02 July 2008

Cutting off the Digital Water

Love him or loathe him, Cory Doctorow writes well, and has a great knack for encapsulating important issues in striking thoughts:

I think we should permanently cut off the internet access of any company that sends out three erroneous copyright notices. Three strikes and you're out, mate.

The reason goes to the heart of the problem with the three-strikes approach:

The internet is only that wire that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press in a single connection. It's only vital to the livelihood, social lives, health, civic engagement, education and leisure of hundreds of millions of people (and growing every day).

An Internet connection is now at the level of electricity or water in the modern world: without out, you cannot function properly. To allow an industry to defend an outdated business model by cutting off the digital water and digital electricity supplies is an outrageous over-reaction, and betrays on the part of politicians both a deep ignorance about technology, and a deeper contempt for the "little" people who depend upon those supplies to have any chance against the system that grinds them down daily.

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