Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings

Reviewing a person - especially a US Senator - seems somewhat strange. It seems like I am removing all personalization and humanity from him, and evaluating him as an object. Despite this seemingly inhuman perspective, I feel no guilt. Senator Hollings deserves no better.

In pictures of this "man," it often looks as though he is constipated. I have recently uncovered the truth behind this look - Mr. Hollings recently had surgery to remove the top executives of the record and movie cartels (RIAA and MPAA, respectively) from his rectum. He easily paid the medical bills from his huge surplus (over $300,000 last year) of "donations" from those cartels.

Mr. Hollings has greatly clarified my view of our government's legislation process. He is a perfect example of how corporations can literally buy laws. The cartels have decided that piracy will kill their business - and they blame the piracy on the open, general-purpose nature of personal computers. Users can freely open, copy, move, or delete any file, at any time, as often as they want, without any imposed restrictions. Rather than adjust their business models to capitalize on computers, the cartels have decided that they must restrict this general-purpose nature.

They have tried this before. Convert a CD to MP3 or WMA using Windows Media Player, reinstall Windows, and try to play the file. It won't let you, because of "Digital Rights Management (DRM)" (translation: copy protection), because it thinks you're on another computer. DRM has also been placed in hardware devices - the first generation of Sony digital music players would greatly restrict the capabilities of its files (they had their own file format because MP3s did not have DRM). But nobody uses Windows Media Player to rip CDs anymore, and the Sony music players failed miserably in the market.

Consumers have made their opinions clear - they don't want DRM, and they won't buy it. So what do the music and movie cartels do? Buy a law that would make it illegal to produce anything "capable of playing or recording digital content" without DRM.

This brings us back to Senator Hollings. The cartels couldn't buy a law on their own, so they bought Mr. Hollings instead (because buying politicians is not difficult). And what a surprise - he started drafting legislation called the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA) that would make any non-DRM device illegal. This includes computers, digital televisions, CD players, DVD players, MiniDiscs, DAT, D-VHS... anything that can play or record digital content. The SSSCA was welcomed by harsh criticism from the public, and was never introduced as legislation.

So he changed a couple lines and renamed it - this time, it's called the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA). Clever, isn't it? Now the extremely restrictive and destructive law sounds like it's meant to help people. The reasoning behind it is based on the idea that broadband and digital television lack "content" because the cartels are afraid to release it (due to piracy), and this law would encourage them to release it because it would curb piracy.


This legislation has been officially introduced, and will be up for a vote soon. Hollings has been officially purchased by cartels, and has introduced legislation that would have absolutely zero benefit to consumers and 100% beneft to the cartels.

This activity has earned Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings a position on the official Suck List.

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Senator Hollings is a prime example of why our government doesn't work the way we're told in Schoolhouse Rock.