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Roll Call

Heard on the Hill: Polis’ Crack (House) Comparison?

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) says an offensive website is like a crack house, and as seasoned Internet explorers, we are in full agreement.

Polis and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) were panelists Tuesday at the Newseum, where they talked policy, copyright, counterfeiting and piracy as part of Arts+Labs’ CREATE forum.

Polis, a former Web startup superstar, broke it down like this: Websites are like houses and domain names are like street signs.

“Let’s say you live in a neighborhood and there’s a crack house down the street,” he said. “The right answer would be police raiding it ... but that takes time.”

The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, Polis continued, is like taking down all the street signs in a town but leaving the crack house.

So, wait a minute: He is saying you can’t fix a house by taking down the street sign? There goes the rationale for the new TV show “Extreme Makeover: Crack House Edition.”

Correction: June 20, 2011

The article misstated the bill referenced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) at the Arts+Labs CREATE forum. It was the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act.

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