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A written stand against internet Anonymity.

By tidepool in News
Wed May 31, 2000 at 11:01:24 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

In this story, Edgar Bronfman, Jr. of 'The Seagram Company Ltd.' shows his stance on sharing information via the use of such programs as Napster, Gnutella, Freenet, etc - It is not a very positive stance for the freedom seeking, Napster/Gnutella supporters....

One of the most amusing quotes from the article:
We will launch a secure downloading format later this summer that will be the start of making our content widely available in digital form. We want downloadable music to be easy to find, and its delivery to be fast, convenient, dependable and secure. That's why we've partnered with Real, Magex and InterTrust Technologies.

Isn't downloadable music already 'easy to find'? Isn't It all of the above, already? Secure for who? I'm willing to bet no one has been 'owned' or 'hacked' because they downloaded a .mp3 file. Here is a thought: Perhaps they ment financially secure for the record companys?

Another amusing quote, regarding privacy vs. anomity:
Let me now turn to my fifth point. We must restrict the anonymity behind which people hide to commit crimes. Anonymity must not be equated with privacy. As citizens, we have a right to privacy. We have no such right to anonymity. Privacy is getting your e-mail address taken off of "spam" mailing lists; privacy is making sure some hacker doesn't have access to your social security number or your mother's maiden name. On line, privacy is assuring that what you do, so long as it is legal, is your own business and may not be exploited by others. Anonymity, on the other hand, means being able to get away with stealing, or hacking, or disseminating illegal material on the Internet - and presuming the right that nobody should know who you are. There is no such right. This is nothing more than the digital equivalent of putting on a ski mask when you rob a bank.

I'll leave it at this - read the entire 'article' for more messed up viewpoint on consumer privacy on the internet.


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Related Links
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o Also by tidepool

Display: Sort:
A written stand against internet Anonymity. | 46 comments (46 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
jacked from That Other Site, but st... (none / 0) (#4)
by davidu on Tue May 30, 2000 at 09:56:36 PM EST

davidu voted 1 on this story.

jacked from That Other Site, but still a good read....

Now who exactly are seagram and wha... (3.00 / 1) (#6)
by kraant on Tue May 30, 2000 at 10:01:05 PM EST

kraant voted 1 on this story.

Now who exactly are seagram and what do they do?
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

Re: Now who exactly are seagram and wha... (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by sugarman on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:11:28 PM EST

Seagram's is a rather large Montreal-based liquor manufacturer / distributor. They also recently ( < 5 years ) purchased Universal, making them one of the top 5 players in Hollywood. So they currently have a rather large stake in what happens with copyright in the new digital age.
[ Parent ]
Re: Now who exactly are seagram and wha... (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by palou on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:17:52 PM EST

Being moralized to by liquor peddlers is quite amusing, really.

[ Parent ]
Re: Now who exactly are seagram and wha... (none / 0) (#38)
by Wah on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 02:19:09 AM EST

Being moralized by the grandchildren of bootleggers is extremely amusing, IMHO.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Next time, don't 'leave it at' that... (1.00 / 1) (#5)
by Pelorat on Tue May 30, 2000 at 10:10:46 PM EST

Pelorat voted 1 on this story.

Next time, don't 'leave it at' that.. don't wimp out on the writeup =)

Wow... I'd say that privacy has a l... (none / 0) (#3)
by Inoshiro on Tue May 30, 2000 at 10:16:36 PM EST

Inoshiro voted 1 on this story.

Wow... I'd say that privacy has a lot in common with anonymity... They seem to be just different sides of the same coin, from their definitions.

[ イノシロ ]

Re: Privacy in relation to anonymity (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by Shelling IT on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 06:33:19 PM EST

I don't think the Author had it right. To say privacy and anonymity are not equal and to suggest that they are not somehow intimately related is a bit of intellectual evasion.

I'm inclined to see that having and using anonymity is one way of guaranteeing privacy. Another way is to never expose oneself to non-private inspection (by not going on-line, for instance). But I note that both privacy and anonymity can be abused in the way the Author suggests are criminal/immoral.

What do you think?

