Blog My random thoughts

February 27, 2012

Responses to my SOPA/PIPA inquiry…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:53 PM

First, Senator Klobuchar (emphasis mine, some spaces removed):

January 20, 2012
Dear Mr. Cobia:

Thank you for contacting me about the Protect IP Act. I appreciate hearing from you and especially appreciate hearing the concerns you have raised.

On January 20th, 2012, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced an indefinite postponement of the scheduled Senate vote on the Protect IP Act. As Congress continues to consider this issue, please know that I will work to make sure your concerns are addressed.

The internet has dramatically altered the manner in which we communicate, conduct business, seek entertainment and find information. It is vital to ensure that online innovation and openness are preserved so the American people can continue to freely to express themselves and pursue personal and economic endeavors over the internet.

It is also important that foreign criminals not be allowed to steal the property of others without consequence. The pirating of intellectual property is not a victimless crime. Rather, it threatens the jobs and livelihoods of millions of middle class American workers and businesses. However, we must seek ways to protect people from online piracy, particularly foreign piracy, without limiting web-based innovation or a free exchange of ideas. 

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me. I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business and to serve the people of our state. I hope you will contact me again about matters of concern to you.

Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator

So basically, one paragraph that has any relevance to what I said.  First a factual summary then a lip-service paragraph to how great the internet is. Basically typical political fluff. Fine. Then the one relevant paragraph which betrays that the good Senator does not understand the bill she was oh-so-close to signing, does not understand the internet, and does not understand any of the points I made in my email. So it was a generic email response, which is fine, just unsatisfactory. But the part that still drives me crazy is that she does not understand that the bill was far from an effective means for doing what she says it will in that highlighted passage.

First off though, the transition statement is a non-sequitur. The fact that “foreign criminals [should] not be allowed to steal the property of others” has nothing to do with how great the internet is. In fact, standing alone, it has nothing to do with the internet at all. As Barney says, “That’s like saying ‘how can an ant lift fifty times its body weight, but root beer floats are still delicious?’ Are the two even related?” The answer here is yes only if you think that in order to stop online piracy you must destroy part of the internet’s greatness! Which is of course ridiculous and sadly what all these politicians “think”. (Read as: “are told to pretend to think”)

The pirating of Intellectual Property is a sliding scale of victimhood. But that’s an entire treatise of material too long for this post.

That last sentence is perfect. If she said that and nothing else in the email, I would be happy. However, it is nothing more than a truism without any hope for original ideas, progress, or legitimacy.

I will update on what Senator Frankin sent me back next. But that email was so awful I need to take a few breaths before I dive into it.

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