Senator Lindsey Graham Must Be Desperate For Donations; Announces Terrible Bill That Mashes Up Bad 230 Reform With Bad Copyright Reform

from the it's-bad,-get-rid-of-it dept

Senator Lindsey Graham is in a tight re-election campaign that he might just lose. And he's doing what politicians desperate for campaign cash tend to do: releasing a lot of absolutely batshit crazy bills that will pressure big donors to donate to him to either support the bill, or to get him not to move forward on it. It's corrupt as hell, but is standard practice. And the best of these kinds of bills are ones that pit two large industries with lots of lobbyists and cash to throw around against one another. For many years the favorite such bill for this was a bill about performance rights royalties for radio play. This would pit radio broadcasters against the music industry, and the cash would flow. Every two years, as the election was coming, such a bill would be released that was unlikely to go anywhere, but the cash would flow in.

More recently, the goal has been to target the big internet companies. And, boy, Linsdey Graham's campaign must be struggling, because he's decided to take two horrible, awful bills that would harm the internet and mash them together into a single bill that is set for markup by the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. This new bill, entitled the "Online Content Policy Modernization Act" simply combines the terrible and unconstitutional CASE Act (to create a quasi-judicial court in the Copyright Office to review copyright claims) with some of the recently released (and also horrible and unconstitutional) "Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act" which would rewrite Section 230 to remove the ability to moderate "otherwise objectionable" content without liability, and would, instead, insert a limited list of what kinds of content could be moderated without liability.

Both of these are bad ideas, but both of them are specific threats to the open internet -- and the kinds of things that Senator Graham knows he can fundraise on. Both bills are garbage, and Senator Graham likely knows this -- but he's not in the Senate to actually legislate. He's there to stay in power, and there's a real chance he might lose this November. So I guess it's time to break out the really stupid bills.

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Filed Under: case act, cda 230, copyright, dmca, lindsey graham, online content policy modernization act, section 230


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  1. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Sep 2020 @ 12:23am

    Re: you are right techdirt. Graham is losing to a real candidate

    "Harris is African American and understands systemic racism and with the population of SC African Americans growing. I think there is a strong possibility that this anti free speech on Republican loses. Let’s hope"

    Today every republican launched out of office is a boon to the US citizenry. But that poll doesn't say what you appear to think it says - it only states that enough sane people in SC are inclined to vote against Mr. "I solemnly swear not to vote SCOTUS judges in in an election year. Use my words against me" Graham that if everyone went to vote, it'd be tied.

    But SC is a traditionally red state, unless I'm mistaken, so the odds are good it's gerrymandered into favoring republicans to the point of absurdity and on top of that, a significant proportion of the black population is still disenfranchised - primarily over petty malfeasance in their youth.

    SC has often been called the most "liberal" red state in the US. It doesn't bode well when a politician like Graham, who is on record for solemnly swearing, multiple times on open camera, to follow a principle he immediately jettisoned when it was convenient, is only tied for the election rather than to a rail after being tarred and feathered.

    It's pretty obvious that to all too many americans it's still "My party, right or wrong".


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