Hilary Rosen: Consumer Rights Defender?!?

from the seems-sketchy dept

Remember Hilary Rosen? She ran the RIAA through a series of disastrous moves, including its decision to sue individuals and also in backing legislation specifically designed to take away consumer rights. Of course, now that she’s outside of the RIAA job, she suddenly had the time to understand why Creative Commons isn’t evil (you’d think that would have made sense while on the job…) and now she’s gone so far as to position herself as a consumer rights activist in forcing the iPod to open up and let songs purchased at other music stores be placed on the iPod. Of course, it appears that Hilary’s fellow bloggers at the newly launched Huffington Post are a bit taken aback by her sudden claim to be interested in consumer rights — and are asking if Ms. Rosen has a financial relationship with providers of other music download stores. Of course, what’s extra silly about this is Rosen’s insistence that this is somehow a “consumer rights” issue, when it’s really nothing of the sort. It’s a business issue. You can make a pretty compelling argument that it’s in Apple’s best interest to open up the platform and let it work with other music download stores — especially since Apple still see its own iTunes as a loss leader for selling more iPods. Why not let some of those losses accumulate to others? However, it hardly seems like a consumer rights issue, such as the ability copy the music you legally bought for fair use purposes (which, of course, Rosen fought so hard against). Update: Ernest Miller does a brilliant job explaining to Hilary Rosen why it’s her policies that created this situation. She was the one who insisted on copy protection being included on every piece of music — and while plenty of people pointed out that the DMCA would (and has been) used for anti-competitive reasons, she’s now complaining when that’s happening.

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