Gateway Launches Ad Campaign Against Copyright Bill

Gateway Launches Ad Campaign Against Copyright Bill

The country’s fourth-largest computer maker is taking to the airwaves in a bid to rally consumers against a copyright-protection bill that would prevent computers from playing pirated movies and music.

Starting Wednesday night, computer maker Gateway Inc. will launch a radio and TV ad campaign urging consumers to visit its Web site to download free music and learn more about a copyright debate that so far has been dominated by Washington lobbyists and corporate lawyers.

The ad campaign, which will only run through the weekend, is the latest volley in the battle between Hollywood and Silicon Valley over online piracy that has raged since the Internet song-swapping service Napster gained popularity two years ago.

When prompted to choose between satisfying their customers and giving control of their business to the entertainment industry, Gateway, not surprisingly, decided that the entertainment industry could piss off. What’s more, they are telling them to piss off very publically and are enlisting consumers to round out the chorus. Gateway’s Digital Music Zone includes a section which describes what you should do to protect your digital rights.

But digital technology is being used by some people to make illegal copies. Illegal copies hurt the artists who create the music we enjoy.

Some content distributors and legislators believe the only way to prevent piracy is to prohibit all digital copying. Gateway believes we can all enjoy digital music legally and respect copyright laws.

Some content distributors want the government to regulate your ability to do these things. There’s even a bill before the U.S. Senate that would force the technology industry to implement anti-piracy technology that could prevent all digital copying – even copying that’s legal today under U.S. copyright laws.

If this concerns you, it’s time to protect these rights. Take action. Write your senator and congressman.

Evidently, this does concern a great many people, and they are writing their legislators, in droves.

Consumers are sending e-mails in droves to Capitol Hill lawmakers, complaining that a proposed Senate bill would kill their freedom to listen to music and watch movies.

Consumers are also using the Senate Judiciary Committee’s comments forum to voice their displeasure. Read some of the many remarks posted in the forum on Protecting Creative Works in a Digital Age: What is at stake for Content Creators, Providers, and Users?

“The tech community and Internet users have really used this singularly as a forum for their objections to the Hollings bill,” said Judiciary Committee Spokeswoman Mimi Devlin, who added that her office is getting at least 100 e-mails a day — all of them against the proposal.

I look forward to seeing this blow up in Hollings’ and the entertainment industry’s faces.