Sunday, 18 August 2013
One of the more interesting, and in my opinion important, pieces of news from the past week has been Bradley Manning's apology speech at the closure of his court case's defense. You can read his plea here.
Now, what does that have to do with copyright infringements? Let me open your eyes. Manning's speech reads remarkably like the ending to George Orwell's 1984, the bit where our hero Winston Smith surrenders to Big Brother through a similarly sounding apology. I don't know if Manning aimed for his words to remind us of 1984, but they surely do.
There will be no copyright infringement in this case, on account of the fact 1984 is no longer under copyright protection in many countries around the world. Indeed, you can read the book online here.
No, the more interesting part of this affair is to do with how a country such as the USA managed to bend a person so badly so as to make a Winston Smith out of him*. I do not blame Manning even for a second for apologizing the way he did; I strongly suspect the guy has been living in segregation for years, pumped with "information" telling him he's an unloved traitor. He's been through hell, and it's highly likely he's completely oblivious to the fact many consider him a hero, yours truly included.
Which leaves me wondering if the USA and its people are realizing the role they are portraying through their crusade against Manning. I don't know about them, but I would surely hate to be the real life portrayer of Big Brother.
*I am well aware of Manning sexual identification complications. I chose to refer to him as a male simply because it's easier for me to do so.