Memo to the RIAA: Better Check on Bush

Memo to the RIAA: Better Check on Bush

It just sort of cracks me up that President Bush has an iPod is such big news. For the second time in recent memory, all the big news outlets ran coverage of the “First iPod” … what really gets me is that the one is in my favorite (old school) news outlet, the New York TImes by reporter Elisabeth Bumiller actually had this quote in it:

The president also has an eclectic mix of songs downloaded into his iPod from Mark McKinnon, a biking buddy and his chief media strategist in the 2004 campaign. Among them are “Circle Back” by John Hiatt, “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” by Joni Mitchell and “My Sharona,” the 1970s song by The Knack that Joe Levy, a deputy managing editor in charge of music coverage at Rolling Stone, cheerfully branded “suggestive if not outright filthy” in an interview last week.

The key there is that the line that says, “The president also has an eclectic mix of songs downloaded into his iPod from Mark McKinnon, a biking buddy …” Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t that stealing music? As a matter of fact, it is. You just can’t do that! I’ve been following the discussion over at the excellent Corante blogs, When Are You Going to Sue the President? Some great pointers to the coverage, but the best is perhaps the fact that Siva Vaidhyanathan promised he’d ask RIAA President Cary Sherman and actually did! The answer from Mr. Sherman’s answer: “We’re only suing uploaders, not downloaders.” Well that clears that up, I’m sure my students here at PSU will be happy to know it. Check out the whole 3.5 hours from the Cornell sponsored debate here.

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