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Republican Staffer Khanna Axed Over Copyright Memo 506

Bob9113 writes "Ars Technica reports that Derek Khanna is getting axed over his memo detailing the conflict between laissez-faire-oriented free market ideals and the regulatory monopoly that is copyright. 'The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives, has told staffer Derek Khanna that he will be out of a job when Congress re-convenes in January. The incoming chairman of the RSC, Steve Scalise (R-LA) was approached by several Republican members of Congress who were upset about a memo Khanna wrote advocating reform of copyright law. They asked that Khanna not be retained, and Scalise agreed to their request.'"
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Republican Staffer Khanna Axed Over Copyright Memo

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:19PM (#42206753)

    Who in the adult world is surprised when a low level employee is canned for upstagin and blindsiding the higher up leadership??

    This is not the least bit surprising and shocking. Anybody who does this in an other venue would have gotten the boot, and rightfully so.

    • Re:He Should Be (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:23PM (#42206821)
      Yeah, heavens forbid that elected officials ever be given information that they might disagree with. Shame on this person for thinking that law makers should be exposed to a wide variety of ideas and opinions. Next thing you know they will have to try to justify claims of wanting less government while at the same time pushing for laws limiting marriage laws or privacy laws. What was he thinking?
      • Re:He Should Be (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:39PM (#42207055)

        I don't know what he was thinking, but I think we all can correctly guess what he learned about Washington and politics in general.

        It's an old boys' club, the yes man gets ahead, and messengers get shot when exposing contradictions.

        • Re:He Should Be (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:37PM (#42207945)

          This isn't about the old boys club. If this had been just-another-report, they would not even have known he was involved. You can be 100% guaranteed that the 'representatives' who complained were NOT representing us. They were representing the RIAA. You can be sure that the RIAA gave these guys a call and explained in no uncertain terms that campaign contributions and getting re-elected hinged on certain.... favors.

          • Re:He Should Be (Score:5, Interesting)

            by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:55PM (#42209921) Journal
            Yep, that's what US politicians do best, appeasing their sponsors, they will quite happily deny reality and make total fools of themselves because they don't give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks. Doesn't matter that they set up and ran the committee, nor is it relevant that this guy was just doing his job. There was a fuck up, (in that the opinion was released to the outside), someone needs to be sacrificed to appease the gods..err...sponsors.

            To me this sort of behavior tells me all I need to know about those particular politicians. They are the type of leaders who would routinely quell dissent by denying reality and silencing sympathizers. More than a few US politicians have the same default policy toward climate change, the ring leader of that well-established group is Senator Inhofe.
            • Re:He Should Be (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @08:20PM (#42210743) Journal

              More importantly this lays bare the fact that there is now only one party in Washington D.C. and it suckles the teat of the highest bidder. Contrary to Rush Limbaugh and the bloated talking heads on either side of the aisle, there is no fundamental difference save the verbs in their patter. I'm betting you get the majority and minority whips to perform a live sex show on the Senate Floor if only Monsanto would sponsor it, and at least that would be an honest day's work for a whore. The Republicrats are for sale, and as such so is our Constitution, Civil Rights, Juris Prudence and the security of the Middle Class. Any sane act of remediation regarding our failing system of government or economics must first pass the test of whether or not its inconvenient to the wealthy and powerful. Which is why we have the best government money can buy,

        • No contradiction. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by oGMo ( 379 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:58PM (#42208295)

          It's an old boys' club, the yes man gets ahead, and messengers get shot when exposing contradictions.

          I don't really think this is a contradiction. I think the reality of the party line is more "Corporations are people .. the only people." Less government, less taxes, less regulation, more rights. These apply to real people: corporations, not you or me.

          • by crypticedge ( 1335931 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:29PM (#42208699)

            Real people to them are corporations and those stealing... Sorry. Making more than 250k/year are also people. Everyone else is a leach, even if they pay more in taxes than the so called real people.

            There are people making multiple millions who pay exactly 0% in taxes. These are "job creators" but the numbers show that job creation is at an all time high when we tax these so called job creators significantly.

            We need to stop letting them use the American population as a slave labor force, and stop letting them use the American wealth as their personal score cards between them. They create nothing, they provide nothing, they contribute nothing, we shouldn't give them such a disproportionately high percentage of the nations economic power.

            I say we eat the rich and give the things they stole back to the people they stole it from.

            • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

              You won't be able to eat the rich. The hookers std's and blow is likely to make their flesh at least somewhat toxic.

            • by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:23PM (#42209509)

              I say we eat the rich and give the things they stole back to the people they stole it from.

              Vive La France!

              Even though I like the idea of indiscriminately killing people much better off than myself, it is just plain a bad idea.

              You really only need to kill a few of them, most of them are pretty good people.

            • Not really people EARNING $250k... EARNING MONEY IS SECOND CLASS.

              Small business owners (plumbers, mechanics, doctors, lawyers, web designers) Ballplayers, music artists, book writers for example get "wages" (w-2, 1099, it's all the same) as income... Taxed at 28%. Our "47% are moochers" friend made his millions on carefully paid out capital gains... Taxed at 15% MAX. THAT is the problem. Even if YOU put your money in 401k it's still taxed as EARNED income..., while the money managers on Wall Street get pa

      • Re:He Should Be (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:44PM (#42207133) Homepage Journal

        Scalise is one of my representatives, I actually kinda know the guy.

        Dunno if a letter will help...but, I'll sure send one...this move sucks.

        I don't think this is just a R problem...I think both R's and D's up there are so bought and paid for that no reform will likely happen that will benefit you and I, but I'll certainly send a letter about this....

        • by andy1307 ( 656570 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:43PM (#42208043)

          I don't think this is just a R problem

          It's not...Chris Dodd is a D(ouchebag)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I was with you until "rightfully". Fuck you.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm surprised by the number of posts that think this is kidding, trolling or outrageous. Just like soldiers, civil staff like this have an obligation to, while they're on duty, keep their professional, official standpoints impartial. Personal political views don't mesh with civil service. As agreeable as his point might be, it's unprofessional to do it while representing his job, and it's not the least bit surprising or wrong that said job dismisses him for officially disagreeing with where they stand.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:11PM (#42207535)

      Dear Derek Khanna,

      You have made more friends than enemies. You may have been canned today, but you could easily replace your boss. RUN FOR OFFICE!


      Someone who actually votes.

    • by davecb ( 6526 ) <> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:15PM (#42208539) Homepage Journal
      His committee asked him to write it and then signed off on publication, so he neither blindsided nor upstaged the management. They changed their minds, and then went for plausible deniability.
    • Re:He Should Be (Score:5, Interesting)

      by metrometro ( 1092237 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:44PM (#42208973)

      The position paper was vetted internally and approved along the orgs normal channels. Unless by "higher up leadership" you mean the lobbyists -- they were surprised, that's true.

      He worked an institution that was supposed to inform debate. He was canned because some debates are not allowed.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:20PM (#42206771)

    He had to know this would cost him his job.

    He could not have expected anything else.

    • Points to consider (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:31PM (#42206949)

      There are at least two important points we can take away from this:

      1. The republican party lies about having free market ideals.

      2. The current IP regime is NOT an example of free market economics, even though it is widely touted as so.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Desler ( 1608317 )

        1. The republican party lies about having free market ideals.

        You just realized that politicians lie?

      • 1. The republican party lies about having free market ideals.

        They are pro-business, not necessrily pro-market. Subsidies, tax loopholes, monopolies, cartels and all kinds of other corporate welfare are just fine and dandy when its their own that have their snouts in the trough..

        • Do you oppose Corporate welfare in general, or just (R) supported corporate welfare? How do you feel about bailouts and loan giveaways to failing businesses (Solyndra) (true government welfare) that is all the rage among (D) people?

      • by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:35PM (#42207933) Homepage Journal

        Republicans are in favor of big business running your life. Democrats are in favor of big government running your life.

        Neither major party is in favor of you running your life.

        • by zyzko ( 6739 ) <kari.asikainen@g ... inus threevowels> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:27PM (#42208677)

          This is actually quite...funny, because it's got truth in it.

          But the real beef is the axing of a grunt soldier because he has voiced an opinion not necessarily accepted in the mainstream party line. And that is what is sad, and this is happening everywhere, but it does not get in to headlines that often. Staffers are shown the door all the time if they happen to write proposals that are not on the accepted agenda. Career in politics as a non-elected staffer is very windy one, even more than elected ones (at least they have their seat until the next election). Seen that, not been there but followed closely. It is quite sad really, because only the very strong ones can voice fresh, conflicting views, and to get to that position (as a non-elected official) usually requires years of ass-kissing and selling yourself out before you have strong enough position to speak freely.

    • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:37PM (#42207029) Journal

      He had to know this would cost him his job.

      He could not have expected anything else.

      He's 24 and probably still believes that United States politics offer an open and free forum where you can put forth ideas no matter what side you're on and the change that follows can be a good thing if the logic behind it is sound. Surely the worst that could happen is that your party would have to explain again logically why your brief was incorrect and unsound?

      Boy it sure was hard typing that with a straight face.

      • If he still believes that he made it far longer than I did, I think I was about twenty before I realized that the USA doesn't live up to the Hype. Sure we were founded on some great stuff, freedom of speech is a big one but if our government ever lived up to the ideals set out in it's founding documents it wasn't in my life time.
      • by Psyborgue ( 699890 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:01PM (#42207403) Homepage Journal
        They don't have to explain anything. Nobody will cover this in the media. His words will never reach the ears of the average voter who thinks artists will starve if copyright is in any way affected. Slashdot will cover it. Ars will cover it. Libertarian and leaning publications will publish it. But this is all a very small fraction of the voting population. Neither major party is interested at all in copyright reform. His actions were futile and he pointlessly lost his job. Furthermore, nobody will want to hire him in the future regardless of whether they agree with him for fear he might pull something similar should he ever change his mind. Idealists are fucking dangerous loose cannons.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Highest bidder wins all! The US political system in a nutshell...

  • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:24PM (#42206835) Homepage Journal

    You younger Slashdotters may not believe this, but at one time we had conservatives (and Republicans) with principles.

    (Not that the Democrats are all that great.)

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:26PM (#42206879) Journal
    They've publicly disowned the brief and now it looks like they're cutting off the hand that wrote it ... but have they actually put forth a logical and rationale rebuttal that explains why Khanna was so wrong that his termination was necessary?

    If my employer came to me and said, "Pack it up, you don't have a job tomorrow." I'd be very interested in knowing why and being completely fine with my termination if they were just batshit insane in their reasoning. I'm sure I'm not the only one that suspects this came as an order from an industry lobbyist or at least in the form of "This is very interesting work by Khanna. On an unrelated note *cough* *cough* you might be hard pressed for campaign donations next election cycle."

    Oh, and I am absolutely relishing the goodwill and lip service paid to the Republicans in the initial Slashdot comments [].
    • If one of my workers told the whole country why he thought I was stupid, I'd fire him too, regardless the merit
      • If one of my workers told the whole country why he thought I was stupid, I'd fire him too, regardless the merit

        HA! "Fear will keep them in line"? Well, I'm sure the rest of the country has great faith in you if your response to a challenge of your position is to just get rid of the guy. Oh my god that's funny! Did you know that in my software development team, we challenge each other all the time and, no, we don't have our coworkers offed if we are wrong. Is Derek Khanna on his way to the gulags? Perhaps a Republican Rehabilitation camp in Fairbanks, AK?

        • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:00PM (#42207373) Homepage Journal
          You are thinking small scale, sir. A software development team throwing shit at each other is a completely different scenario. Imagine, however, that you run the development team and one of your underlings published an article in The Washington Post/New York Times illustrating what a moron you are. Throw away your ideas of "what is fair". Neither business nor the government (or even life for that matter) is fair. He played the asshole, so he got served by an asshole.
      • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

        If one of my workers told the whole country why he thought I was stupid

        If you're so touchy that someone writing an article that doesn't exactly line up with your beliefs 100% makes you feel stupid, then I'd be glad to be told so, so that we can all avoid working with you.

        Incidentally, this is why the Republicans can currently only get 30% of the country to identify themselves as Republican, they "purified" out everyone else who was only mostly conservative.

    • It would be rather stupid of them to rebut the argument they made. The biggest reason would be that it would call more attention to an issue they don't want to see debated. After all, "They gave us a lot of money to shut up about it" isn't a compelling argument. A secondary reason would be that would be all the more embarrassing: to explain why they were wrong in the first place.

      Or maybe the bigger reason is that they know the only people who will care that matter are the IP holders who are lining the
  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:30PM (#42206927) Journal

    except when they don't!

    • by RichMan ( 8097 )

      'free market' as in for sale to the highest bidder. Makes it really nice for the pockets of those who make the rules.

