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Wyden, Chaffetz, Rubenstein Receive CEA Digital Patriots Awards


The Consumer Electronics Association
(CEA) held its 2012 Digital Patriots Dinner and
honored Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rep. Jason Chaffetz
(R-Utah) and David Rubenstein, managing director,
Carlyle Group.

The dinner, held at the Newseum on April 24, here,
drew a mix of CE industry leaders, members of Congress,
policy experts and media to honor three individuals
who, in the words of Gary Shapiro, CEA president/
CEO, “hold dear American innovation and who
fight for it each day.”

Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group received his award
for his “countless contributions to innovation, from his
service under President Carter, to his legal work for
advancing ‘fair use,’ to his stellar patriotism in acquiring
and donating to the American people the Magna
Carta and Emancipation Proclamation,” said Shapiro.

In his remarks, Rubenstein said that a human being’s
highest calling is to “help other people,” and that the
word philanthropist in Greek means just that.

He was uncomfortable being called a “patriot” of any
kind since Rubenstein believes real patriots “work for
government, in public service … policemen, firemen …
members of our armed services who risk their lives to
protect us and our country and do not work for money.”

Senator Wyden received his award for “his brave
and prescient opposition” of the PROTECT IP Act,
the intellectual property bill that would have “stifled
Internet entrepreneurship,” Shapiro said, along with
his support of the Online Protection and Enforcement
Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, a bill designed to protect IP
owners “without crushing innovation.”

Representative Chaffetz received his award for leading “opposition to the anti-innovation
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and
advocated for more targeted and effective
approaches to online infringement,”
the CEA exec noted.

The dinner’s proceeds benefitted the
Ron Brown Scholar Program named for
the late Secretary of Commerce. The
Ron Brown Scholar Program provides
scholarships and support for bright but
economically challenged African-Americans
seeking higher education. The program
has named 281 Ron Brown Scholars
and has a 100 percent success rate
of its scholars completing college and
being involved in community service.
More than 98 percent of its graduated
scholars are now gainfully employed or
obtaining advanced degrees.