[ Parent ]

Re: Privacy in relation to anonymity (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by Inoshiro on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 07:19:19 PM EST

Technically, everything can be abused, if people put their minds to it. You can't out design a malicous human :-)

Which is why I find these carpet-bombing subtely solutions which get the 2% crimincals at the cost of 98% innocents not good.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Look ma! A bad article! ... (1.00 / 1) (#15)
by duxup on Tue May 30, 2000 at 11:17:55 PM EST

duxup voted -1 on this story.

Look ma! A bad article! So what?

And why is this important? Because ... (3.30 / 3) (#1)
by rusty on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:06:54 AM EST

rusty voted 1 on this story.

And why is this important? Because you, like we in the entertainment business, are thoroughly dependent on patents and copyright. You need them no less than we do, to protect your processes, your conceptions, your software code, your procedures, your designs, your ideas.

At the risk of sounding heretical in the current "everything's mine if I can take it" atmosphere, he's right, as far as I can tell. I rely on the GPL, which is a copyright, to protect my work from unethical use by others, such as incorporating it in a proprietary program against my will. I expect that his "secure" digital music initiative will probably fail like all the others, but the gist of comments is accurate, as far as I can tell.

Not the real rusty

Re: And why is this important? Because ... (none / 0) (#37)
by Wah on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 02:17:00 AM EST

can you guys spare an editor? Still a bit rough, but we're all learning here. We do need copyright, we just don't need it like it is now. Or like he would want to make it.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
this was on slashdot a few days bac... (2.00 / 2) (#9)
by RJ11 on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:12:14 AM EST

RJ11 voted -1 on this story.

this was on slashdot a few days back, old news.

Was on That Other Site a few days a... (1.00 / 1) (#12)
by Eimi on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:15:57 AM EST

Eimi voted -1 on this story.

Was on That Other Site a few days ago. I'm sick of burning straw men. When you get a good article from the other side, let me know.

I distinctly remember hearing about... (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by Qtmstr on Wed May 31, 2000 at 01:16:36 AM EST

Qtmstr voted 1 on this story.

I distinctly remember hearing about a surpreme court ruling that anonymimity is essential for free speech, for without it, one cannot speak wihout fear of reprisal. I'm too tired now to research it, though. :( [I ran out of coffee, again]. Could someone verify this?

Kuro5hin delenda est!

The privacy vs. anonymity argument ... (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by HiRes on Wed May 31, 2000 at 01:18:09 AM EST

HiRes voted 1 on this story.

The privacy vs. anonymity argument is really flimsy IMO. However, people are indeed violating copyrights by trading Metallica (to use a tired example) songs over the web, whether they feel justified or not. Plain and simple, they are lawbreakers.

So are jaywalkers, FWIW.

Whether this is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing remains to be seen, though. Do the rules need to be changed (or ignored?), or do the rule-breakers need to be punished? Myself, I'm gonna grab a bag of popcorn and watch the action from the sidelines.

Now I've drifted slightly off topic. Apologies...

I'll just say that although I rarely resort to anonymity on the internet, I'd prefer to maintain the privelege (not a right!) to remain so.

Oh wait, one more note... The author asks, "What would the Internet be without 'content?'" Hmm...
wait! before you rate, read.

(1) This story has already been on ... (none / 0) (#17)
by forrest on Wed May 31, 2000 at 02:06:46 AM EST

forrest voted -1 on this story.

(1) This story has already been on slashdot: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/05/27/1736245&mode=thread (2) The guy is obviously not too thoughtful: "For all of us, "property" rights are well understood and universally accepted. You own a home. You own a car. They're yours - they belong to you. They are your property. Well, your ideas belong to you, too. And "intellectual property" is property, period." That statement could only be classified as facile and self-serving willful ignorance. He has no depth or insight. What's to discuss? (Is this "Explain yourself" box HTML or not? If I knew it was, I'd make this look better.)

Re: (1) This story has already been on ... (none / 0) (#44)
by Shelling IT on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 06:28:39 PM EST

You're right. The author should have said "property rights are universally accepted by rational beings of a finite nature".

As we approach immortality, and guaranteed life, property rights diminish in importance. But until then....

[ Parent ]

The kind of shit that we read about... (none / 0) (#2)
by Nyarlathotep on Wed May 31, 2000 at 02:21:07 AM EST

Nyarlathotep voted 1 on this story.

