Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Electronic Frontier Foundation Politics Your Rights Online

EFF Co-founder Faces Copyright Heavyweights At EG8 151

ndogg writes "EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow faced down copyright heavyweights ... on a panel he described as 'the Lions Den' discussing issues of intellectual property. He was the lone dissenting voice ... Mitterand had commented that copyright debates had grown so calm now that everyone agreed upon the ground rules."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EFF Co-founder Faces Copyright Heavyweights At EG8

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:53AM (#36237908)

    The one who think children who download movies should have their internet rights revoked, but doesn't see anything wrong with a cineast raping a 13 year old girl ? Glad he has his priorities straight.

  • Conroy vs. Sarkozy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:56AM (#36237920) Journal


    French President Nicolas Sarkozy called repeatedly for Internet regulation and more copyright protection.....

    I really, really hate these guys. They are censoring our right to free expression of ideas, and hiding it behind copyright and child "protection".

    Of course it's really all about control of the masses, in order to silent dissent. Last "great idea" I heard coming out of the US District of Chaos is that citizens will be required to get licenses to log on and speak their minds. Hopefully this idea dies immediately.

  • Excellent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:08AM (#36237988) Homepage

    I rather doubt I agree with everything Mr. Barlow said, even from the brief summary of his comments in the article I saw several statements that I might have argued with. I tend to be a moderate on this issue, neither favoring the total or near total evisceration of IP laws that some favor, nor the equally ridiculous calls from industry to expand them to the point that all content becomes immutable and unusable. Never the less, seeing this guy shake up the cozy little panel of "experts" makes me very happy. Nothing is going to change as long as the attitude that "the ground rules are all agreed on" is there. Until people realize that that there even is a another side in this debate, that there are radical content freedom people sitting opposite the radical content protection people, the middle ground can't be found.

  • by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:10AM (#36238008) Journal

    Don't hate the representative - hate the voter.

    Modern representative democracy is the biggest exercise in responsibility denial.

    Did your colleague vote Sarkozy? Explain to him what he's responsible for. Let him learn what he has done, and he may change.

  • by xclr8r ( 658786 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:11AM (#36238018)
    But his refusal of invitation was shortsighted; he can put together some decent arguments occasionally. When you get an audience to air your viewpoints you take it. If it was due to scheduling conflicts then my apologies but I do not believe that to be the case.
  • by chemicaldave ( 1776600 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:11AM (#36238024)

    But [Barlow] accepted the invitation even as colleagues begged him not to go and activists like Cory Doctorow turned down invitations to the event, which was seen as an industry/government cabal bent on regulating the 'Net for its own ends. ... Barlow's biggest contribution to the e-G8 may have been the reminder that this illusion of calm is only possible in a setting where one screens out the dissenting voices—and that those voices are still raging outside.

    Well no wonder they don't think anything is wrong. When activists turn down invitations, they'll assume they're in the right.

  • Ground rules (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:28AM (#36238144)

    1. We're all here to represent our corporate campaign donors, not our citizens.
    2. There are no other rules.

  • by LilGuy ( 150110 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:46AM (#36238254)

    This is the laziest response to the age-old problem of representation in government. "Well the people voted for X."

    Who exactly votes for the people who get to run for office? Nobody? I wouldn't say that. Money votes for the initial candidates. That money comes from industry. The people who run are those who can best afford to run, and what that means is they are connected enough throughout industry and politics to be a viable option. This SEVERELY limits who the people will ultimately be ABLE to vote for, with the caveat that every single candidate has an agenda of their own that does not reflect the will of the people. Of course once the choices are sufficiently narrowed down for the people, and a single candidate is "elected", that candidate then owes much to their initial benefactors.

    The word "democracy" as the world is wont to use it is a farce and nefarious doublespeak at best.

