[rumori] GRAY DAY

Steev (steevATdetritus.net)
Wed, 29 Sep 1999 14:54:45 +0000 ( )


DATELINE--Silicon Valley, Calif.

On October 1, an organization called the Digital Divas hopes to celebrate
the second annual GreyDay, an event promoting increased copyright security
on the Internet. Touting their omnious "grayed-out" web site, the Digital
Divas expect a greater turnout than last year's pro-copyright event which
received hundreds of thousands of visits and earned coverage from the New
York Times, Wired News and the Village Voice. Not everyone on the Web,
however, will be at the right event.

Earlier this week, a team of Silicon Valley software programmers and
graphic designers revealed their own send-up of the official GreyDay page:
www.grayday.org. The disgruntled code warriors are calling their
alternative "GrayDay" and have painstakingly created a counterfeit version
of the original GreyDay site.

But whereas GreyDay.org urges "netizens to imagine "what if" copyright
infringement leads to a lack of creativity on the Web, the spoof site
GrayDay.org implores visitors to imagine "what if there was no WWW... no
Internet." According to the authors of GrayDay, the call for more
copyright laws to cover the Internet is antithetical to the very purpose
and history of the Internet and the Web.

"The Web has made possible by the free exchange of not just ideas but
elaborate creations like the first Web browser [Mosaic] or the most
popular Web server software [Apache]," says Cecil Parc, a spokesperson for
the creators of GrayDay.org.

"It's ironic," adds Parc, "that the minority of graphic designers and
major corporations who are now trying to take over the Web with absurd
copyright demands are acting like greedy Johny-Come-Lately'strying to
forcibly get a slice of a pie that's been free for years."

Although the half-dozen computer types behind GrayDay.org call themselves
"Tell-all Computer Programmers & Internet Professionals" or "TCP/IP" for
short, they will not reveal their real names because they claim to
"represent the millions of people on Earth who have benefited and will
continue to benefit from the free exchange of ideas which is the hallmark
of the Internet."

For industry insiders, even their name is a geeky rebuke to heightened
copyright sensitivity as TCP/IP also stands for the "Transmission Control
Protocol and Internet Protocol", a complicated piece of code at the heart
of the Internet which was literally given away, without copyright, in 1981
by programmers at the U.S. government's Defense Advanced Research Projects

GrayDay.org's organizers hope that their elaborate hoax will encourage
people who enjoy or rely upon the Web to learn more about the
"non-copyrighted" history of the medium. They also encourage the public to
take an active role in protecting the Internet and the World Wide Web --
"neither of which would exist today," the group points out, "if they had
been developed by persons who were fixated by copyrights."

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