Linked by Kroc Camen on Fri 10th Dec 2010 14:28 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes I know that there's a number of readers who don't like it when OSnews covers political topics, I'm one of them. These political upheavals however spell danger for operating system hobbyists and so I dedicate this article to framing the political news within the context of what we are here to read about: operating systems.
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RE: Comment by waid0004
by Neolander on Mon 13th Dec 2010 08:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by waid0004"
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This is a quick summary of the article:

The commercialization of the Internet is having a very large effect on what once was a virtual wild west. The big players are pulling the network itself towards tiered levels (voice, VPN, video, audio, text, email, IM) and towards only approved content accessed only by approved players. If they win, the Internet will balkanize into a walled-gardens, a shadow of its former self.

In this possible scenario, those speaking out against those in charge would not be tolerated. As soon as a site like wikileaks uploaded unapproved content, it would be permanently shut down. Everyone involved with, or who had viewed the site, would quietly be arrested, charged, denied bail and sent to prison or to re-education.

This affects us (operating system enthusiasts) because the only approved players will be available on locked down DRM-enabled devices or OSes. Reverse engineering or distribution of any unapproved software will be illegal around the world because it could circumvent their DRM.

The question is, what do we do to avoid this scenario?

Very nice description of the situation, congratulations !!! ;)

As to what we could do, well, I suppose the same methods as for fighting against authoritarian states do apply.

The first task would be to inform. Tell people around you about what's going on, and why it's bad. Spread the word as far as you can. Try to create some organized network of people who share your ideas on that matter : no matter what's happening next, we would need it.

Next, when the group has grown big enough, we should first try to solve the problem the legal way. Contact political parties, show them what the issue is, and show in some way that we are many to share this idea. Do our best to convince them, and if it fails, create our own parties (something like the Piratpartei), but it's dangerous.

If democracy fails and it seems like the aforementioned tendencies are not changing, then it's time to prepare for fighting. Buy as much easily-crackable CDs and DVDs as we can, and copy those we can't buy. Start massive distribution of those in the neighborhood. Teach people how to use free software, and have them teach others. In short, grow the mass of people using open technologies to the point where the media industry can't easily say "today, we switch to a DRM-only world" without a riot occurring.

Can't think of anything else right now.

Edited 2010-12-13 08:30 UTC

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