Feeds

The Great Circular Award Ceremony

When the music stops, please collect a gong

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

What a strange world it is, the world of "digital rights" activism. Campaigners pause only to pat each other on the back.

Last week, anti-copyright campaigners Public Knowledge revealed their annual award winners. The group's president Gigi B Sohn proudly announced the winners: fellow campaigner Carl Malamud of PublicResource.org, fellow campaigner Ben Scott of FreePress... and fellow campaigner Fred Von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the EFF.

Trebles all round, then. But Sohn was merely returning the favour. Two years ago, the EFF announced its annual Pioneer Awards - and up stepped Gigi B Sohn of Public Knowledge to collect hers.

In recent years the EFF has found an ingenious solution to the task of finding new pioneers - by simply giving awards to EFF insiders. In 2005, we noted, the EFF marked the lifetime's achievements of one Mitch Kapor. One of his achievements happened to be... founding the EFF. Last year, the EFF cast its net far and wide, scoured every corner of the earth... and honoured EFF Fellow Cory Doctorow.

In cyberspace, no one knows you're a highly-decorated dog

And if you're not in the race to win one of the awards, that could be because you're judging them. The EFF's von Lohmann judged the Public Knowledge awards in 2007, when one of the winners was Columbia law professor Tim Wu. And Wu was so delighted, he returned the favour this year, as an awards judge honoring von Lohmann.

Is there a more incestuous and self-congratulatory scene anywhere outside the fashion business?

When the EFF first instituted its Pioneers Awards, it was rewarding people who'd actually achieved something. Bob Kahn, Ivan Sutherland and Tom Jennings were recipients in the first two years. All have left a rather more tangible and lasting mark on the world than ranting on a blog, or issuing a press release.

Meanwhile, we have spotted a gap in the circle jerk merry-go-round. Soros-backed newcomers FreePress fails to honour campaigners in any kind of annual ceremony. We trust this omission will be rectified. Nature abhors a vacuum. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN
Big cat causes big trouble at Mumbai college
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.