In doing some personal investigative work, I came across KEI's list of insiders working on ACTA with past USTR Ron Kirk. One person of interest to my research was on the list; Sandra Aistars, Time Warner VP. In December 2010 she became the executive director of the Copyright Alliance, maximalist astroturf created by the Nickles Group, LLC.
It turns out that Ron Kirk and former Sen. Don Nickles together were co-chairs of the COMPETE Coalition (electricity utility association) just prior to Kirk becoming USTR. Seems a logical conclusion that Ron spoke to Don after becoming USTR, and recommended Sandra to head the Alliance. "Hey Don, I have a great lawyer for you, . . "
Learning of the one degree of separation between Ron and Don seemed noteworthy at the time, particularly since Nickles is such an outstanding example of lobbyist for the maximalist. Since then, though, it's become obvious that the "revolving door" is more of a NASCAR track, with the object being to go around just as fast as one can. Do they have a trophy for who's fastest? Would make for a nice awards gala in D.C.
I see that IATSE is a member organization of the Copyright Alliance, according to their website. You should make your IATSE brethren aware that aside from being rabid copyright maximalists and astroturf for MPAA and COMCAST, the CA is quite the den of anti-unionists; very apparent when you look at its parent organization, the Nickles Group LLC. It's my guess that these people probably love nothing better than destroying unions while at the same time making money for the MPAA and their other old-guard media and telecom clients. Probably provides them with some yuks at ALEC conventions.
It's possible that Rep. Goodlatte is really willing to harm Nickles' #1 client. It is after all a matter of that crazy dance politicians do with a multitude of competing interests. I'm starting to suspect politicians are not entirely consistent across the board in whom they support.
As Reps. Goodlatte and Coble are consistent supporters of the Copyright Alliance, a.k.a. Nickles Group lobbyists representing Intellectual Ventures LLC at their real day jobs, I'm thinking there's stuff under the surface that needs careful examination.
I'll have to pass this on to a few "friends" at the Graphic Artists Guild, which sucks off the teat of Reprographic Rights money coming in from abroad. Geez!!! If people are allowed to exercise Fair Use, then where the hell are they gonna get their money-fer-nuthin'?
True, and that was the whole point of Mike's piece. The only thing I would point out is that "left-wing loon" and "executive branch (Democratic) loon" are not interchangeable labels. Same goes for "right-wing loon" and "Republican." Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), and former USTR Ron Kirk, friend of Pres. Obama, have direct connections to the Nickles Group and former Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK). Dodd heads the MPAA, which is a client of the Nickles Group; MPAA also directly supports the Copyright Alliance financially. Ron Kirk and Nickles served together as co-chairs for COMPETE, an electrical utilities consortium/trade association. Sandra Aistars, current exec director of the Copyright Alliance, worked with Kirk on ACTA before going to the Alliance.
I think I mentioned something about needing a scorecard.
If you want to select your political representation via some rational process, or decide where to put your time and money to get stuff done, then factions make a difference. That said, I think we can agree that ordering the world based on liberal/conservative or Democrat/Republican is a sure sign of brain damage. But that still leaves the question of how to go about protecting or advancing one's interests. Maybe predicting who'll be an ally or opponent would best be done by examining emotional dysfunctions and cognitive deficiencies. I'm partial to people with a good dose of paranoia, and insecurity issues that translate to a loathing of those wealthier than they are. A sense of impending and unavoidable doom is also a nice quality I like to see in my representatives.
It's a truly a nonsensical dichotomy. it would make just as much sense trying to sort out middle east politics using only two players. I remember trying to come up with a scorecard during the days of Yassir Arafat to keep from confusing the various factions. Never did come close to getting a handle on things.
It's all comes down to money, after all. Maybe by employing some sophisticated higher math on the flow of money in D.C., one could come up with something like a tide chart for a very complicated tidal basin. Then maybe you can figure out who's doing what.
Regarding copyright, however, look no further than the right-wing loons who operate the Copyright Alliance. Don Nickles of the Nickles Group was tea party before there was one.
Crap, we'll rein in patent trolls just when they're on the verge of doing great things for humanity; Bill Gates and Nathan Myrvold teaming up on nuclear power, guarantees we'll all be on renewables once Intellectual Ventures locks up nukes with patent suits.
Saying the Copyright Alliance was created by anti-union lobbyists and leaving it at that is being way too kind. I'm morally compelled to add that we're talking about the Nickles Group LLC folks, Intellectual Ventures' #1 lobbying firm. In addition to lobbying for IV, Comcast, and AT&T, they also lend a hand to EXXON and Anadarko Petroleum (fracking) Walmart (anti-labor) and the COMPETE Coalition (ENRON-esque utility market manipulation.) Fun fact: it seems that former USTR Ron Kirk and Sen. Nickles are both co-chairs of COMPETE. It's a small world, after all, . .
Seeing as how the APA is tight with the Copyright Alliance, an MPAA front, stating that the APA photographers are worse than MPAA + RIAA may be a distinction without a difference. The MPAA, through its Copyright Alliance proxy, had at least some influence in molding the APA into the rabid maximalists they've become.
The list of plaintiffs in the Google suit contains a few other Alliance members and sympathizers as well. The Graphic Artists Guild has been heavily influenced, if not completely captured by the Alliance; another of the plaintiffs, John Schmelzer, was the Guild president who initially made friends with the Alliance. It seems to me there are a number of fingerprints on the Google suit that belong to the MPAA.
I think civility has been in decline for 10,000 years. Once, you and all the people that agree with you would face off with clubs and spears against the people who're being jerks. Then money came into the picture, and you could buy an army of friends. Then came lawyers. Now we have paid armies of lawyers. I'm beginning to think clubs were the highest, most civilized form of dispute resolution; after all, where'd the patent trolls be if it was just them vs. all the people there f'ng with?
For additional entertainment, "This American Life" did a piece on patent trolls (with honorable mention of IV) in 2011; might be a link around here someplace; but if not, surf their site for "Show 441: When Patents Attack!"
I started wondering about Intellectual Ventures when I was digging into the Copyright Alliance; front group run by the lobbying firm, Nickles Group, LLC. Turns out IV is Nickle's #1 client 5 years running. And Nickles is IV's #1 lobbying firm. The primary lobbyist for IV is same person who lobbies for the Alliance, Cindi Tripodi. (Listed as Alliance staff until recently) Not a day goes by where some tentacle of Nickles doesn't show up in the news. And oh yeah, Sen. Don Nickles was the guy who introduced DOMA in the Senate. Like I said, . .