Velo, Rapido | This is about a few different things.
Eventually: my promised report back on the Pirate Bay talk, which was great, and after which Mister Mux Tape explained that commercial software is, by its very nature, better than free and open source software and then asked me if I worked for the FSF when I called him on that bizarre and baseless assertion. I’m not even talking about Apache here. Or I am, but at the present moment, Open Office is better documented than the MS Office suite. And calc’s financial functions are just plain better. I didn’t point out that I don’t think that the Free Software Foundation really has the staff resources to travel the Eastern seaboard heckling speakers at community arts talks. I also didn’t point out that there are people in this world (no really, there are!) who hold opinions they aren’t paid to hold and expertise on subjects they are not professional lobbyists on behalf of.
Actually, I could kind of wrap that one up and repeat what we already know which is that the Bureau of Piracy is great, you should take a look at the links on the original post and (this is the part I hope you already know) that the real problem with the prosecution of the buccaneers is about free speech. Not about my right to swap music willy-nilly, copyright be damned (another thing I didn’t say to Mux Man: there is, I think, a big difference between software and music) but about whether a file sharing platform should be held accountable for the files shared over it. Particularly in a world where some musicians do want to make large files (their own) available free of charge and politically significant data sets can be a difficult thing to host on your own little server. Fundamentally, neither the laws nor the recording industry have kept up with the modern world and it is worth asking why that is really the fault of the Pirate Bureau.
That was rough. I might come back and try to make it sound a little coherent. Meantime I wanted to say something else about the Brooklyn Board of Building Trades, which could use a little press training. I stumbled across their rally at Pratt just in time to over hear a fairly pleasant man asking, in all apparent earnest, what the story was. The response he got was an unaccountably angry snarl, “well they musta done something or we wouldn’t be here, would we?” Newsflash #1: If you want public support you have to have a more coherent explanation of your presence than “I have my reasons, fuck you.”
So okay. The guys at the end of the march missed the talking points training. Next thing I know, some guy (are there really no women in the building trades in Brooklyn? I saw not one. And it was a big rally.) yells to me, again with a snarl, “why doncha go back to claaaass sweetheart?!?” I looked over to see they’d moved on to ogling another woman who was passing by.
Newsflash #2: You aren’t doing much to make the case for union labor at a university if you’re heckling female students. And, and 3: what on earth is your strategy? Alienate your likeliest ally? If you actually want Pratt to change their contracting practices, try finding some solidarity with students who can help your cause.
That is my rant. I’m not impressed. I’m not even convinced that I’d hire Local 926 myself. They struck me as a vicious lot. At a minimum, they need some serious help making their case. “We’re going to deafen you if you don’t do what we say” only goes so far. There are better reasons to hire union labor.
I’m still stuck on Mux Tape, though. So many things wrong with accusing me of working for FSF. So many things. So what if I do, for one thing. If I work for Transportation Alternatives does that mean I can’t comment on a statement that bikes don’t belong on the streets? I should hope TA would step up to disagree with that. Is their position somehow less valid because people have devoted their careers to it?
Mike was right to correct me later: the position of the Free Software Foundation is indeed that all software should be free (free as in GPL). That is not by any stretch the position of Creative Commons, however. So we can file that under baseless assertions too. There are some concrete and logical reasons why FSF believes that software should be GPL, and they have to do with history and community and some religion. Software is different from music, though, and Creative Commons isn’t the Free Software Foundation. Their whole project is to offer you choice. Public Domain and All Rights Reserved have been written, it is the licenses in between that we’re missing. So to say that somehow Mux Tape is special for giving you choice, choice that Creative Commons doesn’t want you to have … that is just silly.