GOP fires author of copyright reform paper

Derek Khanna, the Republican House staffer who wrote an eminently sensible paper on copyright reform that was retracted less than a day later has been fired. So much for the GOP's drive to attract savvy, net-centric young voters. After all, this is the party that put SOPA's daddy in charge of the House Tech and Science Committee.

But it's pretty terrible for Khanna -- what a shabby way of dealing with dissent within your ranks.

Staffer axed by Republican group over retracted copyright-reform memo [Timothy B. Lee/Ars Technica] (via /.)


    1. When it comes to copyright reform, as it is with the War on Drugs, America does not have a sensible party.

        1. …are you suggesting Democrats will suddenly come to their senses and risk angering a major industry/employer in their districts, or are you suggesting a new party?
          And as long as you’re dreaming, have you asked for a unicorn yet?

          1. And as long as you’re dreaming, have you asked for a unicorn yet?

            Nah, BoingBoing’s got my back for those.

        1. They’ve got their own share of problems — obscurity probably being the biggest — but sure, I’d be happy to see  Khanna make some noise wherever he winds up.  And I still hold out hope that, if the two major parties continue to dither, eventually one (or more) of the third parties will become viable.  And that this will happen exactly BECAUSE the Republican Party insists on pushing out people like Khanna.  (And, you know, hates science, women, black people, brown people, gay people, and the disabled.)

  1. But it’s pretty terrible for Khanna — what a shabby way of dealing with dissent within your ranks.

    That probably seems like a reasonable statement to a foreigner, but as an US citizen very familiar with the Republican party…he got off pretty light.

    1. i completely agree.  if one has been paying even the most cursory attention to our current political class it is blatantly obvious that the republican party has gone stark raving mad.  that young man is lucky he wasn’t forced to run through a gauntlet of tea party republicans on his way out of the house office building.

      1. The tea party isn’t responsible for his removal, though – and I seriously doubt that many of them care much one way or the other about copyright. This looks more like corporate influence, and *that* has nothing to do with the recent radicalization of some other elements. In other words, I’m thinking they woulda canned him even if they *hadn’t* gone stark raving mad. In fact I expect the Democrats would have done much the same, only more quietly… maybe via a sideways promotion.

  2. What a shabby way of dealing with dissent within your ranks

    First I thought of a FTFY: “What a shabby way of dealing with reason within your ranks”.  Then it hit me – in their little heads, the republican party is back to the pre-Voltaire days.

  3. I shouldn’t be surprised at this, but how discouraging. As someone on Ars pointed out, even though US politics bow to the highest bidder, the fact that they don’t bother to hide it is very disturbing.

    This is my favorite comment from Ars:

    Can we just rename the USA “Hollywood’s Bitchmonkey” now and be done with it? Every time the movie industry says “jump” it seems like all of our politicians and judges ask “on which of our so-called citizens?”

  4. Is there any way we can indavidually and or collectivly get in contact with this guy and tell him we /agree/ with him?

    1. This.  I’d been meaning to look up his contact info and do exactly that BEFORE I heard he was fired.

      He could use some support, some reassurance — ideally a new, better job.

  5. The Republicans kill me.  The US has a two party system.  It doesn’t function without an opposition party.  You need another party to gently apply the breaks when the other party is getting out of hand and handing out too many gifts to its constituents.  You need another party to take the ‘other side’ of stuff that deserves to have another side.  SOPA is exactly why I want a function opposition party.  Without the threat of an opposition party to take your seat, SOPA would have been passed by Democrats.  

    The fucking Republicans seem bent on making the US a one party nation.I would LOVE to have a viable Republican opposition.  I in fact do want a party that balks at deficit spending and counters the interests that Democrats have in stuff like copyright.  The Republicans are utterly hellbent on not being that party.  When something meaningful comes out where they can serve their god damn two party function of saying “no” to the other side, like copyright, the assholes suddenly find their bipartisan spirit.  When it comes to subjects they should just abandon because it is a subject that they are going to lose (rightfully so), like gay marriage, those pieces of shit dig in their heels and try and fight off history like they stand any chance of winning.My masturbation fantasy is that in the same way the once incredibly racist Democratic party surrendered almost all at once the civil rights issue to get on the right side of history, that the Republicans will do the same.  In my fantasy, the Republican party abandons the crazy evangelicals, finds their moderate libertarian balls, and battles for the youth and working professional vote.  They could slice into a huge swath of the youth vote by simply flipping on gay marriage, opposing democrats in the copyright field, and realize that the “small government” (ha!) party should be the first to surrender the war on drugs and get slashy with military budget.

    I’m not going to hold my breath.

  6. Wait, what?  The GOP is AGAINST limiting damages as a result of lawsuits?  In the health care industry, that is what they are all about… reducing costs and all that in cases where there is physical damage to persons.

    Oh, oops, but those are cases in which people are actually physically damaged or, worse, killed, by malpractice.  The whole copyright thing is about the ever-so-much-more-important issue of damage to intellectual property.

    So, what the GOP is really saying is that damage to intellectual property (not even physical property) is more harmful to society in general than damage to persons.


  7. I am not surprised by this, nor do I feel particularly saddened.

    I think Mr. Khanna deserves to work for better people, who value his talent and insight. I once had a boss who said “who asked you to think?” It became obvious in that instant that I was there only to follow directions, and never to question the status quo. I have never enjoyed quitting a job more. The GOP did him a favor by showing him who they are, just as my former employer did for me.

  8. The “GOP” isn’t a monolith, and isn’t beholden to the media barons like the Democrats are.  Mr Khanna needs to primary someone and see if they listen better when he wins a House seat.  Make this an issue in a campaign and if it’s a winner, others will take note.  Congress doesn’t respect logic, or justice, but it surely does respect votes.

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