Tej and I submitted this to the Register just now re: SOPA/PIPA. What a horribly misguided piece of proposed legislation.....
"Our elected leaders are always promising to put Americans back to work and create jobs. However, Congress is now considering legislation that would stifle innovation and impede expansion of the economy. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate promise to have irreversible effects on the ability of tech startups to grow and expand.
In addition to giving the government unprecedented new powers, this legislation would create a new “private right of action,” allowing trial lawyers to file baseless suits against web-based companies. Because of the lack of due process under this legislation, a website can be effectively removed from the internet, allowing online trolls or unscrupulous competitors to make a site go dark without even being notified.
Imagine a tiny startup company, chasing a great idea and operating with two people in a garage (or a shared workspace like ours). That company can’t afford a lawyer to defend against even one of those lawsuits. In fact, in the regulatory environment created under this legislation, that company probably wouldn’t even exist in the first place. Who would invest, knowing most of the money would go to legal fees rather than improving the product?
Each one of the big tech companies like Google and Facebook started small, and needed that crucial seed capital. Will the next Twitter never exist under SOPA and PIPA? Could the next Groupon have been based on Des Moines’ “Silicon Sixth?”
We cannot afford to have Iowa-based tech companies stopped in their tracks by Washington politicians. Please join me in calling on Senator Grassley, Congressman King, and Congressman Latham to vote no on this harmful legislation."