Tags: antidisestablishmentarian, asshats, digg, dmca, internet, law, politics, responsibility, sociology
By now, most everyone has heard about what happened at Digg… but in case you haven’t…
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) started sending Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests to Digg, whose user-supported community were giving kudos to some little cyberpunks who decided to post Cracks which would allow users to steal licensed content from HD-DVD movies. These DMCA requests merely asked Digg to take down links to the crack-codes, which their community users had posted.
Users on Digg revolted as the company began complying with the DMCA requests, and posted thousands upon thousands on links to the illegal material. Eventually, Digg was forced to concede to the mutiny, as it put an enormous amount of pressure on the dotcom’s small number of owners.
This pissed me off.
Digg shouldn’t’ve had to exhaust their resources trying to fight this stuff. And this is the downfall of user-supported communities on the Internet… And the users who think it’s a matter of “free and protected speech” are actually just a bunch of thugs.
There, I said it.
And I’m right.
Let’s think of it this way:
Some guy is standing at your local Mall passing out keys that fit the front door of your office, along with a flyer that has your Alarm code on it. Is that illegal? Yes.
The same guy goes and puts your office key and Alarm code on the bulletin board at a local University. Is that illegal? Yes.
But if he went home, and posted the information on the Internet, along with a precise method to guarantee that you could create that same office key using materials you already own, then some asshat Lawyer would claim that it’s protected, free speech. And that is completely wrong, and defies all logic.
So I have to ask … What’s the difference between a guy doing any of those three things, and passing out “key” to crack an HD-DVD movie?
There is no difference. It is illegal. It has been illegal.
And anyone who helps the guy do it? Aiding and abetting. That’s been illegal for a few hundred years.
But money talks… You can guarantee that right now, over this controversey, a bunch of Lawyers will get together with a plan to make money by setting ridiculous precedents, becoming experts and what can only be called bullshit.
It’s happened before. For instance…
It was illegal to trade child pr0n. However, a lot of people felt it was okay to do it via the Internet, and had Lawyers prove their case. The overwhelming excuse by Lawyers was, “It’s the Internet — it’s not real.”
Finally, a bunch of other Lawyers got together and decided to make a law against “trading child pr0n on the Internet.” Did we need that law, when “trading child pr0n” was already illegal?
It was a way to make a bunch of Lawyers a pile of free cash from an unsuspecting public who felt that giving Lawyers and lobbyists some money was the only way to make it end — instead of starting a grassroots campaign to enforce the existing laws that made trafficking child pr0n illegal.
It really sucks that people won’t realize that.
If you call someone and threaten their life, it’s illegal. If you do it over the Internet, it’s illegal.
If you have a restraining order against someone and they harrass you, it’s illegal. If they do it over the Internet, it’s illegal.
Why do we keep letting pedantic Lawyers tell us none of this stuff is real?
Tell your Representatives: if it’s illegal in real life, it’s illegal on the internet. This kind of Legal seperation has to stop!
Unless it’s between two consenting adults…
[ Maybe I’ve watched too much Penn & Teller ]