      • The irony of the "Free Market" is that it's not free. In fact, selling to the highest bidder makes it quite expensive.
  • Surprised? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:30PM (#42206937) Homepage Journal
    You shouldn't be - after all, this is the same political organization that had a report banned from the LoC, [] because the facts contained within did not mesh with their party philosophy.
  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:31PM (#42206943) Homepage Journal

    If you're not echoing the echo chamber's talking points, you're not allowed to talk to other Republicans.

    That's it in a nutshell. And so we have Romney condemning 47% of the population because some idiot in the WSJ did the calculations, found 50% of the country weren't paying one type of tax, ignored the fact that most of these people weren't paying it because their employers were too cheap to pay them a decent wage, and called them "Lucky Duckies". And he, and others, refused to hear the counter arguments, and he ended up making a fool of himself.

    Indeed, we have the entire Republican party convinced that the way to win an election in a recession is to say "Yeah, we know you're feeling really insecure at the moment, so we're going to take your safety net away. Because anyone receiving UI is a moocher."

    We have Rove and others absolutely convinced they were going to win the election, because they refused to read the polls.

    There's been a lot of discussion after the 6th about the Republicans and why they lost. Sure, they lost because of their policies (well, duh.) But the question remains: how did the Republicans end up with such an absurd ticket, and how did they drag along 47% (interesting co-incidence) of the country to vote for them anyway?

    Answer: because they built an echo chamber. If it didn't fit the interests of those funding the Republicans, it wasn't said. People who said the Republicans might be going in the wrong direction were purged. Fox News, the WSJ, and some blogs and radio stations were pretty much seen by Republicans as the only media to read, and because those outlets insisted that anything that wasn't them was "liberal biased" they didn't see the truth, they didn't see what was going on out there, they totally missed the boat.

    This firing suggests they still haven't "gotten it", no matter what was said after November 6th.

    • Your on the right track, the Tea Party led a purge of the moderates from the party a couple years back. The result was that the shifted even further to the right and lost a bunch of moderates in the middle of the political spectrum. The result was to also chase away a lot of the moderates / independent voters as well.

      Since there are more independents in the US than there are Democrats or Republicans this is what cost them the election. Independents /always/ decide the winner of the presidential election.

      They need to have a hard look at their internal hard line on political issues. Even Reagan would fail to meet most of the current Republican agenda and would be cast out (as would a number of other historically significant Republicans). The net effect is to ostracize younger voters and the result is costing them future voters. It's not that moderates were voting for Obama and the Democrats nearly as much as they were voting against Romney and the Republicans.

      The Republicans need to go back to giving the general population something to believe in. Study Reagan and you will see that he did that so well the term "Reagan Democrats" was coined to describe the effect. People can't believe in tax cuts for corporates and the rich, it's too abstract for their day to day life. Unless they regain the moderates and start giving people something to believe they will continue to lose more and more voters.

    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:56PM (#42207323) Homepage Journal

      We have Rove and others absolutely convinced they were going to win the election, because they refused to read the polls.

      Exactly this. I read the polls in Summer 2011, saw that only one candidate in the Republican field could beat Obama in any polling match up, so I worked for that candidate (as a County Chair, even though I'm a registered Democrat) and we did OK (he got 2nd place in my State, in both parties' primaries).

      But he did not fit the mold of what the Party Bosses were looking for, so their media lapdogs did as they were instructed, and pretty soon it was clear that Romney was the anointed candidate (by March at the latest). Not once since then did I not say that Obama was guaranteed re-election.

      And it turns out in retrospect that all the quality polls were :dead on:. The Republicans could have had the Whitehouse if the fake "Republican values" really represented the ideas of the party (vs. being Corporatist puppets in reality).

      Funny thing is, my candidate would agree with this report almost in its entirety. If there's a silver lining it's that Khanna's generation will be in charge in 30 years.

      • by Nimey ( 114278 )

        Oh, who was that? The only sane Republican who ran in this election was Huntsman.

    • This firing suggests they have no intention whatsoever to "get it" ...

      FTFY. When the quest for campaign financing outweighs their obligation to the electorate, this is what you get.

  • by medcalf ( 68293 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:36PM (#42207021) Homepage
    of why I'm not a Republican....
  • by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:40PM (#42207061)

    From the article:

    His firing is a surprising move for a party that has been looking for ways to attract younger voters.

