I’m just reading through some related documents for the “new” Internet Association. It has really struck me that it is very similar to the Pirate Party. Except it’s views are even more extreme than the Pirate Party.
Here is an example. PP Germany only supports non-commercial filesharing. But in the Internet Association’s view there should be no enforcement action on any copyright infringement including commercial exploitation. In fact they are gonna defend those breaking the law! The reason? Apparently enforcing property rights will break the internet. Cause remember the Internet did actually break after Kim Dotcom was locked up. Didn’t it? Sorry I wasn’t paying attention.
From this we can only assume that the Internet Association will soon be rushing down to Florida to defend Hotfile from the Internet Breaking Forces of Copyright. I mean there are already lawyers who work Google’s interests in other cases down there defending Hotfile. And the other big tech funded astroturf group Public Knowledge is already sending Prof James Boyle to defend the arms dealers-oops I mean cyberlocker businessmen from this terrible threat to free speech and/or the arming of child soldiers. You remember Public Knowledge from the Google Shill List, right?
Seriously, this press release is one of the funniest things I’ve read since I read the FSF’s hospitality rider for Richard Stallman. These serial violators of online privacy are now going to be defending our privacy online?!! I almost wet myself again typing that last sentence.
These sort of shenanigans are making me like the Pirate Party. Yes you heard that right. At least the Pirate Party are only deluded idealists. Like 70′s revolutionary maoist college professors in berets with pictures of Che Guevara dreaming of a perfect classless society. There is some collectivist idealism underlying their hope that freely sharing (aka redistributing) all cultural goods will lead to some imagined utopia. They are totally wrong but they are at least (mostly) sincere in their beliefs. And as far as I know not many of them are getting rich advocating pirate policies.
However the Internet Association is nothing like that. On one hand it’s nothing remarkable : craven opportunists and political operatives cashing in on some recent political clusterjam™ (SOPA). But on the other hand it’s a remarkably brazen maneuver even by Washington standards. As Jane Hamsher carefully explains at Firedoglake.com , this is simply a ham-fisted and amazingly transparent attempt by tech industry-especially Google- to curry favor with Congressional Republicans, and in particular Rep. Upton.
Basically Google, Amazon et al already have Net Coalition, EFF, Public Knowledge, Tech Freedom, Fight For The Future, Internet Defense League, Pirate Freedom, Tech Pirate Freedom, Pirate Knowledge, ex-KGB Freedom Pirates, Belarus Institute For Credit Card Fraud, Electronic Failed State Coalition, Moldovan SPCA, Russian Brides Foundation and Offshore Pharmacy Coalition lobbying for their interests in Washington. So why do they need yet another lobby shop in Washington?
Because they really really pissed off some powerful Republicans in the Anti-SOPA fight. They now need to build a “Republican friendly” version of the same organizations they already fund.
To quote Walter in the TV version of the Big Lebowski:
“Do you see what happens, Larry? Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the alps?”
This is what happens Larry:
You have to spend millions of dollars building yet another fake organization, this one fronted by a Republican. All this to make Congressman Lamar Smith forget you put those billboards in front of his office during the SOPA fight. You really think that’s gonna work? Can I have some of what you are smoking?
I say if you have this much money to spend on the vote of one Republican congressman you don’t need any help from Washington! And speaking of The Big Lebowski , I would love to see the Congressman get all Walter Sobchak on your ass.