Feeds

The Great Circular Award Ceremony

When the music stops, please collect a gong

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.