The first panel of the day at CREATE featured Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Congressman Jared Polis, Steve Tepp, Senior Director of Internet Piracy and Counterfeiting, US Chamber of Commerce, Larry Downes, author of Laws of Disruption, Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age, Chris Castle, Copyright Attorney and author of the Media Tech Policy blog, and Rick Carnes, President of The Songwriters Guild of America.

The Protect IP Act is a revamp of last year’s controversial COICA bill. You can read about Protect IP here. Protect IP, while considered by many to be a marked improvement over COICA, is still opposed by some internet advocates as a danger to free speech. Your mileage may vary. Terry Hart, copyright attorney and author of the Copyhype blog, has an overview of the issue from the copyright advocate perspective.

Marsha Blackburn, whose constituency includes the greatest concentration of music industry artists in the country, supports the Protect IP bill. Jared Polis, an internet entrepreneur and multi-millionaire, is strongly opposed to the bill.

As a creator who treasures my Constitutional right to free speech, but who also strongly believes in the Constitutional right to copyright, these issues are of vital importance to me on many levels. It is gratifying to see open discussion of these matters by rational people who are not screaming at and threatening each other over the internet.

It’s extremely important that every creator understands these issues, especially as they will be dealt with from the perspective of legislators.

A video of the panel on which I appeared is HERE.