April 12, 2002 3:44 PM   Subscribe

GeekPAC Jeff Gerhardt and Doc Searls are forming a PAC to fight the anti-copy technology that Eisner and Valenti are trying to buy. My question is: why hasn't someone done this earlier? What other geek-oriented lobbying groups are there?
posted by RakDaddy (9 comments total)
And I'm already a member of the EFF. What else is out there?
posted by RakDaddy at 3:46 PM on April 12, 2002

The proposal to create OTC & GeekPAC. in the url always looks like a typo to me.
posted by riffola at 3:58 PM on April 12, 2002

Although I'm not a Linux user(yet, I'm thinking about it), I am a supporter of the open source movement.
I'm also very concerned about the privacy and freedom of information issues which the spread of technology has brought about.
If GeekPAC can focus on users as well as developers, they've got my support.the
posted by jonmc at 4:08 PM on April 12, 2002

Digital Consumer has some heavy weights behind it..
posted by mgoyer at 4:17 PM on April 12, 2002

Those guys should just get behind an existing group such as Digital Consumer. Besides, calling a group "geek"-anything is stupid and dooms it to obscurity.
posted by Potsy at 5:54 PM on April 12, 2002

Besides, calling a group "geek"-anything is stupid and dooms it to obscurity.

Or, it illustrates a sense of humor, something rare in lobbyist circles.
posted by jonmc at 7:32 PM on April 12, 2002

Or, it illustrates a sense of humor, something rare in lobbyist circles.

That might be because it's a dumb idea. Also, affiliating a lobbying group with a completely tangential issue (Linux advocacy) alienates potential allies. The money's better spent at EFF.
posted by swell at 9:24 PM on April 12, 2002

As someone who just moved from DC for a number of reasons, one of the most important being lack of job prospects, I can definitely concur that there is not really a "Geek lobby" in DC -- EFF is more of a public affairs committee. (But thank goodness for them; they work hard and provide information to members of congress in such a way that members can actually vote for or against bills, etc.)

I talked with a number of heads "coalitions" -- lobbyists that are essentially retired, run advocacy groups, have no money, and therefore cannot lobby against (or for) anything until a big issue comes up. Although they appreciated my support and willingness to join them in their causes, they hadn't the money to pay staff to lobby for them on the Hill.

The lack of money is key. There will be no powerful PACs (public affair committees or political action) until companies come around to fund them. There's no way they can stand against the gobs of money the RIAA, MPAA, etc have. Hopefully business will begin to realize that the EFF's positions aren't anti-business, but pro-industry & competition.
posted by jennak at 10:37 PM on April 12, 2002

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