Joe Biden, huh? Talk about strike three.
2000: Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman “loses” election. Flash forward to 2008 and this stuffy jerk – who spent part of his career going after Marilyn Manson – is plowing in fried tilapia at Olive Garden with John McCain.
2004: Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards loses election. Flash forward to 2008 and Edwards is admitting to having an affair (possibly a love child too!) while his wife was recovering from the cancer.
2008: Now we get Joe Biden? Please.
Biden’s tech voting record has gotten a bit of attention over the last few days, primarily because it exposes him as a close ally of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), two industry groups that spent decades bilking their customers before Napster showed up and set things right. Let’s not forget the Payola scandals. This industry has long been about telling you what to like and selling it to you at an exorbitant price.
Paidcontent.org reported on Sunday that Biden last year proposed a $1 billion program to monitor p2p networks. That’s right: $1 billion of your tax money to ensure nobody steals the new Metallica album.
Biden also “sponsored an RIAA bill” that would “restrict recording and playback of individual songs from satellite and Internet radio stations,” according to paidcontent.org. Again, that’s all about the RIAA deciding what you listen to – and what you buy – as well as helping maintain a grip on radio advertising.
I know what some of you are thinking: “It’s only $1 billion. The Iraq War alone costs about $2 billion every week.” You’re also thinking: “But file sharing is illegal.” Yes, it is. But I still remember the nearly $20 list price on Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001. Napster broke soon after, ultimately helping to drive costs to $9.99 an album on iTunes. The RIAA’s thievery, legal as it was, was shameful. That Biden would play along with an industry that profited so disgustingly from its near-monopoly on popular music says a lot about where his priorities lie.
It also says a lot about his grasp of technology issues, especially when you also consider the fact that he once “sounded skeptical” about the need for net neutrality legislation, according to paidcontent.org.
Biden apparently missed the talking point that the proliferation of the Internet has changed the game for media distribution. He apparently doesn’t understand that it offers a once-in-a-century chance to provide something approaching equality of opportunity in this country. Don’t look for any post-Baby Boomer forward thinking from this guy.
Oh, and don’t even bother stealing the new Metallica album. It will be horrible. This band hasn’t put out a decent album since 1991 and show no signs of understanding why they were worthwhile in the 1980s. Their last four albums were so bad that it might even be possible to mathematically prove that Metallica has been terrible for more than a decade now.