It’s a reasonable story: guy gets iPod, buddy puts a few favorite tracks on it, everybody jams happily because they can share their little bits of culture. In a way it’s an extension of the mixed tape so romanticized in High Fidelity, but in another way — the RIAA’s way — it’s probably a copyright violation. This is about the time you’d expect me to announce a new round of charges from the RIAA, more claims of theft and lost profits due to the scourge of technology and hordes of uncaring, music copying punks.
Instead, this story leads to the listening habits of George W. Bush.
What’s on his iPod? His biking buddy and chief media strategist in the 2004 campaign, Mark McKinnon, set him up with “an eclectic mix” including “Circle Back” by John Hiatt, “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” by Joni Mitchell and “My Sharona,” the 1970s hit by The Knack.
About that last track, it should be noted that the Herald Tribune story that gives us the detes on this is happy to point out that “Joe Levy, a deputy managing editor in charge of music coverage at Rolling Stone, cheerfully branded ‘suggestive if not outright filthy’ in an interview last week.” Yeah, that’s “My Sharona.”
So, what’s the copyright clause that gives the Prez immunity from the RIAA?
[update:] “When Are You Going to Sue the President?” Donna Wentworth at Copyfight tells the story of Siva Vaidhyanathan’s question to RIAA President Cary Sherman at a Cornell University debate Friday. The answer? “We’re only suing uploaders, not downloaders.”