Challenger To Senator Orrin Hatch, Pete Ashdown, Also Against SOPA

from the make-it-a-campaign-issue dept

In the comments of our recent post about another candidate for the House using SOPA as a campaign issue, one commenter pointed out that there's a Senate challenger likely to make SOPA an issue as well. Pete Ashdown, who studied computer science and founded and ran an ISP in Utah for many years, is running against long-term incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch. Ashdown, as you may recall, actually ran against Hatch six years ago as well, and was really good on tech related policies. His position statement on copyright is a good read, focusing on how both copyright extension and the DMCA cause undue burden on the public:
Congressional extensions on copyright have been repeatedly pushed by interested businesses to the point where the public interest is damaged. Copyright should protect artists and creators when they take action to request it. Instead, it is abused to the point that innovation is held back and very little falls into the public domain.

The public has an interest in seeing works move into the public domain after a reasonable period has passed for commercial gain. Abandoned and orphaned works should default into the public domain instead of being locked up indefinitely.

Legislation like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) strips the consumer of their rights to own and modify their purchased property. DMCA abuse has been leveraged against everything from real-estate listings to restricting competitors. If the DMCA had been present before this millennium, it is possible that Compaq would have never been able to reverse-engineer the IBM PC BIOS and jumpstart the personal computing revolution.
While I don't know how recently it has been updated, it doesn't mention things like PIPA or SOPA. However, Ashdown has tweeted about the bills and it appears he's not a fan. Given that he actually used Hatch's ridiculous INDUCE Act (another bill that attempted to broadly expand copyright law) as a campaign issue in 2006, you have to imagine he'll use PIPA again this time around. While he lost last time around, in 2006, very few people were paying attention to these issues. This time around, as SOPA and PIPA are getting more attention, perhaps he'll get more attention.

That said, as the same commenter noted, getting a Democrat elected in Utah is close to impossible. Still, Ashdown was able to get over 30% of the vote on a shoestring budget, while many of these issues weren't making news. At a time when these issues are making headlines, and outrage towards incumbents for being in the pockets of a few big businesses is at an all time high, could he actually mount a serious challenge?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    How to interpret politician speak:

    If the politician says it's up, then it's down.
    If the politician says it's black, then it's white.
    If the politician says it's cake, then it's a lie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    Re: How to interpret politician speak:

    Aw, damn it! I LOVE CAKE!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    He said some more about SOPA today

    http://peteashdown.org/journal/2012/01/06/ndaa-sopa-and-upcoming-volunteer-meetin/


    The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) represents another case of congressional ignorance of technology. In spite of opposition from major technology companies such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter, congress continued to carry water for media companies demanding that they should have the ability to shut down any website without proper trial of criminality. Hearings were stacked with proponents in an attempt to squash opposition. To his credit, Utah’s 3rd Congressional District representative, Jason Chaffetz saw through these tactics and opposed the bill. Unfortunately, it has merely been “suspended” for further wrangling in 2012. SOPA was an attempt to limit the openness and freedom of the Internet and I heartily oppose it.

     

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  4.  
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    Glen, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    He'll get my vote.

     

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  5.  
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    gorehound (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    He would get my Vote if I lived in that State.

     

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  6.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Re: How to interpret politician speak:

    What do you mean the cake is a lie?

    PS love the portal reference

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    "That said, as the same commenter noted, getting a Democrat elected in Utah is close to impossible"

    that's to bad, im going to vote for him anyways....but this statement is very true, Utah is really red and the D on his name will kill him here.

    Its still shocking that a politician from utah stands out, we almost always have the most generic unknown politicians out there....aka, huntsman...he was a very popular Governor and i think he has potential as a president, but the right goes with Romney lmao.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    Re: He said some more about SOPA today

    In spite of opposition from major technology companies such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter, congress continued to carry water for media companies demanding that they should have the ability to shut down any website without proper trial of criminality.

    Is he kidding? "media companies demanding that they should have the ability to shut down any website without proper trial of criminality"?

    The whole point of SOPA and Protect IP is that foreign criminals are outside the reach of US law enforcement because they don't want to be held accountable. This is a serious dope here.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

    The whole point of SOPA and Protect IP is that foreign criminals are outside the reach of US law enforcement because they don't want to be held accountable.