  • Re:Excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:57AM (#36238350)

    another side in this debate

    On the other hand, to even begin to satisfy the demands of the other side, the USA and Europe would need to seriously reform their economic policies. Copyrights, patents, and trademarks are a major export for these countries, and strengthening the laws around them helps to improve the value of those exports. If you want to stop strengthening the laws, then you need to start working on ways to increase exports from other areas of the economy. That means you need to compete with countries where labor is cheap -- and short of cheapening your own labor, I am not really sure how you do that.

  • by anegg ( 1390659 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @10:06AM (#36238418)

    An illuminating comment from one of the speakers quoted in the linked article was "We do not believe that you can remove 'content' from the Internet, and if you do this, what is there left? Basically, the Internet then is a set of empty pieces and boxes.” (Bertelsmann [Worldwide Media, I presume])

    The Internet is much more than just a content delivery network for the recording industry and the news media. As with many constructs, however, I fear that it is viewed by all with a subjective POV and for those media corporations, their subjective POV is focused on only their understanding of the value of the Internet. The danger inherent in this subjectivity is that very powerful interests can bring about controls and restrictions that are, from their subjective POV, very reasonable. However, these same controls and restrictions may be extremely harmful to other interests and considered unreasonable by those with a different subjective POV. Perhaps the best manner in which to argue against controls and restrictions being sought by the tunnel-visioned but powerful is to illuminate the full range of communications made possible by the Internet and to show how the proposed controls and restrictions would unreasonably have harmful effects on important aspects of that full range of communications.

    A separate, but related argument, is that the business opportunities that technology brings may also be taken away by newer technology. I'm thinking specifically here of the recording industries. Prior to the invention of audio and video recording technologies, there was no business in recording and selling the playback of audio and video "works of art" - all such works had to be performed by real-life artists every time the work was "sold" to an audience. Once a means to permanently store and playback recordings of these works existed, an industry formed to take advantage of it. I suspect that this industry directly destroyed the ability of many performance artists to make a living. Now new technology makes it possibly infeasible to spend a fortune making a recording of a work of art, because that recording can "escape" the confines within which it can be sold over and over again to recoup the initial investment. If true, live performances may make a comeback as big-budget productions dwindle. Why should the recording industry receive preferential treatment in order to maintain a business model that was created by technology and has perhaps now been destroyed by technology? Why shouldn't live performers regain their importance as the sun sets on the recording industry?

    It seems to me that since copyright and patent protections are created by society in order to benefit society (and don't exist as any "natural right"), there has to be an argument about the bettering of society more so under one scheme than another. Is there an argument to be made that society will be worse off without big budget motion pictures and albums from major recording studios, and hence we need to protect their business model even though these protections may wreak havoc on the free expression of ideas within society (another benefit to society, which is enhanced by rather than threatened by the Internet)?

  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @10:12AM (#36238464)

    Yet again a demonstration of how it's dumb voting on people rather than being allowed to vote more directly on issues/policies.

    Yeah, that'll go well.

    Ballot - Select One
    [ ] Rationality and responsibility
    [X] Give me more stuff

  • by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @10:19AM (#36238520) Journal

    "Rationality" is a euphemism for "agree with me".

    And "responsibility" is a euphemism for "help the rich".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @11:07AM (#36239052)

    You're completely uninformed. The victim either forgiving him or deciding to leave the event behind is not the same thing as her rescinding her previous testimony. See p.95, p96 to see that in her testimony, she denies having given consent.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @12:15PM (#36239972) Journal

    An illuminating comment from one of the speakers quoted in the linked article was "We do not believe that you can remove 'content' from the Internet, and if you do this, what is there left? Basically, the Internet then is a set of empty pieces and boxes.â (Bertelsmann [Worldwide Media, I presume])

    This is a particularly devious phrase, relying on ambiguity of what 'content' is. By the most general definition, sure the internet is nothing without content. But in this sense we are all content creators, and this right here is content.

    What dude means is without big media content, the internet is nothing. So he makes a statement that everyone can agree to, then he changes the meaning of one of the words for the rest of his argument. Terribly, terribly disingenuous.

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.