Hold your politicians accountable for PRO-IP

Sadly, President Bush has allowed himself and the Department of Justice to be manipulated by the RIAA and MPAA. On October 13th, he signed the PRO-IP bill into law, ignoring calls to veto it and pretty clear indications that the bill was promoted using completely fabricated statistics.

Any law described as "music to the ears" by the head of the RIAA is going to be trouble. But just because the bill has passed doesn't mean this issue is dead.

First, we should thank the representatives who stood up against the corrupting influence of the media companies and voted against the bill. Public Knowledge has provided an easy way to do this. Please edit the letter text there to remove the term "intellectual property" before you send it -- accepting that as the category for debate is accepting framing that is designed to obscure the issues and serve the interests of those behind bills like this one.

Second, we should keep the reps who voted for the bill on the hook. Let them know that we are on to them and will be continually exposing their corrupt votes. So, if your representative voted for the bill, look up what contributions they received from the entertainment industry and confront them with this information.

Third, the vote in the Senate was unanimous. Let your senators know that you are very disappointed in their position and expect an explanation.

You can contact your representative at https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml, and your senators at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.

To those who supported the bill, you might say something like:

President Bush has now signed the misleadingly named PRO-IP bill into law. I'm extremely disappointed in the position you took in voting for this bill. I'm aware of the campaign contributions that you, your colleagues and your party receive from the entertainment industry, and it's very clear that this bill was written and passed to please the contributors. If you aren't going to represent me on important issues like this, I'm not going to vote for you. I hope you've read about the fabricated evidence used to support this bill (http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/dodgy-digits-behind-the-war-on-piracy.ars), and have started thinking about what you can do to reverse this decision and begin representing the public's interests in sharing, knowledge, and culture when you are considering copyright legislation (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/misinterpreting-copyright.html). In addition, I would like an explanation for your vote that responds to these concerns.