June 6th, 2001

Regarding similarities between Republicans and Democrats

Incidentally, a mere month after G.W. delivered a hoo-hah speech about how free trade equals democracy, blah blah blah, and that we're tearing down trade barriers to *help people* gosh-darn-it, not just so that corporations can make more profits by paying their labor less---just in case you actually *believed* any of that, today G.W. announced that he was going to "protect American steel" and that free trade was overrated anyway, because it hurt "American steel interests" in states where he just barely squeaked by in the election. He announced that he was going to pursue a protectionist case in the WTO. Which is a great laugh, ha! We'll see how far even G.W. gets with the WTO; "free trade" has won *every single case* put before WTO arbitration so far.

So today democrats and unions were squirming a bit, cautiously congratulating the president for finally Getting A Clue (free trade *hurts people*) while noting that the president has a snowflake's chance in h-e-double-hockey-sticks of actually accomplishing anything by "taking it to the WTO".

(This rant brought to you from a comment on whitney's weblog, where I originally posted it.)

Today's good news.

Today, the Princeton/Rice team lead by Ed Felton (one of my profs at P-ton!) filed a lawsuit in federal court contesting the DMCA. Details on Felten v. RIAA are here. I will find it hugely satisfying if the RIAA's threats & attempts to prevent Felten et al from publishing their paper on SDMI ultimately result in the overturning of the RIAA's bastard child, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

The lawsuit is being sponsored and funded by the EFF. More details on the EFF's current cases can be found at http://www.eff.org/Legal/active_legal.html; they are a non-profit and will need donations now more than ever: the RIAA has much deeper pockets than the good guys in this case. I'm glad I made a donation just a few days ago; if you find yourself agreeing with what the EFF stands for, I hope you'll consider donating too---they accept credit cards and paypal and all sorts of groovy electronic means to make things easy.

OK, this is the end of this public service message. =)