from the which-lies dept
We recognize that we are currently part of a complex and important debate about the future, not just of the Internet but also of creativity, the American economy, free expression, and a civil society. We believe that the light should be being shined on every aspect of this discussion and on all of those who have a stake in it. We believe we should discuss what an unregulated ‘free’ Internet means for the future of content, just as we should also discuss the importance of an open Internet.First of all, the internet is not "unregulated" -- no matter how many times they insist it is. Second, given what we saw with Megaupload, it's pretty ridiculous to think that the US cannot (and does not) currently have the tools to go after foreign sites (in fact, there is some evidence that it has too many tools with too much power). But, really, what strikes me as ridiculous about this statement is that it attacks everyone whose opinion they totally ignored for over a year -- and then pretends that it wants to set a conciliatory tone? If you want "a new tone" to take place, let's start with you guys not calling people who raised legitimate concerns liars.
We welcome this debate. We hope a new tone can be set and it is not one that turns our advocacy for this legislation into an implication that we promote censorship. Our commitment to the First Amendment is decades old and long established – it is a matter of public record from long before the word ‘Internet’ was part of anyone’s vocabulary. If one truly embraces free expression, they do not take down the Library of Congress websites, the very symbol of our country’s belief in knowledge and learning. We would hope a new tone can be set that does not pit the creativity and innovation of our directors, actors, performers, craftspeople, and technicians against those innovators in other industries. We hope a new tone can be set that does not include website attacks, blacklists, blackouts, and lies. We believe an Internet that does not allow outright stealing has to be the Internet of the future or all the promises it holds will be unrealized.
More importantly, if we're going to talk about "lies," let's start with the claims of "losses" that have widely been debunked, but which were used to put forth this legislation. Let's talk about the lies about the legislation being "narrowly targeted" when pretty much every legal analysis worried about its broad definitions. Let's talk about the lies that the legislation would not censor free speech -- when even the big First Amendment lawyer you presented to support this bill admitted that protected speech would be taken down under these laws.
Don't accuse others of lying when your side has a much bigger, much longer, much more detailed history of lying. Did some of those against the bills misunderstand them and present false information? Yes. But these are people who aren't used to reading legislation and may have missed key points. On the side of you and your lobbyists, you knew exactly what you were doing. I find that a lot more pernicious.