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October 16, 2009
In Their Own Words
I wanted to point to two very different published items, both of which bring thought to bear on the current state of the Copyright Wars.
First, Nate Anderson - who has been doing stellar work in the trenches of this slogfest for several years, primarily at ars technica - published a piece called "100 years of Big Content fearing technology". This gem simply puts together things that the Cartel have spewed as they dug in their heels and fought kicking and screaming against every innovation of the last century. We all know about Jack "Boston Strangler" Valenti's insane rant before Congress, but did you know that John Philip Sousa penned a screed against the gramophone?
The Cartel did manage to kill DAT (Digital Audio Tape) by convincing Congress to impose onerous fees but their success in suppressing other advances has been less. And everywhere they failed, they made money. If this makes any sense to you, then you are not like me.
Warren Ellis, for some months now, has been publishing an online Web comic called "Freak Angels." It appears approximately every week, for free, on Fridays. And like many who publish online for free, Ellis makes money from associated sales of merchandise including hardcopy versions of the comics. In today's "Interlude" page, he notes that the preceding strip, which ends in something of a cliff-hanger, is the end of what will be printed in Volume 3. And he has some amused comments about how some of his fans respond to the different availability of the free and for-pay print editions. It's an interesting contrast to the men that Anderson quotes.
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