Thursday, April 27, 2006

IPAC and the iLobby

Today's Los Angeles Times editorial, " The iLobby," lauds a novel strategy for educating lawmakers, who have not traditionally been early adopters of new technology and thus may be misinformed about issues related to file-sharing, broadband connectivity, and the status of Internet service providers as corporate entities.

IPAC, the Information Policy Action Committee, is giving members of Congress iPods, in the hope that legislators would use these handy devices for storing digital copies of music, photos, and videos and thus better understand the frustrations of average American consumers who worry about monopolies on particular technologies and the spectre of an intellectual property police state that punishes users for victimless copy crimes.

As a rhetorical strategy, it represents an interesting move, one that includes elected representatives in the larger Internet gift economy in which many now participate. Unfortunately, several lawmakers have resisted the group's overtures and returned their iPods, on the grounds that IPAC represents the interests of a political action group, one that is giving prohibitively expensive gifts to influence policy.



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