Miles Nordin on Fri, 8 Mar 2002 11:51:22 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> An open letter to Congressman Mark Udall

Cut and paste the following letter into Microsoft Word.  Then edit it
for your congressman and your name, and mail it.  It's important to
print out your Word files ASAP, because congressmen have short
memories, and they may forget about the SSSCA if we don't remind them
quickly and constantly of how badly this key legislation is needed.

Dear Honorable Mr. Representative Mark Udall:

I am very concerned about the threat to Intellectual Property (IP)
posed to America by our enemies Korea, Japan, Germany, and the USSR.

In the Digital Age, the tools of criminals and deviants are advancing
at an exponential rate, while the tools of peace, morality, and law
enforcement advance only linearly.  This is a consequence of the
so-called ``network effect''---because criminals are now networked,
their powers increase exponentially.  If this trend continues, we risk
the resurgence of powerful organized crime cartels that exist only to
subvert our freedom and democracy by, for example, illegally selling
liquor and using the profits to subvert the checks and balances of our
democratic political machinery.

It is my hope that you will join me in my wish that these dark days
when our American brothers abuse the freedoms for which our ancestors
died by forming cartels that bend, twist, and spit upon the law, never
return to this American earth!  I'd like to share with you a story, of
a simple woman, named Feng Chu Mei, a citizen of our allied nation The
People's Republic of China.

Mrs. Chu was engaging in consentual sex with a visiting ``Joe'' when
her Taiwanese maid secretly used an unprotected recording device to
create a so-called ``Pirate video'' of her private sexual behaviors.
As humiliating as this sounds, the heinous act of violation was made
possible by Digital Technologies that did not exist in the recent
past, when most of our Intellectual Property (IP) laws were crafted.

The ``pirate video'' is stored in an underground format called
``VCD.''  The VCD is not permitted by the movie studios for use inside
America, but in Pacific Rim nations this underground format is the
currency of a thriving black market in illegal copies of American
videos and popstars, all with the tacit support of corrupt enemy
regimes like the Republic of Taiwan.  The Feng Chu Mei video was
illegally duplicated in the very same Taiwanese CD piracy farms that
our enemies use to rape and steal the work and sweat of Hollywood
actors, actresses, and musicians in America.  These duplicated,
unprotected VCDs were sold on the street---often, literally ON the
street, on rugs laid down on the public sidewalk by shady characters
from the Asian underworld such as pimps, drug dealers, VCD pirates,
and squid ball vendors---for pennies on the dollar, depriving Mrs. Chu
of what should have been her artistic revenue, and creating an economy
of theft and artificial abundance in which such heinous and violating
videos become uniquely possible.

These pirates cannot exist without the support of underground video
conversion software developed in America, often by patriotic but
misguided Americans who do not imagine the uses to which their
software will be put, and who unfortunately do not bear the direct
consequences of their unconsidered actions.  The Taiwanese video
pirates use AMERICAN SOFTWARE to steal AMERICAN MOVIES.  Truly, this
is a case when dogmatic, inflexible interpretations of our freedoms
and morals are our own worst enemies!  Obviously, the export of
computing machinery and software to Taiwan which is capable of video
theft like what was perpetrated against Ms. Chu must be stopped
immediately.  The SSSCA is a bill which does just that.

The SSSCA brings our laws into parity with those recommended by the
global peace-keeping organization, the WTO.  Our allies China, Europe,
and India have already adopted similar legislation, meaning that
failure to embrace the SSSCA means we risk being perceived as a
backward land of lawless cowboys on an increasingly global landscape.
This appearance cripples our efforts to extend America's global
strategy of peace and democracy, and stifles the critical economic
(and strategic!) flow of our exports.  

It is time to take bold, new steps to rejuvinate our economy.  We must
come together as a nation, and work toward one goal: toward erecting
an impenetrable iron curtain around our most valuable national
assets---our intellectual property, like Britney Spears, Mickey Mouse,
and Larissa Olyeniczfr-whatever.  We must stop the steady stream of
theft perpetrated by enemy nations like Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and
France.  This piratical theft is bleeding our stock market dry and
clouding our children's future.

                                   Think young,

                                   Miles Nordin

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