Rep. Lofgren Looks To Reddit To Help Crowdsource Anti-SOPA

from the not-sure-that-will-work dept

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who has been one of the few leaders in Congress when it comes to pushing for real copyright reform and pushing back against the bad proposals of Hollywood, is apparently looking to use Reddit to crowdsource a new bill concerning internet freedom. Earlier this year, we noted that Lofgren had introduced two good bills — one on ECPA reform (pushing for more privacy for your communications) and one called the Global Internet Freedom Act to create a task force designed to ensure internet freedom. It will be interesting to see how well this works.

Of course, post-SOPA, some on Reddit sought to crowdsource a bill on internet freedom themselves, and the process went a bit off the rails. I don’t know that crowdsourcing is the best way to create a bill. I could see how it would be very handy in critiquing and improving an existing bill — or maybe just generating ideas for a bill — but if it’s just starting from scratch, quality control could be an issue. Either way, this seems like an interesting experiment that will be worth watching.

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Comments on “Rep. Lofgren Looks To Reddit To Help Crowdsource Anti-SOPA”

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Designerfx (profile) says:

reddit is the wrong place

The better place to do it would be a public google docs document, so that trolling/bad things can be reverted and as it allows hundreds if not thousands of edits to happen simultaneously.

reddit is just not a good place for that, and neither was that site used for crowdsourcing some other internet bill by Wyden.

PT (profile) says:

On the other hand...

While on the face of it this sounds like a good thing, why is the solution always more laws? A law for “internet freedom” will end up as a reservation, with everything not specifically included being excluded by default. We need the opposite, repeal of the laws that threaten internet freedom. We could start with the DMCA.

Maybe if people would stop calling the fuckers “lawmakers” and start calling them “representatives”, they might get their priorities right.

bob (profile) says:


Crowdsource? The 435 members of the House can barely agree on anything. What makes anyone think that the Internet will be able to converge on something?

The only way they’ll be able to converge on it is by limiting access to just a few like-minded friends. That’s how the Wikipedia debated whether to take the Google money for their SOPA protest.

In practice, I think it will be filled with lots of looney ideas like the copyright holders should give out free massages to the people who pirate their work. Why? Some sort of reparations for all of the terrible wrongs that copyright brings to the world.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Luckily someone has already done the work for him!

We don’t need DMCA exemptions; we need to repeal the DMCA. Specifically, we need to do away completely with two things:

1) The “Safe Harbor” provision–an Orwellian abuse of the language if there ever was one–needs to die, and in its place we should put Internet services under Common Carrier doctrine. (This would fix our problems with bogus takedowns and Net Neutrality as well. Two birds with one stone!)

2) The legitimization of DRM and the legal protection for it need to go. In any other context, what DRM does to your computer–forcibly overriding your control of your property–would be considered hacking, so let’s call a spade a spade and make the use of DRM technology illegal. We need to enshrine in law the principle that piracy is the content owner’s problem; it is not the user’s problem and the content owner has zero right to make it any user’s problem unless and until they can prove in court that that user is part of the problem.

Fix those two issues, and well over 90% of the copyright abuse we see running rampant today would go away.

Anonymous Coward says:

Iceland crowdsourced their new constitution and it’s working fine so far. That’s because crowdsourcing is what representative democracy should be: the people say what they want, and the representatives put it into legal jargon. This is the ultimate form of representative democracy and should be encouraged. Reddit specifically? Maybe not, but it’s a good place to start. The most important aspect is that Lofgren is acting as the filter to get rid of bogus ideas. Again, that’s how representative democracy should be working. I’d be fine with this process using 4chan to crowdsource a bill, because once you slap on the bullshit filter (again, Lofgren and his peers), you can come up with some pretty great stuff.

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