Help stop PROTECT-IP!

A horrible bill has been introduced that would give government power to censor websites that contain copyright-infringing material. It’s a horrible idea. Watch this video and if you agree with me, please send a message to your representative. FightForTheFuture.org has streamlined the process. My letter is below.

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Dear Congresswoman Hahn, Senator Boxer, and Senator Feinstein,

I am writing to you as a professional musician in your district. I urge you to oppose the House version of S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act. The PROTECT IP Act could do great harm to the democratic underpinnings of the internet. The House version introduced by Rep. Goodlatte is even worse.

As a performing and recording musician, I create “intellectual property” for a living. I do not want these laws. I do not need these laws. The open nature of the internet has proved a boon for me as a creator. Maintaining the essential freedoms of the internet is far more empowering to me as a creator than the increased copyright enforcement promised by these laws. I am wholeheartedly against them and urge you to join me in resisting them.

Thank you for your work and service.

Sincerely,
Kristofer Bergstrom

4 Responses to “Help stop PROTECT-IP!”

  1. Jon Wang says:

    Thanks for posting this, Kris! I have been following the news regarding these bills lately and I find it heartening that a fellow taiko player is as honestly and deeply concerned about the direction that our lawmakers are taking. Your post encouraged/reminded me to voice my concerns.

  2. Brandon Martin says:

    I’ll stand with you in opposing Protect-IP, but I’m not sure that video would be persuasive to those legislators that have the best chance at blocking the legislation. It’s not a bad argument, particularly if you value the internet’s role in supporting mass populist movements that replace despotic regimes with regimes that are… even worse…. But, it’s still not one that’s going to be terribly persuasive to members of the House GOP, who are going to be critical to blocking the legislation.

    Opponents should note that (1) Protect-IP is the start of the wave of industry efforts to regulate the internet that conservatives predicted would follow the controversy over “net neutrality” regulations and that this wave of efforts to use the government to impose particular visions or theories of what the internet should be will result in a hodge-podge of rules and policies that cripple the internet as a vehicle for small players without dedicated lobbyists or expensive compliance teams… unless a bright line rule against further regulation is adopted… starting now; and (2) the legislation gives the government the power to impose a remedy (or destructive penalty) against a business or individual before a full due process hearing has been given to determine if the business or individual is really a wrongdoer. That’s straight out Stalin-time.

    The video made it sound as if the problem with the legislation isn’t that it is regulation of the internet, but that it is the wrong kind. That’s fine for Lefties who believe that its possible to open the door to regulation of a sector and only get the regulation they want, but members of the House are certain of only one thing: as a systemic certainty confirmed by decades of experience, once you open the door to regulation in a sector of the economy, you get the good, the bad, and the ugly — no matter what. Why not work within that world view to get the “nay votes…” rather than talk about how the entertainment industry doesn’t produce that much in terms of the overall economy or imply that the devil is in the details here. This legislation probably has the votes in the House and the Senate right now, but the Democrat votes will be firm in support and the House Republicans could very well take a different view.

    • kris says:

      Thank you for the thoughtful response, Brandon! It seems to me there are examples of good government, where regulation produced better outcomes than free-for-all. It seems to me that net-neutrality laws would benefit the internet, in the same way I feel anti-discrimination laws have been generally good for civil liberties. I’m interested in hearing more about your thoughts on this… either here or in person!

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