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Old 02-28-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
darryl
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Internet Regulation and Censorship - Interesting Open Letter to MPAA

I've linked below to an open letter by Eric Raymond, a prominent member of the Open Source movement, to the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). I mostly agree with the sentiments expressed and wonder how many hold similar views?

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=4155
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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Cheers, most enlightening and certainly something I agree with, in the main.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #3
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Wonder if he CCed the White House and Congress. They're the ones who really need to see this.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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Interesting letter, but I don't think that the meaning will reach those that it needs to reach, those people who think that anti-SOPA = pro-piracy.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Sounds like something to PM to Stonetools....

It'll take knocking off a few politicians, (electorially, not physically) to get the message rammed home.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:21 AM   #6
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I like and respect Raymond (I've read several of his books)—and I agree whole-heartedly with the overall sentiment of his message—but he comes across as a bit of a nutjob with a god complex in that letter, doesn't he? He (along with the rest of the immortals who "built" the internet) just doesn't wield the kind of influence/power he's hinting at anymore. I'm not sure Eric ever had that level of influence (other than being an outstanding mouthpiece for the opensource movement in general). That letter makes him seem like a clapped-out demagogue trying to reclaim his glory days, if you ask me. Kind of sad actually.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:36 AM   #7
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*yawn*
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I like and respect Raymond (I've read several of his books)—and I agree whole-heartedly with the overall sentiment of his message—but he comes across as a bit of a nutjob with a god complex in that letter, doesn't he? He (along with the rest of the immortals who "built" the internet) just doesn't wield the kind of influence/power he's hinting at anymore. I'm not sure Eric ever had that level of influence (other than being an outstanding mouthpiece for the opensource movement in general). That letter makes him seem like a clapped-out demagogue trying to reclaim his glory days, if you ask me. Kind of sad actually.
This is a strange thing to get from the letter when he is saying the opposite. He isn't talking about his influence, but the influence of the masses.
Quote:
What the users do with the Internet is up to them – not up to Hollywood, not up to politicians, and not even up to us who built it. Whatever else we Internet geeks may disagree on among ourselves, we will not allow our gift of fire to be snuffed out by jealous gods.
Quote:
Because there aren’t a lot of us, but the vast mass of Internet users – who do vote in numbers large enough to swing elections – have figured out that we’re on their side and we’re their early-warning system.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
This is a strange thing to get from the letter when he is saying the opposite. He isn't talking about his influence, but the influence of the masses.
I was referring to things like:
Quote:
I’m not talking about Google or the technology companies, mind you – I’m talking about the actual engineers who built the Internet and keep it running, who write the software you rely on every day of your life in the 21st century.

I’m one of those engineers – you rely on my code every time you use a browser or a smartphone or a game console.
and...
Quote:
To understand that, you have to grasp that “the Internet” isn’t just a network of wires and switches, it’s also a sort of reactive social organism composed of the people who keep those wires humming and those switches clicking. John Gilmore is one of them. I’m another.
Quote:
We built the Internet as a tool to make every individual human being on the planet more empowered.
Could be just me though... I'm perfectly willing to accept that possibility.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:57 AM   #10
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Could be just me though... I'm perfectly willing to accept that possibility.
I agree with your assessment. That's why I quit reading it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #11
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I thought he made the point that the internet is more than just he and a few others, though he is a 'spokesperson'. He really talked more about the 'internet' being more than just a few people, but that those technical people are the ones who write the code that allows everyone all over the world access to knowledge.

I think he had to do more than talk about the royal 'we', but make his argument a little personal before branching out into the larger general. It's hard to read about 'we' this and that or 'they' this and that without having some knowledge of where the writer is coming from.

ETA: I took the 'we' he started using to mean the 'reactive social organism' that is 'the internet'.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #12
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Could be just me though... I'm perfectly willing to accept that possibility.
If someone would tell me that he is the one who built the steps of the building that I work in, and that he and his coworkers know what the steps were built to support, I wouldn't come to the conclusion that he sees himself as a god wielding power and influence.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:22 AM   #13
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I don't care what part he had in the development of the internet, it has no bearing on how he feels about the way it's regulated. Explaining his role was self-aggrandizing fluff.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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A few paragraphs could have probably have been edited out of the letter, maybe he should have sent it to an editor beforehand? On the whole though it was an allright letter.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #15
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I took it as more of an explanation that he isn't someone jumping on the bandwagon but is, instead, someone who knows how others in his profession feel. And that the casual internet user looks to them as parakeets in the coal mines (my words, not his) for warning if their rights are being threatened.
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