The kind of shit that we read about daily on K5 and /. (like DoubleClick) should convinve anyone that "Anonymity == privacy." We have never really had anonymous communications before, so many people fear it. Those people are morons or tring to finantially/politically exploit a lack of anonymity. Common anonymity is one of the best wasy to preserve our rights. The American Bill of Rights needs an orginisation like the ACLU to defend it, but an internet when everyone is anonymous has market momentum to defend it. Anyway, the proble4ms with things like Freenet and Gnutella will lie with scalling to large networks. It is possible to make a network which RIAA, Gov., Collage Sys. Admins, etc. can not kill, but it will talk a lot of work.. even once the basic ideas have been figured out.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!

Re: The kind of shit that we read about... (none / 0) (#42)
by LetterJ on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 10:42:07 AM EST

"We have never really had anonymous communications before, so many people fear it."

We may not have used it extensively, but we've had it. 30 years ago you could go into a pawn shop, buy a typewriter with cash, type a letter, and mail it with no return address. How is that not anonymous communications?
"If you can't explain it to an 8 year old, you don't understand it." - Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]

Anonymity is, however, something to... (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by b!X on Wed May 31, 2000 at 03:30:45 AM EST

b!X voted 1 on this story.

Anonymity is, however, something to which the right has often been secured. To go with the ski-mask issue: Ski-masks are not illegal just because bank robbers use them.

Re: Anonymity is, however, something to... (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 02:07:47 PM EST

Actually, ski masks, and masks in general, can't be worn in public (except for exceptions like Halloween and, in some places, Mardi Gras) in several states. These "anti-mask" laws were ostensibly created to keep people from marching around in Klan gear, but like many well-intentioned laws, it blows if you suspect that, in the next few years, our pictures will be used in the same way that "grocery shoppers' cards" are being used now -- to tie the person to the transaction, for purposes of marketing.

[ Parent ]
too much editorializing.... (1.00 / 1) (#10)
by soulhuntre on Wed May 31, 2000 at 06:04:49 AM EST

soulhuntre voted -1 on this story.

too much editorializing.

Anonymity should be a basic human r... (3.70 / 3) (#7)
by pwhysall on Wed May 31, 2000 at 06:50:47 AM EST

pwhysall voted 1 on this story.

Anonymity should be a basic human right.

We need to disavow the The Man of the misconception that unwillingness to disclose identity is evidence of intention to do wrong.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.

All depends on context (none / 0) (#25)
by Demona on Wed May 31, 2000 at 04:03:56 PM EST

Obviously, most banks want some form of identification before they'll let you open an account. (Aside: I liked my old bank - I worked next door so they knew me, and I never had to show ID.) At the opposite end of the spectrum, there's "walking down the street", where NOBODY short of an armed military cop under martial law can force you to do Jack, at least in America. See Supreme Court, Brown vs Texas: There is no requirement to identify oneself to a law officer. Make sure to read "Appendix to Opinion of the Court", where the judge lambastes the prosecutor for thinking that people may lawfully be thrown in jail for exercising their right to remain silent.

Anonymity, like privacy, depends on context to determine whether it's good, bad, appropriate, inappropriate.

[ Parent ]

Re: Anonymity should be a basic human r... (none / 0) (#28)
by DemiGodez on Wed May 31, 2000 at 04:34:44 PM EST

Why should anonymity be a basic human right? Certainly it is often comfortable or convenient, but what about it makes you feel it should be a basic human right?

[ Parent ]
Re: Anonymity should be a basic human r... (none / 0) (#35)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 11:11:24 PM EST

Why should anonymity be a basic human right?

I can't speak for the poster that your replying to, only for myself.

To me, anonymity is vitally important simply because Internet systems cannot, by definition, be made 100% secure. There will allways be exploitable holes that can be used to gain access to remote systems ( regardless of what anyone might claim to the contrary ).

Because of that, there is allways a very real possibility that no matter how carefully you weigh your words to avoid offending other people, someone *will* take offense and attempt to make a project out of you.

This is likely to get worse rather than better as the Internet becomes more and more commercialised and is one of the reasons why UCITA is such a contentious issue. Essentially, UCITA means that if you stand up in a public forum and say "company XYZ's product sucks!" then bam! Your in violation of your licensing agreement and you may even face prosecution.

