Slow news week, right?
Other than a Supreme Court decision, one of the largest criminal copyright infringement indictments in history, and an internet protest against SOPA that resulted in nearly 1.5% of the US population contacting their representatives.
Inevitably a lot of links today will deal with issues surrounding SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act. One of the more interesting developments I’ve noted is the reaction to the overreach and hyperbole of the “internet blackout.” Many who didn’t necessarily support the specific language of the bills raised concerns over the tactics involved and even expressed some sympathy for supporters of the bills — probably not an intended consequence of those behind the protest.
For example: Evan Brown, a whip-smart lawyer who blogs at Internet Cases, writes If you critique SOPA, read the text. If you read the text, read it right, noting the “misguided” arguments made by the Khan Academy in a video against SOPA. U of Chicago philosopher Brian Leiter says of the blackout that the “knee-jerk opposition of cyber-libertarians, who readily turn a blind eye to all the ugliness of cyber-space, is itself suspect in my view.” Bloggers at the well-respected IPKat blog offered sobering analysis here and here. Finally, NY Times technology columnist David Pogue cautions that “the scare language used by some of the Web sites was just as flawed as the Congressional language that they opposed.”
If The Tech Industry Had Its Way, Hollywood Would Be Zynga — TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis casts a critical eye at venture capitalist Paul Graham’s latest statement: Kill Hollywood. Graham had previously called SOPA supporters like Hollywood “un-American” and promised to not work with anyone on the list of supporters.
An Elegy for the Piracy Wars (On the Occasion of the SOPA/PIPA Blackouts) — An epic rant by author Chris Ruen. At 4000+ words, few perhaps will agree with all his sentiments, but there’s certainly much food for thought.
The False Ideals of the Web — Jaron Lanier’s book You Are Not a Gadget is recommended reading for anyone interested in digital issues. In this NY Times editorial, Lanier reitirates his skepticism of a worldview where “the Internet is a never-ending battle of good guys who love freedom against bad guys like old-fashioned Hollywood media moguls.”
Starving the Artist is FREE Forever. Download the Free E-Book — Author William Aicher has made his book Starving the Artist: How the Internet Culture of “Free” Threatens to Exterminate the Creative Class and What Can Be Done to Save It’ available as a free download. I just started reading it this weekend, good stuff so far.
Explainer: How can the US seize a “Hong Kong site” like Megaupload? — Nate Anderson at Ars Technica has a good overview of the jurisdictional issues implicated in Thursday’s arrest of Megaupload executives.
165 French File-Sharers Now On 3rd Strike, “iTunes Up 22.5%” — Less than 2 years after France began its graduated response approach to piracy, reports show encouraging statistics. Those receiving second warnings represent less than 10% of those receiving first warnings.