It's no secret that Vice President Joe Biden is no friend to Silicon Valley. The Veep has long been a big believer in anything Hollywood tells him, leading him to make ridiculously wrong statements about intellectual property and to believe that when discussing such things "all the stakeholders" means only folks from Hollywood
. It's really reached the point that it seems like most in Silicon Valley consider him a lost cause. However, some are suggesting that it's time for Silicon Valley leaders to step up and pay up
to get a word in edgewise with Biden (who's about to swing by Silicon Valley) to convince him he's wrong
on these issues:
Obviously, the more tech people who show up to send the message, the better. And the more unified and simple the message, the better and more effective it will be. This is not a time for nuance. Nor do you "waste" your one shot by repeating what the tech CEO in front of you said and trying to introduce something else. This is a straightforward application of the "Alice's Restaurant Rule of Public Policy." If one person says it, it's an outlier and you ignore it. If two people say it, it's special interest so ignore it. If 50 people say it, it's a bloody national trend.
Which is why tech folks who care about reigning in the power of Hollywood to impose tech mandates need to show up on July 8 to prove to Boxer and Biden they exist and that the Hollywood view of the world that pits noble entertainment companies against evil pirates and terrorists needs some amending. You need to walk up to them, sing a bar of the tech policy version of Alice's Restaurant, and walk out. In this case, the refrain goes like this: "Carly at least has tech experience. You seem Hell bent on destroying the tech industry with over-enforcement and crap like ACTA in the name of stopping piracy. I create jobs, I'm not a pirate, and unless my concerns get respected, I'm voting Republican."
Fifty tech execs walking in, singing a bar of that song, and walking out, will make a difference. Oh, it won't turn things around overnight -- especially with Biden scheduled to make a trip with Boxer down to Los Angeles the next day for another fundraiser where the entertainment industry will trot out the star power. But it will be the first step in getting Biden and others who buy into the Hollywood's pirate story to start asking whether real life is really like that.
Jim Harper, who pointed this story out to me, notes how problematic this seems
by summarizing the logic as "Joe Biden is no friend to tech, so tech should give to Joe Biden," followed by noting the similarities between politics and extortion. This isn't to damn the original post, because it's probably right that this might be the only way to actually speak to Biden, but somehow I doubt that even 50 people saying something like the line above would make even the slightest dent.