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

Posted June 17, 2011 at 5:12pm

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.