One Congressional Loss That Hurts: Rick Boucher
from the too-bad dept
I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that it was really sad how difficult it was to find any candidates I actually wanted to win in the election yesterday. In most cases, the more familiar I was with any candidate, the more I felt they didn’t deserve to be elected (and that included both the leading candidates in many elections). There was one exception, however: I hoped that Rick Boucher would win re-election. There is a very, very small number of Congressional Representatives who actually seem to really get technology, telecom and copyright issues, and Boucher
is was one of them. Despite easily winning re-election in many past elections (he didn’t even have any real competitor last time around), it looks like Boucher has been swept out as part of the anti-incumbent sentiment. Trust me, I understand the desire to get rid of incumbent politicians, but Boucher was one of the rare politicians who actually seemed to get the issues that many of us find important.
This is bad news for copyright and for consumers. Not that he was all that successful in passing the laws that mattered on that subject, but he was one of the few who would ask the key questions, and actually try to fix those broken laws — such as his repeated attempts to fix the DMCA and support fair use, as well as more recent attempts to stop the massive boondoggle that is the Universal Service Fund. Boucher was so respected on these issues, that even Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn and ITIF’s Richard Bennett agreed that this was bad news. I’ve known both Richard and Gigi for a while, and I can’t recall them ever agreeing on anything. Gigi wrote up a blog post about what a loss this is for consumers and innovation. Hopefully we’ll find out that one of the newly elected representatives actually understands some of these issues — or perhaps some of the “survivors” will step up and recognize the issues. But Boucher’s loss is bad news.