[IRP] PROTECT IP no longer coming for a vote!

Jochai Ben-Avie jochai
Mon Jan 23 22:40:04 EET 2012

Dear friends and colleagues,

Over the weekend I?ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we can
maintain the momentum and power of all of the groups that have come
together to fight SOPA & PIPA. The scale and scope of action taken around
this legislation is unprecedented and shows the influence we can have when
we work together. But what actually made this ad hoc coalition so effective
and how can we harness this energy ahead of the next battle? Some thoughts:

1) *Sharing information.* I think in every political capitol, but
particularly in Washington D.C., things happen very quickly and it can be
hard for international groups to keep their finger on the pulse of what?s
happening. By pooling information, it is much easier to get a complete
picture of what ?the other side? is planning, allowing us to identify
leverage points and spend resources most effectively.
2)* Coordinated messaging. *While there is certainly a balance to be struck
between having a diversity of voices and a unified narrative when
international human rights organizations speak out against a rights-abusing
law, there is also value in knowing what other groups are going to be doing
and saying. This enables us to avoid conflict and to position our
organizations most strategically.
3) *Common action.* There are times when a chorus of opposition can be
influential (e.g., when each groups speaks out against a law individually),
but when it comes to the international human rights community, I think we
can also have a very powerful impact if we speak in one voice. We?ve heard
that our letters about SOPA and PIPA were particularly effective in this
regard. For example, we saw many of the talking points from our letter
about SOPA in the White House?s statement on this legislation.

This is not the last time that the international human rights community
will have to come together to defeat a particular digital rights-abusing
law. Indeed, SOPA and PIPA are likely to rear their ugly heads again
sometime in the next few weeks. And, of course, let us not forget about
ACTA. While the international human rights community can?t speak out about
every law that threatens digital rights or the integrity of the internet,
it?s important that we share information about what?s happening around the
world, taking coordinated action when it makes sense to do so. While we?re
all on many lists, I don?t think there is an existing comprehensive
listserv that achieves the goals outlined above. To help in coordinating
sign-on in the previous three letters (around the eG8, SOPA, and PIPA),
we?ve created a list of the contact people at a number of human rights
organizations internationally (incidentally, the recipients of this email).
To speak to the goals above and make it easier for everyone on this thread
to coordinate action of the international human rights community, we?ve
created a google group for international digital rights organizations (
digitalrightsorgs at googlegroups.com). We?ve initially sent invitations to
orgs that signed one of the letters about the eG8, SOPA, or PIPA (about 100
in total), but if there are others who should be included, just let me



Jochai Ben-Avie
Policy Director
Access | AccessNow.org
P: +1-347-806-9531 | S: jochaiben-avie | PGP: 0x9E6D805F

On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 9:58 AM, Jochai Ben-Avie <jochai at accessnow.org>wrote:

