The Oracle of Amsterdam predicts Geert Wilders' anti-Quran film "Fitna" is coming in the next two days. Absolutely no insider information here, just common sense: he's promised to get it out this month, and why would he wait for the court case Friday that might end up banning him from releasing it at all?
Leaving aside questions of good/bad right/wrong, I just want to think out loud about: the freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to broadcast.
How is he technically going to publish it? No TV stations will broadcast it, no press screening is possible, and his hosting provider, Network Solutions, has pulled the plug on him.
Why? No reason to scream 'censorship' or 'U.S. government involvement.' This is a corporation we're talking about, and they a) hate negative publicity and b) can be held liable if the film contains something illegal (for instance, an incitement to violence). I personally doubt it will contain anything illegal, but you can understand why a big company is shy about the risk, and Wilders' refusal to show it to them in advance gives them an easy reason to refuse to host it.
Even GeenStijl ("No Style"), the Dutch blog, said it couldn't put up the video without seeing it first, for similar reasons.
Wilders could upload it to YouTube, but chances are they're also ready to yank it down immediately. So, how?
We can all (probably) agree that once the film leaks out, it will go everywhere via file sharing etc., but in the meanwhile, he's got a minor logistical problem on his hands.
I'll give my theory after the "More," but I'm open to and curious about other suggestions.
My opinion is, he will mostly likely be handing out old-fashioned DVDs to the press, because otherwise it may be difficult to authenticate which movie is his. There are already a lot of fakes on YouTube.
However, the press won't republish it in its entirety, so he will still need a way for "the public" to be able to access it. So I think he will likely find an alternate hosting company that is willing to offer bandwidth without reviewing the film first. It's risky, but it might be good publicity for some smaller hosting companies.
Could be in Holland (XS4ALL?), could be abroad, on Vanatu or in Scandinavia or something.
I don't think he'll put it up on either the fitnathemovie.com or geertwilders.nl domains because it's not easy to get Network Solutions or Verio to transfer the domain names quickly.
So I think it's more likely he would buy an as-yet unknown domain name, post the movie, and then announce where it is via a press release.
In that scenario it may well be hard to see the film at the beginning because the site crashes due to traffic or a denial of service attack.
Secondarily, he may have multiple people ready to upload it to YouTube, Revver and the like in a short period of time, and seed a few Bittorrents for good measure, just to get things going.
Time will tell.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008