New Congress On Tech Issues: More Of The Same

from the just-what-we-needed dept

We’ve talked in the past about how most of the technology policy issues we discuss around here are non-partisan issues, which basically means both Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to screw them up completely. Right after the election we discussed what the Democrats coming to power might mean for copyright reform, and it completely depended on who got to chair the IP subcommittee, Rep. Howard Berman or Rep. Rick Boucher. If Berman took the job (and it was his choice), then it would be more of the same. Berman, who at times has been called the Representative from Disney or “Hollywood Howard,” represents a part of Los Angeles, and the entertainment industry is a huge backer of his political efforts. So, it comes as no surprise that he has a long history of “representing” his constituents, from pushing laws that would let Hollywood hack into your computer to giving the entertainment industry permission to pretend they’re the FBI to making file sharing a criminal offense with jail as punishment, rather than a civil one with fines as punishment. So, now that it appears that Berman will take the job, Larry Lessig has pointed out how ridiculous it is that the Democrats are letting him run such a committee, noting that it’s the same thing as putting a representative from Detroit in charge of automobile safety. As he says, it’s a signal that we’re getting “more of the same,” by which he highlights that again, this isn’t about partisans, but about politics — and how little it seems that common sense can get into the political process. So, for all the talk about how the 2006 meant changes, for tech policy issues it’s all the same story — with both Democrats and Republicans focusing on equally bad ideas.

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Comments on “New Congress On Tech Issues: More Of The Same”

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Jim says:

Another situation of Hollywood taking over government. If the politicians just look at the other side (the side if the consumer) , then Berman would not be running it. This may be one of those cases where we need to tell our reps. that he is the wrong person to be running it because he is one-sided. I know, DUH!!! What I am trying to say is this is the perfect opportunity to say our peace and to fight what we believe in. It is now or never!

Jamie says:

Not really a surprise

With Dems in charge, I see basically the same tech policies as Reps. On the big tech issues, both parties have always been on the same side. they often argue about semantics and wording in order to seem different, but both end up pushing laws and policies that achieve the same result.
The only real difference between the parties is where they want to waste your money. Both parties are for big government and lots of government programs. The Reps waste money on big inefficient military institutions, the Dems waste money on big inefficient social institutions. Both parties accomplish next to nothing, and both add pork for personal projects to every bill they can get their hands on.
The Dems will waste just as much money as the Reps did, and accomplish just as little.
I wish we had a true third choice, but that just isn’t the way this nation is run.

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