Awesome Stuff: Films About Things Techdirt Talks About

from the check-it-out dept

For this week's awesome stuff post, we've got links to movies about things that we regularly talk about here on Techdirt: the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, the CFAA, patents and piracy.
  • First up, is a documentary about Aaron Swartz called The Internet's Own Boy by Brian Knappenberger, who previously did a documentary about Anonymous. Knappenberger's film isn't a "memorial" about Swartz, but rather an "investigative" documentary about his story and the lawsuit against him, as well as the legal structure that led to his arrest and trial. The video that Knappenberger has put together is really compelling and touching:
    This project has received a lot of attention, so there's no surprise that it's quite close to its $75,000 target with a few weeks to go. It looks like it should be a great project to support.
  • From once CFAA case to another. Krystof Andres & George Russell are doing a documentary called The Hedgehog & The Hare, all about the CFAA, but mainly focused on the case against Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer. The documentary will also explore how the CFAA goes way too far in trying to criminalize perfectly reasonable computer activities.
    The target for this project had much more modest goals than the Swartz one, though the production values definitely look a bit more amateurish. Plus, frankly, the rewards on the Swartz movie are a lot more reasonable. That said, with just a few days left, it looks like this movie is likely to squeak by the target even if it's just slightly under as I write this.
  • This next one, I'm a bit less sure about, but the topic could be interesting. It's supposedly a short film, made in South Africa about the big pharmaceutical makers going after generic drug makers, called The Cure. What makes me a bit unsure about is that the filmmakers, Katey Carson and Errol Schwartz, seem a hell of a lot more excited about the fact that (a) they signed up some "Oscar-winning talent" to be in the film and (b) that they're filming the whole thing with an iPhone, than they are about the story, which they barely mention at all. The topic sounds interesting. I just wish they'd actually have said something about that, rather than the other stuff which really isn't that interesting.
    The project has barely raised any money, and they're pretty ambitious to seek $35,000 for this. But since it's an Indiegogo "flex funding" campaign, they'll get the money even if they don't raise the full amount. Also, the "rewards" you get back seem ridiculously high priced. You have to pay $100 just to get a download of the short film and $50 for the script? Hmmm. Love the idea of a film that highlights problems with drug patents, but not sure this is the best way to do it.
  • And, finally, a documentary about piracy. I mean that's what critics insist this site is all about, right? So I figured, why not. Here's a documentary film about a Somali pirate -- you know, one who actually hijacked a ship, called The Smiling Pirate, which aims to tell the story of the one remaining living member of the pirates who hijacked the Maersk Alabama. As the story suggests, despite a forthcoming Tom Hanks movie about this whole thing, there appear to be a lot more questions than answers about what really happened both aboard the ship and then with the captured pirate after the whole thing happened.
    Sounds like an interesting story, but it hasn't picked up very many backers yet. It's also an Indiegogo flexible funding project, so will receive any money it raises, but it's not clear if it'll get enough to really support the making of the documentary any time soon.
That's it for this week. Next week we'll be back with more awesome stuff.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 4th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Tom Hangs?

    Did you mean Tom Hanks? Or is there another film maker I should know about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 4th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re: Tom Hangs?

    Oops. Fixed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    The documentary will also explore how the CFAA goes way too far in trying to criminalize perfectly reasonable computer activities.

    You mean like your silly argument that President Clinton violated the CFAA for, um, maybe possibly tweeting from an account that he didn't set up? LOL! But, of course, Swartz, who willfully violated the CFAA, didn't do anything wrong.

    Tweeting = federal criminal hacking. Actual federal criminal hacking = nothing to see here! Great stuff, Mike. Why wouldn't anybody take you seriously? You're such a reasonable person who brings such a balanced view to the table. Well, you're not really. But you could be if you wanted to. Why don't you want to?

    I don't get why a guy as smart as you is such a reactionary doofus. I really, honestly don't get it. You should try being down to earth and discussing things openly and honestly. It might take you farther than you think. Until then, I guess I'll just keep pluggin' away in the comments. Oh well.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    Dude, keep your masturbatory dancing to yourself. Seriously.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Re:

    Still haven't shown how Swartz violated the CFAA, particularly when there was no 'hacking' involved.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Is like diarrhea he just can't help himself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re:

    That's easy. Read what Prof. Kerr (a leading expert in the field who literally wrote the book about the CFAA) wrote about it:

    http://www.volokh.com/2013/01/14/aaron-swartz-charges/

    http://www.volokh.com/2013/01/16/th e-criminal-charges-against-aaron-swartz-part-2-prosecutorial-discretion/

    http://www.volokh.com/20 13/02/18/no-aaron-swartz-was-not-charged-with-violating-jstors-terms-of-service/

