Law professors talking shit about things they don't know a damn thing about
. Oh, wait, that's the normal state of affairs in America these days, isn't it? Anyway, Stanford lawprof Lawrence Lessig is three months late to the party with his discovery that his fellow leeches at Wind Up Records have set our friends at AMV.org
up the C&D order, which he sees as the troubling dawn of "the read-only Web", where noone will be allowed to do mashups or AMVs or fanfic or Anything Fun At All. Oh noes! Truly the dark night of fascism has come to Amerikkka!
Talk about making a mountain out of a fscking molehill. It's worth noting that while 3000 AMVs got their links severed, there's no realistic way to keep people from distributing those AMVs on CDs or DVDs, as was done before the C&D order
and will no doubt be done after the C&D order
. It's also worth noting that no other label has bothered following the example of Wind Up Records, probably because those labels are headed by people who recognize the value of free (if usually crappy, IAW Sturgeon's Law
) publicity. I mean, if Linkin Park hasn't sued to get all the unspeakably vile, stupid, and technically inept Linkinball Z and Naruto Park AMVs taken down, isn't that pretty strong support for the notion that Lessig's whole premise is bogus and his essay amounts to crying wolf?
You hear this kind of panicky talk brought up every time somebody gets smacked for downloading a few gigs' worth of MP3s without paying for them or M$FT thinks out loud about preinstalling DRM software as part of Vista (formerly Longhorn), and nobody stops to ask if all this stuff is actually going to happen. Has everyone magically forgotten about the epic PR disaster of Sony's craptastic DRM/rootkit music CDs? Has everyone forgotten that for every magic technobullet Hollywood comes up with, 1337 h4x0rz develop better armor, bullet splitters, remote anti-bullet vaporizing systems, and other baroque countermeasures? In the political realm, the smell of Hollywood money is going to be far less sweet in the neo-Puritan ethical climate where all contributions from just about every form of lobbyist and PAC will be seen as toxic and corrupting. There's an army of Davids out there with a huge installed base of Win2K, WinXP and Mac boxes to play with, and they're paying more attention to this sort of thing than they used to. I'm pretty optimistic about the future, myself. 1984 came and went, and Big Brother is standing in line somewhere in what used to be the USSR waiting for his pension. I don't think his covetous relatives in the NYDCLA axis are going to do much better.
Burn, Hollywood, Burn. (Props to Public Enemy
and especially to Chuck D, first prophet of the New Media.)
Originally provoked by Good Morning Silicon Valley
Tim Park of Doki Doki Productions
comments in e-mail that he'd rather have Lessig on-side than not. I agree, but the guy's Chicken Little attitude drives me nuts and strikes me as being very likely to alienate people who don't have any personal investment in the issue.