Dem VP Pick Biden's Tech Policy: Pro-Copyright Friend Of RIAA, MPAA; Net Neutrality Skeptic?

This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
Over the weekend, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, who pulled out of the 2008 race for the Democrat's presidential slot when voters gave him the cold shoulder, moved back in as Barack Obama's choice. So where does he stand when it comes to tech policy? He didn't respond to the questions for CNET's (NSDQ: CNET) 2008 Technology Voters' Guide, leaving Declan McCullough to piece it together from the veteran senator's well-documented record. Some examples:

RIAA, MPAA: Biden's track record here is pro-copyright and pro-establishment. As CNET reminds us, he held a Foreign Relations Committee hearing in 2002 on "Theft of American Intellectual Property" without including any internet company, p2p network or consumer group. This year he proposed a $1 billion program to monitor P2P networks for "illegal activity" and a version made it through Judiciary. He sponsored an RIAA bill last year to restrict recording and playback of individual songs from satellite and internet radio stations. In the past, he urged the Justice Department to prosecute individuals who allowed mass-copying intentionally through P2P.

Net neutrality: In 2006, Biden "sounded skeptical" about the need to legislate net neutrality when the subject came up in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Would subsequent events like the FCC's ruling against Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) and Obama's support for giving the FCC pre-emptive authority make a difference? My take: too soon to tell how he'll react this time around. 


By Staci D. Kramer
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