SOPA Becoming An Election Issue: Challengers Highlighting Reps Who Want To Censor The Internet

from the mucking-with-the-internet-can-backfire dept

One of the reasons that our elected officials in Congress often have no problem pushing through the worst of the worst in copyright policies is that most people don't think or don't realize how much copyright impacts them every day. Copyright sounds boring. From a policy perspective, that's great for politicians who can pass awful legislation that favors large campaign contributors and hurts their constituents, and it never becomes an issue. But once that copyright policy starts mucking with the internet... perhaps it's a different story. Supporters of SOPA keep trying to push the myth that the bill is just about copyright and "rogue sites" and "bad actors." But anyone who's actually read the bill and understands it knows that it's really about massive new internet regulations. And one thing people do get up in arms about... is when the government tries to muck with the internet.

Who knows if it will actually become a big enough campaign issue, but it's already showing up in some places. Karen Kwiatkowski is running for Congress in Virginia's 6th District... a position currently held by Rep. Bob Goodlatte. And while Goodlatte was one of the more moderate voices in the recent SOPA hearings (admitting that the bill needs some changes to reflect the tech industry's interests), he's still a sponsor of the bill, and was very active in the crafting of the bill (though, it sounds like he may have been overruled on some of the points he wanted). Goodlatte might also be hearing complaints about the bill from his own family. As he likes to remind folks in the tech industry, his son works at Facebook... and Facebook has come out strongly against SOPA.

Either way, Kwiatkowski is using SOPA as a key issue against Goodlatte in her campaign against him... and it's already catching the attention of others. Ron Paul's active supporters have really taken to the fight against SOPA, since Rep. Paul came out against the bill, and they're urging the wider community to support Kwiatkowski against Goodlatte for next year's election. It would take a lot to beat a long term incumbent like Goodlatte, but it's still impressive to finally see bad copyright policy (and really a bad internet, innovation and jobs policy) becoming an election issue.

Perhaps it'll make politicians think a little harder next time before introducing legislation to prop up Hollywood.

Filed Under: bob goodlatte, censorship, copyright, elections, karen kwiatkowski, politics, protect ip, ron paul, sopa

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  1. icon
    Jay (profile), 18 Nov 2011 @ 9:47am

    Re: WELL, opponents of SOPA push the myth that "piracy" is GOOD!

    I see all your points, guys, but when it gets down to WHO has the moral right to profit from the works, then I'm forced to go with the actual producers of it, not secondary grifters.

    What absolutely astounds me is how incredibly pedantic this is. "Since I believe everyone must profit from their works, no one has a right to use works without permission".

    So all of the rich innovations that the world has are lost on you.

    Beethoven died a couple centuries ago, but by your logic, his music should not be played in concerts because no one has a "moral right" to profit from his work.

    We have Mr. Brainwash who makes art in NY saying "anyone has the ability to create". His canvas? Sidewalls and abandoned buildings that he records for posterity.

    And by your logic, no movie would have a remixed version to be shown because the copyright holders (who aren't even the directors, producers, or people on set most of the time) are the ones saying "no, you can't do this". You can't tell the distinction from the person that IS creating and the one holding the copyright. That's the problem

    And I also don't see horrible problems with First Amendment in SOPA---

    Try harder.

    ---because shutting down free speech is already the general trend.

    And there's the moral dissonance.

    Why aren't you similarly protesting the Patriot Act?

    People are, just can't do anything with it at the current time. People are also protesting FISA and the government's abuse of those laws to seek out information. SOPA is just the industry's most blatant push ever.

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