Challenger To Senator Orrin Hatch, Pete Ashdown, Also Against SOPA

from the make-it-a-campaign-issue dept

In the comments of our recent post about another candidate for the House using SOPA as a campaign issue, one commenter pointed out that there’s a Senate challenger likely to make SOPA an issue as well. Pete Ashdown, who studied computer science and founded and ran an ISP in Utah for many years, is running against long-term incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch. Ashdown, as you may recall, actually ran against Hatch six years ago as well, and was really good on tech related policies. His position statement on copyright is a good read, focusing on how both copyright extension and the DMCA cause undue burden on the public:

Congressional extensions on copyright have been repeatedly pushed by interested businesses to the point where the public interest is damaged. Copyright should protect artists and creators when they take action to request it. Instead, it is abused to the point that innovation is held back and very little falls into the public domain.

The public has an interest in seeing works move into the public domain after a reasonable period has passed for commercial gain. Abandoned and orphaned works should default into the public domain instead of being locked up indefinitely.

Legislation like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) strips the consumer of their rights to own and modify their purchased property. DMCA abuse has been leveraged against everything from real-estate listings to restricting competitors. If the DMCA had been present before this millennium, it is possible that Compaq would have never been able to reverse-engineer the IBM PC BIOS and jumpstart the personal computing revolution.

While I don’t know how recently it has been updated, it doesn’t mention things like PIPA or SOPA. However, Ashdown has tweeted about the bills and it appears he’s not a fan. Given that he actually used Hatch’s ridiculous INDUCE Act (another bill that attempted to broadly expand copyright law) as a campaign issue in 2006, you have to imagine he’ll use PIPA again this time around. While he lost last time around, in 2006, very few people were paying attention to these issues. This time around, as SOPA and PIPA are getting more attention, perhaps he’ll get more attention.

That said, as the same commenter noted, getting a Democrat elected in Utah is close to impossible. Still, Ashdown was able to get over 30% of the vote on a shoestring budget, while many of these issues weren’t making news. At a time when these issues are making headlines, and outrage towards incumbents for being in the pockets of a few big businesses is at an all time high, could he actually mount a serious challenge?

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Comments on “Challenger To Senator Orrin Hatch, Pete Ashdown, Also Against SOPA”

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21 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

He said some more about SOPA today

http://peteashdown.org/journal/2012/01/06/ndaa-sopa-and-upcoming-volunteer-meetin/


The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) represents another case of congressional ignorance of technology. In spite of opposition from major technology companies such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter, congress continued to carry water for media companies demanding that they should have the ability to shut down any website without proper trial of criminality. Hearings were stacked with proponents in an attempt to squash opposition. To his credit, Utah?s 3rd Congressional District representative, Jason Chaffetz saw through these tactics and opposed the bill. Unfortunately, it has merely been ?suspended? for further wrangling in 2012. SOPA was an attempt to limit the openness and freedom of the Internet and I heartily oppose it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: He said some more about SOPA today

In spite of opposition from major technology companies such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter, congress continued to carry water for media companies demanding that they should have the ability to shut down any website without proper trial of criminality.

Is he kidding? “media companies demanding that they should have the ability to shut down any website without proper trial of criminality”?

The whole point of SOPA and Protect IP is that foreign criminals are outside the reach of US law enforcement because they don’t want to be held accountable. This is a serious dope here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

The whole point of SOPA and Protect IP is that foreign criminals are outside the reach of US law enforcement because they don’t want to be held accountable.

Or because they may be … (wait for it)… foreigners. Nah, you’re right. They probably were born overseas on purpose to avoid US prosecution.

In all seriousness, how accommodating are PIPA/SOPA to those that are willing to be accountable? Let’s see. Someone claiming to be a rights holder calls up service providers who then ‘voluntarily’ shut off service to avoid liability themselves. No recourse, no trial, no appeal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: He said some more about SOPA today

They probably were born overseas on purpose to avoid US prosecution. Or, such as the case of TVShack, they change from a dot com to dot bz for the purpose of evading US law enforcement.

Someone claiming to be a rights holder calls up service providers who then ‘voluntarily’ shut off service to avoid liability themselves. No recourse, no trial, no appeal.

There are voluntary mechanisms in place right now that allow for that. Try reading the terms of service for any payment provider.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 He said some more about SOPA today

There are voluntary mechanisms in place right now that allow for that. Try reading the terms of service for any payment provider.

Totally different, as you well know (but are paid well to ignore). Just because terms of service allow them to shut you off, it’s entirely different than the government saying “you get full immunity from liability for shutting someone off.”

Look we have the DMCA. We know what happens when you say “you get full immunity for taking something down.” It’s seen as a requirement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 He said some more about SOPA today

The thing that doesn’t exist yet is immunity from anything if you do it and you get sued and are wrong you pay for it, SOPA takes that away and make it compelling to just shutdown everybody without risk or penalties how quaint.

Marvelous!

And since we have the DMCA to see how it will work, we can assume that it won’t be used to stop piracy but to stop other business.

SOPA is not an anti-piracy bill is an anti-competition bill.

Anonymous Coward says:

“That said, as the same commenter noted, getting a Democrat elected in Utah is close to impossible”

that’s to bad, im going to vote for him anyways….but this statement is very true, Utah is really red and the D on his name will kill him here.

Its still shocking that a politician from utah stands out, we almost always have the most generic unknown politicians out there….aka, huntsman…he was a very popular Governor and i think he has potential as a president, but the right goes with Romney lmao.

Atkray (profile) says:

We have enough tech here in the Wasatch Front area that if he gets public with this message he might have a chance.

Also there is a strong movement amongst the delegates to the state republican convention to make sure that what happened to Bennett 2 years ago (he didn’t make it past the first round of voting and just stood there crying) is repeated.

Hatch has been backpedaling on a lot of issues to try to keep his job but most people aren’t buying it.

ken (profile) says:

Senator Hatch is Vulnerable at Utah GOP Convention

I plan on being a delegate to the Utah Republican Party convention that will decide who are candidates are for the Republican ticket. I will be talking directly with Senator Hatch and let him know that supporting PIPA will severely complicate his nomination. Last Convention we ousted Senator Bennett who was a long standing Senator who many believed had completely lost touch with his constituents. Senator Hatch has to be worried that the same thing could happen to him. Supporting PIPA will make that more likely.

Ben says:

Down with hatch

He supported this nasty legislation. Of course now, after the fact, he changes his statement. After I’m sure hundreds of nasty emails/letters and threats to no longer vote for him. Now he is trying to say that he is against Obama Care and fighting to defund it. But guess what, he was voting for it…

http://www.opencongress.org/people/voting_history/300052_Orrin_Hatch/20

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