Re: My comment about this article over on the "Opposing Views" website
What Swartz did, bottom line, was unambiguously wrong. There's just no question or doubt about that, and there's no point in trying to sugar coat it or torture it to fit some open-source/hacker-type agenda.
Well, right up front you damage your credibility with a statement like that. I assure you that there are many of us who do not feel what he did was clear-cut, black and white "wrong" as you seem to think.
However, it's all a very tricky thing, really; an example, if ever there were one, of how our laws, today, haven't yet caught-up with the realities of an increasingly Internet/online-centric world; and how those who technically own all the intellectual property aren't adjusting thereto with a reasonable operational model.
And now, to me at least, your credibility is irreparably damaged due to the fact that you used the word "own" in conjunction with the nonsense phrase "intellectual property". Here's a pro-tip: you can't own an idea.
Having said that, I did read your complete post, and minus the two glaring issues I've already addressed, I hear what you're saying and I agree that Swartz will be missed.
Also, I need to point something out: Demanding that the files be "returned" was completely idiotic in the first place. Nothing was ever "taken". He *copied* the files once, and I sure as hell hope he copied them again (somewhere open) before he "returned" the files.
It's very interesting to me that the government apologists keep bringing up the "only 6 months" in jail, but keep neglecting an important fact: Don't you think that maybe, just maybe, he didn't want to be labelled as a felon for the rest of his life? Are you aware that a felony conviction, even if you "only" serve 6 months, irrevocably alters a person's life in many negative ways?
Err, what makes you think that Megan's parents couldn't sue Lori Drew? I assure you, they could certainly sue, perhaps over wrongful death or intentional infliction of emotional distress. The question is whether or not they would win, which I suspect would be unlikely on either of those counts. Modification to contract law to allow 3rd party action over TOS violations is a horrible, horrible idea. It would be immediately abused and overused in ways that we probably can't even imagine.
Your adamant refusal to acknowledge any guilt on the part of Lori Drew is positively pathological.
Some might say that your need to blame a second party for the unfortunate actions of a first party is positively pathological.
It was a sad situation but Drew did not break any laws, and the over-the-top efforts to try and punish her by any means was worse than sad, it was a travesty. Society will ostracise Drew for the rest of her days, there was no need to fabricate a legal issue.
Is anyone else tempted to go here? I'd give them PLENTY of flack when they stopped me without cause, and once they tossed me in jail I'd be filing a multi-million dollar civil rights violation suit that same day.
Hey smart guy, here's a possibility that it seems you haven't considered: perhaps ultra-mega-hyper-violent videogames actually provide an outlet for humanity's built-in violent tendencies. I submit that humans are violent by nature, and that society has provided a powerful "taming" influence, which greatly limits the number of outlets available to vent those violent impulses. I won't speak for everyone of course, but I feel more relaxed after I play my ultra-mega-hyper-violent games. Is it likely that many people are affected differently? Absolutely. Is it even likely that some few are 'desensitized' and grab up real-world weapons in order to act out their fantasies? Unfortunately, yes. But I believe, in the absence of hard facts to the contrary, that the vast majority of society, including our youth, are able to keep fantasy and reality separated.
Of course violent videogames are "one of the causes" (if we must put it that way) of mass killings.
Of course, yes, of course... wait, no, you're wrong. Completely and totally. While I will grant you the possibility, you have the same problem as the media in that you are so willing and eager to bestow your opinion as a freaking fact. And just FYI, when I see a post start out that way, I'm roughly (well, precisely) 100% likely to disregard the rest of your post.
You are unable to even give an indication that removing patents would keep the creation of new inventions flowing.
Wait, are you actually suggesting that if patents disappeared tomorrow that no more new inventions would be created? The reason that no one needs to "give an indication" is that it is simple common sense! Humans are going to invent. It's in our nature. We won't stagnate because of some missing legalese. In fact, in our current position, we're still inventing *in spite* of stupid limiting legalese.
Sounds like the GOP is treading dangerously close to the crime of "blackening the memory of one who is dead". One of our recently killed diplomats in Libya was an Eve Online player. Are they suggesting he was lazy or unfit for his post?
Mmm, just a technical observation -- most BT clients now have configurable (and even randomly configurable) ports, and the help will almost always advise you not to use the "usual" BT ports. Although if you did block them, I guess you could make a decent case that you weren't "negligent" in leaving those ports open...
It could be even better: in addition to the dead tree book with no pictures, they could be charged an extra fee for online access to see the pictures which could not be included *in* the dead tree book!