Edward Shanken on Sat, 6 Dec 2008 12:15:00 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Call for support: Pirates of the Amazon, taken down by Amazon.com

Two points:

1) You must realize that by getting coverage in digg, cnet, etc., and
earning Amazon's wrath the students won? It never ceases to amaze me
that corporations continuously fail to realize that by attempting
to censor creative work, they generate a groundswell of attention
for precisely that which they want to squash? If your students are
scared by this, then they should take advanced courses in "guts" and
learn how to manipulate the media, or they should take up watercolors.
They must have wanted to generate some kind of response but when the
response was bigger than they anticipated, they cower? This is rather
the time to strike!

2) Regarding "critical scholarly work on the internet," Pirates
of the Amazon seems a bit "lite" to warrant such a lofty moniker.
It is a clever exercise/hack that demonstrates what anyone who is
net-savvy already knows. Maybe I'm being too critical. Nonetheless,
as a form of creative expression, I agree with Tobias's point about
the importance of it being protected from censorship. If there is a
critical scholarly moment to be identified here, I believe it pertains
to questions of the censorship of particular types of software. If
they were my students, I would encourage then to take that as the
starting point of their next project.

Eddie Shanken

Edward Shanken
Assistant Professor of New Media

Department of Media Studies
University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012XT Amsterdam NL

phone: +31 (0)20 525 6466
fax: +31 (0)20 525 4599
email: e.a.shanken@uva.nl

personal webpage: http://artexetra.com

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