Sen. Al Franken (DFL-MN) had been a staunch defender of the 1st Amendment, net neutrality and other social media issues. Then the entertainment industry came knocking. They’d contributed heavily to his campaign and were calling in their favors. So Franken flipped to being pro-censorship hiding behind the flimsy argument of protecting Hollywood jobs and co-sponsored the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
He’s been targeted over his position on censorship.
1). Sen. Al Franken- Since Franken arrived in the senate, he has been a liberal hero. The first time candidate won over Norm Coleman by a razor thin margin in 2008, but had to survive an endless recount process before he could take office. Franken is one of the names that progressives often mention first when dreaming about their ideal senator.
The problem is that it was Franken’s ties to the entertainment industry that bankrolled his venture into politics. In 2008, Franken received $781,518 from the entertainment industry. In 2010, Franken raised another $88, 900 from the industry, because of his personal and campaign finance ties; Sen. Franken has been a model supporter of SOPA and PIPA. Franken is not only a supporter and sponsor of the bill, but he also was part of the unanimous vote that moved the bill out of the Judiciary Committee.
Franken has sold PIPA as job saving legislation, but the Senator needs to be told that there are better ways to combat piracy that PIPA.
Contact Sen. Franken:
What’s worse is that Al’s reasoning for supporting PIPA got thoroughly debunked. The author of this post, a screenwriter, explains the threat of piracy and how SOPA/PIPA gets it all wrong. He explains how it would:
Then he smashes the jobs argument to smithereens:
I believe my union leadership is acting in good faith to look after the best interests of its membership. But I don’t think my union leadership understands how the Internet works. By backing the industry’s position on SOPA/PIPA, I believe they’re tying themselves to a business model that simply can’t be sustained and won’t be rescued by badly crafted legislation.
Look, you can’t un-ring this bell. Internet file sharing, streaming video, and movies-on-demand aren’t going away. Fans of American television shows and movies use the internet to form international online communities, upload their favorite clips via YouTube and share them on Twitter and Facebook.As an industry, we should encourage them. Because today’s “pirates” are tomorrow’s customers.
We’ve been down this road before with the music industry. Ten years ago, while all the major record labels responded to file sharing by locking up content and suing Napster into the ground, Steve Jobs quietly developed iTunes. By tapping into a market that was already habituated to file sharing and offering quality content conveniently and legally at a price point people were willing to pay, Apple dominated the music industry while the record labels tanked.
We either follow the path of the record labels or we follow the path Apple took.
He states that the people who oppose SOPA/PIPA understand the internet and those who support it don’t. I agree. Sen. Franken has chosen the ignorant side of the ignorant. And that’s sad.