Re: POLITICS: RIAA & Law trumps Freedom of Speech

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 02:07:17 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> I cannot think of a darker day. Mark this one on your calendar
> folks (April 26, 2001). Due to threats by the RIAA involving
> lawsuits 'in theory' supported by the DMCA (digital millennium
> copyright act), academics involved in the process of "invited"
> attack on the SDMI (secure digital music initiative) are
> effectively being "gagged" from presenting their results.
> The text of the authors statement is here:
> with further information here:
> with the /. commentary here:
> This is another example where an "activist"
> extropian/transhumanist group could play a role.
> A few dozen FreeNet servers "hosting" the papers by
> the academic authors and a couple of thousand letters
> to the RIAA saying why we are boycotting the purchase
> of music CD's until the gestapo tactics cease would
> be highly useful.

Not a bad idea at all. Except that the authors would still be sued
if their names appeared on the Freenet copies. They might need
to be present [the names} to make the results reputable and verifiable.
The boycott might generate some interest. But ultimately what would
generate the most interest is enough people saying no to intimidation
tactics so that enough cases became public that show what an
outrage these laws actually are. Bowing to intimidation is too easily
painted as acquiescence and even as sanctioning such law. Giving
the statement made clear that there is no sanction but it
doesn't do what calling the bluff could do. Yes calling the bluff
would be hell on the people and institutions involved. But there
comes a time when you must stand your ground.

Something that would be interesting would be massive civil disobedience
against these laws on such a scale that it becomes impossible to sue
everyone or enforce this parody.

- samantha

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