Big Content's depraved indifference

Something I think gets lost in the debate over DRM: Big Content doesn't want DRM because they want to usher in an era of totalitarian control technologies; they don't want copyright filters because they want to make the censor's job easier; they don't want increased intermediary liability because they want to extinguish easy personal expression and collective action.

They want these things because they want to make more money.

But they are indifferent to the point of depravity to the totalitarian, censorious and restrictive consequences of DRM, filters and liability.

They aren't moustache-twirling supervillains. They're greedy, blinkered provincials and hypercompetitive macho bullies who are unwilling to look past the short-term benefits to the consequences. They think only of how things will work, not how they'll fail.

When we (we -- I do this too, all the time) focus on the consequences to culture and creativity, we allow this debate to be defined in terms of who gets to remix what, or whether you'll have to start paying for the ongoing use of your cultural goods. These are important issues.

But they're a distant second to a rearchitecting of our law and technology to create the preconditions for repression, corruption and suppression of dissent.

That's the real fight: are we shaping a world where our children will be able to come together effortlessly to improve their lots and the lots of their neighbors; where they'll be able to fight corruption and hold their leaders to account; where they'll be able to participate and help others to participate?

Or will we allow a small gang of selfish and short-sighted entertainment companies to fatally compromise the infrastructure of the 21st century to add a few points to its bottom line?


  1. Its all about the bottom line. THese corporations aren’t evil, they don’t throw the wrench in to be mean, they’re just really, terminally greedy.

      1. Greed is a natural human emotion, like anger or fear. Those are never evil in themselves; it’s particular expressions that are sometimes evil. As a society we could try to deny those emotions altogether, but I think it’s more effective to acknowledge their reality and put them to use when it benefits both the individuals involved and society as a whole.

        1. Greed is a natural human emotion, like anger or fear.

          That’s not a widely supported view. Greed is frankly more indicative of an absence of emotion, a step down the path toward sociopathy.

      2. Greed isn’t evil. It’s amoral. It’s just like an axe – its “morality” is all in how it’s used. After all, patriotism can be seen to be greed on behalf of a country.

      3. evil is a loaded word, so how about instead we say that greed is dangerous if taken to far? If we allow greed to overpower all other emotions or reason, tunnel vision is a mild expression for the problem created.

        at times i wish we would stop using the words good and evil, as they have a nasty potential to short circuit any kind of debate.

  2. Unfortunately the laws that form the fabric of our society are written by the people with money, most of whom are “greedy, blinkered provincials and hypercompetitive macho bullies” because that behavior is how one becomes rich and influential in the U.S. The laws will never be artist-friendly until the artists make the laws.

    Artists make the art but somehow lawyers end up owning it, and our society encourages that.

  3. If they were clearly adding a few points to their bottom line over the long term, I’d have more sympathy for their arguments. But that’s debatable. The only obvious win for them is in the short term, as they try to keep those nasty digital technologies acting like the analog technologies they built their previous business models around.

    So it’s not just depraved indifference of our future culture; it’s depraved indifference of the future in general. It’s like Detroit’s struggles to keep out better Japanese cars or to fight fuel efficiency requirements. In the long run that attitude didn’t help those companies. It destroyed them.

    1. thanks to bonuses being based on stock market changes, the end result becomes that any short term action that can be done that will drive the stock price up a point or two will be taken.

  4. I imagine all of these people like Ned Grossberg, head of Network 23 in Max Headroom.

  5. I have books printed on paper. My Big Content entertainment is on DVDs and CDs (and a few vinyl records I haven’t spun in years.) Big Content can’t take that away from me – at least until they decide that Farenheit 451 is an instruction manual and corrupt our society enough that they can send in police officers to loot my home.

    So far, I find amatuer videos published on YouTube and similar sites as entertaining as most of what Big Content produces – often more so. So long as the internet remains a transport layer for media where story, humor, and immagination keep my attention (rather than bandwidth gobbling HD, special effects, and stars of dubious worth) – I’ll have access to something new and stimulating.

    I’m not going to stop Hollywood from following the path blazed by GM and Chrysler – and purely by luck avoided by Ford.

  6. Given the number of Big Content lawyers who have moved into official government positions with the current administration, and the amount of money being paid by Big Content via lobbyists and campaign contributions to bribe Congress to vote their way, is there actually any legal, nonviolent means by which the average citizen could help stop this? I just don’t see any hope of changing the course of events.

