The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet

censorship Over at Techdirt, Mike Masnick is naming names. We're reposting his list below, but please visit his original article. (Techdirt is great on most of the issues we care about - I read it daily.)

The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet:

  • Patrick J. Leahy -- Vermont
  • Herb Kohl -- Wisconsin
  • Jeff Sessions -- Alabama
  • Dianne Feinstein -- California
  • Orrin G. Hatch -- Utah
  • Russ Feingold -- Wisconsin
  • Chuck Grassley -- Iowa
  • Arlen Specter -- Pennsylvania
  • Jon Kyl -- Arizona
  • Chuck Schumer -- New York
  • Lindsey Graham -- South Carolina
  • Dick Durbin -- Illinois
  • John Cornyn -- Texas
  • Benjamin L. Cardin -- Maryland
  • Tom Coburn -- Oklahoma
  • Sheldon Whitehouse -- Rhode Island
  • Amy Klobuchar -- Minnesota
  • Al Franken -- Minnesota
  • Chris Coons -- Delaware

Free Speech and Internet Freedom are areas where party affiliations are meaningless. Some of the worst enablers of censorship are Democrats; some of the strongest advocates for liberty are Republicans. Conservative bloggers created, which I just lent my support to; meanwhile everyone's favorite liberal, Al Franken, voted in favor of drastic censorship this morning. Please pay attention to what the people you elected are doing!

COICA stands for "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act." Once again the word "counterfeits" is completely misused: this act has nothing to do with real counterfeiting. The EFF states:

Some numbers from the Sita Distribution Project

Some numbers and slides from the Sita Distribution Report (crossposted from

Q. Who owns culture?

Who Owns Culture?

Q. How do you make money?

Q. How many people have seen Sita Sings the Blues?
A. I can't know for sure, but as of today it's been downloaded 258,744 times from, viewed 403,421 times at youtube (full movie) plus another 183,649 (installments); it's been shared widely via torrents, screened at festivals and cinemas and libraries and classrooms, and otherwise copied all over the world. Googling "Sita Sings the Blues" today yields about 2,620,000 results. enjoys about 193,000 visits a month.

Q. How much have you received in donations so far?
A. About $50,000.

Q. How much have you received in profits from the Sita Merchandise Empire?
A. About $45,000 for me as of March 2010. The store opened in March 2009, so that represents one year's income. The store grossed about $83,000 during that time.

Q. How much have you made from theatrical screenings?
A. About $9,000 for me. I estimate box office gross was about 8x that much, or approx. $72,000, but that's a gross estimate.

Q. How much have you made from other DVD distributors?
A. About $6,000 so far, which represents a small portion of gross DVD sales from other distributors. Our own DVDs which we offer at the Sita Merchandise Empire are accounted as store income, above.

Q. How much have you made from broadcast?
A. Only about $4,000 so far. Most broadcasters' legal departments can't wrap their heads around an open licensed movie. Happily New York's PBS Affiliate Channel 13 embraced it, as did Link TV. Broadcasters, please show the movie!

Q. How much have you received from voluntary payments from cinemas and festivals?
A. About $12,000. I don't use copyright to compel payments, but many venues share revenue of out decency and a mission to support artists, rather than legal threats.

Q. What other income have you gotten from the film?
A. Amazingly, $12,500 in Awards money. It still boggles my mind.

Q. So how much money did you personally make releasing a Free film under an open ShareAlike license?
A. In the film's first year, I got about $132,000. I've received more since then.


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