    Or you can read the superseding indictment:

    http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2012/09/swartzsuperseding.pdf

    Funny how you want me to prove that Swartz violated the CFAA, but you don't ask Mike to explain his totally brain-dead FUD piece about how Colbert and Clinton violated the CFAA:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130409/08525322632/did-stephen-colbert-president-bill-cl inton-violate-cfaa.shtml

    Mike accuses them of violating the CFAA without even beginning to make out an argument as to how, but TO THIS DAY, Mike refuses to admit even the possibility that Swartz did something wrong.

    The dishonest double-standard is totally fucking epic. It's "we're all violating the CFAA just by doing basic stuff!" when he wants everyone to be scared of the CFAA, and it's "no violation here!" when it's Swartz.

    Mike couldn't be honest about this stuff if his life depended on it. And his dishonesty is proved by his complete unwillingness to even discuss any of it.

    I fucking dare Mike to explain himself. He won't. Because he's a manipulative, compulsive liar.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, at least you have points for citing your sources for your assertions.

    And I find it amusing that you're yet again derailing with moronic personal attacks. Surely a bit of civility wouldn't harm your case?

     

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  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What's the point of civility at this point? Mike has proved beyond a reasonable doubt hundreds of times over that he's just a silly extremist and alarmist who cares not about reality. He's published more words about Swartz than any other person on earth, yet he's completely unwilling to discuss any of it on the merits or to even admit that Swartz did the least bit thing wrong. I don't think the personal attacks are moronic. I think his zealotry is moronic. Why's he so scared of calming down and discussing these important issues without resorting to alarmist rhetoric? Why won't he back up what he says? He doesn't care about truth. He only cares about manipulating people.

     

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  10.  
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    Ferel (profile), May 4th, 2013 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's that irony again...

     

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  11.  
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    Colin, May 4th, 2013 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike has proved beyond a reasonable doubt hundreds of times over that he's just a silly extremist and alarmist who cares not about reality.

    Yes, Mike. Mike is the one who has proved that...

    Sure. Sure.

     

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    horse with no name, May 4th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    advertising

    You forgot to mark this post as advertising.

     

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  13.  
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    CK20XX, May 4th, 2013 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You confuse the existence of a double standard with showing multiple viewpoints.

    The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is a bad law that was not created with sufficient knowledge of what computer fraud is, or even what it should be. In a decent, loving world, Aaron Swartz wouldn't have run afoul of it; it's not supposed to be used to target researchers or activists like him, yet it was. That's why people say he didn't violate it; if you have any idea what fraud is in the first place, you know Aaron wasn't engaging in it.

    But you can also look at the law ironically, according to how we all know the people writing these laws are hoping to use them, because at its heart this debacle isn't about a law someone broke. This is about power and those who use and abuse it. Going by how we can safely assume the CFAA shall be wielded in the future, we are all violators of it. We all know the law isn't going to be used to protect people from computer fraud, but to use the fear of felony charges to keep citizens in lock-step. In that case, did Aaron Swartz violate the CFAA? Yes, because it's a bad law that shouldn't exist in the first place.

    That's why if you say that Swartz didn't violate the law, you're right. If you say he did violate the law, you're also right. Some things in life are like that, where both main perspectives have a good amount of truth to them.

     

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  14.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 4th, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Re: advertising

    ... really? That's the complaint you're going with here, that an article clearly designed to showcase crowdfunding projects that the people at TD think are cool should be marked in the same manner as an ad a company pays to have on the site, and (rightly) isn't?

    Talk about not even trying...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Automatic Grammatizator, May 4th, 2013 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So basically, you're saying that you are just as bad as Mike is. And if anyone listens to you, all you'll have to offer are lies and manipulation from a silly extremist and alarmist who cares nothing about reality.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2013 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re: advertising

    First the horse with no name laughs at techdirt then he fights it, then he shows he has no real couterpoint to Mike's arguements and then he loses

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 5th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh please. You've been answered plenty of times -- by Mike, by staff, by readers -- over the years that you have been weirdly obsessed with Mike, and every time you throw a giant temper tantrum. Now you just throw the temper tantrums right from word one, which saves us the indignity of talking to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2013 @ 1:07pm

    Re: advertising

    These are just project that he like, he's being paid to talk about them.

     

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  19.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 5th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: advertising

    I believe you mean *NOT being paid to talk about them -- which is correct :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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