Fun_People Archive
20 Feb
Sonny Bono does it again

Date: Tue, 20 Feb 96 12:33:25 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Sonny Bono does it again

[This is going to set aging hippies back 30 years...
 Hey!  That's not such a bad idea...  -psl]

Forwarded-by: Daniel Steinberg <>
From: the San Jose Mercury News, Monday February 19, 1996
	(reprinted without permission)

  Computer owners can laugh or cry over the views of Rep. Sonny Bono, R-Palm
Springs, as expressed in a recent hearing of the House subcommittee on
courts and intellectual property.  The congressman and former entertainer
[ed note: 'former'? i think he is far more entertaining as a congressman!]
was considering the matter of copyrights in cyberspace, and in his opening
remarks was moved to observe that "as early as a year ago" he had thought
about computers and become convinced that they would be "trouble."

  He calls the machines "anarchist" and "the biggest communicator in the
world with no rules whatsoever."  He calls their potential for trafficking
in digital intellectual property "a monumental issue" and said the only way
to deal with the menace is to "start attaching rules that apply control" to
computer networks.

  Perhaps what the congressman lacks is faith in our present system of
intellectual property protection.  In a question to witness Jack Valenti,
head of the Motion Picture Association of America, Bono wondered whether
the federal courts "are sophisticated enough to handle copyright issues."
Perhaps he missed the recent Supreme Court decision on Lotus Development's
suit against Borland.  Or the rest of the 207-year history of U.S. court
decisions on copyrights.

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