Anonanimity on the Internet raises many problems ( including the the very real issue of piracy ). What must be weighed and judged here is - will the solution to these problems create even worse problems?

For me personally, the answer is a very loud and resounding "Yes". Until issues of security and privacy are adequatly addressed first, the lose of anonanimity is totally unacceptable.

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.

[ Parent ]

Distorted views like those of Mr. B... (none / 0) (#18)
by fengor on Wed May 31, 2000 at 07:57:44 AM EST

fengor voted 1 on this story.

Distorted views like those of Mr. Bronfman schouldn't be uncommented, cause ppl like him will take silence for agreement with his view. So it is important tha ppl stand up and say him in the face that what he wrote is just a load of bullshit pls excuse the bad english
hackers do it with bugs.

stale... (1.00 / 1) (#11)
by bgp4 on Wed May 31, 2000 at 09:11:37 AM EST

bgp4 voted -1 on this story.

May all your salads be eaten out of black hats

I certainly don't agree that B... (3.20 / 4) (#14)
by Rasputin on Wed May 31, 2000 at 10:46:08 AM EST

Rasputin voted 1 on this story.

I certainly don't agree that Bronfman's viewpoints are messed up. I don't necessarily agree with some of his points, but they are reasonably argued.

Firstly, your second "amusing point" is actually a very serious concern, and I suspect most people agree there is a problem here. Privacy and confidentiality are important but are not the same as anonymity. How much anonymity does a script-kiddy who DoS' K5 really deserve? Or RH or WalnutCreek or whatever? How about the whizz-bang who cracks into an online store and posts thousands of people's credit card numbers for his/her friends to abuse? The anonymity of these people is what allows them to violate our privacy.

Another point in the speech you didn't touch on was the legal issues surrounding intellectual property rights. It's all well and good to say information on the internet should be free, but that's your opinion, not a fundamental law. If I choose to give my work as a programmer away, that's fine. If you choose to give my work away without my consent, count on a fight. It also works in the other direction. If you want me to respect the GPL (or any other OS license) you'd better be prepared to respect my non-open license. Otherwise I have just as much right to close and make proprietary your open work as you do to release my closed work.

For the record, I code primarily for open-source projects (my day job doesn't involve coding), but that doesn't imply that I believe every bit of software should be free and available. That decision belongs to the person doing the coding.
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

Re: I certainly don't agree that B... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 07:59:01 AM EST

The anonymity of these people is what allows them to violate our privacy.

Errr, technically, it can be argued that it's the failure of system admins to apply security patches as they become available that nakes these things possible.

As an example, we can consider the classic DoS - Smurf. The bug that makes smurf attacks possible is something that was fixed a long time ago ( literally years ago ), but the list of smurf amplifier sites is still huge ( last time I tried to download it, I simply cancelled the request. It's three times the size of the Pamela Anderson mpg ;)).

This is the fundemental drawback to the argument that "IPv6 will fix all of our security problems". It won't and it can't. Untill the commercial sector learns to accept that Internet security is an ongoing thing, these things will continue to be a constant problem for everybody.

If you want me to respect the GPL (or any other OS license) you'd better be prepared to respect my non-open license.

I think the problem here is that privacy and copyright keep getting bound up in the argument together. There are very few people that I know who will insist that copyright laws don't serve a valid and useful function. Their purpose is to encourage peoples creative endevours.

For that matter, Linus Torvalds reaction to the current Napster situation was basically "Yay Metallica! Boo RIAA!".

In short, his personal opinion on the matter is that Metalica has every right to enforce their intellectual property rights, but that the RIAA does not have a right to use the case to furthur their own agenda ( which is basically that they are trying to prevent alternative distribution models from ending their effective monopoly of music distribution ).

For the record, I tend to agree with him. For that matter, this is a point that Richard Stallman also keeps stressing to people ( though for somewhat different reasons ). If you aren't prepared to pay for what you want, then you should stick to public domain / freeware /open source. The same applies to anything else, be it music, porn or discussion forums.

The problem in this respect is trying to find balence. As it currently exists, the Internet was not intended to be used for financial transactions. Neither did anyone really consider that it would become such a popular medium with the general public. Because of this, you have neither the confidentiallity of a real world financial transaction, the privacy of a snail mail letter or the ( relative ) anonynimity of just being another face on the street in a big city.

