Just Say No… to Downloading

From Boing Boing:

The RIAA has just released a back-to-school propaganda video called “Campus Downloads” that is full of lies, half-truths, omissions, and intimidation aimed at convincing students to stay away from file-sharing.

This is so utterly reminiscent of the Just Say No campaign of the 80’s and the pre-Bush-era policy of educating the youth on the importance of safe sex. I just began taking a grad school course on DRM and copyright in the Internet age, etc, taught by Cory Doctorow, who opened the class by screening the aforementioned video, interspersed with his own p.o.v., the facts and a brief introduction into the saga of DRM and emerging copyright implications and developments in technology and the internet.

A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal of all places pointed out the utter ridulousness of these so-called “legal” file-sharing systems to which access is purchased by Universities, and of course then factored into students’ tuition fees.

Assuming you haven’t already seen this scare-piece — produced by the RIAA’s own campus outreach propaganda wing, stylishly named CampusDownloading — at freshman orientation, it is provided below in the spirit of helping the blood-money-hungry RIAA (though they did drop their suit against a dead man) in illegally disseminating their BS.

And just in case they come for you, Grant Robertson recently published “A Layperson’s Guide to Filesharing Lawsuits.”

Ahmadinejad: Blogger, Hypocrite

ahmadinejad blogIran’s president and chief oppressor/Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has started writing a blog.

The blog is in Arabic, French and English and encourages comments. This, as Iran continues a nationwide crackdown on bloggers. Read the Brian Murphy’s AP report.

Mike Wallace’s interview with Ahmadinejad airs tonight on CBS’ 60 Minutes. A preview is on the ’60’ Web site.

Free Josh Wolf

free joshua wolfEarlier this week, Joshua Wolf, a 24-year-old freelance journalist and blogger, became the first journalist to be jailed for refusing to disclose information in a court of law since Judith Miller. These are hardly the “Scooter” Libby “Flame” top secrets revealed over a snazzy Georgetown meal, however, as Wolf would be the first to proclaim that he is no friend of the administration.Wolf had been blogging his experience here, until the 1st of August, when, as his mother wrote: “Although the July 20th hearing seemed promising, today the judge, Judge Alsop ruled against all motions including 5th amendment rights, rights coming under freedom of the press, against bail or a stay. Josh is in Dublin federal prison, in the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay.”

It makes no difference that the video he withheld was of self-proclaimed anarchists at an anti-G8 summit — the “crime” it supposedly captured was a “riot” that grew out of the protest. Surely, one would think there were other camerapeople documenting the event.

This is a direct attack on freedom of speech and the expression of dissent that one often hears about in countries with extensively repressive governments such as China. Surely an appeal will be filed and the case will go to the 9th Circuit, but it may not be until next summer.

The SF Chronicle attests to these journalistic freedoms in an editorial titled “Free Josh Wolf.”