The digg.com Revolution of ’07
In this era of high speed information flow it would seem absurd for anyone to try and censor a tiny sequence of 32 letters and numbers from being posted online, in an attempt to remove it from the internet. Thats exactly whats happened when a HD DVD key code was posted online earlier this week. Unknown to the average person, a massive online ‘revolt’ erupted online this week after the popular site digg.com tried to censor user postings after being threatened with a lawsuit by lawyers from ‘big media’ in the entertainment industry.
Perhaps the average consumer is too busy with their everyday lives to care/notice about issues with the Digital Rights Management (DRM) in the new Windows Vista. But the next time John Q legally purchases audio and video media, and comes home to find out he is forbidden to play it on ‘unauthorized’ equipment he might get pissed-off enough to hack the protection. It’s inevitable.
Ubuntu is founded on the principles of sharing information, openness, and freedom. The right to share information, and practice freedom of speech is “ubuntu” at it’s essence — humanity toward others. For many of us using Ubuntu has been a refreshing return to sanity. Microsoft and big media corporations are increasingly scaring us away, with their ‘police state’ attitude towards consumers. It appears Google, Cafe Press, and WordPress are all working overtime to censor anyone who shares this silly little sequence of 32 characters. So freedom of expression doesn’t mean much to these companies… or at least not as much as their profit margin does…
What is it about this little sequence of 32 letters and numbers that’s so dangerous for people to write about? That sequence of 32 characters isn’t protected by copyright, Trade Mark, nor is that sequence a form of ‘patented technology’. Yet somehow this key code is ‘banned’ content, and the thought of it making its way into the hands of the general public is absolutely terrifying isn’t it?
An event like this helps the people of society to see whats real, because for a moment the veil is pulled back. It’s happening in plain view for all to see… the corporate power of high tech and media companies trying to take control over the first amendment of the Constitution–the right to freedom of speech.
If exercising your civil liberties is important to you, and if you like having constitutional rights that actually mean something…. you should get involved! Show your support and help protect peoples right to freedom of the press! Copy the little banner logo to your website, join the GIMP key code jam session, post-it, email signature it, T-shirt it, bumper sticker it, and whatever it as you see fit. Let’s let the ‘big media’ know that freedom of expression is a human right recognized by the UN.
And so, for what it’s worth, I’ve included here a little reminder for everyone, just in case some people have forgotten:
THE FIRST AMENDMENT of the CONSITUTION
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.