When will we get effective political pushback against Hollywood's absolutism on copyright?
I once thought it would happen when people were jailed for linking.
I was wrong.
The filing of criminal charges against the people who ran Elite Torrents, a BitTorrent "tracking site," and the complete take-down of the site, has caused few ripples. Washington remains as absolutist as ever.
Instead, it's technology that retains our confidence. BitTorrent is now becoming trackerless. No trackers, no tracking sites to take down, no track linkers to toss in jail.
But that's not good enough for me. This is like depending on super weapons to defend us in an atomic age. Without peace, soon, between copyright owners and copyright users, the Internet will be effectively destroyed.
It doesn't take much imagination to see Al Qaeda propaganda, or even terrorist plans, being distributed via a Torrent. Especially a trackerless torrent.
From there it is a very quick move to seeing politicians equate file sharing with terrorism, Torrent users with Al Qaeda, and demands for a complete shut-down on any technology that can benefit the enemy.
Let's be clear. Al Qaeda and the forces supporting them are Luddites. They aim to take their part of the world back to the Middle Ages. And they aim to take us down to the Middle Ages with them.
The Internet is the greatest weapon we have against tyranny in all its forms, especially this form. Any move against it is a move on behalf of the enemy.
So where do we go from here? I believe that if we don't move toward compromise on copyright we're pulling our own virtual Twin Towers down over our own heads, just to keep the enemy from doing it first.
The way of Hollywood, in other words, is madness. Free the tracker site managers, find a business model that works against hoarding, and let's have everyone in the West hang together.
Or else we will surely hang separately.