and unnecessary homogenization of the music which they promote to (read: push on) the public, people wouldn't be so inclined to download music.
      Oh get over yourself.

      People buy what they want and self-styled cognoscenti always consider it crap. Guess what: most of us wouldn't give two bits for whatever drivel you've got in your music library.

      As to how the music companies pay their staff - that's their model, you might as well whine about how car manufacturers are structured financially or yam importers. If it didn't work they'd be OUT OF BUSINESS but they're not.

      Yes they're trying to twist laws to their own ends, but that is an entirely separate issue then the others. If you don't like the big labels don't patronize them but don't go whining about Britney Spears.

      Guess what: There's ALWAYS some whiner going on about pop culture yada yada yada. You only look like a self-aggrandizing poseur when you take the "if they only listed to *my* obscure taste-du-jour..." line.

      Now back to my collection of gay male choral recordings; there's this fine one from the BGMC [bgmc.org]...

    • Yes, because all CD burners are sold to make discs full of illegally downloaded music

      Bull. I use mine to make discs full of illegally downloaded software and movies.
  • by s390 (33540) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:36AM (#3323260) Homepage
    is the broad adoption of Jack Valenti's misnomer "piracy" to denote "unauthorized copying." It's an improper usage of an emotionally loaded word and it unfairly biases the audience, albeit in a subtle way, every time it's used, even by journalists and others in support of Fair Use. It's like the popular but WRONG equation of "hacker" with "cracker" - which is also gleefully promoted by all those authoritarian a**holes who would like nothing better than to enslave us all to the RIAA and MPAA.

    Real "piracy" is rape, pillage, and murder on the high seas or some remote godforsaken mountain pass or desert wadi. It still happens in the seas around Indonesia and Malaysia, and in the Caribbean, and it still happens on land in places like Africa and continental Asia. To equate sampling a piece of music by MP3 prior to deciding to purchase it with "piracy" is all so over-the-top hysterical that it would be merely comical if it hadn't gotten widespread currency.

    Jack Valenti and Hillary Rosen should have their mouths washed out with soap for hammering on this to the point that even their opponents adopted their skewed language.

      • "piracy" [is] an improper usage of an emotionally loaded word

      Unfortunately, it's a perfectly proper usage, according to both Merriam-Webster [m-w.com] and Dictionary.com [dictionary.com].

      • the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright [Merriam-Webster]
      • The unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted or patented material: software piracy. [Dictionary.com]

      No, I don't like it either, and use "sharing" by preference. But the usage has changed right under our noses.

  • Interesting to see a large corporation take a side and be actively involved in such a debate. I'm sure other companies feel the same but are remaining passive to test the waters first. Businesses tend to choose sides based on what other businesses want first, the consumer usually gets what is left over.
    I wonder if Compaq would be so outspoken and in support of consumers rights if one of thier suppliers had a different opinion, like Intel or Microsoft. I would like to believe that a company has a true care to please the the consumer but in the real world, business decisions always come first.
  • Whazit do? (Score:3, Funny)

    by CaptainPhong (83963) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:42AM (#3323299) Homepage
    I love how the Yahoo article explains what the CBDTPA is supposed to do... "a copyright-protection bill that would
    prevent computers from playing pirated movies and music." More like "a bill that would prevent technology from eating into the profits of large corporations that are slow to adapt."

    Anyhow, the CBDTPA is really just an OLURMATOWIRM (an Overly Long, Unwieldy, Redundant and Misleading Acronym That Obfuscates What It Really Means.)
    • What it actually does is prevents all copying of all files unless those files are autherized for copying
      basically removing your fair use because no riaa CD will be authorized for copying
  • "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it," said Hilary Rosen, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

    I would like it better if it said:

    "If only the RIAA would understand that people want to pay for music they can enjoy anywhere at anytime. We understand that $15.00 for a CD full of crap isn't worth the money, but $1.00 per song is a goldmine."
  • i have a quote too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by krb (15012) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:46AM (#3323319) Homepage
    "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it," said Hilary Rosen"
    here's mine :
    "If only the music industry would devote a little bit of millions of dollars they're spending on lawyers and buying senators to update their distribution model into the 21st century... but that wouldn't let them fuck the artists as much would it?"

    nuff said.

