From the: CAN-YOU-READ-? Dept.
Along with millions of other people back on January 18th, I wrote letters to my Congressmen, Senators John McCain and Jon Kyle, and ‘Representative’ Paul Gossar. To date, one has responded. Mr McCain (or, more accuratly a computerized form-letter-machine) has written to address my fear of Internet Regulation, censorship, and my growing distaste for a private industry buying politicians with money and favors.
Well, kind of. It doesn’t really address anything from my letter except maybe some of the censorship stuff, but if you actually READ my letter (MCCAIN! I’m talking to YOU buddy!), you’ll see that the argument goes much deeper:
Dear Sen. Jon Kyl and Sen. John McCain: I oppose S. 968 (“Preventing Real On-line Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011”) because… More and more draconian measure like these are not going to stop ‘Piracy.’ This is obviously a business model issue for legacy gatekeepers who do not understand technology, the Internet, or even human beings. This is bad legislation written by shortsighted corporations who refuse to follow the rest of the world into the 20th century. And YES, the RIAA and MPAA have written these bills. The lobbyists and corrupt politicians who take the bribes wrote these bills, not for the betterment of the people of the US, but for their own laziness. These are the same people who said that Cable TV, the VCR and the player piano were going to ‘Destroy the Industry.’ Please, listen to the people of this country and do not regulate the Internet. Please do not censor us the way other countries are censored. Do not make us like China, Iran, or any other regime. We are better than that and deserve the freedom promised us in the US Constitution.
As you can see, there are several concerns listed, one of which is the fear of a Chinese-Style Great Firewall. Here was Mr McCain’s response:
Dear Mr. David:Thank you for contacting me regarding Internet anti-piracy legislation, specifically the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I appreciate hearing your views about these important pieces of legislation.As you know, online piracy is a major issue facing the American economy as more and more digital creations, such as music, movies, software, and books, are sold online. The Internet, which has delivered so many benefits to our economy, has unfortunately also allowed bad actors to more easily steal and sell these stolen works. It is estimated that our economy loses more than $58 billion annually as a result of online piracy. As part of an effort to fight back against these losses, Members of Congress introduced two bills, the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and SOPA in the House of Representatives, respectively.The intent of these two bills is to help the owners of intellectual property and the federal government more effectively utilize legal tools to protect American intellectual property. During the weeks leading up to the vote on the PIPA, legitimate concerns were raised about the potential unintended consequences of the legislation. As a defender of the First Amendment and rights of free expression, I believe it is important that we work to solve the problem of intellectual property theft in a way that does not run counter to our founding principles. Going forward, I will work to do just that.The PROTECT IP Act was passed out of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and SOPA has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on October 26, 2011. Please rest assured that should these bills come to the Senate floor, I will keep your views in mind. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts on this important topic. Please feel free to contact me regarding this issue, or any other in the future.Sincerely,John McCainUnited States SenatorJM/mv
- As you know, online piracy is a major issue facing the American economy as more and more digital creations, such as music, movies, software, and books, are sold online.
Not really. Piracy is not nearly as huge a problem as the MPAA and RIAA would like people to believe, and all of its numbers on job losses and ‘missed sales’ etc are completely overblown and highly debunked. There is absolutely NO truth in this sentence. Even a rudimentary Google search will show you how completely false this is.
- The Internet, which has delivered so many benefits to our economy, has unfortunately also allowed bad actors to more easily steal and sell these stolen works. It is estimated that our economy loses more than $58 billion annually as a result of online piracy.
Yes, the Internet has delivered many benefits to our economy. More than any other segment of the economy in fact. As predicted when i was a kid, Tech jobs are the highest paying, most sought after and fastest growing in the nation. All because of the Internet. However, these “bad Actors” must be stopped? we have to overly regulate the Internet because a couple of people can’t play fair? NO, it’s because one single segment of the economy refuses to adapt it business models to a changing market. Claiming that file-sharing and ‘piracy’ is killing the economy just shows ignorance. Show me the actual theft here. Does Disney no longer have the Little Mermaid franchise? Did The Dark Knight not break box-office records despite being one of the most pirated movies of all time? The ‘Entertainment Industry’ has been GROWING, not shrinking. Every year the movie studios and musicians (if not the actual large corporation music publishers) show record profits and growth.
- The intent of these two bills is to help the owners of intellectual property and the federal government more effectively utilize legal tools to protect American intellectual property.
As opposed to the laws that already exist to allow content owners to sue (since copyright infringement is actually a civil matter under current law) and issue content take downs (The ever hated DMCA)? As opposed to the ICE/DHS take downs and ‘theft’ of sites that post LINKS to infringing content? Like blogs and websites seized by the Justice Department on flimsy evidence and no adversarial hearings? GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT IN THE INTERNET AGE! Other people’s speech and property don’t seem to matter to the MAFIAA and the DOJ. Let’s only protect it when the lobbyists want us to.
Another thing that really tics me off about politicians trying to regulate the internet (especially Republicans like Mr McCain) in such massive ways, is the refrain we keep hearing about how Big Government is bad, and we should reduce regulation. I guess we should only regulate what Hollywood says we should right? Let’s de-regulate Wall Street, but put massive liability on Websites for user created copyright infringement. Brilliant!
Anyway, thanks for responding Mr McCain (or rather “JM/mv” whoever you are) even though you still don’t seem to understand what the protests over these two bills is really about. May i suggest a nice tool called Google, and another called Wikipedia that i hear all the kids are using these days to learn about stuff. We all know that most of our elected officials are clueless idiots when it come to technolegy (series of tubes indeed), can’t they do some simple research on these things before they go legislating them?
We can hope that they will, but in the end, we simply need to keep up the fight to stay free in a free world. keep writing to your congressmen and other elected officials. Don’t let the fight end with SOPA/PIPA, make these people accountable for being bought by Hollywood and gleefully stating their ignorance of how this internet-thingy works. It’s up to all of us to keep reminding these jokers that they work for US, not Corporation and Lobbyists.