Welcome to John Wilson’s (TtfnJohn) Picks of the Week.
It’s been, according to one of our most recognizable Anonymous Coward trolls, an all-SOPA-all-the-time week so, I’ll continue to annoy him with this post.
This will probably annoy him even more. Our very own Mike Masnick has hit 40,000 posts. Congratulations, Mike!
Perhaps the best news came Friday with the SOPA markup running out of time and getting pushed back… maybe to next Wednesday or hopefully to 2012. Maybe it’s time to come up with a reason to visit your Congresscritter’s office, fill up their appointment book or make phone calls just to remind them of whom they serve and, perhaps, explain some of the intricacies of the Internet to them or, failing that, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Oh, and wish them happy holidays as well.
This hot on the heels of the totally shocking news (really?) that Congress hasn’t the faintest idea what they’re trying to regulate in Thursday’s markup. Not at all a good day for them if they were trying to improve their standing with the electorate or their general grasp of information.
The CCIA went after Representatives, who have attacked their member companies, and others for opposition to SOPA — including the claim that three normally vicious competitors (Yahoo, Microsoft and Google) have joined together to lobby for and to defend a free and open Internet. These opponents account for a much larger proportion of United States (and global) GDP than the entertainment industry can even hope for — and far more full time employment. Also, add the developers and engineers who built the internet to the growing list of those in the tech industry who oppose SOPA/PIPA. Not that Dianne Feinstein has noticed. Maybe she will note the excuse that “I don’t know nothing” has worn very thin.
Righthaven lost yet another court case, which is starting to remind me of SCO vs Novell, vs IBM, vs Linux vs the world, something I followed in detail over on Groklaw. Groklaw’s founder and web master PJ must be almost as unpopular with the copyright purists as Mike and Techdirt are. (Groklaw led me here, by the way.) It’s also why I’m not at all surprised at documents that come out almost completely redacted.
From one part of the fantasy software world to another, is a New York law firm’s claim to have developed some sort of magical data mining, analyzing and wonderful software that can identify every “rogue” site out there. Or so they say. Thing is, it doesn’t seem to be finished yet. Under active development is what the site says. Not only magic, but magic vaporware too.
Back to some good news. There seems to be a place in England where seized counterfeit designer clothing is donated to a charity for distribution to the poor, homeless and vulnerable.
On the cultural side of things was a post linking to an article entitled No Copyright Intended. Today’s young people are doing what human cultures have done since, well, forever: remixing and sharing things over the pirate infested waters of the Internet. Whether they need a good spanking or a hearty congratulations for creating new experssions of old ideas depends on where you come from in this debate. It also proves the point that creative people don’t always need to be assured of being paid in order to create.
If there has been one good thing to come out of SOPA/PIPA, it’s an increase in awareness of what used to be the esoteric world of copyright. And the awareness that people don’t like what they’re seeing. An education is always a good thing and the American public is getting a crash course on copyright and intellectual property law, thanks to the furor over SOPA/PIPA.
I’ve left things out I’d have loved to have added but time isn’t there, and I doubt attention spans are either. All in all, I’d say on the SOPA/PIPA front this may be looked back on as a very good week. And a very, very bad one for one of our Anonymous Cowards.