Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lanier Criticises the Web Blackout

Jaron Lanier, a musician, veteran of the web and pioneer in virtual reality, speaks out in the New York Times on the latest round of web protests. He is a critic of the proposed law, but also critizes the critics:

There is, however, an outdated brand of digital orthodoxy that ought to be retired. In this worldview, the Internet is a never-ending battle of good guys who love freedom against bad guys like old-fashioned Hollywood media moguls. The bad guys want to strengthen copyright law, and make it impossible to post anonymously copied videos and stories.
The proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which is being considered in the House while the Senate looks at a similar bill, is deemed the worst thing ever. Popular sites like Wikipedia staged a blackout on Wednesday to protest the bills. Google put a black banner over its name. Nothing quite like that has ever happened before. This is extraordinary, because it shows that belief in the priority of fighting SOPA is so absolute as to trump the stated nonpartisan missions of these sites.
I wrote about the protests in yesterday's blog here at the Nordic Link.

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