Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Today Is The Day To Kill ACTA

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

As posted by Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing today is the international day of action to KILL ACTA.

Here’s a snip from Cory’s post:

Today is the day of global protest against ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a copyright treaty negotiated in secret (even parliaments and other legislatures weren’t allowed to see the the working drafts), and which many governments (include the American government) are planning to adopt without legislative approval or debate. ACTA represents a wish-list of legislative gifts to the entertainment industry, and will seriously undermine legitimate users of the Internet. It imposes criminal sanctions — with jail time — for people who violate copyright, including remixers and other legitimate artists and creators. ACTA requires governments to shut down legitimate websites whose users “aid and abet” copyright infringement, creating a regime of fear and censorship for sites that accept comments and other media from users and curtailing discussion and debate in order to maximize entertainment industry profits.

The arts should always be on the side of free expression. Creative industries should always be against censorship. This secret, undemocratic agreement that seeks to “preserve the creative industries” by imposing censorship and surveillance on the whole Internet lacks all legitimacy and should be rejected. If the entertainment industry wants laws passed to its benefit, let it use the same democratic mechanisms that all bodies use in free societies. Smoke-filled rooms and crony capitalism have no place in a free society.

Go to the post and use the form that is there to add your name to the growing list of people opposed to corporations deciding how to use government to seize control of your rights to free speech, free thought and free expression on the net.

Note: I tried posting the form here on my pages but I kept fucking something up so now I’m just linking to Cory’s post – one extra step – big fucking deal – click the link and sign the damn thing already.

Other people around the world are taking to the streets to loudly protest ACTA (and other similar secretive measures) and while it ain’t the equal of the desperate and bloody fights going on in Egypt or Syria it is just as important because ultimately if any of these corrupt treaties are enacted and acted upon it will be the gross legitimizing of corporate ownership of you and your children – and you’ll have no one to bame but yourselves.

Tell your friends, tell your family, stop strangers in the street, share links, sign petitions and if there are actual physical real world events happening near you then for fuck sake go to them and add your body to the movement and be counted.

And remember, TODAY will not be the only day needed to stop bullshit like this dead in its tracks. This is a fight that is going to continue on for the next few years until every single greedy weasel pushing for corporate control of our nervous system finally gets it into their pointy little heads to shut the hell up and sit the fuck down.

It’s a fight folks.

Cheers.

Yochai Benkler On SOPA, PIPA and MegaUpload

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Understanding PIPA / SOPA

Friday, January 20th, 2012

If you don’t pay attention to any other information out there about PIPA and SOPA you must watch this – and then share it with others – and talk about it amongst your friends and family – and yell in the ear of your elected representatives.

This isn’t just a US issue – it affects ALL of us.

I’m especially pissed at the moment because of the US government twisting the arm of New Zealand to arrest the owners of Megaupload, seizing their property – and then subsequently shutting down the Megaupload site, without the benefit of PIPA/SOPA. The Justice Department claims about “massive copyright infringement” ring hollow when you consider what preceded these actions: Megaupload was poised to become a serious business competitor to the established music industry. Universal Music Group makes a call – badda-bing.

So why should I be so pissed?

Our online video production, Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol was being distributed for download via Megaupload. We, like may other legitimate businesses, have been using Megaupload (and other sites similarly targeted by the large media corporations) as a practical means of distributing our content. It allows us to bypass exorbitant bandwidth costs and negate the need for any usurious deals with established media distributors.

In the coming weeks you will see more heavy-handed legal actions like this – and increasing vitriolic responses from those affected – as big media and corrupt government take off their gloves and masks and come out swinging for open and undisputed control of the internet.

The net is more than a series of tubes, more than just another top-down distribution system and much more than just a thorn in the side of the dying music, film and television business models. The net has become an extension of our nervous system; it is how we hear and see and speak in this world – and it is being forcibly taken over by entrenched powers who don’t like it when we stop listening to them and choose instead to talk amongst ourselves.

Fuck them.

Copyright: Forever Less One Day

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I got this via Lawrence Lessig on Twitter and agreed that it was both clever and informative.

I’ll be posting a bunch of stuff over the next few weeks about some changes I’m planning here and with other sites. In the meantime – dance someplace people least expect it.

Cheers.

Everything Is A Remix

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Found this over at Gizmodo but the actual site to visit is everythingisaremix.info. This is part 2 of Everything Is A Remix an extraordinarily well done 4 part critique of remix culture crafted by filmmaker Kirby Ferguson.

