I noticed a lot of comments on the suicide of young Aaron Swartz on my last post. It’s a tragedy when anyone takes their own life and I can’t really write about the issues surrounding the legal case he was involved in because I’m tired of dealing with the Mob– the idiots that send me emails saying “Why don’t you shove a nail in your ass” after we released our report on Ad Networks and Piracy. The problem with the copyleft is that they can’t imagine someone actually having to go to jail for stealing intellectual property. That was probably part of Aaron’s problem. It never occurred to him that breaking into a server was the equivalent of breaking into a house. He had a history of depression and wrote romantically about suicide in the comic book movies he loved. He seemed like a very generous soul. But he was clearly not ready to go to jail.
But the fact that I feel constrained to speak my mind about piracy because I am tired of the mob is sad. Last year I wrote about my friend David Fanning having his whole web enterprise destroyed by Lulzsec because his show Frontline reported on the darker side of Julian Assange’s sense of morality. I know for a fact that most musicians are scared to speak out about having their content exploited by criminals like Kim Dotcom, because they are afraid of the cyber mob. I don’t know how the hell we are going to have a civil conversation about IP with those of us who want to defend the artist’s right to get paid for their work, being under the threat of bodily harm (note that most of the most threatening comments have been taken down)?