"Re: The Future End of Classic Computing

From: Douglas H. Quebbeman <dquebbeman_at_acm.org>
Date: Mon Apr 1 19:48:48 2002

> On Mon, 1 Apr 2002, Douglas H. Quebbeman wrote:
> > Doc's response seems to be typical- it sounds so outrageous
> > that there's no way it could happen.
> Excuse me? My response was that if we don't mobilize en masse, and
> quickly, it _will_ happen.

Doc, I have a fever, and the unsend key isn't working. Sorry!

It was Joe Rigdon's comment to which I was replying...
> The Digital Millenium Copyright Act was no less ridiculous, and is now
> Federal law. In the many times that law has been invoked, not one case
> has involved the mass distribution pirates its proponents claimed to
> target. Most have been people like Dmitri Slyarov, who simply dared to
> speak out, and to demonstrate that ownership of an idea is moot.

Agreed... now if they'd grabbed Martha Stewart, there'd be some action.
> The Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act - UCITA bill - is
> even more ludicrous, and is now law in two states. A roaring
> grass-roots campaign against UCITA was credited with stopping it in
> Texas.

> All three bills, proposed or passed, have in common that they are
> unenforceable, that they target and penalize the consumer in favor of
> specialized corporate interests, that they are blatantly
> unconstitutional in spirit if not in their letters, and that most of
> their opponents do not take them seriously enough to act.
> The other thing these bills all have in common is that the special
> interest groups who buy their introduction into our legislative system
> will continue to pay for their reintroduction until their puppets are
> censured in a way that matters. In cash, and in criminal prosecution.

Around here, we'd tar, feather, then run them out of town on a rail.
> Douglas, I expect that the mis-attribution was a benign mistake, so I
> want to make it clear that I'm not jumping down your throat.

Ok! But I wasn't putting Joe down, either... only pointing out that
we're preachin' to the choir here, folks...

> But I WILL NOT be misunderstood in this. The very possibility of a
> travesty like the CBDTPA becoming the law of the land is my worst
> nightmare come to life. It has nothing to do with my computers,
> my music recordings, or my movies. It has everything to do with the
> idea that any coalition with enough cash and lawyers can today buy
> any oppression of the people that they desire, with impunity, and
> without any need to even disguise their actions.

This is the Tyranny of the Majority that Publius warned us of.

Again, sorry, I spent too much time in the mold den this weekend
recovering old moldy Prime manuals. That deadly black mold you
hear about...

Received on Mon Apr 01 2002 - 19:48:48 BST

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