DC Republicans Bow to Big Media "Friends", Fire Pro-Copyright Reform Staffer
December 7, 2012 11:11 AM
Termination comes after RIAA and MPAA "went ballistic"
While corruption in Congress is nothing new (see:
), with the rise of modern lobbying things have reached impressive new proportions, as chronicled on
, and other well-researched online voter resources.
I. MPAA, RIAA Get Republican Staffer Fired
One of the most active lobbying influences in Washington D.C. have been media corporations, represented by trade groups like the
Motion Picture Association of America
Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA). Recent estimates indicate that big media
paid 10 percent of members of Congress's
total reelection budget in the previous election cycle -- and the payments almost paid off as
big media's Orwellian SOPA
(Stop Online Piracy Act) was
only struck down
in the eleventh hour
storm of citizen lashback
Now comes word that a top traditional conservative (or in some source's words "Libertarian-leaning") staffer on the
Republican Study Committee
(RSC) has been terminated for his stance on
The fired staffer's name is Derek Khanna, and he turned heads in mid-November when he authored a pro-reform memo [
], which was thoroughly vetted and published by the RSC, a key advisory body to the conservative wing of federal Republican Representatives in Congress.
In his memo, Derek Khanna took issue with the RIAA's traditional rhetoric that piracy is a crime worth punishing with fines of up to $150,000 USD per song. [Image Source: RIAA]
In the memo (available below), Mr. Khanna argued that
punishments of up to $150,000 USD per work
for private citizens found guilty of filesharing are grossly out of line with reality.
Republican Study Committee Intellectual Property Brief
As soon as [the Khanna memo] was published, the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report. They succeeded.
RSC director subsequently complained that the memo had been published without adequate review, denying that the vetting process (which did occur) was sufficient. He essentially bowed the RIAA and MPAA demands, disavowing the Libertarian/reformist memo.
Representative Steve Scalise
(R-Lous.) recalls being "approached by several Republican members of Congress who were upset [about Khan's memo]", according to
The Washington Examiner
. Among those representatives (according to
The Washington Examiner
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
The Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets) received more money from the music industry than any other Republican Congressional candidate.
Funded by the music industry, Rep. Blackburn demanded Mr. Khanna be sacked for his comments, which offended her corporate masters. [Image Source: AP]
In the wake of the not-so-invisible hand exerting its influence on the elected officials, Rep. Scalise reportedly successfully pushed the RSC to fire Mr. Khanna, who will not be returning when Congress reconvenes in January.
II. Disavowing the Conservative Wing to Placate Special Interests
The move potentially puts the end to the career in the Republican party of the prominent-tech savvy 24-year-old, who many viewed as among the faces of young conservatism in the party. Active in Republican politics during his undergraduate education at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Mr. Khanna's first official post was working as an advisor to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
Mr. Khanna has international experience, having studied in the Middle East, and was a key advisor to the RSC in cybersecurity with
[LinkedIn] citing his interest in "building computers and beta testing software" and experience in "C++, Backtrack, Python, Sql, Java, Dreamweaver/Photoshop, statistical modeling".
Derek Khanna, former RSC staffer [Image Source: ArsTechnica/Derek Khanna]
The firing represents a key schism in the Republican ranks. After all, Mr. Khanna may be singled out as the sacrificial lamb in the face of RIAA and MPAA wrath, but his sentiments were clearly shared to an extent by fellow staffers who vetted the memo.
Conservative authors and IP analysts Chris Sprigman and Kal Raustiala echoed Mr. Khanna's sentiments in a
, suggesting the Republican Party shift to a position of copyright reform to court young voters and libertarians. Likewise,
, a scholar at the conservative/libertarian
think-tank, has just published "
Copyright Unbalanced: From Incentive to Excess
", a book which was honored by a special discussion panel by another top conservative/libertarian think-tank,
The Cato Institute
In other words, Reps. Scalise and Blackburn may have succeeded in firing one voice of reform, but their actions are dividing the Republican Party from its conservative/reformist backers. In that regard the copyright reform question is perhaps a microcosm of the more macroscopic search for identity and the balance of special interests with principles that is occurring among Republicans on The Hill.
The Washington Examiner
"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
Judge Posner, Senior Federal Justice, Repeats Plea for Patent Reform
October 2, 2012, 7:30 PM
We the People: Populist Protest Kills SOPA (Again)
January 20, 2012, 3:10 PM
Some SOPA/PIPA Supporters Vow to Fight for Big Media to the Bitter End
January 19, 2012, 8:30 PM
Panicked Congress Critters Scurry Off SOPA/PIPA Ship After Massive Protest
January 18, 2012, 5:42 PM
Obama Admin. Declares War on SOPA; SOPA Author Caught Stealing Work
January 16, 2012, 9:40 AM
Science & Environment
February 20, 2017, 6:37 AM
The USA’s newest weather satellite sends first photos.
January 24, 2017, 6:41 AM
Netflix took a decision to invest in original content
January 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
Amazon Airborne Fulfillment Center – Your Merchandise Drop-Shipped from the Clouds
December 29, 2016, 5:00 AM
Amazon is experimenting with a new kind of grocery stores, Amazon Go
December 8, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Gigabit Are you looking for an Ultra Compact board?
February 22, 2017, 6:30 AM
Dell XPS 13 Touch – Rose Gold Edition
February 23, 2017, 7:29 AM
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 – This Chinese Phablet is the Best
February 24, 2017, 7:25 AM
Night Hawk DDR4 3000 - Spread Your Wings
February 22, 2017, 7:15 AM
ASUS ROG Maximus IX - Among the Best of the Best
February 21, 2017, 7:50 AM
Latest Blog Posts
World New 3-1
Mar 1, 2017, 6:30 AM
Gaming News of The Day
Feb 28, 2017, 6:56 AM
How much Ram do you need for gaming?
Feb 27, 2017, 6:00 AM
Interesting News of the Day
Feb 25, 2017, 7:37 AM
AMD and More
Feb 24, 2017, 5:55 AM
Feb 23, 2017, 6:30 AM
Feb 21, 2017, 6:12 AM
Here is how startups are helping new parents in raising children
Feb 20, 2017, 6:45 AM
Around the World
Feb 18, 2017, 5:48 AM
News of Future
Feb 17, 2017, 6:30 AM
Amazon parachutes May Float Packages to Customers
Feb 16, 2017, 8:00 AM
Now you Can Watch Facebook on Your TV
Feb 15, 2017, 7:42 AM
Feb 14, 2017, 5:36 AM
Razer Blade Stealth – Little Kaby Lake Powerhouse
Feb 13, 2017, 7:50 AM
Android 7.0 Nougat 7.0 Update Bring Less Battery Life for Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge
Feb 12, 2017, 7:45 AM
Apple iPhone 8 – OLED Display & Wireless Charging
Feb 11, 2017, 8:09 AM
Feb 10, 2017, 6:15 AM
Feb 9, 2017, 6:00 AM
Eye catching news
Feb 8, 2017, 6:16 AM
Some World News
Feb 7, 2017, 6:15 AM
Feb 6, 2017, 10:11 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information