Sad Statement: Senators Behind Two Largest Tech Communities In The US Support PIPA Against Those Communities

from the anyone-else-want-to-step-up? dept

Charlie O’Donnell has an excellent post noting just how ridiculous it is that New York’s two Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both support PIPA. He notes that NY has become an up-and-coming tech hub these days. Indeed, over the last decade, NYC has emerged as the widely agreed upon “second” hub of tech startups after SF/Silicon Valley. However, having both of NY’s Senators support PIPA, despite near universal condemnation from the tech sector is an embarrassment:

It?s an embarrassment, frankly, to our tech community. If you support this bill, you are not supportive of us. All of our local politicians–our Senators, Mayor Bloomberg… and other policymakers need to be fighting this.

Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand need to switch their positions immediately on these bills, which should really aptly be named the ?Stop Innovation on the Internet? bill. If NYC is going to fulfill its potential as an innovation hub, we can’t have our senators supporting SOPA. They?re on the wrong side of history here, and they don?t understand enough about the internet and how it came to be to see why.

Of course, it’s even worse than that for tech hubs. Here in Silicon Valley… we also have both of our Senators supporting the bill. Senators Feinstein and Boxer are both supporters, with Feinstein being so incredibly out of touch, she doesn’t even realize that there are complaints about the bill.

This is a really sad statement on both politics and the nature of innovation in America today. For all the talk politicians say about how they’re in favor of creating jobs, and despite multiple studies showing that startups are the ones who actually create the jobs… when it comes time to figure out actual policy positions to take, these Senators “follow the money” and support Hollywood’s position, because Hollywood funds their campaigns. While perhaps you can make the claim that Feinstein and Boxer represent both Silicon Valley and Hollywood — the fact that all four of these Senators support an anti-innovation, anti-tech, anti-jobs bill like PIPA is a huge travesty.

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Comments on “Sad Statement: Senators Behind Two Largest Tech Communities In The US Support PIPA Against Those Communities”

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Dave (profile) says:

The Problem is...

The problem is that most of the people supporting SOPA and PIPA do not really even use the Internet as most people do, so they choose to remain out of touch. They have no idea of how many people get their news sources from the Internet rather than from major news Networks and Publications. They will be in for a nasty surprise.

Pixelation says:


I got a response from Feinstein. She apparently now realizes there are complaints behind the bill. She apparently still believes shutting down a site for copyright infringement does not equal limiting free speech however.
“I understand you have concerns about the “PROTECT IP Act.” While I voted in favor of this bill when it was before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have also been working with California high-technology businesses to improve the bill and to address the concerns of high-tech businesses, public interest groups and others. I recognize the bill needs further changes to prevent it from imposing undue burdens on legitimate businesses and activities, and I will be working to make the improvements, either by working with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) or through amendments on the Senate floor.

“The bill does not violate First Amendment rights to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech. “


abc gum says:

Re: Hmmm...

“”The bill does not violate First Amendment rights to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech. “”

What an obfuscation.

Obviously, people will violate the 1st amendment rights of others under the protection afforded them with this unneeded legislation. How dense can one be – or is this feigned ignorance?

ECA (profile) says:

I will give you a sad statement

with a family and keeping up with there children, grand children.. Will have at least 1 tech savy person in the family..
JUST talking to your OWN family can give you a better understanding of what is happening around you.

what are these idiots doing? GETTING PAID-OFF.

There is no way they could not know, understand, what is happening unless they were putting a blind EAR to the world and their own families.
I will estimate that at least 20-30% of Net users, have used some form of movie watching that is not Legal, or traded abit of music online. I will bet, that the tech savy Kid in the family has given some of the music and videos around to to their family(streaming video is easy) and friends.
OUT OF TOUCH is strong word..when said about the PEOPLE, but even worse in the family.

Anonymous Coward says:

Come On Voters

Vote the bums out. It is unfortunate that you Americans have managed to get yourself legislators who are corrupt and stupid. Well, 2012 is an election year. Get yourselves organized. Get a real grassroots organization going. Bite all those companies which have come out against SOPA/PIPA for money. There should be absolutely vicious attack ads appearing on US TV real soon. Keep up the attacks until election day. You need to outspend the bad guys. Get on with it.