> Hi all,
> Just wanted to let you know that... we did it! Everyone, we did it!
> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has postponed Tuesday's cloture vote!
> Press release from Reid's office is below, but wanted to let you know that
> the Public Knowledge strategy call originally scheduled for 1 PM EST
> (GMT-5) has been moved to 2 PM and we'll be discussing next steps. Let me
> know if you want the number.
> Cheers,
> Jochai
> http://democrats.senate.gov/2012/01/20/reid-statement-on-intellectual-property-bill/
> Washington, D.C. ? Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following
> statement today on the Senate?s PROTECT I.P. Act:
> ?In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday?s vote on
> the PROTECT I.P. Act.
> ?There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this
> bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American
> economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie
> industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to
> stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully
> expect to be fairly compensated for a day?s work, whether that person is a
> miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City,
> or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.
> ?I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill. I encourage
> him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between
> protecting Americans? intellectual property, and maintaining openness and
> innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions
> we?ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a
> compromise in the coming weeks.?
> On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 11:57 PM, Jochai Ben-Avie <jochai at accessnow.org>wrote:
>> Hi Everyone,
>> Just wanted to reach out and give a brief summary of what?s been
>> happening around PIPA and the letter you all signed on to.
>> As I?m sure many of you know, yesterday, more than 115,000 websites
>> blacked out to protest PIPA and SOPA. I spent a large chunk of the day on
>> the Hill and the phones in Senate offices were ringing non-stop. Senator
>> Kirk?s office, for example, said that they had received 5,000 calls in less
>> than 24 hours. Some are saying that this is the most calls on *any*issue that the Senate has
>> *ever* received.
>> On the offline side, the protest outside Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand?s
>> offices in NYC coordinated by NY Tech Meetup was a rousing success, with
>> about 2,500 people turning out? perhaps the largest copyright protest ever.
>> Most of the Access Team was at the protest holding a giant 9x3 foot banner
>> that said ?Say No to PIPA and SOPA? and then called attention to the letter
>> from the human rights community, listing the URL, and the names of all of
>> the signatories. For more details and photos, check out our blog post
>> here<https://www.accessnow.org/policy-activism/press-blog/pipa-sopa-internet-censorship>.
>> On the letter:
>> A group of human rights organizations (including myself) were on the Hill
>> yesterday pushing the issues we raised in the letter. My impression is that
>> a lot of Senators (and Representatives, but the focus is on the House at
>> the moment given the legislative calendar) are really starting to grok that
>> this legislation affects human rights and are pulling their support or
>> going from no position to opposition. The fact that respected human rights
>> like ours are speaking out is making it easier for Senators to wean
>> themselves off the ?there are no first amendment concerns in this bill
>> because it only deals with piracy koolaid.? I?ll also add that the section
>> on information location tools in particular seemed to have resonance and
>> didn?t appear to be an issue that staffers were familiar with.
>> Today, with help from the Free Press Action Fund, one of our
>> co-signatories, we delivered the letter to the full Senate. *It would be
>> really great if everyone on this list could follow up with any contacts
>> that you have on the Hill to make sure they see the letter.* The final
>> version of the letter can be found at
>> https://www.accessnow.org/pipa-letter, if you want to give a link to
>> download the letter as a PDF use:
>> https://www.accessnow.org/page/-/docs/PIPA-LETTER-FROM-HUMAN-RIGHTS-COMMUNITY-FINAL.pdf.
>> Access press release about the delivery of the letter can be found here:
>> https://www.accessnow.org/policy-activism/press-blog/human-rights-organizations-rally-against-pipa-sopa.
>> *Please feel free to reuse this press release as you wish* (and change
>> up the quotes), key thing is just to get media attention around the letter.
>> While Tuesday?s vote is still a very real threat that we should be
>> pushing hard on, things seem to be going our way. This afternoon, I?ve
>> heard that Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader won't be whipping votes
>> for the vote on Tuesday, and Mitch McConnell (the Senate Minority Leader)
>> has come out against. However, if this bill passes a cloture vote on
>> Tuesday, it?s about 95% down the road to becoming law, and at that point we
>> can only hope for amendments to make it better.
>> Complicating things a little bit is that a Kyl-Leahy brokered manager?s
>> amendment may drop as early as tomorrow. For those not so familiar with
>> these names, Sen. Leahy is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
>> and the lead sponsor of PIPA and Sen. Kyl is the Republican Whip (the
>> second highest ranking Republican in the Senate). For those who don?t speak
>> American legislative lingo, a manager?s amendment allows the lead sponsor
>> of the legislation (in this case Senator Leahy) to more or less
>> unilaterally rewrite the provisions of the bill, so PIPA post-manager?s
>> amendment may look like a very different piece of legislation. Leahy?s
>> office will try and sell this as a compromise, assuaging the concerns that
>> opponents and citizens of the internet have raised, but the messaging
>> around this should be ?you don?t compromise on human rights.? Moreover,
>> without seeing the actual language of the manager's amendment (which the
>> public probably won?t see until Monday), we're just kind of taking Leahy's
>> at his word that problematic elements have been removed, and there are too
>> many BIG problems with this bill to extend him that kind of trust. We need
>> rhetoric like the internet is too important an enabler of human rights to
>> make hasty decisions and backrooms deals about its governance.
>> For those who really want to dive deep into the inside the beltway
>> machinations and movements around this bill, Public Knowledge (one of the
>> DC groups that?s been leading the charge in the fight against PIPA/SOPA) is
>> holding a strategy call tomorrow at 1PM EST (GMT-5). Happy to pass on the
>> number to those interested.
>> If you have any questions let me know. Thanks for all your support!
>> Cheers,
>> Jochai
>> --
>> Jochai Ben-Avie
>> Policy Director
>> Access | AccessNow.org
>> P: +1-347-806-9531 | S: jochaiben-avie | PGP: 0x9E6D805F
> --
> Jochai Ben-Avie
> Policy Director
> Access | AccessNow.org
> P: +1-347-806-9531 | S: jochaiben-avie | PGP: 0x9E6D805F
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