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Republican Study Committee fires staffer who wrote memo urging copyright reform

Published Dec 6th, 2012 11:59PM EST
Copyright Reform Advocate

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Well, this will teach people not to defy well-funded lobbying cartels. Ars Technica reports that Derek Khanna, a staffer for the Republican Study Committee, has been fired for writing a memo that urged reform of America’s copyright laws and thus angered powerful lobbies such as the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America. According to Ars, 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” and then “asked that Khanna not be retained.”

As TechDirt reported last month, Khanna’s memo made a libertarian case for changing America’s copyright laws by criticizing current copyright law for giving content producers “a guaranteed, government instituted, government subsidized content-monopoly” and for being “corporate welfare that hurts innovation and hurts the consumer.” TechDirt later reported that the memo caused the RIAA and MPAA lobbyists to go “ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report,” which the RSC promptly did.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.