I totally loved the “Pirates of the Amazon” Firefox plug-in I discussed last week.
Not because it let me easily find links to free pirated downloads of copyrighted material, but because it so clearly and aptly shined a light on so many issues facing us in our digital future.
The folks at Amazon clearly didn’t see the value in this sort of statement and have forced the takedown of the plug-in.
NYT has a good follow up:
“Florian Cramer, the course director of the Media Design program at Piet Zwart, wrote further about the project Friday on Nettime, a mailing list that covers issues of Internet culture and art. Mr. Cramer maintained that Pirates of the Amazon was legal, since the tool only provided simple links between two Web destinations, Amazon.com and the Pirate Bay. He also lamented the hostile reaction from the Internet community, saying that a majority of commentators failed to see the artistic nature of the experiment, and he worried that his students were being censored.
“With the take down notice from Amazon.com, our students have been scared away from pursuing their art, research and learning in our institute,” Mr. Cramer wrote. “We do not want a culture in which students have to preemptively censor their study because their work confronts culture with controversial and challenging issues.”
That is some very valuable food for thought.