Space Ramblings

So Yesterday I Was in a Riot

Or at least that’s what they’re calling the response of some Digg users to the attempted crackdown by Digg administrators on barring information about the AACS crack for Blu Ray and HD-DVD’s. Of course by rioting all I did was actually digg the posts that kept popping up. And does the entire thing even matter?

Under the shield of the DMCA, companies have felt themselves free to shut down portions of the internet’s information exchange to please themselves. The irony is that Congressman McDermott’s participation in the wiretapping of opposition congressional leaders will at worst earn him a fine and the New York Times is celebrating the whole thing as a triumph for the free exchange of information. Meanwhile Congress passed the DMCA which permits a boycott of information so long as a corporate interest is involved.

Of course the entire thing is that much more pointless since all the shutdowns really accomplish is to bring attention to the thing they’re shutting down. That’s what really happened on Digg. The story on Digg’s front page would have garnered X amount of users. The story on a shutdown and the endless counter-posts about the crack have pushed the amount of users on the whole thing to X+Y where Y equals the amount of people who gather around anything controversial.

Meanwhile after banning a ton of users has decided they like free speech after all. It’s hard to blame them entirely. After all they’re just another just trying to get by and coping with repressive laws adopted by the big boys. Though anyone who thinks it’s just the big boys who use them has forgotten the use of the DMCA to suppress information on behalf of Sharman Networks– which itself was sued into the ground by the RIAA.

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