  7. sad thing is, its not limited to big content. most of humanity seems to be somewhere close to the middle frame here:

    thanks to ramblings from the talking heads about roaming child molesters, terrorists and such that can only be dealt with by basically removing all sense of privacy and freedoms.

    to invoke godwin’s law, goebbels would have been proud at what todays media is able to manipulate.

    1. Patrick Henry kept his wife locked in the basement. Not really the best paragon of liberty you got there. Besides, if you actually study the forefathers instead of their platitudes most of them were complaining about the same things we were and none of them had a solution either.

  8. Maybe my corporate law course just made me a bit cynical, but it seems to me that greed is just the nature of the corporate beast, created by all the laws and court precedents that govern how corporate directors are bound to act.

    The corporation is a creature of law, and the law surrounding it is broken – until that changes, you’re stuck with powerful and rapacious entities using every trick they can to fill their and their shareholders’ pockets, and you have a culture that selects corporate leaders based on how capable they are of using those tricks.

  9. They want these things because they want to make more money.

    In a way I think this gives them too much credit. What’s really going on is that a breed of parasitic middlemen/managerial types are desperately trying to preserve a business model that provides them with jobs, one which is threatened by technologies capable of creating a new business model in which people like themselves are largely supernumerary. And they’d rather destroy the industry than risk their positions within the industry – Iron Law of Institutions and all that.

  10. This article makes clear the idea that entertainment companies think that DRM adds value to their products. Is this true? I have never seen any data to clearly indicate this one way or the other, but I don’t believe that it’s true. Until these people stop believing in DRM, we’re going to keep seeing it. It’s kinda like trying to stop a cult.

    1. nah, more that it preserved “value”, or at least preserve the ability to use units shipped as a easy way to measure profits.

  11. I guess that’s the point, isn’t it? They used to have a monopoly on production technology and distribution. Production hardware was prohibitively expensive, and distribution required a big network of shops and distributors.
    A lot of consumer and prosumer hardware is now capable of producing content on par with what they produced in the past, and the internet opens a lot of distribution opportunities on a small budget.
    So what they want is a legal “monopoly”, so it is virtually impossible for anyone else to produce legal content.

  12. Remember: in the future you won’t own anything, you’ll merely buy a license to use it with terms that allow the company to withdraw or amend the licence terms at a moment’s notice.

    1. iirc, contracts cant counteract a actual law, but i wonder how many “consumers” are actually aware of that.

      btw, anyone else starting to read “consumer” as a negative? citizen, sure, but consumer? sounds to me like someone with a third generation trust fund and some BS in economics that they passed more thanks to earlier generations funding of the place of study then anything else.

    2. That’s crazy talk! That sounds like something out of the book 1984! As if some big company will suck back the book you bought on your electronic reading device.

  13. Evil people who actually think of themselves as evil only exist in schlock fantasy stories. Big Media is totalitarian because they believe your freedom to copy bits is a vice to be extinguished.

  14. a small gang of selfish and short-sighted entertainment companies

    I think it’s a mistake to think of them as mere vendors of entertainment: there is a reason the gang is so small, and there’s a reason so much money is being put into this struggle.

    This isn’t just about amusing ourselves to death, it’s about the cognitive infrastructure that keeps the empire afloat. As more new voices come into the cultural conversation, these thugs have got to work harder to keep their own voices sounding more important and more articulate than the competition. For these guys, if the marketplace of ideas were to become a level playing field, they would lose everything.

  15. Reminds me of Aleister Crowley:
    “Do what you will shall be the whole of the law”.
    What gets left out is that ‘you’ needs to be more than just ‘your greed’ or ‘your dick’. It needs to be all of what comprises ‘you’.
    If you allow ‘your greed’ or ‘your dick’ to be ‘you’ and guide all your actions and your thinking, then you become a depraved monster and not a human being as this article puts so well.

  16. “But they are indifferent to the point of depravity to the totalitarian, censorious and restrictive consequences of DRM, filters and liability.”

    And i am indifferent to the point of depravity to any and all arguments against piracy. What is fair is fair after all. If a corporation buys the right to cripple my hardware i am entitled to all the free\cracked\reverse engineered stuff i can get my hands on.

    The problem with people like Cory is that they actually care enough to try and discuss progress and culture with people who could not care less.

    I have no sympathy for the “content industry” actually a total bankruptcy of all major labels would not be that bad at all. Only that they are probably too big to fail.