Zos (profile) says:

Re: Come On Voters

great idea in theory, but every potential player’s bought, or hoping to one day be bought. There’s not a lot of ways out short of ron paul leading a revolution.
Outspending them isn’t an option, now that money is speech, and corps are people.

outliving them may be, going by the drug war numbers in another decade or two all these dinosaurs should have died off. But i can’t help thinking that there’s always another batch incubating at some ivy league prep school.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Come On Voters

Do not be so defeatist. The tech industry is far larger than Hollywood. The tech industry hates politics but they hate interference in their business by politics even more. Give them an organization which they can trust to spend the money properly and the donations will flow. Hollywood can be outspent, because they are a small industry. Hollywood is already running at just about the limit of their ability to spend. Meanwhile, the tech industry is about to get itself even more gravely damaged by bad laws passed by corrupt legislators, plus the tech industry has far more money. You have to REALLY FRIGHTEN the pollies. Getting ALL of the current supporters of PIPA/SOPA defeated in the election should be the minimum you are aiming for. Ideally, you want a whole new bunch of legislators who are smart, honest and determined. It is called “fire in the belly”. Plus they should regard Hollywood as the corrupt a**holes that they really are. Get angry. Do not give up.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Come On Voters

“Getting ALL of the current supporters of PIPA/SOPA defeated in the election should be the minimum you are aiming for.”

Between hacker news, reddit, google+ and facebook getting them defeated is actually workable. Throw on top of that an app that blacklists products from corporations supporting the bill and we could make a difference.

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Come On Voters

There will be nothing on our TV guy and neither will there be stories in any major newspapers.
We will all have to rise and create total mayhem.We will need millions to hack and crack and blow their websites down.
And we need to get out to the public all the dirt you can possibly release.
They have opened up Pandora’s Box.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Come On Voters

Why do people come onto the site to disparage others?

Yes, it’s a result of the horribly atrocious voting system we have in place. We know. We have a minority rule in American politics that prevents the best candidate of any party from stepping forward.

We have politicians that can be bought, that take money from Rupert Murdoch as well as the likes of Jack Abramoff in order to make 22,000% investment returns on their businesses through regulatory capture of the market.

But what people constantly miss while they admonish the US is the grassroots of the Occupy movement, showing that frustration of a system that is more interested in keeping itself going instead of making society better.

Believe me, there will be a lot of truths coming out in the next few months. No revolution came overnight.

Anonymous Coward says:


I don’t think you CAN “vote the bums out” sadly.
Basically Obama, the democrats AND the republicans have all been bought off by big business.

Pretty much now the only thing that will change the current system is if the general population rise up and forceably overthrow the system.

No, before someone comments I’m not saying WHAT should replace it, only that the current system is no longer a democracy by any stretch of the imagination.

The president has unlimited power and can target anyone he likes for assassination – and indeed there have already been several murders inside and outside the US due to this overreaching power.

If the current government system (even if it changes to republican) continues then due to the new powers the government has (and it’s seeming glee at using them) then things will never improve except for a tiny minority of greedy rich people who have so much at the expense of everyone else that if they gave away 90%, it wouldn’t even make a dent in their lifestyles.

abc gum says:

Re: hehe

Could it be that is has always been this way, but was hidden from the commoner view via influence pedaling in the media? … And now that the internet has them in a spot light, they are becoming aware of their uncloaking?
Just sayin – there is nothing nothing new here, it was not better in the olden days blah blah – it has always needed fixin.

theDude says:

money money money

It has nothing to do with what is in whos distict. If you want these people to support your cause, you simply pay them to do so. Im not sure why anyone would expect anything different. If this is really bad for the tech sector, then CISCO/GOOLE/ETC need to spend some money. Legislation is like everything else, you get what you pay for.

Jay Fude (profile) says:

SOPA Renamed

Screw Off Public America? Screw Over People Always? Can we just fire all of congress, wipe the slate clean? Can we have an government by the people and for the people? Can we have laws that the average Joe can understand? Look at our Constitution, plain English, short, understandable. Any law that is longer than the Constitution, we should burn, and make them try again.

tracker1 (profile) says:

Google should pledge funding to their competition..

Google & Facebook should each pledge $500K for senators and $100K to the opposition of any senator/congressman supporting either of these bills. That might do something to change their tunes. Do so publicly, before voting on them. They change their positions or get tossed… If both of them did this, that would mean a full million in your oppositions banks for the next election (senators). That’s a lot of money. Google/Facebook could go farther, and present campaign opposition popovers to people regarding their local districts in the election season.

CN says:

SGTYM - Stop Giving Them Your Money

The big players are actually contributing to their own demise. More and more people who get annoyed by the restrictions on the product they paid for have turned to illegitimate sources for the product, we all know that.

What about when people start thinking about how they get this crap pushed through by paying off congress-critters and so forth?

How can we stop them from buying politicians?

Cut off their funding. Stop buying their product. It doesn’t matter if you get it elsewhere, or take the moral high road and simply don’t get it anywhere. That is each individual’s choice. The important thing, which is what I am encouraging here, is “do not give them your money to use against you”.

Once they can’t afford to pay off politicians, things will get easier and they will fade into oblivion.

Meanwhile the artists will do just fine without giant corporate overlords, as they did for centuries. I suspect they will thrive.

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