2003 June 27

(entry last updated: 2003-06-27 08:59:45)

Last day here before heading to California for ILaw!

  • A nice writeup of the leaking of The Hulk online over at the Globe and Mail: Hollywood wants pirates’ gold [pdf]

  • Siva Viadhynathan speaks on P2P power and the clash of ideologies in the networked worldover at OpenDemocracy.net. His article, the first in a series, elaborates a deeper construction of the issues in the music sharing conflict: The new information ecosystem: cultures of anarchy and closure

    But the future of entertainment is only a small part of the story. In many areas of communication, social relations, cultural regulation, and political activity, peer-to-peer models of communication have grown in influence and altered the terms of exchange.

    This is the story of clashing ideologies: information anarchy and information oligarchy. They feed off of each other dialectically. Oligarchy justifies itself through “moral panics” over the potential effects of anarchy. And anarchy justifies itself by reacting to the trends toward oligarchy.

    The actors who are promoting information anarchy include libertarians, librarians, hackers, terrorists, religious zealots, and anti-globalisation activists. The actors who push information oligarchy include major transnational corporations, the World Trade Organisation, and the governments of the United States of America and the Peoples’ Republic of China.

    Rapidly, these ideologies are remaking our information ecosystem. And those of us uncomfortable with either vision, and who value what we might call “information justice”, increasingly find fault and frustration with the ways our media, cultural, information and political systems are changing.

    […] Where there is no rich, healthy public sphere we should support anarchistic communicative techniques. Where there is a rich, healthy public sphere, we must take an honest, unromantic account of the costs of such anarchy. And through public spheres we should correct for the excesses of communicative anarchy.

    Still, we must recognise that poor, sickly, fragile public spheres are more common than rich, healthy public spheres. And the battles at play over privacy, security, surveillance, censorship and intellectual property in the United States right now will determine whether we will count the world’s oldest democracy as sickly or healthy.

    Anarchy is radical democracy. But it is not the best form of democracy. But as a set of tools, anarchy can be an essential antidote to tyranny.

  • Who’s ready for a breath-holding contest: New RIAA Chief Should Name Digital Advisors, Says CEO Of Leading File Sharing Company. Benny Evangelista’s article, RIAA to sue individual file sharers:

    Recording industry gets personal with online music fight, raises the next tactic:

    “Don’t listen to their music. Don’t buy it, don’t share it, don’t talk about it,” read one message.

    “The record companies have made billions off the consumers,” read another post. “They have overcharged us for years. Why not boycott all new music and watch their attitude change?”

    Which reminds me – where’s my check?

  • The Java/.NET fight is starting to look like history repeated: Court curbs Microsoft Java distribution; Slashdot’s discussion is Appeals Court Sides With Microsoft On Java; The Register says Judges deny Sun’s must-carry Java bid; The New York Times’ article Microsoft Can Leave Java Out of Windows, Court Rules [pdf]; text of the ruling from FindLaw

  • Charlie Cooper joins those who as "What if SCO is right?" Surprisingly, Cooper puts together an uncharacteristically poor discussion, putting himself in the category of those who fail (elect?) to recognize that this is still a lawsuit between SCO and IBM, not Open Source. And the glee with which he chooses to portray Torvalds as some sort of a spoiled arrogant nerd makes me wonder more about Mr. Cooper than about this case. (Are we sure this isn’t a misattributed David Coursey column?)