Away From Keyboard: some thoughts after yesterday’s screening

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We watched Away From Keyboard, the Pirate Bay documentary, yesterday in Sala Emeroteca in the Badia. The documentary was about the trial of the Pirate Bay co-founders in Sweden, showing the story from their point of view. What I think the film really succeeded in showing was the genuine gap between two worlds; contemporary policy and law enforcement and the world of hackers (I try to use the term with its original meaning – see Steven Levy, Hackers (1984)). The communication gap is apparent when defendants hear the court discussing (or trying to discuss) in technological terms.

The film raises a lot of difficult issues. Among them were: generational gaps in understanding policy, demand for the law to adapt to societal change, jurisdictional reach online, freedom of the Internet, dealing with dark sides of hacking, reasoning for censoring technological genius, bringing rationality to copyright policy, opening the debate for alternative methods of financing and compensating creators online.

What might be the challenge of our years, is to bridge the gaps that seem wide open between worlds which would be much more constructive communicating and finding fair balances than fighting.

Away from Keyboard is available online to buy or download for free.