I haven't got the means to shut down the podcast for the day, but I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the day of internet radio silence today. Online broadcasters across the country are protesting the dramatic price hikes for online streaming music royalties by shutting down their transmissions. It doesn't affect me -- I used to use music on the show, but I stopped a long time because there was no way to navigate the treacherous legal waters. But it is an important issue worthy of your consideration.
What vexes me most is not so much that these rules and regulations are changing, but rather that our lawmakers seem to be almost willfully ignorant about issues that are really, really important to our lives. When they do act (see: DMCA), they seem to act exclusively in the interests of the biggest, richest corporations. Courts and regulatory bodies are trying to make decisions based on laws that are woefully inadequate to deal with current technologies, and no one who actually decides (read: legislators) are doing shit.
There's a horrible imbalance, and that's why I've supported the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I don't neccesarily agree with all their positions, but when the big-money lobbyists head to Washington to write the new laws and the big-money lawyers head to court to interpret them for elderly judges who can't program VCRs, it's nice to have SOMEONE on the side of, well, anyone other than the richest, sleaziest corporations.
So the moral of the story is: use today, the day of silence, to think about what YOU think the equitable solution is to this internet royalty business. At least think about what the core values of a solution should be. Then TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES. They'll know that there are people who will vote on this issue, and they should just give corporations anything they want.