Republican Study Committee Dumps Derek Khanna, Author Of Copyright Reform Brief, After Members Complain
from the not-how-to-attract-the-next-generation dept
We’d heard this last week, but it’s now been confirmed that, due to significant lobbying pressure by the entertainment industry and (even more so) the US Chamber of Commerce, Derek Khanna, the Republican Study Committee staffer who penned the first thoughtful policy brief on copyright reform to come out of US government offices in a long time, has been let go from his job. There was expected to be some staff turnover in January, as the new RSC leadership took place, but several Republican members of Congress explicitly asked incoming RSC boss Steve Scalise not to retain Khanna in response to the copyright brief.
If this is how the “new” GOP expects to interest young people, it seems to be going about it exactly backwards. Khanna wrote a thought-provoking paper that expressed views that many people believe to be true — in a voice that is rarely heard in Congress. And, for that, he got fired. While the RSC and various copyright maximalists have been insisting that the paper was not properly vetted, we’ve had it confirmed that this is simply not true. The paper went through the standard procedure of any RSC brief, and was properly reviewed and vetted. It’s just that once lobbyists hit the phones to various members of Congress (friends of Hollywood, mainly), pressure was put on the RSC to retract the document, and to jettison Khanna.
This is not going to interest very many young people, when a thoughtful critique of policy that finally raises issues that concern many leads to the staffer in question getting the axe. Khanna, for his part, has been valiantly continuing the conversation via his Twitter feed, but various lobbyists are now ensuring that elected officials can safely stick their fingers back in their ears.