A story that cries out for John C. Wright’s deft touch

Last night, robots shut down the live broadcast of one of science fiction’s most prestigious award ceremonies. No, you’re not reading a science fiction story. In the middle of the annual Hugo Awards event at Worldcon, which thousands of people tuned into via video streaming service Ustream, the feed cut off — just as Neil Gaiman was giving an acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, “The Doctor’s Wife.” Where Gaiman’s face had been were the words, “Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement.” What the hell?

More here.

John: Planet Earth trembles before the robot onslaught and only your words can provide the a) healing balm to help us adjust to our new Robot Overlords/b) put heart into a small but plucky band of rebels who refuse to bend the knee our Tyrannical Metal Masters. ‘Sup to you, dude.

  • Seamus

    I don’t think those were robots. I think they were Cybermen.

  • Blog Goliard

    So our new overlords are not just robots but lawyer robots?

    Speaking as a human with a law degree: Somebody get me off this planet now!

  • http://john-c-wright@sff.net John C Wright

    Blog Goliard asks “So our new overlords are not just robots but lawyer robots?”

    As best I can tell from the article, the problem was that the robots were not lawyer robots, since the cutoffs was triggered by showing clips of shows nominated for awards, clips the Hugos has permission from the copyright holders to show. Even in the absence of explicit permission, such clips fall under the “fair use” exception.

    The problem here is incompetent lawyer bots. Someone call 2br02b, robot-at-law!
    (to get the joke, you have to use the British ‘naught’ rather than the American ‘zero’ for this number ’0′)

    • Mark Shea

      And that’s when I shot him, your honor.

    • Blog Goliard

      In other words, the robot lawyer-bots are behaving exactly as human copyright-lawyer-bots do.

      (Neither “fair use” nor common sense are part of either species’ programming.)

  • Ted Seeber

    I’m re-reading the 2nd Foundation Trilogy at the moment (the one where the Three B’s attempted to fill in some detail from Hari Seldon’s life after Asimov died). The *common theme* through that whole series is four sets of competing machine intelligence trying to dictate the future of the whole Galaxy-spanning Imperial Human Race- and failing.

    This reminds me of the tiktoc rebellion where lower intelligent robots are taken over by simulated alien intelligence to take revenge on the Giskardian and Calvinian Robot factions. The resulting apparent murders of humans (since the Giskardians and the Calvinians are both humaniform robots) leads Trantor’s 40 billion into doing away with tiktocs and doing all the labor themselves.

  • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

    What? You wouldn’t prefer the lawyer robots over Obamney this fall?
    (I think I would, at least you know they’d be killing us all out of following their natural law tendencies, rather than malice)


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