ARW readers will remember the Google Shill List. The Shill List was part of a brilliant strategy deployed by Oracle in their copyright infringement case against Google (still going on, see my Hypebot post on the case that is now going to get review by the U.S. Supreme Court before Lessig buddy Justice Kagan).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation takes a leading role in the Shill List, and Google acknowledges paying the EFF–for what, I will leave to your own judgement.
Needless to say, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has come out swinging on Google’s FUD campaign (“Fear Uncertainty and Doubt” campaign) against the Copyright Small Claims board in the CASE Act. (Remember, the CASE Act already passed the House of Representatives by a 410-6 vote earlier this session.)
Like all good FUD campaigns, the EFF bases their arguments on a fallacy:
This fallacy is sometimes called the Fallacy of Condition or the Causal Fallacy. The Causal Fallacy conflates the necessary with the sufficient condition for a proposition to be true. Here’s an example: “I don’t know why the car won’t run; I just filled the gas tank.” True, filling the gas tank is a necessary condition for the car to run, but it is not the sufficient condition alone that makes the car run.
In the EFF call to action, the word “could” is the giveaway. It could leave regular Internet users on the hook for illegal stuff if they (1) get caught, (2) have no lawful excuse and (3) lose the case. The ad boils down to if you get caught doing illegal stuff, you could be fined.
Again with the memes. Google beat this horse to death in opposing the European Copyright Directive earlier this year. It didn’t work, they lost big, but they can’t let it go. It’s like a having a Plan A with no Plan B.
Also notice that EFF uses the Phone2Action dialer which creates a legal bot net of Twitter accounts if you sign up for the Twitter version:
Just another day in the swamp.