Comments: Slashdot deject

I hesitate to comment because I actually respect the work you do. As a homeowner, I understand your reluctance to put your neck on the line with a lawsuit. Any average, reasonable person would fear being put in the poorhouse by a well-heeled corporation intent on preserving its place in the market.

But this decision limits the amount of political capital you have. Someone who is willing to be sued generates a lot more political capital for themselves. Someone who is willing to take a stand in a court of law generares an order of magnitude more political capital.

With sufficient political capital, you can take an unpopular position, like calling John Gilmore a troll, and get people to at least listen to you and consider your arguments. With political capital to burn, you can even be wrong.

Posted by Roy Murphy at September 8, 2003 03:10 PM

I believe, as a statement of fact, that you are completely correct in what you say. That is, my political capital is limited by my unwillingness to be sued, etc.

However, I fear that outcome of being sued would be personally devastating to me. Even if by some miracle I won the case, the stress and disruption to my life would be ruinous.

Related, I resent deeply that my efforts to build political capital, such as with DMCA testimony, have generally gone for naught.

That lack is not an accident or happenstance. It's where Slashdot's de facto support of Michael Sims isn't a silly flame-war, but is extremely destructive.

I really have to write-out all my reasoning. Michael Sims actually teamed-up with D-v-d B-rt of N-H- to attack me. I believe if I get sued, the censorware company is going to get their smears against me put on the front-page of Slashdot!

And that's why getting trashed by John Gilmore was so discouraging. The implications are that if I get sued, I'll be attacked far and wide from "on high", yet be told I can defend myself to an audience orders of magnitude less.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at September 8, 2003 04:08 PM