Seriously, What is Sen Ron Wyden’s Problem? Cruel, Ignorant or Corrupt?


One of the things the Music Modernization Act (MMA) does is fix what is essentially a typo in copyright law that allows a handful of digital services (Google, Sirius, Pandora etc) to not pay royalties to performers on Pre-1972 recordings.  This part of the Music Modernization Act is commonly referred to as “The Classics Act” or “Classics Provisions.”

The Music Modernization Act passed the House without a single no vote. 415-0. Rarely do we see this sort of bipartisan consensus in the US Congress.  Even the Dec 8th 1941 declaration of war against Japan was not unanimous. Part of the reason the bill enjoys such wide support in US House of Representatives is because the Pre-1972 loophole seems ridiculously unfair. It violates everyone’s – republican, democrat, liberal conservative- EVERYONE’s sense of fair play.

Except Senator Ron Wyden. He’s fine with unfair play.  He’s fine with stiffing creators to benefit a few billionaires.

Yes, Senator Ron Wyden the progressive democrat from the bluest of blue cities, Portland Oregon.

You see Senator Ron Wyden is threatening to block the bill. Unless of course he gets his amendment that would gut the provisions that restore digital royalties for Pre-1972 performers.

Wyden is willing to go against his constituents, the unions and even the NAACP! (African American performers would seem to be disproportionately harmed by the loophole.) Metaphorically this is the hill on which Wyden is prepared to die.

What the fuck is Ron Wyden’s problem?

Is he just a blackhearted and cruel person?  Is he lazy and just doesn’t understand the issues? My limited interactions with the Senator makes me think no. Is there a financial motive? Perhaps even good old fashion corruption?  Seriously.  He would seem to have put himself into a lose-lose position, with no political upside. It’s a question worth asking.

Consider this:

People think of Google as a California company, but Google has massive server farm operations in the state. Google is one of the companies that benefits enormously from the pre-1972 loophole.  You think that it’s an accident that Wyden is the one U.S. Senator against the bill?  I don’t.  Has anyone looked at this?  I mean investigate him.

Also what is up with this:

Wyden’s son runs a hedge fund out of the Senators basement?  What could possibly go wrong? I wonder who the “investors” are in that hedge fund?  Maybe someone should look into that as well.  I mean who gives a 26 year old 3 million dollars to start a basement hedge fund?

I mean that literally.  Who gave the original 3 million?




One thought on “Seriously, What is Sen Ron Wyden’s Problem? Cruel, Ignorant or Corrupt?

  1. As a former Oregonian and former staffer to small time local politicians, I think I can add some perspective.

    Unlike politics in the eastern US, Oregon politicians are not so clearly identified as R or D, conservative or liberal. There is a long history of conservative Ds and liberal Rs: Oregon owes its historically progressive land use laws (before they were gutted more recently) and its pioneering recycling ethic to the fairly liberal Republican governor Tom McCall.

    Ron Wyden, got his political start as a fairly conservative Democrat, which was necessary for his initial success because outside the Portland metropolitan area (and Eugene of course), the other two-thirds of Oregon’s population is very conservative.

    Oregon has always had a boom or bust economy based on agriculture or dwindling natural resources, and pretty much every politician of every skunk stripe collectively bent over and grabbed ankles when the tech sector unbelted and began plowing the “Silicon Forest” with their plastic thingies and their ones and zeros. As you might expect, Google now owns Oregon. QED.

    Pretty much all you need to know about Wyden is that he is on the Intelligence Committee. You don’t even approach that gig unless you have been drinking the Kool-Aid for donkey’s years.

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