Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Felten the DMCA and re-writing history

Ed Felten is irritated that Solveig Singleton of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, had the nerve to characterise the story of the DMCA threats he received a few years ago as having a "happy ending."

"To call the case of my colleagues and me a “happy ending” takes some real chutzpah. Let’s catalog the happy consequences of our case. One person lost his job, and another nearly did. Countless hours of pro bono lawyer time were consumed. Anonymous donors gave up large amounts of money to support our defense. I lost at least months of my professional life, and other colleagues did too. And after all this, the ending was that we were able to publish our work — something which, before the DMCA, we would have been able to do with no trouble at all.

In the end, yes, we were happy — in the same way one is happy to recover from food poisoning. Which is not really an argument in favor of food poisoning."

He won't be surprised, though. That is the way that IP lobbyists work - pretending or implying a well respected critic is now on your side is a classic underhand tactic of persuasion long used by the PR industry. Don't be surpised to hear the story of Ed Felten's "happy ending" repeated ad nauseum from now on.

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