Senators behind PIPA are a bunch of copyright infringers

Vice's Jamie Lee Curtis Taete continues to investigate the copyright shenanigans that SOPA and PIPA's authors get up to (see the saga of how SOPA author Lamar Smith (R-TX) ripped off the photo on the front page of his website).

Now Taete is digging into PIPA supporters, having a quick look at their Twitter profile photos and websites, and yup, the Senators backing PIPA are a bunch of depraved pirates.

This is a screencap of PIPA co-sponsor Roy Blunt's Twitter page from a couple of days ago. The background image is by photographer Walter Rowland. I spoke to his wife Linny, and she told me: "Wow, I'm so surprised to see that someone would do this. Especially a senator! It's even more of a violation because I'm actually in the photo so it's as if I'm supporting his beliefs. Yes, that's one of my husband's photos who is actually a semi-professional photographer, and no, they weren't given permission." Roy has since changed the background on his Twitter in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Other offenders: Claire McCaskill (D-MO) (who ineptly swapped out her infringing Twitter profile image for another infringing image -- nice one!); Dennis Ross (R-FL) (technically a SOPA supporter, as he's in the House), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

PIPA Supporters Violate Copyright Laws, Too



  1. Hey kids, guess what you have to study to become a politician?
    That’s right, nothing! You can be a politician and not know a single thing about anything. Including the internet and copyright laws!

  2. “Roy has since changed the background on his Twitter in an attempt to cover his tracks.”
    To be fair, he might be trying to stop the infringement as soon as he found out about it, not just covering his tracks. Assuming he infringed out of ignorance, or some ghost-writing underling in charge of his Twitter acct posted it without his knowledge.

    1. If he’s worried enough about copyright infringement to sponsor a draconian anti-copyright bill with the capacity for enormously disruptive unintended consequences then one would think he’d be worried enough to hire someone to do due diligence on his own media.

      1. True. I don’t mean to defend all his actions, especially whoever ganked that image in the first place. I just thought it might not be fair to characterize him as “attempt[ing] to cover his tracks” when he removed the image.

  3. How wonderful that the first thing I see on my first post-blackout trip back to boingboing is a picture of my own Senator as an infringer.  Not to mention that my *other* Senator turns out to be an infringer as well…….

    Deidzoeb – it sounds like you are ready to give these esteemed lawmakers the benefit of a doubt – which is *exactly* what the bill they support would eliminate for other “unintentional infringers”.

  4. This is the problem.  All these idiots trying to foist this legislation and turn the internet into Iran have absolutely NO F@#$ING CLUE about what they’re talking about or proposing.  I could pick any random 10 year old who would probably know more about the internet than our “elected officials”.

  5. As my buddy said the other day: “I would like them to pass this bill, so a new , “rogue”, web will be created, because there will be a demand for it. We will be able to move on with our lives then, and possibly have the internet the way it was in 1996.”

  6. Stop pointing this stuff out and start CHARGING THEM and LITIGATING AGAINST THEM.

    Come on people, make the hypocrisy a permanent public record. These are powerful people screwing you over, do something about it!

    1. +1

      We already know that nearly all Congresspersons are hypocrites. Publicly outing them as hypocrites no longer has a tangible effect on their behavior or our already low perceptions of them. If you find an example of infringing content, use the DMCA to shut them down when possible, and/or sue them.

  7. But look at all this in positive light: were are given the opportunity to finally  shutdown the Twitter for good! Because they assist in illegal image distribution no less!!


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