It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet. -- G.W. Bush, Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000
In 1969, the Department of Defense, combined with various educational institutions and Al Gore, who was going by his full name "ARPA" at the time, invented the World Wide Web as a way for Bad People of the Future to scream about beer without risk of Communists stealing their thoughts. Then corporate fu><0rs started invoking weird laws like the DMCA, some kind of copyright thing, and anti-defamation laws to shut it all down, First Amendment Bedamned. And it's been working, until Chilling Effects rolled into town.
All kinds of crazy websites have been shut down because of the dreaded cease and desist letter, and anyone who publishes about corporate or commercial culture dreads the day when the black-clad wolverine-gene-infusion enhanced razor-wielding shocktroops will burrow through their front door and use the DMCA to justify killing everyone who knew about the website.
Those who do not publish anything about corporate or commercial culture will not learn anything from this article, except that they should start right now.
Fan sites get shut down. Real and valid protests against misdeeds get SLAPP'ed. Humorless lawyers beat up wisecracking kids. Giant space-beetles burrow through your brain and eat the wet, writhing meat within.
Um, sorry about the excessive science fiction metaphors here. I'm trying to keep the non-publishing people interested. I'll get to the handy information soon, which is that the reason why all of this can happen is because artists, fans, independent journalists, activists and humorists are suckers.
They lack the legal knowledge to fight back, and they lack the cojones to fight, and they lack the scriznilla to get answers.
Until now! The EFF and a variety of sexy law titans put together supah-fly-funky cool-ass website Chilling Effects. The basic formula is this: if you've been given a cease and desist lawyer, you send it to them. They go through it and tell you what your legal rights are. But it gets cooler! They put it up on their site, which means everyone else can find out about their legal rights too, and, on top of it, find out what FUXORS the FUXORS are being. I only wonder what could be done if the FUXOR declared their "Cease and Desist" letter copyrighted, too, to prevent open discourse on their FUXOR-hood.
I love that word. FUXOR is much funnier than "fucker" or even "motherfucker".
FUXOR FUXOR FUXOR! La la la!
Um, wait. I was talking about something. I asked Robert Anton Wilson about all this the other weekend, and he said that the EFF was cool as shit. Well, he said it in a different way, and talked about the Goddess and deserts a lot, but, uh... um... FUXOR. I forget the rest, so go check this hype shit out. Word.