Solutions will eventually be worked out. For the moment though, we can expect some fairly extreme growing pains. While this is unpleasant, it's important that we keep our sense of perspective or else things way tilt too far in one direction or the other.

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.

[ Parent ]

Anonymity is NOT a right! (4.00 / 4) (#21)
by costas on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:59:43 PM EST

I am amused when people (especially those on that Other Site) claim that anonymity is: a) a God-given right, or b) what the Net was based on.

Bollocks! (b) especially is wrong... when the ArpaNet/Internet started there was no anonymity because everybody on the Net just plain knew everybody else --the couple of CS schools and National Labs online were and still are a pretty close community. Then for years, the internet was full of static-only IPs and real-people-only e-mail addresses: you were far from anonymous.

Anonymity on the Net was introduced either directly by real privacy advocates (who can forget anon.penet.fi that Scientology practically shut down) or, more commonly, by anonymity-through-obscurity: FreeNet (the original Freenet, not the Gnutella/Napster clone) and later AOL, HotMail, etc, etc.

Now, (a) is even less true: what human society ever was based on anonymity? NONE. Actually, anonymity in the Real World is either associated with cults and/or military organizations --where the person 'must' be erased to establish groupthink-- or to avoid prosecution.

But what really, truly bugs me (and you cannot say than on /. on penalty of burning at the stake) is this whole self-serving attitude that the new wave of 'privacy advocates' is assuming. Anon.penet.fi served a noble cause; it might have been used for practical jokes and/or ordering God-knows-what, but it also served as the only way for whistleblowers to speak (e.g. the Scientology case). The 'new' Slashdot-fed "privacy advocates" (and they deserve to be in quotes) are using the otherwise noble flag of privacy (a whole different issue than anonymity as another post explained very well) to *justify* their *stealing*.

If you are too cheap, or too lazy and are gonna break the law by going on Napster and downloading some MP3s (which I won't say I haven't done), you should have, really, the balls to stand up and say: "I know this is wrong, I know this is stealing someone else's work without their consent, but I am just too damn {lazy|cheap}!". The attitude of "Since I am doing this, it *has* to be right" (vis-a-vis "It is right, that's why I will do it") is Puratinistic and hypocritical.

Are record companies charging too much for a CD? yes they are (cry-babies; a CD back in Europe can go for $20 easily). Are we *justified* to go out and steal the companies' property? no we are not. "Justified" is a very heavy word. Don't overuse it...

memigo is a news weblog run by a robot. It ranks and recommends stories.
Re: Anonymity is NOT a right! (1.00 / 1) (#27)
by DemiGodez on Wed May 31, 2000 at 04:28:35 PM EST

You are so totally correct. Stealing is stealing. It's just easier if no one knows who you are.

[ Parent ]
Re: Anonymity is NOT a right! (none / 0) (#33)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 08:19:27 PM EST

Anonymity IS a right, stealing/piracy is not. Courts have found that people do have a right to anonymous speech, as anonymity is sometimes required for truly free speech. I don't have the URLs handy, but the information is available somewhere.

[ Parent ]
Re: Anonymity is NOT a right! (none / 0) (#34)
by costas on Wed May 31, 2000 at 09:03:36 PM EST

In that case, we are using anonymity as a substitute for free speech, not as a right in and of itself: if you are truly to speak your mind, anonymity would've been irrelevant.

memigo is a news weblog run by a robot. It ranks and recommends stories.
[ Parent ]
Re: Anonymity is NOT a right! (none / 0) (#39)
by Wah on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 02:21:34 AM EST

if you are truly afraid to speak your mind, anonymity is a necessity.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Anonymity != Privacy; Anonymity == Freedom (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by CodeWright on Wed May 31, 2000 at 02:42:12 PM EST

Anonymity != Privacy; Anonymity == Freedom

The Seagram's fellow is right ... Anonymity != Privacy.

However, Law != Justice....

History is replete with examples of unjust laws. And when unjust laws exist, anonymity is the only defense that speech has against the law.

Hence, the issue is not Privacy + Anonymity, but rather Unjust Law vs Just Free Speech....