    Many things the Republican Party is doing are surprising moves, for a party that is looking for ways to attract...well, anyone. It almost seems like the party forgot that the point of democracy is to represent your own people, not try to tell them that you know better than they do what would be good for them.

    • From the article:

      His firing is a surprising move for a party that has been looking for ways to attract younger voters.

      Many things the Republican Party is doing are surprising moves, for a party that is looking for ways to attract...well, anyone. It almost seems like the party forgot that the point of democracy is to represent your own people, not try to tell them that you know better than they do what would be good for them.

      Actually, that attitude is very much in line with what large chunks of the hard-right fundamentalist Christian faction believe. They want someone with greater authority to tell them what to believe, what to do and think.

      Dan Aris

  • at this point it seems that they are unable to do anything unless it benefits the ultra rich at the expense of everyone else.
    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      They really seems to be hellbent on political suicide at this point.

      A party that benefits the top, say, quintile, and also favors opportunity rewards for work, has historically done well in America. We all like to think we'll be in that top portin one day.

      However, when it gets too narrow, you can't make it work in a democracy. I think there's a real argument to be made for "if taxes are just too high on the wage bracket most small busines owners are in, that really hurts jobs". But the current GOP is not

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:49PM (#42207195) Homepage

    Backup copy. [] (And because the document was created by a Congressional employee, it's not copyrightable. So there.)

    Here's the proposal:

    • A. Free 12-year copyright term for all new works - subject to registration, and all existing works are renewed as of the passage of the reform legislation. If passed today this would mean that new works have a copyright until 2024.
    • B. Elective-12 year renewal (cost 1% of all United States revenue from first 12 years -- which equals all sales).
    • C. Elective-6 year renewal (cost 3% of revenue from the previous 12 years).
    • D. Elective-6 year renewal (cost 5% of revenue in previous 6 years).
    • E. Elective-10 year renewal (10% of ALL overall revenue - fees paid so far).

    This is a good proposal. Start circulating it around. For only a very small number of copyrighted items is there revenue beyond 12 years, and that's covered.

  • The real problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:58PM (#42207353) Journal

    Politicians are not just corrupt, politicians have been raised, grown up, got their experience in a system where the truth is told, more or less. In the real world, we know evil exist but politicians are shielded from the real world pretty early on. They are in a rare world where meetings and negotiation "work". As you learn the world of politics in high school and university were your adversary are at worst teachers or fellow students and then ONLY those students who are interested in politics. They are surrounded and protected by people who share the same world view, not just left or right wing but the idea and knowledge that money is never an issue, you can always find another job, multiple at the same time, hard work is having a long meeting and there is always a deal to be made with the other side and the other side is never ever really just out to screw you over.

    In Holland, when the rail system was privatized, a contract was drawn up that allowed the rail company to do its own customer survey reports and ignore user reviews that scored to low. Choose its own lines to ignore for judging its punctuality, not have to count canceled trains as delayed and a lot more stuff that any sane person would NEVER have allowed in a performance contract. So... were the people who signed it bought off? To stupid to be allowed to live?

    Yes... and not exactly. The parties responsible BELIEVE in privatization, all their models, all their advisers say it must work and surely business wouldn't lie to them because they don't lie, they just present facts that exist in their mind and not in the real world. Their was a parliamentary investigation on whether privatization in the last two decades had a positive effect and the answer was NO and the two parties (CDA VVD) STILL said what was needed was MORE privatization.

    They can't do anything else because it has become their identity, it is what they are, their faith, their gospel. And any evidence to the contrary isn't going to shake a faith they grew up on. The left isn't much better, the multi cultural society is falling apart and the best the left can manage is "we shouldn't want that"... Groen Links (Green Left) was decimated in Holland when it became clear the party had lost all touch with reality in supporting several right wing measures, forgettin they were supposed to be a LEFT wing party. CDA has been recudeced to a fraction of itself and still doesn't know why. SP scored big in the polls but lost it all during the actual election and still is wondering what happened.

    The arstechnica article expresses suprise at this move because it thought the republican party was trying to appeal young voters. WRONG. Oh it wants to attract more voters but it is NOT going to change itself, it can't. It is what it is. To change itself, it would first have to admit it was wrong, ALL if it, ALL of them, ALL they ever believed to be true. WRONG. People don't do that. Especially people who live in an ivory towers removed from all reality. Romney wasn't a particular evil guy, he just really believed his fantasy land, the made up world of Fox News.

