Wednesday, April 05, 2017

[ezltaurg] Relish the battle against copyright

Keep developing technical means to evade copyright enforcement because it is good preparation for when the government or other powerful entities engage in "real" censorship, for example, against political speech.

Real censorship will have the government try to unmask and punish the speakers of the speech it wishes to suppress.   It will have the government attempting to install spyware and malware onto users' computers.  It will have the government attack or force cooperation with the distribution channels, e.g., ISPs, to try to suppress speech.  It will have the government force cooperation with hardware manufacturers to prevent the transmission of certain speech or identify people who do.  It will have the government punish software developers who develop tools to disseminate speech.  It will have the government attempting to poison (with useless chaff) and do denial-of-service attacks against systems that are being used to disseminate the speech to be suppressed.  All these things the entertainment industry already does and has done in trying to enforce copyright.  Defending against these attacks and circumventing these restrictions represent important technical challenges to solve in preparation for combatting real censorship.

Note well that achieving copyright reform through political means is not helpful in practicing to combat real censorship: whatever politics (unimaginable IMHO because of the political strength of the entertainment industry) that achieves copyright reform is unlikely to be applicable in a political battle against real censorship.  In fact, it is better that the entertainment industry retain as much legal power as possible, in order to simulate the tautological legal power a government will exercise when it does real censorship.

A healthy robust technical infrastructure for evading copyright may induce a government not to even try real censorship.

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