labingi: (ivan)
[personal profile] labingi
To ACTA and Its Handlers:

You can slow us, but you will not silence us. If you deny us the internet, we still trade stories; we will listen to music; we will create vids and fics and share images. We will do so through 'zines, through CDs, on sketchpads or typewriters or photocopiers. We will return to the post office. And if you compel the post office to censor our mail, we will leave parcels in the trunks of trees or behind garbage bins. We will blog on leaflets. We will hold our illegal public showings of films in people's houses by word of mouth. Our technical experts, who are legion, will still rip DVDs for us so that we can be about the human business of artistic creation.

And you will lose our money because, by eliminating or gravely restricting our use of the internet, you will have removed our incentive to go online and pay for our Netflix, our Hulu, to watch the ads your sponsors pay you for, which today so many of us choose to do because we understand that creative outlets need revenue.

But we will not consent to forgo any access to art you have priced out of reasonable means or deemed not legally available in our country or not legal at all because it pays tribute to some preexisting piece of art--as all art from the dawn of human civilization has done. We will not blind and deafen ourselves to pacify your fear of us. And if you do not behave reasonably toward us, we have no moral obligation to show obedience to you.

I am an American. And much of the time I'm ashamed to be. That my corporate government is one of the prime proponents this assault on the intellectual work of civilization makes me ashamed. Yet there remain precepts of America to which I adhere: that a people should not lightly undertake a revolt against their government, "But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."*

I do not mean to overstate the case, to call you George III or accuse you of enacting tyranny against me. Up to now, the tightening of the copyright noose has caused me no more than annoyance. Up to now, you have not silenced my voice or deleted my art or blocked my eyes and ears from more than a handful of works of art I love. You have not denied me the internet I daily use for work and information and entertainment. You have not bankrupted me with fines or imprisoned me at taxpayer expense. You have not done so yet. But if you do, then revolt will be my duty.


* I did not need the internet to find this quote. I found it in a book. We will still have our books.

Date: 2012-03-22 12:33 am (UTC)
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
From: [personal profile] elf
We will return to the post office. And if you compel the post office to censor our mail, we will leave parcels in the trunks of trees or behind garbage bins. We will blog on leaflets.

We will publish APAs. We will burn files to disc, put them in an envelope, and pin them to university bulletin boards. We will put data in dead drops. We will establish sneakernets. We will send memory cards by carrier pigeon.

Our interest in sharing our culture--songs, stories, movies, pictures, essays, and lists of raw information--is greater--more widespread and stronger--than your ability to censor.

The ability to throw some individuals into prison is not going to shut down free exchange of information... data exchange just move back into the shadows where it's always flourished. There has always been knowledge that the Powers That Be didn't want the public to freely share; changing that from "how biology works" to "what BadassDude did onscreen last month" isn't going to change how the public reacts to censorship. Whether it's claimed to be for economic reasons or moral reasons or "for our safety," it will fail.

Date: 2012-03-22 06:18 pm (UTC)
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
From: [personal profile] elf
One of Doctorow's claims is that copying will never be harder than it is right now--and people who make a living providing copyable content need to be aware of that.

I'm not quite sure he's right; JM Greer has a lot to say about the coming decline of the American empire and collapse of the petroleum-based techno-economic system. But barring an end to cheap electricity, which would destroy the high-tech global economy, yes, copying is not going to get harder. Pushing it farther out of the limelight won't make it go away, and we have much better tools now than we did in the days of usenet & BBS dial-in exchanges.

I have fond memories of &TOTSE and the "HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN LOCKPICKS" text files exchanged on shell accounts.

Date: 2012-03-22 02:57 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
When I first got into fandom my country got US TV on multiply copied VHS tapes, in private showings, handed around by fans to fans. We can do it again, and vastly more easily now.

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