    • Nah, it's got to be something more unrelated like, "If only the music industry would devote a little bit of the million of dollars they're spending on lawyers to help put China in space..."

      In other words, why should Gateway spend millions of dollars to protect someone else's stuff? They have their own business interest to protect, and feeding the hungry musicians isn't it.
  • why the law is bad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by happyclam (564118)

    Is there anything more damning to this bill than the fact that now we are seeing political commercials from corporate entities on both sides of the issue?

    When this is the case, clearly the issue is not one of laws, and the government should not be involved.

  • by Seth Finkelstein (90154) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @11:51AM (#3323355) Homepage Journal
    Gatway is saying:

    We refuse to be COWED [geocities.com]

    So the content industry should ruminate on this. Find some udder solution. Maybe tipping. Or a place where the grass is greener. And especially no bullshit.

    Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

  • by sharkey (16670)
    Does Gateway actually HAVE an MP3 of this song, rather than an unplayable .ASF? Anyone know of a mirror?
  • What a fool (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mepaco (571253)
    "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it," said Hilary Rosen, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. If only the recording industry would spend money on putting out stuff that doesn't suck. If only they didn't piss off their consumers. "The Gateway commercial is fun, but their website is nothing but a gateway to misinformation," Rosen said. "No one has proposed anything that would prevent all digital copying." And someone please inform her that this isn't possible.
    • Why is it they make it sound like it is someone else's responsibility to come up with a way to prevent all digital copying? Shouldn't that be their responsbility? I can hear the auto companies now, "No one has proposed anything that would solve this fuel efficiency problem, it's not our problem to worry about it, you spend millions of dollars developing the technology, then hand it over to us, okay?" Yeah.
  • by dr_funk (7465)
    The line in the articel that states "The Hollings bill has drawn the support of major recording companies" should read "The support of major recording companies has drawn the Hollings bill"
  • by phoenix_orb (469019) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @12:13PM (#3323512)
    "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it," said Hilary Rosen, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

    Now let me get this straight? The RIAA, MPAA and others (through the Disney Senator) want to take away many of the rights that hardware manufacturers have in building their systems. And now they want these same companies to spend money to help keep the horrible music system in place? At least movie stars make money. 99% of artist's don't. Read This article [http] [Salon.com] by Courtney Love if you want to know why I personally don't like the RIAA.

    I applaud Gateway for this, and I really hope that this helps bring them from the brink of going out of buisness. I plan on supporting them through corporate purchases (which I oversee). I hope supporting companies who endorse (publically) our ideals will win in the long run
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @12:17PM (#3323540) Homepage Journal
    An email I just sent to Gateway....


    From: <email blocked>

    To: webmaster@gateway.com

    Subj: Your "protect your freedoms" campaign - WMA's considered harmful...

    I am very glad to see Gateway supporting our freedoms to use our computers how we see fit with the http://gateway.com/home/deals/offers/music/dmz.sht ml website. However, for those of us who choose to be free from Microsoft, you site is a little descrimitory - how about having MPEGs of the movies, as well as WMAs, so that Mac or Linux users can also enjoy the content?

  • Just a thought, but has anyone ever considered that maybe we're giving the RIAA too *much* leeway? I think that the transfer of any and all music and video ought to be legal. I want to see an analog of the GPL for music. Sure, the RIAA would crash and burn, but who the hell needs them anyway? Artists can make a fine living doing concerts, and use the Internet to distribute their songs. They'd even sell a lot of CDs to the people who don't have broadband. The RIAA is complaining about how the fact that there is legal downloading makes illegal downloading quite easy. They're right. So instead of doing away with legal downloading, why not do away with illegal downloading?
  • Since this thread pertains to copy protection, and I haven't seen this anywhere else, I thought I'd post.

    In a recent /. story [slashdot.org] it was pointed out the Celine Dion's new CD will not play on PCs and Mac, and would likely crash your system if you tried.

    Sony claimed that the CD would ship with warning labels on the front and back of the CD, and the cd itself.

    I have seen the CD for sale at Border's and Target, and at both sites, no such sticker warnings were present. Since this is the first CD with this new copy protection, I think it's important to follow up.

    Has anybody seen this CD, and does it feature the stickers?

    I don't care for the Celine Dion, but this CD is an important test for Sony. Depending on what happens, we can expect to see more like it. We should be paying attention.

