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“Insure copyright. All other considerations secondary. Culture expendable.” — How It Wasn’t Bots That Killed the Hugo Awards

the one and twenty

the one and twenty

Update 09/04/2012 19:12
Ustream sez they “immediately noticed” when the bots cut the stream, but were indeed themselves not able to lift the ban before the broadcast ended.

There you go.

Annalee Newitz at io9 sez:

It was like a Cory Doctorow story crossed with RoboCop 2, with DRM robots going crazy and shooting indiscriminately into a crowd of perfectly innocent broadcasts.

Yes, copyright enforcement bots shut down the live broadcast of the Hugo Awards last night, one of the most prestigious science fiction awards, and there was no way to reestablish the stream. Of course, all the clips shown during the award ceremony had been provided by its copyright holders with the permission to broadcast them, and the broadcast, even without these permissions, had been a perfect case of “fair use” anyway.

But where Newitz’s article fails abysmally in its overall assessment is where it pins the blame on bots. The bots are not to blame at all. They’re not “dumb.” And they’re certainly not “incorrectly programmed.” These bots are very smart, they’re state-of-the-art, they’re correctly programmed, and they do exactly what they’ve been told to do by the Organized Content Mob™. They’re about as “dumb” and “incorrectly programmed” and “twitchy” as the A–2s:


“I can’t lie to you about your chances, but…you have my sympathies.”

Imagine our culture were the Nostromo or LV-426, Weyland-Yutani were the content industry, and the Aliens were copyright laws. Destroying Ash accomplishes nothing. If we don’t act now, and decisively so, we might have to blow up the ship or even nuke the whole site from orbit after all.


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