TechPAC (or: What is Dave Proposing, Anyway?)

by William Grosso

Related link:

Earlier today, I wrote:

Memo to Dave: I'd throw money in to a fund for to help defend technology. But, then again, I already do. Part of what you're trying to do already exists. It's called the Electronic Frontier Foundation and you should be mentioning it more often.

I've since heard from several people, making two basic points. The first is that I shouldn't be so condescending towards Dave. To which I would like to say: Hey! Unintentional! In a post where I called myself "the moral equivalent of Howard Cosell," it's hard to see how I could be accused of being condescending towards other people but .... I certainly didn't mean to send that message.

And, second, people have pointed out that Dave has been talking about a PAC and the EFF is nothing like a PAC. To which, all I can say is: yup.

But the goal is to defend both our basic rights and our technological innovations from Hollings, Berman, et al. Right? And the idea is to take advantage of the nascent electronic communities that are forming around blogs, and use the fact that technological communities as a whole are fairly affluent, to gather money and do something.

What's that something? Well, a PAC meets the requirements. But so does the EFF. And that was my point: we already have
organizations in place that are attempting to address some of these issues.

So, before we form a PAC, let's stop and wonder: maybe that time and energy and money that would have gone into creating the PAC would be better spent supporting what's already in place.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe there's a lot of value in throwing a specific person out of office.

What do you think? Is a PAC a good idea?


2002-08-01 06:14:46
PAC or boycott?
While a PAC might be an interesting way to influence the issue, I doubt that we can get together enough funds to compete with the entertainment industry lobby.

Direct action against the entertainment industry would bring better results I believe.

If we can get a significant number of people to give up buying CDs, videos, and movie tickets for a sustained period of time it would encourage the entertainment to get more creative in their treatment of new tech distribution channels.

Compared to a PAC, a boycott is a low cost option that results in a permanent solution rather than an on-going tug-of-war between PACs.

On the other hand, it would be interesting to have PAC that prods Congress into investigating why CD prices have remained so absurdly high for so long...