But reasonable debate, and the possibility of cooperation and compromise, can't happen when people just call each other names. Case in point is yesterday's post by BoingBoing co-editor and prominent copyleft activist Cory Doctorow about the RIAA's decision to drop MediaSentry as its Internet investigator. It's amazing how much vitriol and name-calling Doctorow is able to pack into one short post about what is really a fairly insignificant event in the copyright wars:
- "outsource [sic] enforcement thugs"
- "a sleazy outfit that changes its name as often as it changes its testimony"
- "unbelievably stupid"
- "MediaSentry's goons will end up on the breadline"
Keep in mind that Doctorow is not some fringe character among the copyleft. He is a fellow and winner of a 2007 "Pioneer" award from the EFF, probably the most prominent of the copyleft organizations. And he was the "Canada-U.S. Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy" at USC from 2006-07.
I'm not saying that we all must get along. We won't. But we'll never get anywhere if the "debate" is just name-calling.