According to the City Pages, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Al Franken aren’t quite giving up on the Protect IP Act in the wake of Wednesday’s internet-wide protest. Instead, they say they are interested in a “compromise” that will preserve the bill.
Aaron Rupar from the City Pages calls bullshit, and so do I. Even Michele Bachmann is on the right side of this issue, while Klobuchar and Franken remain anti-internet. Then again, this isn’t Klobuchar’s first piece of anti-internet legislation.
A month later, the FTC responded to Senator Franken’s letter. In sum, the FTC’s letter reads thus: “We’re doing some stuff. But yeah, what’s going on in Minnesota doesn’t sound right. And hey, it wouldn’t hurt to add some protections to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”
It’s kind of a weak response. I think the FTC is just hoping this goes away so it doesn’t have to do anything. It didn’t bother making concrete recommendations, for example. And the FTC’s statement that “The Demand for Disclosure contains a clear and prominent statement . . . .” Is just wishful thinking. Legal forms rarely contain clear statements of anything, and the collection forms are particularly obtuse.
Here’s hoping that Senator Franken doesn’t let this die.
Update: the FTC says it is going to look into debt collectors who are jailing debtors in Minnesota. No report on whether the FTC will look into the other allegations of abuse Senator Franken mentioned.
You can almost smell the chads hanging in the air as candidates start to declare their intentions for the 2008 elections. But few are expected to put their views on consumer issues at the forefront of their campaign platform. And consumer-friendliness is rarely the exclusive province of one party or the other. After all, Republican Norm Coleman is one of the few politicians to speak out against the RIAA’s abuse of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to sue downloaders.
But then again, Coleman does not give space to consumer issues on his “issue list” on his home page. How do the DFL candidates clamoring for his seat measure up?