Feeds

The Great Circular Award Ceremony

When the music stops, please collect a gong

Eight steps to building an 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. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
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
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.