Yale Law Fellow with the Information Society Project, columnist and policy expert Derek Khanna authored the controversial House Republican Study Committee memo "Three Myths about Copyright Law." The memo on copyright reform was praised throughout the tech community as being "brilliant" and a "breath of fresh air." He has spoken at the Consumer Electronics Show as a technology expert and will be speaking at Freedom to Connect and the Conservative Political Action Conference. Derek was referred to as a "rising star" in the party by David Brooks in the New York Times. Mr. Khanna continues to be a major thought leader on technology issues and disruptive innovation
With SOPA, the industry had the money, the lobbyists, and the organization. But we, the digital generation, are the trump card—and we won. Now it's up to us to make sure that the historic protest was not merely a historical aberration.
When I wrote the copyright report for the House Republican Study Committee, I had no idea the outpouring of support I would receive from the digital generation that I belong to. I wrote it solely to start a conversation amongst our Congressional Members, but instead I have seen it engage thousands of average people. The report was published on November 16, 2012. Two weeks later, on December 7, 2012, I was informed that I would not be retained as a staffer.
Despite the personal consequences, I am not giving up. I'm just getting started, and I'm not scared by a temporary setback. I'm emboldened by it. And I don't think I'm the only one, or that I'm one of a few.
The conversation that the copyright report started is inspirational, in the face of a political establishment (on both sides of the aisle) which often refuses to acknowledge that we are paying attention. It is up to us, the public, to be engaged. If we are not satisfied with our policy-makers and the policies that they enact, we can change the policies by challenging them.
We have the ideas, we have the tools, and we have the organization.
President Obama and the Tea Party show that an energized and engaged citizenry can elect candidates in grassroots movements. And we have seen them stop legislation in its tracks. SOPA's opposition proved that a united digital movement can stop legislation that is expected to pass despite overwhelming odds, special interest' cronies, and powerful politicians.