    Or because they may be ... (wait for it)... foreigners. Nah, you're right. They probably were born overseas on purpose to avoid US prosecution.

    In all seriousness, how accommodating are PIPA/SOPA to those that are willing to be accountable? Let's see. Someone claiming to be a rights holder calls up service providers who then 'voluntarily' shut off service to avoid liability themselves. No recourse, no trial, no appeal.

     

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  10.  
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    Atkray (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:21pm

    We have enough tech here in the Wasatch Front area that if he gets public with this message he might have a chance.

    Also there is a strong movement amongst the delegates to the state republican convention to make sure that what happened to Bennett 2 years ago (he didn't make it past the first round of voting and just stood there crying) is repeated.

    Hatch has been backpedaling on a lot of issues to try to keep his job but most people aren't buying it.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    Re: How to interpret politician speak:

    What if AI says those things?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

    They probably were born overseas on purpose to avoid US prosecution. Or, such as the case of TVShack, they change from a dot com to dot bz for the purpose of evading US law enforcement.

    Someone claiming to be a rights holder calls up service providers who then 'voluntarily' shut off service to avoid liability themselves. No recourse, no trial, no appeal.

    There are voluntary mechanisms in place right now that allow for that. Try reading the terms of service for any payment provider.

     

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  13.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

    LMAO... you're still sticking to the falsehood that SOPA only applies to foreign websites? We all know that's not true and based on past history of the DMCA, absolutely not the limit of how SOPA will be used.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

    There are voluntary mechanisms in place right now that allow for that. Try reading the terms of service for any payment provider.

    Totally different, as you well know (but are paid well to ignore). Just because terms of service allow them to shut you off, it's entirely different than the government saying "you get full immunity from liability for shutting someone off."

    Look we have the DMCA. We know what happens when you say "you get full immunity for taking something down." It's seen as a requirement.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

    The thing that doesn't exist yet is immunity from anything if you do it and you get sued and are wrong you pay for it, SOPA takes that away and make it compelling to just shutdown everybody without risk or penalties how quaint.

    Marvelous!

    And since we have the DMCA to see how it will work, we can assume that it won't be used to stop piracy but to stop other business.

    SOPA is not an anti-piracy bill is an anti-competition bill.

     

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  16.  
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    Jesse Harris, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    I've known Pete personally since before his 2006 run against Hatch, and he's a stand-up guy. Hatch is also getting challenged within his own party by at least two other candidates, but I'm not sure where exactly they come down on SOPA/PIPA. Maybe we'll end up with a race between the better of two goods for once?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

    STOP SOPA

     

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  18.  
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    ken (profile), Jan 7th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Senator Hatch is Vulnerable at Utah GOP Convention

    I plan on being a delegate to the Utah Republican Party convention that will decide who are candidates are for the Republican ticket. I will be talking directly with Senator Hatch and let him know that supporting PIPA will severely complicate his nomination. Last Convention we ousted Senator Bennett who was a long standing Senator who many believed had completely lost touch with his constituents. Senator Hatch has to be worried that the same thing could happen to him. Supporting PIPA will make that more likely.

     

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  19.  
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    Jason, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Senator Hatch is done. Utah's economy is based in Tech and his support of NDAA goes against the predominant religion.

    The Republicans own Utah thing is done as we are one of the youngest in age states and aren't beholden to a party.

     

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  20.  
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    Petra Arkanian (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    Orrin Hatch is no friend of the Internet.
    http://www.dethronehatch.com/orrin-hatch-is-no-friend-of-the-internet/

    Hatch is out of touch with the people- 36 years in Gov. will corrupt most men, it's time for him to come home. The NDAA needs to be challenged- we need someone like Ashdown

     

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  21.  
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    Ben, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    Down with hatch

    He supported this nasty legislation. Of course now, after the fact, he changes his statement. After I'm sure hundreds of nasty emails/letters and threats to no longer vote for him. Now he is trying to say that he is against Obama Care and fighting to defund it. But guess what, he was voting for it...

    http://www.opencongress.org/people/voting_history/300052_Orrin_Hatch/20

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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