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May 9, 2005
Swim Together, Sink Together?
Via Ernie Miller, something I missed but you shouldn't: Derek Slater's reflections on what constitutes a desirable common platform for copyfighters:
I am deeply uncomfortable with [Downhill Battle's] excusing and encouraging widespread, infringing P2P file-sharing, and I particularly disagree with their doing so as a means to destroy the major record labels. I think that association with this stance poses the greatest danger to succeeding in the copyfight.
...Some say that Downhill Battle helps make other groups like EFF or PK seem more moderate by contrast. I worry that, instead, other groups who do not share these views get lumped in with Downhill Battle. I worry that, for instance, the EFF's Let the Music Play campaign gets interpreted as expousing similar views, and that, when the EFF supports building a tool like Tor, it's interpreted as merely a means to shield unlawful online activities.
As Ernie advises, read the whole thing.
Update [May 10]: Seth Finkelstein weighs in, sharing insight from his role in the battle against filtering software. In a nutshell, he sees little long-term value in moderates attempting to "herd cats" to reach a common platform, and warns against "moderate"/"radical" divisiveness:
In the few media interactions I've had regarding censorware, whenever I'd get a question about whether or not I agreed with the alleged wild-eyed radicals of Peacefire, (sorry Bennett :-)), I'd decline the invitation to play let's-you-and-him-fight. I would say something along the lines that I thought so-and-so, and I could talk about what I thought, but not anybody else. It worked for me. Maybe it was just that I was sympathetic and at too low a level, while higher-level people would have more pressure. But I actually didn't feel I had to carry any burden of ensuring moderation in everyone in the whole cause (heck, truth be told, I think Peacefire's radicalism eventually worked for them overall, much better than my attempts at a pseudoprofessorial presentation).
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