Rep. Blackburn, Co-Sponsor Of E-PARASITE, Explains Why Regulating The Internet Is Terrible
from the do-they-even-know-what-they're-doing? dept
This one is really quite incredible. Among the sponsors of the absolutely dreadful E-PARASITE Act, which imposes massive regulations across the entire internet sector, is Rep. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee. What’s odd is that Rep. Blackburn, just a few months ago, went onto YouTube to emphatically explain why regulating the internet was a terrible idea:
You’re probably watching me on a high speed internet — the same internet that has given us our competitive advantage. You know it took years for innovators and investors to create the online experience that you enjoy today. It really is the highway for all the goods and services and jobs that we need for the creative economy. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. They’re right there at your fingertips because of the internet that we enjoy. But some people fear that without government intervention, that entrepreneurs and innovators are going to hijack the internet that you enjoy… the World Wide Web! This has never happened and there has never been a time that a consumer has needed a federal bureaucrat to intervene. But yet this policy, called Net Neutrality is the Obama administrations hysterical reaction to a hypothetical problem. Here’s what they want to do: Take the private internet and put it all under government control. Think about it: what’s going to happen to the next Facebook innovator, if they have to go apply with the government to get approval to develop a new application. And what would happen to your small business, if you had to depend on internet speeds that Uncle Sam says is going to be okay…. We want to keep [the internet] open free and prosperous.
First of all (and I say this as someone who agrees that the administration stretched its mandate with its net neutrality move), what she describes as net neutrality is not what net neutrality is. That said, what her comments apply much more to is the bill that Blackburn herself co-sponsored, which definitively regulates the internet — including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — by putting a massive burden on them to proactively monitor the internet, to stop infringement.
Amusingly, this very video is on YouTube, via Rep. Blackburn’s official account. If this bill that Blackburn is co-sponsoring was in place as law just a few years ago, it’s extremely unlikely we would have YouTube still in existence today. That’s because a company — let’s just say “Viacom” — could decide that YouTube was “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property” (under this law — which includes enabling or facilitating infringement) and could then issue a notice to all payment processors and ad providers, barring YouTube from ever being able to make money. That would have killed YouTube dead. A few years ago. And Blackburn would be stuck.
Instead, Viacom has tried suing, under existing copyright law… and to date the US courts have found that YouTube obeyed the law. And because of that, people like Rep. Blackburn can reach out to her constituents and explain why regulating the internet is bad. But what we can’t figure out is, why is she co-sponsoring a bill that actually does massively regulate that same internet?