Apple’s recent patent that would block piracy at concerts via an invisible infrared sensor has been more hotly contested than a bootleg Beatles’ concert performance.
The SavetheInternet.com Coalition, which claims some two million members plus charter members including Lawrence Lessig and the ACLU, wants Steve Jobs to reconsider. And they want you to sign an online petition to get his attention.
The petition starts out as a basic “Dear Steve” letter:
“As you know, smartphones are extensions of ourselves: They are incredibly powerful tools for communication, education, political expression, community organizing and plain fun.
And then moves on to larger issues of free speech that probably aren’t on the minds of people recording concerts or surrepitiously capturing the “Green Lantern” in a movie theater:
“That’s why I’m concerned that Apple wants to patent a sensor that would detect when people are using their phone cameras — and give corporations the power to shut them down. And as we’ve seen in Egypt and elsewhere, the images and videos we take with our phones can be powerful forms of free speech. That’s why governments and businesses that feel threatened by the democratizing nature of mobile devices are doing what they can to control how we use them.
If this tool fell into the hands of repressive regimes or malicious corporations, it would give tyrants and companies the power to silence one of the most critical forms of free expression.
I urge you to immediately stop plans to develop cellphone censorship technology.”
What do you think — is this an issue that goes beyond bootlegging?