5.7 Summary and SAQs

This section has been about critically analysing the arguments in the copyright wars. There are a range of tactics employed in trying to persuade someone to a particular way of thinking. In summary, these include:

  • appealing to emotion and prejudice;

  • extrapolating opposition argument to the absurd and then refuting the absurd;

  • using sarcasm, innuendo, denigration and other forms of humour to belittle opponents;

  • grouping all opponents under one label, a category easy to dismiss;

  • using jargon to confuse;

  • making appeals to ‘experts’;

  • using rhetorical questions;

  • the dominant metaphor – if you're not happy with the way the rewards get divided, change the rhetoric;

  • presenting evidence or apparent evidence to make it appear to point to a particular conclusion;

  • using carefully selected evidence while omitting contrary evidence – this includes avoiding giving evidence whilst suggesting that evidence is being given;

  • non-sequitur – drawing an illogical conclusion from sound data.

On the Net, be confident of your sources.

Remember the first rule:

We are all conditioned and predisposed to believe certain stories more than others, because of our individual values.

So we need to be consciously aware of the inbuilt bias we bring to the material we are critically analysing and make allowances for it.

Section 5 has also covered Chapter 9 of The Future of Ideas, which briefly sets up the story of Part III of the book – how Lessig believes that established industries are using law, architecture and market power to launch a counter-revolution to control the internet.

5.7.1 Self-assessment Questions