"Ed is a decent and honest citizen who simply disagrees with his congressman...." Today's print edition of the News & Record runs a long op-ed piece by Howard Coble, entitled "Digital piracy bill is sound"--a response to my earlier column and the paper's own editorial (Coble's piece not yet posted online, but ed. page boss Allen Johnson said he planned to do so).
After a lot of throat-clearing--a quote from a dead poet, a lengthy explanation of why copyright matters to the creative folk "in North Carolina and the rest of the nation," kind words about his "good friend and colleague, Howard Berman"--he finally gets around to arguing his points.
One is that I overstated the scope of the powers granted to his corporate paymasters under the proposed bill, and the other is that I understated the recourse available to you when the big companies trample you. He quotes the language of the bill to make his case, but ignores the truck-sized holes in his case.
Coble is wrong on both counts, as my column that runs tomorrow will detail. And he makes no effort to rebut the N&R editorial. After my first column ran, Coble's chief of staff, Ed McDonald, told me on the phone, "Now we are going to rip your face off." Then he said he was kidding. But he wasn't, really. Coble's piece aims at me, politely to be sure, but not at the facts or the big paper. But it's weak, and tomorrow it will look even weaker.