November 18, 2004

No friend-of-the-court ("amicus") brief reverse-engineering activism for me

I've finished discussing with a civil-liberties lawyer if we were going to respond to EFF's call for friend-of-the-court ("amicus") legal briefs to make arguments to try to reverse the atrocious anti-fair-use, anti-reverse-engineering, pro-DMCA, outcome of the Blizzard v. BNETD decision.

Note, in contrast to the subject matter of my last few posts, this wasn't an issue of my possibly being sued (well, not directly anyway). Rather, it was whether we were both going to volunteer to do supplemental work in the case. The possible collaboration idea was that, as a lawyer, he'd do the necessary formatting, structuring the argument in proper form, take care of the procedural details, and I'd handle as much of the draft writing as a nonlawyer could do, and possibly whatever technical factual research was needed.

Much went into discussion, about various possible angles and certain confidential matters. But before anyone reads wrongly between the lines, we didn't have any "personality conflict" (it helps that, e.g. we have a similar regard about some other people ...). But sadly, I eventually decided I didn't want to take on the effort.

I could have done it in theory. It would have been a lot of work, writing and doing supporting research. But almost certainly, I would get virtually no points, no "whuffie", no reputation-credit, for co-writing that amicus brief. At best, I'd have to run around with my poor contacts asking "Will you please echo this? Kindly report this? A-lister, I beg from you the boon which is notice of me. ...".

Frankly, I'd rather not go through it. This is another specific instance where I'd decided to stop fighting for freedom of the Internet. On a personal level, it's not worth it.

This post is not a pleasant one, and I'll probably get some flack for writing it. But in terms of activism, I think it's important to document how the attacks, the lack of recognition, the marginalization, have a destructive effect.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism | on November 18, 2004 11:59 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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What inspires me about the work, the writings of Seth Finkelstein are arguments made with logic or with a better attempt at logic than by many others. All I get when I try pulling together an argument is enjambment !

See also
Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies

Posted by: don warner saklad at November 19, 2004 03:27 PM