Gateway Gets ballsy (and why I now give them props)

Thu, 11 Apr 2002 10:55:45 -0700

Yay.  So all the tech companies might start catching the 'clue' that the
CBDTPA is bad news, and getting vocal about it.

So far we have Intel making noise, albiet quietly,

and Fox Actually reporting it:

and now, Gateway.  They're doing a one-better than Intel however:  Consumer
based commercials urging users to work their fair use rights (while they
still have them).   This truly rocks, and sticks it to Disney, et. al., even
in a small way.

Hopefully those elected actually catch on to the fact that consumers don't
support this, tech companies don't support this, and everyone, save for
Disney and Hollings, seems to think this is bad mojo.

Gateway Launches Ad Campaign Against Copyright Bill
Wed Apr 10, 5:44 PM ET
By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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 (news - web
sites) gained popularity two years ago.

Viewers of the NBC Nightly News and youth-oriented shows like "Dawson's
Creek (news - Y! TV)" will see Gateway CEO Ted Waitt and an animatronic cow
lip-syncing along with a hip-hop remake of Gordon Lightfoot's 1974 hit
"Sundown" as they drive an 18-wheeler into the sunset.

"Like this song? Download it for free at Burn it on to a CD ...
or load it on an MP3 player. Gateway supports your right to enjoy digital
music legally," the ad says.

The ad campaign underscores the furor over a bill introduced last month by
South Carolina Democratic Sen. Ernest Hollings that would prevent new
computers, CD players and other consumer-electronics devices from playing
unauthorized movies, music and other digital media files.

The Hollings bill has drawn the support of major recording companies, who
believe fast Internet connections and an array of digital devices such as
MP3 players and CD burners, as well as Napster and other file-sharing
services, were partly responsible for a decline in album sales last year.

Technology firms say the bill would hurt their ability to innovate, and
would encourage consumers to hold on to their older computers rather than
buy new models that restrict their activities.

A Gateway spokesman said the company is worried that the Hollings bill and
other solutions advocated by the music industry would infringe on consumers'
"fair use" rights, for example by limiting their ability to use MP3 players.

"We feel like there's a lack of awareness about this pending legislation,"
said Brad Williams, director of communications at Gateway.

Williams said Gateway was currently negotiating with several recording
companies to make more digital music available on its site.

"It's up to all of us to make buying music about as easy as stealing it,"
Williams said.