US Chamber Of Commerce So Clueless It Thinks You Have To Be 'Anti-IP' To Be Against E-PARASITE Bill

from the not-the-case,-steve-o dept

Steve Tepp is the US Chamber of Commerce's (the world's largest lobbying group) point man on PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE/SOPA. His latest move is to try attacking anyone who points out the problems of E-PARASITE/SOPA. First up? Demand Progress, who dared to call it a "blacklist bill." According to Tepp, it's not a blacklist bill, because the lobbyists who wrote the bill (potentially including Tepp himself) were smart enough not to write "list" in the text of the bill.

Of course the bill doesn't actually say that there's a list. Just as the Chinese Great Firewall doesn't actually involve the government "listing" sites, but merely threatens ISPs with liability if they let bad sites through, E-PARASITE massively broadens the definitions of what's "dedicated to the theft of U.S. property" such that it now includes, more or less, the entire internet, and threatens sites with the equivalent of internet death: blocking from search engines, blocking from DNS (and more!), cutting off any funding sources. No, there's no "blacklist," there's just the threat of cutting off just about any internet site. On top of that, there's an awkwardly worded attempt to force every site to proactively monitor any infringement. Is that why the US Chamber of Commerce doesn't allow comments on its site? Or is it because it knows that no one actually believes the crap it shovels?

But Tepp's intellectual dishonesty is worse than just pretending that without the word "list" there's no actual blacklist. No, the really cheap move is to imply that only the "anti-IP crowd" is against this bill. This is the latest strategy of those who wish to massively regulate the internet so that it looks more like TV -- a broadcast medium, rather than a communications medium. They refer to anyone who points out the massive negative consequences of their legislative nastiness as being "anti-IP." You've seen it in Techdirt's comments for the past few weeks, with certain anonymous commenters throwing hissy fits about how I'm actually "pro-piracy," when I'm anything but. If you don't think this is part of the coordinated marketing campaign by the largest lobbying organization in the world, you're not paying attention.

So, Steve, let's be clear: being against this bill is not about being "anti-IP." It's about being pro-innovation, pro-internet. It's about recognizing the massive benefits of an open internet. It's about recognizing the massive benefits to the American (and world) economy that were created from an open internet that didn't involve misplaced third party liability.

The concerns of those about this bill have nothing to do with intellectual property and whether it's good or bad. It's about the collateral damage that such a vast change to the legal and technical framework that the internet has been based on for years will cause.

To brush those concerns away as being "the anti-IP crowd," is to show ignorance of what's at stake.

What we don't understand, Steve, is why you would seek to shut down the open internet, killing off more jobs than ever existed in the entertainment industry. We thought the US Chamber of Commerce was supposed to support small businesses. Instead, you're seeking to make any internet business nearly impossible, unless they've already hired a dozen lawyers. I guess if your goal is for full employment for trial lawyers, you're making headway. But, seriously, if you can't debate this subject honestly, don't be surprised when the next generation of businesses dumps the US CoC. Pro tip: pissing off every company of the next generation that might support your bloated organization is no way to build for the future. And don't think jobs "in the industry" will be waiting for you. Without the next generation of great startups that you're trying to kill off, the big content companies who pay your salary these days, won't have the new platforms they need to succeed.

Filed Under: anti-ip, attacks, blacklist, e-parasite, sopa, steve tepp
Companies: demand progress, us chamber of commerce


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2011 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If you don't have a license for it, and the material is copyright, you are infringing."

    Patently false. Fair uses exist and the line between fair use and infringing work is so difficult a line to draw it takes a court to actually decide. It's hilarious that you would actually type 'without having to engage the entire legal system to do it' too. It's like you don't even recognize that 'the entire legal system' is synonymous with 'due process' and that due process exists for a reason that should not be superseded by the petty interests of big content.

    "They can control it, but it requires them to get better business models. That is what really hurts for them, their very business models are based on skirting liability and using DMCA as an escape hatch when the pressure builds up. Remove that, and most of these business models explode."

    So in a roundabout way we completely agree that holding innocent third parties liable would destroy "most" of the innovative services available on the internet including sites like YouTube, which deftly fits the narrative you authored above. The only difference is that you see this is a very good thing which really belies you're true motives: you want these competitors out of business even though what they're doing is technically, figuratively, and morally fine and you're going to do it by making it infeasible for them to continue even while their behavior remains technically, figuratively, and morally fine by pushing through new legislation that doesn't target them directly (how could it when they're not legally culpable) and instead hides behind proxies to get the job done. The best part is that now when someone dies before it ever gets off the ground there's no giant headlines that read 'Incumbent Industry Sues Innovative Service Provider into the Dust' every time it happens.

    "if you don't have a reasonable fair use claim"

    You say 'reasonable fair use claim' as if this was an easy thing to discern. You're lying. You know it's not easy. That's why you're acting like it's easy, so the only things that will make it through are the absolutely safe stuff. Meanwhile wide swaths of legal content are shut down by the chilling effects of pretending thus.

    "Yup, it takes longer, and yup, it "breaks the internet", but since the internet has broken everything else, it's about time things went the other way for a while."

    Cars broke everything else so it's about time the buggy whip industry struck back! Your business model has absolutely no right to continue to exist a priori. It must prove itself and if it can't adapt to changing times it deserves to fail, not get a giant bloated piece of government bailout in the form of a destructive and repressive law.

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