  17. It’s not as overlooked as you think, it has been pretty much the center of most argumentation in the Netherlands for the past year. Which is great, because it elevates the discussion to a higher plane. it’s no longer about copyright in a economy context, it’s about the future political, social and cultural ramifications of upholding copyright at all costs and it gets people interested who would otherwise dismiss the whole thing as “teenagers downloading”.

    But still, it’s good to call attention to this. It’s not just about the ability for me an friends to share and enjoy entertainment together, it’s also about the future of culture, the future of dissent and ultimately the future of society.

  18. Is it possible we’re missing something here?
    Allowing these corporations to take more control over our technology sets a precedent (and generates hardware and software) for governments to take more control over our private lives. Acting like this is entirely driven by the corporations and not those governments hoping to get access to all that power might be missing a major point.
    And even if the govts aren’t conspiring currently to take more control over our technology, when some of these old geezers who don’t quite “get it” are cycled out, a new set of power hungry politicians who DO understand the power and significance of having access to our PCs will move in. Then they’ll be working with the corporations to erode our civil liberties. I don’t know how they’ll be stopped when they’re both on the same page (As opposed to now when the govts understanding of technology doesn’t go too far beyond ‘a series of tubes’).
    This is why it’s important we get politicians in NOW to create laws and change dated laws to protect ourselves, our privacy, and the privacy rights of our children. It’s not enough to demonize and fight big business.

  19. Democracy? Human rights?

    Who the fuck wants that crap when you can know that someone out there got a christmas bonus a million dollars larger than when you had rights?

    Jesus, don’t be greedy, peasant. Remember who your lords are in Hollywood. They’ll smack your ass down if you get uppity and talk about this rights and dignity crap.

  20. Where is there any evidence that DRM is short-sighted from the viewpoint of the companies involved? Arguing that DRM has a negative value for the consumer is obvious. It seems a much harder argument to claim it is negative for the seller. Generally, people just argue “well, eventually all DRM gets cracked”. Well, right. But then it is replaced by *another* DRM.

    1. Well that’s kind of the point. DRM doesn’t contribute a thing to the company’s bottom line… and in the long run neither does destroying nations’ legal systems. However these red herrings have enough longevity that the managerial types pushing for them as solutions have a chance to let their pensions mature, before the industry actually gets to see how they’ve been in throwing their money and home countries away.

      Nothing is more evil than a faceless businessman trying to keep his job.

      These people will set the world aflame before they’ll give up their jobs and their pensions, even if it eviscerates their industry and destroys the rights of several generations of humanity.

      1. AirPillo, let’s say you produce movies and want to offer them online both to rent and to buy. How do you do it without DRM?

        1. Film I don’t have an example of offhand, though Cory has in the past given examples of musicians and authors who have sold media online either without DRM, or alongside giving it away online for free and have made a sustainable profit on the endeavor. One of my favorite musicians, going by the moniker of Tettix, makes a living on commissioned work and by giving away his DRM-free music in mp3 form online, and asking for donations on his site.

          It’s not about whether or not it can work. It does. It’s about the degree to which a good work will profit.

          The industry this stuff supports has grown accustomed to and dependent upon the unusually large profit margins of a certain cadre of hit artists or works. This worked when publishers were the only entity known to man that could copy and provide professional entertainment. It doesn’t work anymore now that they’re not, and the excess they’re accustomed to can’t be fed from the profits they seem to expect from every. single. thing. published.

          Me, though? In your scenario I’m assuming that since it’s me I’m a small-time artist. I dump a little money into marketing, tease the film online, then put it up for sale. No DRM. Then before it makes enough of a name for itself to be easily found in pirated form, I upload it to The Pirate Bay myself and slip the news of that to some blogs and news organizations.

          That approach is still novel enough that I’d get a disproportionate amount of publicity to my actual level of established fame and, you know what? I’d turn a profit if what I had made was decent and people liked it. Any publicity is good publicity and if people are abuzz about something of a decent quality they’re going to consume it and people are going to be inclined to pay for it. Enough to make a livable profit.

          Publishers haven’t shut down have they? They’re not trying to stave off abject failure, they’re blithely attempting to create a world where their currently sustainable profits continue to grow unceasingly.

          It’s not an eat or starve fight right now, it’s a grow fat or grow morbidly obese fight. They’re not struggling to win bread, they’re thrashing about having a fit because they don’t get to have a 10th bowl of ice cream.

