An Entertainment Boycott Is Not The Right Way

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 3, 2012
Updated • Feb 3, 2012

I just read about Operation Black March on Reddit which suggests to boycott all media, and in particular film, music, books and magazine companies, in the whole month of March. The operation aims to be a counter-movement against the lobbying of media companies that try to censor the Internet and act openly against the freedom of speech. With SOPA, PIPA and ACTA only the beginning, it could get a lot worse before it gets better.

The flyer reads: DON'T buy any magazine, newspaper, DON'T download ANY song (legally or illegaly), DON'T watch any movie at the cinema, DON'T buy ANY DVD or videogame and DON'T buy any book.

operation black march

A boycott would likely send a message, if enough earth citizens would participate in it. It would also hurt people that have no say in the matter but earn their living from it, like the small bookstore owner, a record store and even the cinema in your town. It could also impact the creative people of the entertainment business, people who do not have any say when it comes to company policy.

When you look at the options that the average joy (you and I) have, it boils down to two. You can first vote with your money, which is what the operation proposes. Your second option is to make yourself heard in another way. Let politicians know what you oppose, send them letters, call their offices.

My counter-proposal would look like this:

  • Boycott select media companies and all their sub-companies. These companies should be the worst lobbyists that influence politicians with fancy meals and money. Create and maintain a list of those companies. Boycott means to stop buying anything they produce until they change their minds. This includes boycotting company websites, their offers on streaming media sites and television.
  • The second important part would be to inform said companies and politicians about it. Let your local representatives know that you are opposing those bills, that it is an important matter to you, and that you will vote for someone else if they support bills. Let them know that you will NEVER vote for them again if they should EVER support such a bill again. Affected Media companies should also be informed by you, that you have stopped buying their goods, and that you won't buy them anymore until they change their ways.
  • Maintain a list of alternatives, either free or companies that openly oppose censorship and other efforts to restrict access to the Internet and freedom of expression.

What's needed for this? A list of lobbying companies and politicians needs to be created and maintained. This list needs to be publicly accessible on the Internet. Postal addresses, phone numbers and if possible electronic mail addresses need to be collected so that it is easy as pie to contact your representatives and the companies.

Let me know where you stand in the matter.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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