Friday, August 30, 2002

Some responses at ProSUA CA

The California blog has some reactions from candidates.

Ask your candidates too, and email me if you want me to make a State blog for you to run.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

a brief thanks

To Anatoly Volynets for coming up with the name for this idea

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Questions to ask your candidates

Possibly leading questions - these serve the purpose of raising the issues in a public meeting, but it may be better to ask more neutral variants to get a true opinion from the candidate.

Do you believe that vigilante attacks by the entertainment industry on your computer should have the support of law?
Will you promise to vote against the Peer To Peer Piracy Prevention Act?

Do you want to make all current computers models illegal, and insist they are replace by copy-prevention machines?
Will you promise to vote against the Consumer Broadband Digital Television Promotion Act?

Do you trust computers to judge and enforce complex issues of copyright law?
Will you work with Rep. Boucher to repeal the parts of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that give computer code the force of law and make disagreeing with it a criminal offence?

Ask these questions of your candidates, and blog the answers, with the appropriate tag as described below. Set up a state blog if your state doesn't have one yet, and email me the url. so I can link to it from here,

Find out when your candidates are addressing public meetings, list them on your blog, go to the meetings and ask these quesions, and report back.

BlogTheVote2002 USA VA 9

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Better source site

thegreenpapers lists the seats that are contested and links to the candidates website very clearly.

BlogTheVote - a new BlogTag

BlogTags are otherwise rare words included in weblogs to assist google searchs for specific topics. blogchalk being the most common. WikiBadges are similar.

I propose a new naming scheme - BlogTheVote[year][country] as one word, then an indication of the constituency. For the US elections this would translate to BlogTheVote2002USA [state] [district], so If I were discussing The Coble/Grubb race, I'd add the words BlogTheVote2002USA NC 6 to the entry. If I were commenting on a Senatorial race, I'd leave off the district. Then a Google search for this tag in quotes will find all the tagged discussion of that race. can find your district from your zip code and lists candidates, which is a good starting point.

David Reed debunks Coble

Contradictory justifications: As I've said before, there is no need to extend copyright to create vigilante rights. Copyright holders can sue under the existing laws. Why create new rights of poorly restrained vigilantism?

Dear Congressman

Aaron (who can't vote either, being a minor):
Dear Congressman,
I write you today not only as a constituent, but also as a creator and consumer of copyrighted works. I fear that the laws being pushed by the entertainment industry are seriously harming the public at large.


Cory gets it

Boing Boing
Akamai is seeking 9-figure damages from Digital Island -- meanwhile, Digital Island is countersuing Akamai for infringing on its patents. Ah, the sweet smell of the useful arts and sciences being promoted by our friends at the USPTO

Monday, August 26, 2002

Aux armes, citoyens!

In the next 3 months, all the representatives of the people will be in their home districts, campaigning, holding public meetings, trekking from one place to another to meet their constituents.

What if there was a 'smart mob' waiting for them at each one?
Local constituents concerned and informed about the CBDTPA, Coble/Berman, the DMCA and the rest.

Lets set up a tree of weblogs - a top-level campaign one, giving the overview and highlights, then state and regional ones for each election. Brainstorm and hone a set of questions to ask each representative, and publish their responses, and an endorsement/rejection. Get the meeting attendees to bring video cameras and tape recorders and post the Q&A sessions in video and audio too. Sign up flyposters and canvassers. If there isn't an endorsable candidate, come up with a write-in candidate instead.

Instead of arguing about whether programmers or lawyers are doing more, or the details of which licence you release your software under, sign up to the broad principles we all can agree on - that the CBDTPA and Coble-Berman bills are an attempt to overturn the constitution by narrow interests.

Are we likely to win any seats? Probably not. But at the end of it, every representative will be aware of a big constituency who don't want the entertainment industry to have veto rights over the constitution. The DMCA was passed unanimously. Coble-Berman mustn't be.

I am a resident alien, and don't get to vote - taxation without representation is my lot.
You citizens need to do this - they are YOUR representatives.

Go out there and remind them.

Starting up anew

Last week I wrote a call to arms - that technologists worried about copyright laws extension should raise the issue diring the US elections, and that they should organise via the web. I've posted it above. I have since discovered that I can campaign, even if I can't vote.