A Republican staffer in the House of Representatives has been fired for writing an unpopular memo. The crime? The memo suggested more lenient punishments for copyright offense.

"The paper proposed lighter punishments for copyright infringements and suggested shorter terms for copyrights. (Under current law, written works are under copyright for 75 years after the author's death.)," reports Tim Carney.

This paper upset some powerful interests. By Saturday afternoon, the [Republican Study Committee] had pulled the memo from its website and officially retracted it. The reason, according to two Republicans within the RSC: angry objections from Rep. Marsha Blackburn, whose district abuts Nashville, Tenn. In winning a fifth term earlier in the month, Blackburn received more money from the music industry than any other Republican congressional candidate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Blackburn's office did not return calls seeking comment.

Lobbyists for the music and movie industries also called the RSC to express disapproval, according to Republicans involved.

After upsetting the "powerful interests," the staffer was fired. "The staffer who wrote the memo, an ambitious 24-year-old named Derek Khanna, was fired -- even before the RSC had decided on other staffing changes for the upcoming Congress. The copyright memo was a main reason," reports Carney.

Read the memo here.

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