This is one of the best documentable cases of the Net media having a stronger influence on a non-tech related issue than the non-net media. Some background: I learned about the case from Plastic.com (see original story) and sent notices to mailing lists and other news sites, including international ones, with a call to write letters to the DA. I am pretty sure that most e-mails that reached the DA's office did so based on my initiative -- the e-mail address was not included in any previous report on the subject I have seen.
This initiative was started on January 16 and 17. The case was dismissed on January 19. Many people, in the original story, chose to do nothing, with the reasoning that writing e-mails wouldn't accomplish anything. Well, I am pretty sure that, given the fact that the DA's office has sent a rather long letter to all of the involved people, our collaborative action certainly had something to do with the fact that the case was dismissed. We're talking about international e-mails here, not only from the K5 community, but from journalists and scientists as well. This is a success for those who actually acted -- net activism works, and nobody should ever again get away with the "I agree that it's wrong, but protesting doesn't work" reasoning.
I want to comment, albeit only shortly, on the actual content of the letter. I think that Zaphod has already summed things up pretty well in his reply to the original article. BTW, I have never claimed that the official reason for prosecuting the mother was that she bought her son condoms -- it was quite clear from the news story that the case was based on the fact that the mother did not prevent her son from engaging in sexual activity. However, I have always claimed -- and will continue to do so -- that it is not possible to teach meaningful safe sex if the same person who does so has a legal obligation to teach (and enforce) chastity. Claiming that this is possible IMHO borders on the ridiculous. Therefore, I didn't find the title Plastic and I chose for the story misleading but, in fact, very appropriate.
Anyway, if you agree that kids of that age are able to have consensual sex with girls of a similar age and that prosecuting a mother for not stopping a kid from engaging in such a consensual sexual relationship ("assault") is barbaric, you should celebrate the case dismissal. It is quite likely that we, as a group of concerned citizens, have prevented a mother from going to jail. It is quite possible that we may gain even more power in the future.
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
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