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When the words, "Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) banned due to copyright infringement" hit the screen, Fanboys everywhere were ready to jump to their deaths. Fortunately, most viewers of the Hugo Awards either live in mom and dad's basement, or couldn't fit through their second-story bedroom window.

As reported on io9, while thousands watched via the video streaming service Ustream, the feed of this year's Hugo Awards went dead just as Neil Gaiman was accepting a screenwriting trophy for The Doctor's Wife episode of Doctor Who. Clips from the show that aired prior to Gaiman's acceptance speech confused computerized enforcement robots into thinking it was a violation of copyright laws.

io9's notes, "The digital restriction management (DRM) robots on Ustream had not been programmed with these basic contours of copyright law."

Methinks someone needs to re-program Ustream's programmer. Author Annalee Newitz raises the point, "our ability to broadcast was entirely dependent on poorly-programmed bots. And once those bots had made their incorrect decision, there was absolutely nothing we could do to restart the signal, as it were. In case anyone still believes that copyright rules can't stop free speech or snuff out a community, the automated censorship of the Hugo Awards is a case in point."

Did Hugo take home this year's Hugo? No! The bastards nominated it for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, but the award went to some TV show called Game of Thrones. Long live the DRM!

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Comments

stevedavidson Sept. 6, 2012 @ 4:18 a.m.

Total fail on your part:

The HUGO Awards are NOT for sale

Most fans have their own basements

and

none tried to commit suicide over the issue. Most are technically savvy and used alternate methods to learn about the remaining awards. The convention committee has worked with Ustream and recently announced that they will be streaming the entire ceremony "as live", without commercial interruption - date and time to be announced through more responsible and fannish news sources than this one.

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Scott Marks Sept. 6, 2012 @ 10:36 a.m.

Really? Gee willikers, I though I read somewhere that fanboys were killing themselves in record numbers over it. Total fail on the part of your sense of humor, but I doubt that anyone who takes this crap seriously has one to begin with.

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horatio78 Sept. 6, 2012 @ 8:40 a.m.

WOW, Steve, I didn't think you knew most fans well enough to know whether they owned their own basement or not. Were you the one with the phone survey I took the other day? And I'm glad you're keeping tabs on all of us to know that no one attempted suicide BECAUSE of the feed that night. The fact that several likely turned off the computer screen and then thought "well, I have nothing better to do this evening! I might as well arrange my demise."

And finally, if you'd done any research on the matter at all, there have been a total of 7 I could find in less than 10 minutes sales of personal Hugo awards over the years. 4 of which were sold at estate sales.

So thanks for your time, Mr. Davidson. Your comment was very much appreciated!

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Solari Sept. 6, 2012 @ 10:12 a.m.

"Fortunately, most viewers of the Hugo Awards either live in mom and dad's basement, or couldn't fit through their second-story bedroom window."

That was the most unprofessional, unfounded, and downright mean comment I have ever read in a professional blog.

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ashcomp Sept. 8, 2012 @ 2:20 p.m.

I sure hope they don't pay you to write this sort of ignorant tripe!

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Letter to the Editor Sept. 12, 2012 @ 2:24 p.m.

This regards the column Mr. Scott Marks wrote on the Hugo rebroadcast incident in which he rather crudely takes a swipe at what he imagines the audience to be. Not only are such wild generalizations untrue (as are caricatures of any group), they are completely unrelated to the subject of the interrupted rebroadcast.

I might have passed over such a remark casually, but for Mr. Marks' comments below the article. When someone rightly calls him out, saying, "That was the most unprofessional, unfounded, and downright mean comment I have ever read in a professional blog." his response is an unrepentant "Thank you." Which is to say not only is he willing to denigrate the enormous number of people who enjoy science fiction from novels to blockbuster films, he has no regard for his own readership, either.

I strongly suggest to you that having Mr. Marks continue on this way is damaging to both the Reader and America's Finest City, San Diego.

Glenn Glazer

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