Fifteen years ago, Dr. Richard Stallman published a dystopic short story called “The Right To Read“. It is set in an extrapolated future of the trends in 1997, if the copyright industry would continue to have its way in every piece of legislation, gradually controlling more and more of who may access what culture and knowledge.
The story is about a university student who can’t afford her reading license. She is unable to access the knowledge required to pass the class, and so, a fellow student comes to her rescue by breaking the law in the most unimaginable, horrific way imaginable: He lets her use his password to access the knowledge. This way, she will be able to read.
In 1997, Dr. Stallman predicted that if things continue, the copyright industry will push for a criminalization of the sharing of passwords, and succeed. Now, has unfortunately been proven correct. The US state of Tennessee just made the sharing of passwords a criminal act, at — predictably — the request of the copyright industry.
When will this stop? How many politicians need to lose their jobs before this madness ends?