          1. I’m long-winded but I did give an answer :P

            Me, though? In your scenario I’m assuming that since it’s me I’m a small-time artist. I dump a little money into marketing, tease the film online, then put it up for sale. No DRM. Then before it makes enough of a name for itself to be easily found in pirated form, I upload it to The Pirate Bay myself and slip the news of that to some blogs and news organizations.

            I’d Innovate to get a step ahead of the industry, use a very inexpensive and effective publicity stunt to get my film out there and talked about for next to nothing. Sell or rent it online for a low, fair price. Don’t bother with DRM. It’s unpopular and expensive.

            The internet is about high volume sales. I’d treat it as such instead of treating it like selling boxes of DVDs that cost real money to sell.

            Doing what Hollywood doesn’t do is a competitive advantage.

            Sure sounds like it’s worth a try to me.

        2. You don’t bother differentiating between renting and buying, because in reality, transferring a file is transferring a file. You change the model to:

          $1 = Flags a database value that you have the right to download or stream a standard NTSC/PAL version of this film. Allows choice of file formats, encodings, disc images.

          $5 = Flags a database value that you have the right to download or stream a full HD version of the film and all the bonus materials that normally come in $25 dvd boxes at the store. Allows choice of file formats, standards, whatever.

          There you go.

  21. Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
    Hanlon’s razor applies to this (and so many other cases).
    Substitute short-sightedness for stupidity.. you get the gist.

  22. You really think that, say, Rupert Murdoch is just greedy for money? That Disney doesn’t have a lust for power? That Capitalism is about making money?

    Right. Sure.

  23. I almost want to change a few words and use that in my arguments about the AZ immigration law supported by the right.

    Hey can we get a write up here on the Pioneer Fund and how it helped shape it?

  24. “They aren’t moustache-twirling supervillains. They’re greedy, blinkered provincials and hypercompetitive macho bullies who are unwilling to look past the short-term benefits to the consequences. They think only of how things will work, not how they’ll fail.”

    This isn’t a description of Big Content, this is a description of American business in general. It seems that short-term profit always trumps… environmental concerns, civil rights, law, and even corporate survival, hell, even survival of their own progeny.

  25. I actually think their agenda is personal creativity and the ability of the individual to have their say in the public groupthink.

    Once they get DRM locked in, they’ll have tons of ‘accidents’ to disrupt 3rd and 4th party competitors. They’ll also start using the same “This could be used for a crime, terrorism, Think of the CHILDREN!” to try to get personal creativity software banned. Photoshop becomes a tool for copyright theft and child porn, 3D stealing video game characters from software, digital software recording studios a gateway around file sharing lockdowns…

    They don’t really care about people ‘stealing’ that’s just their legal department making money. They have to know by now for the biggest companies the ‘stealing’ overall helps in terms of advertising more than it hurts in terms of lost (as if they’d ever buy) sales.

    What they fear is people making their own music albums and selling/broadcasting them online, writers making and selling their own books, etc. Before they controlled 100% of the distribution channels, but now it’s not that certain, so they are scared and angry.

  26. Since when is greed a natural human instinct? An organism feels hunger, an organism feels thirst. An organism will avoid stimuli that are irritating or potentially hazardous. An organism will gravitate towards stimuli that indicate food or desirable habitat or safety or a chance to reproduce. And yes, responding is natural.

    But when some internal switch is locked into the on position, such that an animal eats well past the point of satiation, to the point of damaging itself, that is not natural. Eating your young is not natural. Eating until you explode that is not natural. That is greed. Greedy record execs, greedy lawyers, greedy bankers, greedy politicians, greedy agribiz, greedy big energy, greedy media moguls. If it is common, if it has become expected, that doesn’t make it okay. That doesn’t make in a, and I’m spitting the words through my teeth now with contempt, NORMAL BEHAVIOR.

    The fuck it does.

    Stop apologizing for it. I’m so sick of people apologizing for greed. I’m sick of rich assholes who never sat down and made anything of worth in their lives being glorified and protected. I’m sick of laws that put the right to make a profit above everything else. That is evil. It is evil in all kinds of ways, from the mundane small thoughtless and petty acts, to the vast and diabolical acts that result in people living in misery and dying so that a few money-bloated fucks can get richer and richer and richer.

  27. Some of ‘big content’ may be short sighted. But all of it? That seems implausible. If there’s more money to be made in the long term by abolishing DRM, do you not think someone would do it? (In fact, some companies are.) If there was a market for less-restricted systems (e.g., music players and stores to make it easier for artists to self-publish), do you not think someone would create such systems? The world is full of smart people, savvy businessmen, and forward-looking entrepreneurs. Are they somehow prohibited from working for these companies?

