House Trying To Rush Through Its Version Of PROTECT IP; Tech Industry Asks Why?
from the slow-down dept
For a few months now we’ve been hearing that the version of the PROTECT IP Act from the House of Representatives was going to be released “in a couple weeks.” And yet, every time it got delayed — often because new and unexpected opposition suddenly showed up. The supporters of PROTECT IP, such as the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce, had always figured that this was going to be the an extremely easy bill to pass, but the very vocal opposition caught them a bit by surprise. During this time, we kept hearing from various House members working on the bill, that they would be listening to all of the concerns. During a visit to Silicon Valley last month, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who is helping to push PROTECT IP through the House, insisted that he’d heard the concerns from some in the tech community and that the bill would be noticeably different than the Senate version.
However, a variety of groups representing the tech industry — including CCIA, NetCoalition and CEA — pointed out a few weeks ago that they had not been consulted at all. This was problematic, since it was the entertainment industry driving PROTECT IP almost entirely, with almost no recognition of the serious problems it would cause for innovation and job growth. Just last Friday, members of the House working on PROTECT IP finally agreed to meet with these groups representing the tech industry, to hear their concerns. But rather than listening to those concerns and working together to fix the myriad problems with the bill, the latest report is that these Reps are about to release the bill they had been working on anyway, which retains basically all of the problems of the Senate bill… and that they’re then planning an accelerated push to get it approved.
This is pretty disturbing. It suggests that even after they’ve been shown how this bill is a jobs-destroying, innovation-hindering, internet-breaking bill, they’re going to rush it through anyway, without even listening to ideas on how to fix the bill. What a legacy these representatives must want.
As noted below, CCIA, NetCoalition and CEA have all asked members of the House of Representatives to slow down and let them actually be a part of the process. Let the tech industry be heard, and make sure that the problems with PROTECT IP aren’t put into law, where those who support it will end up regretting it. Hopefully some folks in the House are willing to listen.