Monday, July 16, 2012

Jill Lesser, Executive Director of the Center for Copyright Information

I want to talk some more today about the "Center for Copyright Information", the organ which has been set up to harass you off the internet if they don't like what you're downloading on the internet.  God knows why the major internet providers are cooperating, but they say they are.  They must want fewer customers.

Anyway, because I like to be well informed, I've been studying their site.  I found this blog post (and google cache version in case it changes--by the way, isn't google cache being served to me an illegal copy?) from Jill Lesser, who is apparently the Executive Director.  She mentions:

"I landed first at People for the American Way, working to keep regulators from stifling the internet’s power as a tool of democracy, and as a new, virtual public square where citizens could exchange information, ideas and art.  I worked with content creators and internet entrepreneurs to strike down the first major declaration of war on internet freedom, the Communications Decency Act. That skirmish had an unintended consequence: it spawned an entire generation of defenders of free speech in the digital age. "

In other words, "Hi.  I am not a huge asshole".

Now, the thing is, when you find yourself in a situation where the first thing you need to do is try to assure people that you are not a huge asshole, you are probably doing something wrong.

My thought was, "Methinks she doth protest too much."

She goes on to say:

"The notion that artists and creators, and even the big companies that finance, produce and deliver their creations, don’t have the right to own and control their distribution, simply cannot be. "

I just want to observe that not a single reason is offered.  If you follow this blog, you know that this insidious assumption is at the heart of the wrong end of the philosophical battle we are currently engaged in, in my opinion.

I am an artist.

I am pointing right now to all the free art that is voluntarily released on the internet.  I am pointing to the outrageous notion that an author, for example, could forbid you to re-sell a book you bought.
Artists have no inherent right to control of their work once it's been released to the world, and thinking otherwise is both strangely stupid and dangerous, because it makes people like Jill Lesser seem sensible.

Nothing is going to change the fact that Ms. Lesser is overseeing the biggest, and worst, censorship regime in the world.  Because even in China, where they block websites, they don't kick you off the fucking internet.

They say the United Nations is just a talking shop, but at least they've been talking correctly that unhindered internet access is a human right.  If you truly understand the internet, you know in your bones this is true.  Why do you think I scrawl here day after day?  It fucking matters.

Jill,  if you want to talk I will talk--but not while you're threatening to disconnect my internet.  You have gone past talking.  You are the ones escalating the discussion from talk to action, both in the courts and with your stealthily named organization.  I don't care if you have a "consumer advocate advisory board"--they are either corrupt or incompetent if they're going along with this nonsense.  "All stakeholders..." indeed.  You talk blithely about "a progressive system to inform consumers of potentially illegal behavior, but also an educational platform that would help users understand their rights" as if it is not a cudgel you fully intend to use to beat the populace to your will.  Jesus, do you think we are all stupid?

I've got news for you lady--we're not all stupid.  Not by a long shot, and I'm far from the only one.

I, for one, will not stand for it.  I have not made a habit of personal attack in this space, but I don't see any reason why I shouldn't when people behave this way.  Look for much more of that here as this program goes on.

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