...and Anonymity is clearly a tool for the defense of Free Speech.

A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

What a load of BS. (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by Luis Casillas on Wed May 31, 2000 at 03:34:49 PM EST

For all of us, "property" rights are well understood and universally accepted. You own a home. You own a car. They're yours - they belong to you. They are your property. Well, your ideas belong to you, too. And "intellectual property" is property, period.

Well, "property" rights are _not_ "universally accepted" as he claims. Socialists, and Anarchists above all, while accepting personal possession of what you use, do not accept any form of private property, that is, the means of productions in private hands. And there are all sorts of intermediate positions. His claim that private property is "universally accepted" is just so much BS.

What would the Internet be without "content?" It would be a valueless collection of silent machines with gray screens. It would be the electronic equivalent of a marine desert - lovely elements, nice colors, no life. It would be nothing.

And here he implicitly equates "content" with "the products of the entertainment business". Is this guy aware that the net had plenty of content before the megacorps jumped in?

And because of the security our product will offer, consumers' privacy will also benefit because their files and their systems won't be corrupted.

WTF? What kind of FUD is this?

Anyway, anonymity and privacy are fundamentally tied together-- anonymity is the best guarantee of privacy. Why are experimental surveys done in full anonymity? To give the respondents a guarantee that nobody will violate their privacy.

For instance, a couple of years back, a big tobacco company won a lawsuit against academic researchers, and the court forced the researchers to turn in to the tobacco companies all the data (names, birthdates, etc.) on the subjects they used in their experiments-- children they worked with in an experiment that supported the hypothesis that tobacco companies are targeting their ads at children.

How many families you think will be willing to volunteer for experiments like this knowing that the tobacco industry will consider going after them? This is why anonymity is so important-- once the information is out there, you no longer control it.

pedophiles (none / 0) (#26)
by Tr3534 on Wed May 31, 2000 at 04:15:10 PM EST

everything i have to say has already been said, here or elsewhere, except 1 thing: WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT KIDDIE PORN?

Whether it is better and more robust methods of security, or tools to track down those who ignore right from wrong, technology will offer the owners of property at least as much comfort as it may currently offer to hackers and spies, pirates and pedophiles.
Sigmentation Fault: Post Dumped.
Re: pedophiles (none / 0) (#30)
by warpeightbot on Wed May 31, 2000 at 05:08:14 PM EST

You wanna know why those who would require a photo ID and a thumbprint for access to the Internet always bring up kiddie pron as an argument? I'll tell you. Because that's the best way they can think of to demonize those of us who like to speak our minds without getting Official Approval from the Imperial Censors.

Speaking of daemons, what's wrong with them? I think Chuck is a right cute mascot, standing there in his little red tennis shoes. And then they're going to go after RamBlo because he's got weapons, and besides, who needs encryption when you have nothing to hide anyway?

They want control of the content, people. And it's not even about censorship. Think about it. This joker is a studio mogul, right? He doesn't have any vested interest in Save the Kiddies. His god is the Almighty Buck. How do you maximize it? By making sure that only Authorized Content Providers are able to put stuff out on the web, just like they're trying to make sure that only Authorized Manufacturers can create DVD players (with Approved Region Locking Code).... so that he and the fat cats like him can get their cut, coming and going. Oh, yeah, and that Authorized Content is required to include an ad for Segrams.... whether the movie is G-rated or not.

Greedy bastards.

What they haven't figured out yet is that most sheeple, having been firmly indoctrinated by the public school system we've all so thoroughly shredded in a previous article, will pay the going rate for media content without a whimper.... only a very small percentage of the total population even know what an MP3 is, and probably a significant majority of us are willing to pay for the content if it can be had in a reasonable fashion. In short, these idiots are worried about a few percentage points, nowhere near enough to impact their stock prices. Furthermore, I get the sneaking suspicion that most of the folks sucking down MP3's by the gigabyte wouldn't go buy the album anyway. I should think Seagram's is smart enough to know that pursuing these small-time hood-wannabes costs more than any possible profits they might make...

Hmmmm.... if that's true, then the issue really is control.... scarier than I had originally thought. This being the case, then perhaps we should hoist the Jolly Roger and begin slitting throats....

