Vote this guy out

Rep. Howard Bermain (D-Calif) is at it again. Part of legislation being debated in Congress right now surrounds ClearPlay technology. Basically, clearplay allows DVD players to play an edited cleaner version of movies. Of course, Berman would like us to believe this is evil, pure evil:

bq. p. “I do not believe Congress should give companies the right to alter, distort, and mutilate creative works, or to sell otherwise-infringing products that do functionally the same thing”

OK, first of all stupid, this statement falls apart when held up to the fact that network and cable tv air such “mutilate[d] creative works” when they edit for time and content. Copyright issues will have different play obviously, as the broadcasters have license to redistribute from the original holder. But where does this sensational garbage about mutilation and artistic integrity come in? It’s just that, sensationalism. It’s up to network standards what gets cut, redubbed, etc., so please don’t feed us these lies like it’s some grand new travesty.

Berman also pulled a super low blow during the hearing, I know, shocking. At one point, he read statements of ClearPlay CEO Bill Aho back to the committee, but edited the content so as to embarass him. This is a total joke and irrelevant. To equate editing of movies meant for entertainment purposes, to editing of factual statements to wrongly portray someone is insane, maybe even unethical. So this is what we need in Washington, people who hold fiction in the same light as the truth? Awesome.

Lastly, let’s take a peek over at the top industries that supported Berman in the 2002 election courtesy of Wow, look at that. The top industry was TV/Movies/Music at $222,791. Compared to all other recipeints of such donations, Berman was #3 from the motion picture industry, #1 from the music industry, #2 from television, and #2 of all these combined. He received a total of $959,023 in recorded fundraising. His republican opponent in 2002 was David R. Hernandez, who raised a <a href= “”>measley $6,623. Anything wrong with this picture?

Lookout, covering your kids eyes, or telling other parents what movies or scenes to skip is soon going to be copyright and protection circumvention.

—May 20, 2004