    I think there are parallels between anti-corporate thinking and anti-science. In particular, I’m thinking of those advertisements that talk about ‘secrets the medical community doesn’t want you to know, because they want to keep you sick’. There’s just no incentive for withholding effective treatment — the one doctor or scientist who broke ranks would instantly become the richest and most famous professional in the world.

    And also… in America at least… there is effectively no censorship and (thanks to the Internet) negligible barriers to self-publication. If DRM is such a threat to this status quo, why hasn’t there been any signs of it? Do you really think America will magically become a totalitarian state because Sony makes it harder to copy your movies?

    Honestly I would prefer that copyrights and patents had shorter terms, and were non-renewable. (I’d even say this would benefit humanity.) I would be pleased, too, if I could buy media players that played every media in existence, and content that played on every player. But let’s not conflate those pedestrian desires with fears of censorship and government control. These exists in REALITY in some parts of the world, not just as a hypothetical outcome at the bottom of a slippery slope argument.

    1. There are some situations that net more money with DRM than without it, not that of piracy because with piracy DRM is cracked and removed, but with individuals who lose rights to there own media and re-purchase a part of the media.

      I’m sure Big Media loves the thought of getting paid twice!

      And all the DRM I’ve heard of is fragile and will prevent you from viewing or hearing your media if things change on your computer.

  28. Their motivation is also their greatest weakness. It tells you exactly how to go about beating them. Convince them that they will make more money without the totalitarian BS, and they’ll drop it in a heartbeat.

    Unfortunately the industries are mostly so caught up in the old business model, and the fiction that it’s possible to control reproduction, that convincing them that DRM is counter-productive is an uphill battle.

  29. “Big Content doesn’t want DRM because they want to usher in an era of totalitarian control technologies”

    Yes they do, because they think control means money. At least to them, screw everyone also.

  30. The punishment for willfully fraudulent DMCA take-downs should be loss of IP rights.

  31. From a Marxist/Socialist perspective the thing that the corporations and copyright lawyers “don’t get” is that the means of production for digital technology has been turned over to The People.

    This myopia is fundamentally demonstrated in some corporate web sites: We can sign up for their “updates” and the marketing miasma of their media push. But gawd forfend that we are provided with “contact us” links for feedback.

    I don’t feel this “internet neutrality” thing is being pushed hard enough. We all know the Bill Gates browser (MicroShaft Exploiter) will lead the search to sites who pay Bill to list their sites.

    Apple is pretty anal about what “Apps” run on their stuff.

    The digital means of production belong to The People!

  32. From the perspective of someone who at some point implemented “DRM” (it didn’t deserve the name, but was enough to placate big media companies) I should say that I never got the impression they wanted DRM as such.

    What they wanted was to feel safe from losing money in the face of a technology they didn’t quite understand.

    That’s almost exactly the same as what you’re saying, except it’s less greed-driven and more fear-driven.

    I enjoyed the talk tonight, btw.

    1. “From the perspective of someone who at some point implemented “DRM” (it didn’t deserve the name, but was enough to placate big media companies)”

      Which was it not: Digital, Restrictive or Manageable?

  33. Whenever I read these posts about DRM, I laugh because I have a wall full of “obsolete media” that have no DRM and never will. There are lots of people like me who are perfectly content to “roll their own” music and totally bypass current technology.

    I broke down and bought a Blu Ray player. It’s the most irritating piece of equipment I have ever dealt with. It takes aeons for the disk to boot up, there are menu screens on top of menu screens, it’s impossible to just play the movie without a remote control, and the image quality is not that much better. I bought three Blu Ray disks with the player, but I have no plans to buy more.

  34. I developed DRM in the early 90s to support superdistribution. A few years ago, I worked on a SDK for a p2p distribution startup. Now, I’m working on something a little bit different. I also download via torrents, rent, buy, and perform content as a VJ. I might have a solution for the labels. Or, I might get sued. Tis a toss up.

    What I find amusing is the how the role of the DJ has evolved. 50 years ago, Dick Clark was offered payola; 3 years ago, DJ Drama was offered jail time. Is it just me, or are the best of today’s music evangelists being offered more sticks than carrots?

    There’s been a lot of talk about Apple being evil for having a closed system. A couple weeks ago, someone asked Bob Borchers (who was Apple’s first iPhone evangelist) whether Apple always expected to have an AppStore. His answer was telling: before introducing the AppStore, Apple thought that developers would split equally between AppStore and the original Web based app toolchain – between closed and open systems. The surprise was that most developers opted for the closed system. Why? To make money. These are NOT big labels; most are independents, like myself, who would like to make a living.

