What DMCA really means is "Destroy My Company, A$$h0le$"....I'm no fan of DMCA or site takedowns in general - but let's be honest here, how much legitimate content does any of the usenet indexers or torrent sites have?
I think the point here is that it's more an issue of free speech and information sharing.
Time was when you actually had to be a perpetrator of a criminal act to be held culpable for something. That got expanded to people advocating criminal behaviors under the argument you were "aiding and abetting." Then the notion of "conspiring" entered the picture during the "war on communism" era. First, conspiracy required direct conversations. Later it was applied to people merely advocating for something, at which point you could be charged with conspiring even though you had never once met or talked to the person you supposedly were conspiring with. The US anti-war movement had "conspiracy" thrown at them constantly in the 60s and 70s. As did the civil rights movement a decade before.
With the indexers, what you're seeing is an attempt to destroy the ability of the general public to find things somebody with power finds objectionable. It doesn't go after actual perpetrators. It just attempts to block public discovery and awareness of it. (You can rest assured the government, however, maintains its own indexers for its own agendas.) It's a form of censorship. And a dangerous one. Because you can look at the news almost every day and see case after case of people being harassed or prosecuted, not for what they did
, but for what they said
- or even more alarming - for the questions they asked.
And that's a very bad thing.
Western democracy, in the classic sense, is founded on the key principles of free inquiry
and open dialog
. As one college professor I had once put it: At its core, Western Civilization is nothing more than an ongoing conversation.
And that conversation has made what progress we've achieved possible. And it's also arguably created one of the most progressive and open societies in human history despite all its flaws and missteps made along the way.
The problem with hitting a "soft target" like indexers is it doesn't go to the root of the problem. It simply attempts to hide it and stop people talking about it. And I think the desire to to hide it is motivated by the fact that people who grew up on a western style democracy have a bad habit of questioning officially sanctioned groupthink. Most people, who see a big rise in some illegal behavior, first side with "law & order." But after a while, they start questioning what is going on that so many people are suddenly breaking some law. And once they look more closely into it, their opinions on the matter often change.
Such changes in public opinion often trigger legal reforms. Or force changes government behavior
Changes some elements in our governments and corporations (is there really any difference anymore?) wish to avoid at all costs.