Congress Trying To Sneak Through Internet Link Tax To Funnel Cash To Private Equity Firms That Are Destroying Local Journalism

From Tax bindings are bad news Division

Congress has a bad habit. They have stopped passing substantive legislation through normal procedures, debates and votes. The legislative process as designed by our founders does not happen. Instead, Congress reserves most of its actual policy-making legislation for large year-end bills that could bring together hundreds of separate pieces of legislation. And if the reports are accurate, we could be shaping up to grandfather them all in December. That process must change, particularly for controversial, Constitutional bills such as the misleadingly named Press Conservation and Competition Act (JCPA).

The inclusion of controversial and poorly vetted legislation in these massive legislative packages is nothing new. In 2020 as lawmakers rushed for their winter holidays, Congress included language in the must-pass coronavirus relief that made unauthorized commercial broadcasting a crime that could lead to ten years in prison. Another controversial and potentially unconstitutional copyright court was set up at the same time, resulting in an enormous waste of time, money, and resources. The CASE Act had only one hearing that had no outside industry witnesses before it was included in lame duck legislation.

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This is a terrible way to make sound public policy.

This year, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) takes the lead as one of the most disturbing frontrunners at the end of this conference. This legislation uses antitrust law to circumvent barriers to constitutional protections for free speech within copyright law, will boost hedge funds and big media companies that are already hurting local news, and will force online platforms to carry and push even the most extreme and mendacious content. from “news” organizations.

Despite an outpouring of opposition from two dozen diverse organizations—ranging from small publishers, to civil society groups, to copyright law experts—and significant concerns raised by bipartisan senators about coding, there hasn’t been enough public debate about the harmful effects and resonance of the JCPOA. On the local news and online information scene. A mockery of legislative debate and regular order is bad enough. It’s even worse when future legislation like the JCPA violates the Constitution and prepares to overhaul how consumers access information online.

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Since huge media conglomerates like Gannett and Alden Global Capital would reap a financial windfall if it passed, it’s not surprising that the JCPA was drafted jointly with these conglomerates’ lobbyists behind closed doors. This isolated process resulted in the language of the law being shared only the day before the Senate coded, and several members of the Senate judiciary raised serious concerns about the constitutionality of the JCPA and its intended beneficiaries: the massive media conglomerates.
In addition, the operation willfully turned a blind eye to and ignored the many structural problems facing local news. A draft FTC discussion of the issues facing the local press found the JCPA’s approach unwise.

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Until now, the legislative process surrounding the JCPA has been opaque. What is clear, however, is that the fingerprints of the huge media conglomerates are everywhere. Despite best efforts by hedge funds and umbrella companies like Gannett and Alden Global Capital to force it through Congress, there are many policymakers willing to acknowledge the broad unintended effects of the JCPOA. Now, it’s time for Congress as a whole to acknowledge that legislation as controversial and constitutionally important as the JCPA deserves careful consideration on its own. If the JPCA cannot stand on its own merits alone, Congress should not include it as a contestant in year-end legislation.

Josh LeMel is the CEO of the Re:Create Coalition.

Filed Under: antitrust, competition, copyright, jcpa, press, correlation tax, must pass, omnibus

Companies: Alden Capital, Janet


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