The Proprietary Content Industry’s Strange Sympathies

Bono, global do-gooder and patron saint of what’s variously known as cognitive, green, or “progressive” capitalism, a few months ago expressed his admiration for Chinese communist totalitarianism as a model for how to combat file-sharing: “…[W]e know from America’s noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China’s ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it’s perfectly possible to track content.”

Never mind ignoble–it just doesn’t work as well as all that, as Cory Doctorow noted on a past visit to China.  The world’s largest prison state was unable to stop him from visiting any “subversive” online content he wanted, thanks to the miracle of proxy servers.  Indeed China’s Falun Gong dissident movement has become a global specialist in developing proxy server technology for use by dissident movements around the world.

Bono’s remark does cause me to wonder, though, if people like Bill Gates who call the free culture movement “communists” might not be mirror-imaging.

And now it seems not all the proprietary content folks share Bono’s disdain for kiddie porn.  At a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event in Sweden, titled “Sweden–A Safe Haven for Pirates?,” Danish anti-piracy activist Johan Schluter said:

“Child pornography is great….  It is great because politicians understand child pornography.  By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites.  And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites.”

Well, hey, at least he’s honest.  It’s like Dick and Liz Cheney coming right out and actually admitting “We pray every night for Al Qaeda to set off a nuke in New York so we can say we told you so.”

I’m just surprised to see all these proprietary content spokespersons who’ve apparently burnt out the filter in their brains that tells them “That’s one of those things you’re not supposed to say out loud.”  Bono openly admits that nothing short of the surveillance and censorship machinery of a totalitarian state can protect digital copyright from infringement.

(But again, though, as Doctorow pointed out, even this won’t be enough.  It’ll just be another wall to bring down.)

And Schluter admits to cheering on the sexual exploitation of children because the resulting outrage can be used to manipulate the public into supporting measures to support the profits of his own industry.

Well, I guess I’m not entirely clean myself, because I admit to some satisfaction in seeing a couple of spokesmen for proprietary content caught openly admitting to their own vileness.  The more widely known it is just what these people will stoop to in order to protect their state-extorted gain, the better.  The more people are aware of what snakes the Copyright Nazis are, and of their shameless project of turning the Internet into a gulag just so they can line their own pockets, the sooner the tide will turn against them.

Like the man said:  “Is there a place for the hopeless sinner, who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?  Believe it.”

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