October 15, 2003

Slashdot Disaffect

So, yesterday I received yet another traffic-burst of "Slashdot Reflect". This is where my website gets traffic because Michael Sims is doing something abusive on Slashdot (new readers: the Slashdot "editor" who maliciously domain-hijacked the original website of Censorware Project, but Slashdot de facto supports him). The particulars of yesterday's Slashdot rant aren't very interesting to me. It had something to do with Michael Sims using the front page of Slashdot to flame a CNN article ("grossly misleading, almost propagandistic", etc). Heck, he might even be right. But hundreds of thousands of people heard him, and enough wanted to check on this sort of behavior so that I saw that "reflect".

Anyway, that's just background, to the following: The DMCA exemption proceeding rulings will be released soon (by October 28). These are where the public can petition for an exemption to the DMCA 1201(a)(1) circumvention prohibition (for circumvention as an action only, not "trafficing"). I testified some months ago, bearing the brunt of the effort for the censorware exemption.

Now, If the DMCA exemption for censorware is renewed, I believe that's a great journalistic opportunity for civil-libertarians to win a PR round over censorware companies. I had a passing thought, related to some other credit issues, of trying to get Slashdot to run an article by me, discussing that DMCA exemption process in retrospect. Not a rehash, so much as what victory here means for technical types (versus what it doesn't!), and how we could build on it. Note I don't want to talk to lawyers, I want to talk to programmers. And to be heard, not be in a corner shouting to the wind.

Then I gave myself a sanity-check. Forget it. I'm not even going to try. I quit. I don't want to devote the effort, and likely get personally attacked as my reward. It's not worth it. If there's a victory, I'm going to have enough trouble just getting recognized with some credit. (I joked to someone that the Copyright Office could write "We are renewing this censorware exemption because we [heart] Seth Finkelstein", and I'd still be helpless against either press maliciousness or stupidity).

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism , censorware , dmca | on October 15, 2003 08:32 PM (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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