    So, what negative consequences for culture? For an artist to make a living, there is going to be an intermediary involved in the transaction. As for grass roots holding together a civil society – well – every system has a workaround.

  35. The simplistic overview is a single word:


    All the other rhetoric, reality based or merely FUD is trumped by that one word concept. The fact that makes Copyright Law, let alone DRM as it’s attempted instrumentality so dangerous to humanity lives in the concept of POWER. Information is a form of power that has rules vastly divergent from all other things. To be controlling those rules is to be controlling nothing less than eventually everything. Yeah- it’s that simple.

  36. Are any of you really so attached to movies, music, and TV that their control by another entity is that important?

    Come on– if you removed every cd, mp3, and dvd from a commercial source from your life, would you be worse off, or just finally kicked off the teat and required to engage with the actual world? For thousands of years, the only way to get music was to listen to the musician, to see theater was to watch the actor as he performed…and this seemed to work out just fine.

    As long as you’re hooked on the media like an addict wants his heroin, the dealer is, very properly, going to treat you like his bitch. Kick the habit.

    1. Yay! *claps hands*

      Yes. Yes. Good god, I wish this part of the DRM discussion would just croak. Look, I get it: unskippable previews on your legally-purchased DVD? Retarded. $500 worth of music files locked up? Totally undeserved. Digital copy of 1984 remotely deactivated? That’s art.

      OK, and retarded. But I mean, if all of this make you tired of feeling like a consumer, great. Be a participant. Because really, that’s the only real ownership we ever had. We can always cheer for our favorite artists at concerts, color ourselves in at our favorite cult movie fests, look for open auditions at our local theatre, bring a drum to the park, tell that artist how much we loved their sculpture– but now we’re sharing this joy, we’re letting ourselves be open for that one moment where we just look over at that complete stranger and giving them that smile that just gleams ‘isn’t this great?’

      [by the way, kids: this what happens when insomnia goes unmedicated.]

      *sigh* Anyway.

      Look, I don’t want to shortchange the important causes of net neutrality, fair use, copyright reform, etc. But I also don’t want to shortchange our definition of freedom. And when its discussion is curtailed to stuff like DRM and unskippable DVD previews, I feel like we’re doing just that.

      C’mon. We’ve mastered the consumption thing. Let’s go do something else.

  37. For Corporations it’s real simple:
    #1 Maximize profits, #2 Minimize costs.

    There’s nothing here about not destroying industries or the internet or bankrupting people for a few files that cost you nothing. Or not bribing politicians to force new dangerous laws into a country.

    Some corporations have detailed ethics and consider the impact of their actions. Too bad the Big Media Corporations aren’t among them!

  38. If one factors this out to the extremes, it’s all about control.

    With sufficient control, worthy competitors will never arise, as all significant new content will either be marginalized, or simply owned by the established players.

    This is the single most important realization that drives me to strongly support Creative Commons, BTW. That pool of content will grow and eventually compete with the majors, backed by the same law they use in an attempt to shut everybody else out.

    The hardware issues are all about breaking free and easy distribution. The excuse will be piracy, but the real motivation will be control and marginalization, and or profit from things like CC licensed works.

    In the very long term, the maximum amount of money will be made in the most stable way, should the level of control desired really be established.

  39. But they’re a distant second to a rearchitecting of our law and technology to create the preconditions for repression, corruption and suppression of dissent.

    All that? And what’s more, you couldn’t express it within the confines of the English language? I’m extra scared.

  40. Sadly, dead on. America is no longer a democracy. The corporatists have won. And when Steve Forbes says the great thing about capitalism is that it cannot exist without freedom, he’s full of shit. Vid., Singapore, the People’s Republic of China, the USA.

    1. Seems like what Steve Forbes means is not freedom but rather a measure of freedom – freedom to consume!

  41. These scumbags will never learn. That’s why I always happily provide guidance to anyone who is interested in finding out how to download things illegally. There’s nothing more adorable than seeing technonoobs pirating to their hearts’ content.

    Can’t beat them? Fuck them up!

  42. Cory,

    I think you are missing something. If the repressive authorities gain control of technology, they will believe that technology gives them that control. They will be blinded to low tech work arounds. People were able to organize and dissent prior to technology. Look at Iran. The sneaker net will always be available.

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