April 21, 2003

Digital strategies, "real" world, again

I've still been pondering "the next step in the copyfight", as Donna Wentworth (Copyfight) put it.

I'm thinking about this from the exact opposite of an abstract perspective. Remember, about a week ago, I did a grueling, almost round-the-clock trip to the Copyright Office circumvention hearings in order to testify to renew the censorware 1201 DMCA exemption.

In some ways, this encapsulates many aspects of the problem. Rhetorical strategy? Check. I spend a great deal of time trying to be prepared to answer expected censorware questions. But money? My opponent, David Burt of N2H2, had his expenses all paid, and PR/lobbying is his job, not mine. Now, he may have been handed a big defeat, time will tell. And it's ignominious to get compared (not by me!) to the Iraqi Information Minister :-). But I keep thinking, I spent more than a month's health insurance premium, out of my own pocket, while unemployed, to do that testimony. What did it get me? I wasn't even likely to get much publicity/recognition out of it, especially given the Slashdot situation with "editor" Michael Sims. It's not sustainable

It's theory vs. practice. There's an old joke, to make lion soup, first catch a lion ... Many of the strategies mentioned aren't wrong, but they are hard to do. For example, if someone tries to co-opt forces on the other side, it's always a problem that they don't co-opt back. I can see where there might be battles of exactly this sort (in fact, that was a big problem with opposing censorware years ago!).

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism , copyblight | on April 21, 2003 02:00 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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