There's been lots of talk about members of Congress being proud
of how ignorant they are of technology and the online community -- and then seeking to regulate that which they do not understand. One exception has been Jared Polis, who was an internet entrepreneur before he was a Congressional Rep. And it turns out he's a video gamer as well. Via the Legal Lady
, we discover that Rep. Polis jumped into the middle of an online forum discussion about SOPA/PIPA
when he noticed it on a forum involving a game he plays
, League of Legends. This wasn't even a case of him starting the discussion, but seeing an ongoing discussion about the bill already, and just jumping in (you have to scroll down to see it):
Hi, this is Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado. As a member of the League of Legends community (partial to Anivia and Maokai), and as someone who made his living as an Internet entrepreneur before being elected to Congress, I'm greatly concerned about the future of the Internet and gaming if Congress doesn't wake up. You may have heard that Congress is currently considering a bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. While SOPA has a ton of problems, there are some significant issues that I thought fellow gamers might want to know about.
I'm particularly concerned that SOPA might stifle the kind of innovation that brings us games we love, such as LoL. The bill makes it far too easy for angry competitors to sue good law abiding companies out of existence. It threatens any company or website that depends on user-generated content, even companies like Riot. Instead of coming up with great ways to keep making games like LoL even better, companies will have to spend their money hiring lawyers. That's why companies like Riot, who want to protect the games they create, are opposed to SOPA.
I've been working on alternative legislation that would protect the games companies create while also fostering innovation. But we also need you to call your members of Congress and let them know of your opposition to SOPA. This bill has a very real chance of passing, and it is up to all of who want to protect the Internet to take action. More information is available at http://keepthewebopen.com/. Please make your voices heard in this debate! I will be happy to respond to your posts below, and will check back every few hours today and respond to as many as I can.
After hearing about so many elected officials who are totally ignorant about online communities... it's kinda refreshing to see one who is much more net native...