Biting the Hand that Fed HimMay 1, 2006
The word on the Hill is that Reps. Howard Berman and Darryl Issa will soon drop a companion bill to the PERFORM Act in the House sometime in the next week or so. This is the bill, that among other things, would require “radio flag” technology that would limit consumers' legal right to record songs off the radio. That Mr. Berman is a co-sponsor should come as no surprise – the member from Hollywood is the content industry's best friend. Mr. Issa is another story, however. He made his fortune in the consumer electronics business – car alarms, to be precise, and is a former Chair of the Consumer Electronics Association. It is no exaggeration to say that no industry has helped Mr. Issa achieve his current status than CE. Yet CEA is the biggest industry opponent of PERFORM. What gives? You may recall that Mr. Issa was the driving force behind the successful recall of California Governor Gray Davis, and that Issa himself was a candidate to replace him. This may be a gift to the content industry in order to secure support for his future statewide ambitions. In any event, please contact your Senator and ask them to oppose the PERFORM Act, and while you are at it, tell Reps. Berman and Issa not to introduce this ill-advised legislation in the House.