Demonstration at the Oscars?
Posted 31 Aug 2000 at 17:41 UTC by hiller
So, a good number of people -- particularly people with great concern
for civil liberties, and a large number of free/open-source software
developers and enthusiasts -- are greatly upset and dismayed by the
actions the U.S. motion picture industry is taking to suppress
unlicensed DVD descramblers (DeCSS, the css-auth module of LiViD, etc.)
It's occurred to me that organizing a demonstration at the same time and
near-as-possible the same place as a high profile film industry event
would be a productive way to make our displeasure known. It would help
raise awareness of the issue, and might even make it part of the
national dialogue, which it really hasn't been as of yet.
Which high-profile event would we want to go with? The Academy Awards
in March seem like a pretty obvious choice to me. If people think this
is a good idea, the only real challenge'll be to distill the essence of
what we're talking about to sound-bite-sized quotes. So, what do you all
think? Good idea, bad idea, indifferent?
A demonstration is a great idea. As I pointed out in my attempt
to foment rebellion over on slashdot, it's incredibly
important that our community, especially those being publicly
vocal, come to some consensus about what the real issues are,
and be civil, calm, and rational in our exposition of them.
That means we need to make it clear that artists have
rights and consumers have rights, that the two are
compatible, and that artists and consumers, as groups of
individuals, can reach a stable, symbiotic
relationship. Without the industry's "gentle"
The bottom line is that creators need to be reassured that
consumers will feed them, even in the absence of laws
designed to curtail individual freedoms. As creators of
software, I'm sure we can all relate to the need to know whence
comes our next meal. Let's not forget that we're artists, too.
Remember, the fundamental "battle", if it must be so, is between
individuals (artists and consumers) and
rapacious, greedy corporations.
(P.S. In the wake of my /. post, I've had it suggested that I'm
down on the idea of profit and the idea of corporations. Far
from it. I'm down on those institutions excluding fair and just
commerce between individuals, and doing so with an air of
righteous criminalization. As someone pointed out recently, the
quote is not "money is the root of all evil", but "the
love of money is the root of all evil.")
Does anyone know of any prominent actors or other individuals in the
movie industry who are pro-DeCSS and against the MPAA's campaign to
Perhaps we could persuade them to join a pro-DeCSS press conference, or
Great idea!, posted 31 Aug 2000 at 21:18 UTC by sab39 »
The Oscars are on the west coast somewhere, right? That probably
rules out me physically attending, but here are some thoughts on good
"The MPAA has pushed through a law that makes singing this
song and wearing this T-Shirt
"This has nothing to do with Napster - people on both sides of the
Napster issue agree that DeCSS should be legal" [even people inside the
community suffer this confusion, so you just know that the press
Actually, I was just the other day thinking about protests and
imagining a bunch of people singing the Descramble song in the streets.
I suggest printing up the words and music and handing them out to
demonstrators - it's not an easy song to memorize :)
I suggest also printing out leaflets stating our case with the source
code printed on the back. Make it clear that possessing the leaflet is
not a crime, but that giving it to somebody else may be...
Other thoughts? Maybe protests in other regions for other events...
are there any major NY events for us east-coasters? (my home town of
Philadelphia seems to have largely missed its chance in the spotlight...
I guess Philadelphians just aren't effective protestors ;) )
Cameramen have lots of stars to shoot during the awards. I'm not sure a
bunch of people singing an incomprehensible song is going to get air
time. You will need to be on the news to be heard and you will need a
striking visual image to get on the news during the awards.
How about people dressed only in either DeCSS source code or legitimate
home made backup copies of movies? Challenge the MPAA to take away your
DeCSS then! Perhaps someone with some fashion sense could post a set of
instructions for turning printouts into various clothing items?
Local LUGS, posted 1 Sep 2000 at 01:15 UTC by MarkF »
Something like this could be organized with the help of the local LA
Lugs. Check out The LA Lugs page
to find them all. I'd be willing to get my lug out there.
Is the MPAA/DVDCCA at all associated with the Academy of Motion Picture
and Sciences? If not, we'd need to make sure the press knows who our
beef is really with.
A protest at the Academy Awards was propsed in February by several
people, inluding some 2600 staff. Somebody at the
EFF was even looking into
permits, maybe not officially as an EFF rep. It didn't come
together quickly enough, though.
Most films which get the most attention
at the ceremonies are MPAA member studio productions, though not
If this gets a good enough head start, it could happen.
Anybody for a mailing list? I bet
crackmonkey would put one up right away...
Good idea!, posted 7 Sep 2000 at 21:34 UTC by jwcheung »
Well it's not too early to get organized. MPAA representation IS
guaranteed at the Oscars. Even if the overlap between the Academy and
the MPAA is not perfect, movie people will get the message. If anyone
is going ahead with preparations, let me know how I can help.
Great Idea!!, posted 9 Sep 2000 at 20:07 UTC by nyberg »
I totally agree, I would totally want to see a demonstration at the
To bad it's in the US and I'm in sweden :(