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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 7, 2006 2:40 AM. The previous post in this blog was New Foxworth charge. The next post in this blog is Tram news. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, April 7, 2006

The Complete Internal Revenue Code Podcast Project

I've enjoyed blogging for nearly four years now, but long-time readers know that I've longed to branch out into cutting-edge ancillary activities like podcasting. Lately I've also been thinking about possible ways to combine blogging with my professional bailiwick, the federal tax laws.

Well, yesterday, right in the middle of a scintillating lecture I was giving on the wonders of carryover basis, a brilliant idea struck. I'm surprised I didn't have this flash of genius sooner. Of course! Why not make the entire tax code available via podcast?

I'm all about public service, and I could not think of a more worthy internet project than to record a reading of the Internal Revenue Code for those who love to download mp3's and play them back on their iPods. You've heard of books on tape? How about tax law coming through those earbuds? Let's kick it with Title 26, people!

Plus, blessed are the peacemakers -- this will help prevent and resolve disputes among tax specialists who find themselves in disagreement with each other about how they remember some provision or other. If they have a computer handy, they can just click on the applicable Code section on the podcast page, and even if they're too impaired to read all of the statutory provisions, they can play them back and hear their exact language over and over until the differences of opinion are ironed out. If it saves one life, it's worth it.

Of course, you can't put the entire Code in a single sound file -- that would be too big for the portable players to handle. Instead, to keep this a handy resource, I'm going to record one section of the Code each day in a separate file, from now until I have them all posted on the official project website. I think there are a few thousand Code sections, and so the entire project will take several years, but think of how we'll all feel when we're done! It will be like mapping the human genome.

And when that happy day comes, we can go right back to section 1 and start all over, because heaven knows, it will have changed several times by then.

So here it is, people. I've got big plans for the site -- advertising, celebrity readers, on-location recordings, musical backdrops -- but for now it's just straight Code, no chaser. You can tell your grandkids that you were there on day 1. Because here's the official project page, where you can find section 1 of the Code waiting for you. And it's absolutely free. Enjoy!

Comments (38)

Are you taking requests? I'd like to request the Oregon Revised Statutes.

He he! That would be a good one, too. But I'm sticking with the IRC.

What about the regs?

What about the regs? That's where all the real fun is ;-)

I'm sorry, but it is against federal law and several U.S. tax treaties for anyone to podcast the 704(b) regs. To me it's not worth the risk.

I can't believe you are playing this one straight. Someday, Jack, you will be recognized worldwide for the astonishing performance artist you are. Brilliant!

Jack, your voice is better than Garrison Keillor's.

I can't wait for the next podcast.

Did they bump April Fools' Day to the 7th this year? The whole code? Won't great scads of it be obsolete, repealed, or amended before you've even gotten to the cafeteria plans of sec. 125?

Problem is, you'd need the 60GB iPod to get the entire code.

That's fabulous. Why don't you just record your tax lectures and post those, as well? Although you might put those commercial study tape folks out of business. Hell, Office for the Mac records mp4 audio, as does OneNote for the PC. Some folks out there might already have the audio of your lectures.

I'm looking forward to the musical version.

Wait, is this reading from the '54 Code, or the '86 Code? Your 'podcast project' link says '54, but that's a bit outdated, n'est-ce pas?

This is great. You should put it under a Creative Commons License so others can take it and run with it.

Question: What about updates? Maybe you should release a PocketPod for that? :-)

Been here, doing this, speaking in the sleepless frustrated nightwatch this time of year with a Lic.Tax.Cons. who pillowtalks in her sleep.

I'm not sure which is worse: that you actually spent the time to do this, or that I actually spent any time listening to it. How did you keep from laughing?

This is my job. This is my life.

Wait, is this reading from the '54 Code, or the '86 Code? Your 'podcast project' link says '54, but that's a bit outdated, n'est-ce pas?

Oops. I'm still living in 1982.

So what drove you over the edge -- the Tram [rim shot] or VOE? Or are you just trying to establish the need for a year-long paid sabbatical?

Gee, Jack, I never realized that you had a sadistic streak. (Or is it masochistic?)

Oh my god. You are such a nerd.

Hey, I've got some friends who want to get in on this. You need help? I am an Interpretative Speech major, so if you need help on a few...

The IRS makes a habit out of hiring blind people so this might be more useful and worthwhile than you think.

This is a great idea! If you need help with the recordings, let me know. I'd love to pitch in.

Guess I'll trash my audio of Clinton reading his bio for this. Maybe CCH will hire you to be the voice of Federal Standard Tax ...

If he's looking for help, dibs on depreciation rules and fuel excise taxes!

Will there be an interpretative dance video podcast along with this? Because really, how else to know what Congress was thinking?

Justices Thomas and Scalia are on record as saying that they will only listen to the audio podcast -- they will not watch the video.

And when is the 50TB iPod coming out?

What happened to section four? I can't believe you're still keeping this up!

Section 4 has been repealed. I have decided not to podcast repealed provisions, despite requests that I have received for some of the old favorites.

After Section 5, the next section is 11.

Nice! By my count, then (according to this page and a quick little script: there are 1692 sections, enough for over 4.5 years of tax podcasting fun!

In response to Jason. Isn't the Tax Code public domain? If that's the case wouldn't a pod-cast also be in the public domain or is there something about the expression of reading this aloud that makes it copyrightable.

Perhaps if it is read by James Earl Jones or Kermit the Frog, it'll be more clearly a copyrightable expression.

On a more serious note: why not do a hardware hack and have the entire text displayed on the screen? Even with the text version you may still need a couple of extra Terabytes.

is there something about the expression of reading this aloud that makes it copyrightable.

As I understand it (and copyright lawyers always tell me I don't), the sound recording has its own copyright, different from any right in the words being "performed." Here the words are in the public domain, but my reading is not.


As I understand it (and copyright lawyers always tell me I don't), the sound recording has its own copyright, different from any right in the words being "performed." Here the words are in the public domain, but my reading is not.

Then by all means license this with a Creative Commons license! You may want to select one that has the "share-alike" term, since then all the derivative works will carry the same license. That means your podcast and everything based on it will spread virally through out the globe!

The implications boggle the mind.

OMG! Thank you Jack!

Your Tax Code podcast has helped me kick my sleeping pill habit.

I was asleep before you turned the first page.

So, how does it end?

Do you take requests? As a former revenue agent, I would like to request Section 61 as a priority reading. If you have to go look it up you've already missed the joke!

Will you have a Top 10 or Top 100 list? I would vote for skipping the pension and profit sharing areas. I think there should be some limits.

As for the remark about blind IRS personnel, I read that and feel sad. Furthermore, I am not vindictive and you are going to regret saying that.

Would have been handy last semester -- easier to carry my ipod than the code book :-) ...


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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