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February 27, 2012
In the matter of Anderson v Sherman
I've noted in the past when Nate Anderson provoked the MPAA
. This time it's the RIAA and specifically Cary Sherman, its CEO.
In a long thought piece published today, Anderson goes point-by-point through Sherman's latest post-SOPA salvo. Sherman published an item on the RIAA's blog in which he reviewed the (massively negative) feedback he got in response to his NYTimes op-ed. The original op-ed was addressed to SOPA's critics and used some pretty harsh language while supposedly asking for serious dialogue.
Anderson's response to Sherman's blog post is nothing less than heroic. He points out that he is himself a creator, dependent on publishers, copyrights, and all the associated mechanisms to make a living (shades of Wales and Walsh) and then brilliantly deconstructs pretty much everything Sherman has to say.
Anderson also doesn't mince words, calling Sherman's piece "absurd" at points and "quibbling" at others. Crucially, and this is where I think he hits his best home run, Anderson notes that Sherman still is not engaging with the substance of the anti-SOPA/PIPA/ACTA objections. The full-on "no, stop, wrong and here's why" that people all across the spectrum put out in the run-up to the blackout and withdrawal of SOPA seem not to have penetrated Sherman's reality, leading Anderson to conclude that Sherman's claims of defenselessness are "poppycock".
I found Anderson's final section "The path ahead" particularly interesting as an exposition of how Anderson sees the next rounds of the Copyright Wars. As I've noted recently, it feels like we've broken out of a grinding trench-warfare status into something new and potentially much more fluid. Anderson thinks that the Cartel will continue to fail to understand its customers and their anger and so will try to move behind the scenes into lobbying and biting off smaller chunks of the legislative and regulatory pie, hoping for less negative publicity and greater success.
Who was it said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance?
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