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<nettime> slashdot chooses its battle and complies to scientology claims
Drazen Pantic on 17 Mar 2001 22:47:59 -0000

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<nettime> slashdot chooses its battle and complies to scientology claims


Last Saturday a comment was posted here by an anonymous reader that
contained text that was copyrighted by the Church of Scientology. They
have since followed the DMCA and demanded that we remove the comment.
While Slashdot is an open forum and we encourage free discussion and
sharing of ideas, our lawyers have advised us that, considering all
the details of this case, the comment should come down. Read on to
understand what this means.

We need to choose our battles and this isn't one we want to have. We
want Slashdot to be a forum where you can say what's in your heart,
but we simply can't defend an anonymous poster who violates copyright
law. Keep that in mind when you post in both this discussion, and in
others in the future. Post your ideas. Post your thoughts. And most of
all, post your links. We need to play by the rules or it's game over.



This might be a defining moment for Slashdot, proclaimed leader of
so-called Open Source journalism. The model proved itself as effective as
a model for collective journalistic writing and editorial work. The key
remaining point, we did not have chance to test until now, is how much
Slashdot management and Slashdot as collective do really care about basic
principles of openness and freedom of expression - they speak so much of.

The previous paragraph, starting with "We need to choose our battles." is
a sad example of selective tolerance and weak excuse. The message is
basically that Slashdot will mind its own business, and propagate news and
rights of Open Source community, primarily against Microsoft and similar
corporations. But, when issues shift towards more fundamental issues of
freedom of expression, the management will back off...

Finally, the "an anonymous poster who violates copyright law" is basically
the typical poster of Slashdot, and many other posts could fall into that
category. But, the entities that were subject of those posts were not as
scary as Scientology is, so Slashdot has decided many times to go along
with smaller or bigger violations. Now, that they faced the strong
response from an entity they do not understand and are afraid of, CmdrTaco
and friends decided that it would be most opportune for them to remove the
post and try to forget about it...

The comments on the page from Slashdot readers is pretty strong. Some
subjects mention "the end of Slashdot" and sever disappointment. If it
stays like this, it really might be the beginning of decline of


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