[ Parent ]

anon (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 04:54:23 PM EST

anonymity is a bad thing.

Re: anon (none / 0) (#31)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 05:10:40 PM EST

i think i've made my point :-)

anyway, people shouldn't be able to download other people's copyrighted works for free against their will. so, metallica didn't want people to lose royalties on their work. so, what's wrong with that? it's their work. "previewing" is one thing (and may i congratulate amazon.com on being able to preview music by downloading several tracks of the recording), but simply downloading a whole album for free, why do you think you should?

groups tour to promote their albums, and so while downloading music may increase tour sales, it's going to drive down album sales, and a lot of group credibility/popularity rests on this, AFAICT. it's the same as voting ... people say "my vote won't make a difference" when in fact elections have been won by just a few votes either way. collectively, those votes mean a lot. similarly, why shouldn't you sneakily download their album, they'll never know eh? because, it will make a difference.

people have such a weird attitude these days ... they expect everything to be free. so, you can get free software, internet is free, blah blah etc. who's paying for the bandwidth, the transatlantic cable use ... companies have had to invest in that physical infrastructure, and continually maintain it, and you think that you should get this service for free? companies employed researchers (and scientists) to develop optical fibre, research WDM, come up with neat little ways of improving bandwidth ... all their efforts should be for nothing? okay, so people should stack shelves in their local supermarket for nothing, work at macdonalds for nothing, and we should live in a truly star trek society. great. except we don't. america is a corporate society, most "western" civilisations are capitalist ... as Homer Simpson once said, "in theory, communism works" .............

[ Parent ]

Worst kind of scaremongering (none / 0) (#32)
by mar1boro on Wed May 31, 2000 at 05:20:02 PM EST

Anonymity is not an essential ingredient in an instance of free speach. It is essential as an option though. If I want to claim credit for something I say, then I will attatch my -real- name to it.

IMHO to attatch my real name to almost anything on the average discussion board/forum would be pretty damn stupid. While anonymity allows reprisal free speach, it allows reprisal free revenge as well.

As to kiddie porn being mentioned by this....gentleman;
A blatant appeal to pathos. Not only is it hamhanded, it is targeted toward the uninitiated and the ignorant. This...gentleman's argument was weak, he needed help, he resorted to the simplest of cons. I prefer the personal attack myself. I could not help it. This story just pissed me off.

Oh, yeah. Napster/gnutella/etc. - theft plain and simple. If you believe in free stuff (software) use it and use the liscences when you code. But, please, note that the coders who write free software derive their incomes from somewhere else. If they are fortunate they have a backer. But if your source of income is your art or your code, then when someone takes it for free they are ripping you off. That would make the taker a punk thief.

A response (none / 0) (#36)
by Wah on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 02:11:37 AM EST

I wrote a full response to each point that was attempted in this speech. It's at v.7 now. Should be done in a day or two. Here's a link to a draft.

It's stil under construction but is quite on-topic. Please don't post it anywhere else until it's finished. Thanks.
Fail to Obey?
Freudian slip (3.00 / 1) (#41)
by Vila on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 09:52:37 AM EST

he says
"We will fight for our rights and those of our artists, whose work, whose creations, whose property are being stolen and exploited. " [Emphasis mine.]
That's how they see it. The artists are 0wn3d by the recording and publishing companies.

I worked for Chrysalis Music (publishing company, not record company) for a couple of years in the early 90's (I was young ! I needed the money !) In retrospect that was exactly the corporate view of artists: a marketplace, with publishers like rich collectors, looking to pick up bargains ... "collect 'em, trade 'em, swap 'em with your friends !".

The one good point I've seen them make is that large chunks of the money spent on profitable acts is ploughed into finding and developing new talent. This is an expensive business. OTOH most of those expenses, plus the advance the band gets on signing / resigning, are set against the royalties they receive on sales, broadcasts etc.

If this were said by Yeltsin or Mao or Hussein... (1.00 / 1) (#43)
by FFFish on Thu Jun 01, 2000 at 11:48:55 AM EST

...everyone in America would be up in arms.

But it's an American saying it, so there's no big outcry.

In the year 2015, corporate American will OWN you. And it's gonna do it with your implicit permission...

A written stand against internet Anonymity. | 46 comments (46 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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