Digital Patriots Awards Celebrate Tech Innovation and Benefit Ron Brown Scholars

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) will be honored for their support of technology innovation at the eighth annual Digital Patriots Dinner, scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, also will be honored for his role in advancing innovation.

“Through their work in Congress, Senator Wyden and Representative Chaffetz are advancing technology entrepreneurship and preserving our role as the world’s innovation leader,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “David Rubenstein has made countless contributions to innovation, from his service under President Carter, to his legal work advancing ‘fair use,’ to his stellar patriotism in acquiring and donating the Magna Carta and Emancipation Proclamation.”

Ron Wyden was first elected to Congress in 1980, and began serving as a Senator for Oregon in 1996. CEA said he has earned a reputation as an independent voice, offering creative, common-sense solutions on issues that make a real difference in people’s lives. He serves on the Finance, Intelligence, Aging, Budget, and Energy and Natural Resources committees. CEA said that, recently, he was the first and Senate opponent of the PIPA legislation and spearheaded the introduction of the OPEN Act, intended to protect innovation and protect IP owners.

Jason Chaffetz was elected to represent Utah’s Third Congressional District on Nov. 4, 2008. He is active on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as well as the Judiciary Committee. He also serves on the IP Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, and CEA characterized him as being focused on making sure that laws reflect the realities of an increasingly connected and technology dependent society. Along with fellow Digital Patriots Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chaffetz led opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act and advocated more targeted and effective approaches to online infringement.

David Rubenstein co-founded, in 1987, The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most diversified multi-product global alternative asset management firms. In addition to serving as the firm’s managing director, Rubenstein is also the chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a regent of the Smithsonian Institution; president of the Economic Club of Washington and on the boards of directors or trustees of Duke University, the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Institute for Advanced Study.

All proceeds from the Digital Patriots Dinner will be donated to the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Named for the late Secretary of Commerce, and inspired by his dedication to public service, the Ron Brown Scholar Program was established in 1996 to provide scholarships and support for bright but economically challenged African Americans seeking higher education. In the 1980s, Ron Brown worked as a lawyer with David Rubinstein and CEA on legislation and litigation ensuring that new innovative products would not be restricted by copyright owners’ efforts to block or restrict new products and services.

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