  • This is a VERY bright move by Gateway. They wish to establish in the minds of the customer a direct association between their brand-name and a large amount of the usage that Joe Public has for PCs.

    At the same time they are implying, "Buy us before it is too late."

    The fact that they may actually prevent poor legislation being inacted is waaay down the list of benefits they get from this.

    StrutterX
  • I found a link for a form letter http://www.digitalconsumer.org/fax.html

    As a constituent and an ardent consumer of digital media, I write today to urge you to support a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights, and to express my concerns about the recent trend toward allowing one-sided copyright laws to eliminate my Fair Use rights.

    Historically, our country has enjoyed a balance between the rights of copyright holders and the rights of citizens who legally acquire copyrighted works. Generally speaking, rights holders have the exclusive right to distribute and profit from artistic works. Consumers like me who legally acquire these works are free to use them in most noncommercial ways. Unfortunately, this balance has shifted dramatically in recent years, much to the detriment of consumers.

    To prevent further erosion of my rights, I would like to add my voice to DigitalConsumer.org in calling for a "consumer technology bill of rights". It is simply an attempt to assert positively the public's personal use rights. These rights are not new; they are historic rights granted in previous legislation and court rulings that have over the last four years been whittled away.

    Under the guise of "preventing illegal copying" I believe Hollywood is vilifying their customers - people like me - and using the legislative process to create new lines of business at my expense. Their goal is to create a legal system that takes away my long-cherished personal use rights and then to charge me an additional fee to regain those rights!

    Copy protection, especially to prevent overseas piracy for illicit sale, is an important issue. But before Congress considers yet another change in the law at the behest of the copyright holders, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to protect my Fair Use rights.

    Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter.
  • This is funny coming after they killed their cow during job cuts [bbspot.com].
  • "It's up to all of us to make buying music about as easy as stealing it," Williams said.

    How come the RIAA doesn't understand this? When has a business model along the lines of "Dont give the customer what they want" ever worked? I only took one semester of economics in High School, but I'm reasonably sure that business model is about as succssful as putting a maze in front of a bathroom and putting up a sign saying 'fun bathrooms!'.
  • by st0rmshad0w (412661) on Thursday April 11, 2002 @12:45PM (#3323726)
    "If only they would devote a little bit of the millions of dollars they're spending on this ad campaign to help stop illegal downloading ... but that wouldn't help them sell more CD burners, would it," said Hilary Rosen, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

    I see, it would seem that the RIAA is still of the mindset that the tool maker is responsible for the use of the tool.

    There is no way that the tech industry is going to voluntarily cripple its equipment on just the media companies' say so.

    Thankfully there has been NO support for the SSSCA/CD...whatever they're calling it today. Not that that means it's dead.

    Rosen and company should realize that forced DRM will pan out in one of 2 directions. Either it will be defeated by some 13 year old in a matter of minutes, or it (if *unbreakable* =P )will annihilate the market for new equipment and create a huge aftermarket for pre-DRM equipment.

    Both are failures for the media folk, but the second option promises to make an already ugly looking ecomony even worse. And potentially turn millions of people into felons for effectively sitting still.

    There are laws already in place to handle every issue they keep bringing up, but appearantly it won't be enough until they can force feed use everything.

    If they want to kick the piracy issue I have a suggestion for them. PUT SOME PORDUCTION QUALITY INTO THEIR PRODUCTS! I'm not talking about the quality of the music itself, but everything that goes along with it. Case in point, the soundtrack for "Queen of the Damned". Retailing at the local Walmart for $13.99. I think it a pretty good soundtrack, personally. However, the packaging and liner notes are TERRIBLE! No lyric sheet, tracks aren't even listed in order as they are on the disk, it's just a simple tri-fold. How about a little something more for my $14? Seriously, give me one good reason why I shoud not just d/l the tracks that I want, aside from the (il)legallity issue. There is NOTHING, no added value whatsoever in purchasing the actual CD.

    This is primarily their greatest problem, they fail to see that they are selling more than simply music, and until they realize it, 'pirating' (I still hate that term) looks very appealing.


  • You know, the Cult of the Singing Cow.



    &nbsp &nbsp



    &nbsp &nbsp



    &nbsp &nbsp

    Ow! Stop hitting me!
    It was just a joke. Geeze.
    Ow!

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