How To Kill A Bill On Capitol Hill
As Silicon Valley hones its political agenda, Marvin Ammori has become the go-to First Amendment guy--as evidenced in January, when he helped destroy PIPA and SOPA. His method: "You're only going to win if you have better ideas, better persuasion, and better ability to organize people."
SOPA and PIPA would have blocked sites that spread pirated, copyrighted material. Ammori thought they were too broad in scope and had friendly lawmakers propose amendments to buy him time to respond.
Ammori reframed the bills as censorship: Popular sites such as YouTube and Tumblr were at risk. "It's a threat to social media," he said repeatedly on the TV talk-show circuit.
Ammori encouraged sites to show users life with censorship; on January 18, Wikipedia, Reddit, and 115,000 sites went dark, affecting 1 billion people and inspiring 10 million signatures and 8 million calls to legislators.
The blackout scared off lawmakers, effectively killing both bills.
Graduates from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in three years, with honors
Graduates cum laude from Harvard Law School
Publishes the first of several academic articles on First Amendment theory; the paper is now assigned in a First Amendment theory course at Harvard Law School
Serves as head lawyer for Free Press, the U.S.’s largest non-profit advocacy group working on open Internet and media reform issues
Serves as an advisor to the Obama campaign on technology, media and telecom and advises Obama Presidential Transition Team on FCC Review
Handles the Comcast-BitTorrent case before the FCC and the DC Circuit federal appeals court
His filings on competition in online films and TV shows result in the most significant legal conditions imposed by the Department of Justice in the Comcast-NBC merger.
Leads the coalition that brings down SOPA and PIPA
A version of this article appears in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company.