    And people living in made up worlds are easily manipulated by people good at telling stories. The Lobbyist know how to bend the world of make believe to reflect their wishes. The ordinary voter doesn't. Not only is the average voter barely coherent but everyone one of them has an endless amount of conflicting wishes so any politician who tries to actually listen will quickly realise that if you can't please them all, why bother. In the mean time, the lobbyist gives a clear simple and therefor sensible and achievable story.

    Basically, we are screwed. We need more REAL people in politics but the only way to get anywhere in politics is to grow up in it and become part of the system. Any real person will either quit in disgust, be torn apart by the pack for daring to rock the boat (any outcast public figure like Assange) or become part of the system.

    You could try an experiment if you got the time. Write down your

  • by morgauxo ( 974071 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:11PM (#42207533)

    It will be completely forgotten by the next election.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:13PM (#42207573) Homepage

    Posted by timothy on Thursday December 06, @02:15PM

    What got posted is an edited version of my submission, and the editing is a distinct improvement. Thanks, Timothy!

  • by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:14PM (#42207585)

    I think most of us realized long ago that when politicians claim to be "pro-business" they are referring not to some abstract ideal of free markets, but rather to being in favor of the incumbent players getting richer and more powerful. But just in case anyone on Slashdot hadn't figured this out yet, hopefully after this event they will have.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:18PM (#42207649) Homepage

    I think he should stand by his memo and run for office.

  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:21PM (#42207717)

    Copyright reform should be the conservative position since our current state of copyright is so far out of line with the original constitutional text and intent. Conservatives rightly complain when we use foreign law to influence interpretation of the Constitution, yet our copyright has been warped to follow the copyright schemes of most foreign countries, not ours, and that's somehow considered constitutional.

    Abandoning their principles, the basic reason the Republicans lost, and will keep losing. All the Democrats have to do is not screw up too badly.

    • by Zordak ( 123132 )

      All the Democrats have to do is not screw up too badly.

      In other words, both parties are royally screwed.

  • by morgauxo ( 974071 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:27PM (#42207799)

    I don't mean this to stick up for the Republican party at all but does anybody really believe that the Democratic party would welcome this report any more than the Republicans? Would a Democrat who wrote this report still have a job afterwards? I doubt it. Both sides are in bed with corporations and especially the media ones.

    • They won't. The Dems lean Hollywood, both by voting district and campaign funding. The hope would be that the GOP could serve as a useful opposition party on this issue. Apparently not.

    • No, but one would hope the Republicans would take the other point of view if only to be different from the Democrats.

      But now they are both the same.  Again.
  • by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:04PM (#42208399)
    He released the memorandum on his own, totally undermining other staffers and most likely bypassing any sort of vetting, validation, and/or peer review stages. It's naturally in the RSC's best interests to put forth memos and reports that present a consistent argument and (most importantly) don't express opinions in a way that may offend constituents.

    While I hate to see them distance themselves from a sane and rational argument for copyright reform, I can't help but think that any other organization would do the same thing when one of their employees decides to go all "cowboy" and fire off memos and reports without organizational consent.
  • Dear Congressman (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:07PM (#42208441) Journal

    Dear Mr Kline,
    I'm deeply disappointed in my GOP caucus at the dismissal of Derek Khanna for his writing of a paper discussing copyright reform.

    (ref [])

    I sincerely hope you weren't "one of the congressmen" Rep Scalise was approached by to remove Mr Khanna.

    Copyright reform is a desperately-needed, serious issue. "Shooting the messenger" signals that the GOP is NOT the party interested in fixing the situation. To less charitable eyes, it might even seem that these Representatives are just doing the bidding of their lobbyists from the MPAA and RIAA donors. The *only* silver lining here is that the Democrats are even MORE obviously in the pocket of media producers.

    I invite you and your peers to review the Copyright Clause of the US Constitution: (art I, sec 8, clause 8) "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    Note, copyright is to PROMOTE THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE - not to promote the ongoing rent-seeking by the umpteenth-descendant of an artist. Further, the clause specifically says "LIMITED TIMES" - constantly revising copyrights out to longer and longer durations is complying with neither the letter nor the intent of the US Constitution.

    So, I ask MY PARTY representatives in Congress - what's your point here?

    I would love to get a serious, considered response to this email, or would cheerfully like a chance to talk to you on the subject.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?