With deft, revealing editing and incisive commentary he delves deep into what it means for all of us as we proceed from our past to our future. Recognizing where we came from is essential to knowing where we are going. Ferguson’s work in this regard is essential. Watch it. Share it. Reward it.

Enjoy.

Cheers.

P. S. Keep watching after the credits for a great addendum and a message from Kirby Ferguson himself.

See What Copyright Law Robbed You Of In 2011

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I cribbed this from Gizmodo but they got it from Duke University so that’s okay but what’s most important is the list of works which should have entered the public domain this year – but won’t – because the copyright laws were changed back in 1976 to completely fuck us all up the ass.

Images of Lord of the Flies, The Doors of Perception, Rear Window, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Seven Samurai, Waiting for Godot, Sports Illustrated, Horton Hears a Who!

Wikipedia image Wikipedia image Wikipedia image Wikipedia image Wikipedia image Wikipedia image Wikipedia image Wikipedia image

It’s important to remember:

Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Up to 85% of all copyrighted works from 1982 would be entering the public domain on January 1, 2011.

Here’s just a taste:

Current US law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. (Corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years.) But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years). Under those laws, works published in 1954 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2011.

What might you be able to read or print online, quote as much as you want, or translate, republish or make a play or a movie from? How about William Golding’s Lord of the Flies? Golding first published Lord of the Flies in 1954. If we were still under the copyright laws that were in effect until 1978, Lord of the Flies would be entering the public domain on January 1, 2011 (even assuming that Golding or his publisher had renewed the copyright). Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2050. This is because the copyright term for works published between 1950 and 1963 was extended to 95 years from the date of publication, so long as the works were published with a copyright notice and the term renewed (which is generally the case with famous works such as this). All of these works from 1954 will enter the public domain in 2050.

What other works would be entering the public domain if we had the pre-1978 copyright laws? You might recognize some of the titles below.

    • The first two volumes of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers
    • Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (his own translation/adaptation of the original version in French, En attendant Godot, published in 1952)
    • Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim
    • Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception
    • Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
    • Pauline Réage’s Histoire d’O
    • Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, subtitled “The influence of comic books on today’s youth”
    • Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
    • Mac Hyman’s No Time for Sergeants
    • Alan Le May’s The Searchers
    • C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy, the fifth volume of The Chronicles of Narnia
    • Alice B. Toklas’ The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook

Under the pre-1978 copyright law, you could now teach history and politics using most of Toynbee’s A Study of History (vols. 7–10 were first published in 1954) or Henry Kissinger’s A World Restored, or stage a modern adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s A Time to Love and A Time to Die for community theater.

The 1950s were also the peak of popular science fiction writing. 1954 saw the publication of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (filmed three times in the last half century by Hollywood), Philip Wylie’s Tomorrow!, Arthur C. Clarke’s The Deep Range, Robert Heinlein’s The Star Beast, and the Hugo Award-winning They’d Rather Be Right by Frank Riley and Mark Clifton. Instead of seeing these enter the public domain in 2011, we will have to wait until 2050 – a date that, itself, seems the stuff of science fiction.

Pieces of history, too, remain locked up. The first issue of Sports Illustrated – which featured on its cover the then Milwaukee Braves’ Eddie Matthews at bat with the then New York Giants catcher Wes Westrum – would be entering the public domain on January 1, 2011. (Time Inc., owner of Sports Illustrated, retains the copyright through 2050.)

Think of the movies from 1954 that would have become available this year. You could have showed clips from them. You could have showed all of them. You could have spliced and remixed and made documentaries about them. (You could have been a contender!) Instead, here are a few of the movies that we won’t see in the public domain for another 39 years:

    • On the Waterfront, directed by Elia Kazan; starring Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, and Lee J. Cobb
    • Director Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr, and Thelma Ritter
    • The original Japanese-language release of Seven Samurai, directed by Akira Kurasawa; starring Takashi Shimura and Toshir? Mifune
    • Dial M for Murder, directed by Hitchcock; starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, and Robert Cummings
    • Walt Disney’s 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason
    • The cult horror classic, Creature from the Black Lagoon
    • The enduring holiday chestnut, White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Allen, featuring songs by Irving Berlin
    • The Barefoot Contessa, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, and Edmond O’Brien
    • Brigadoon, with Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse; from the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical

If you wanted to find guitar tabs or sheet music or record your own version of some of the great music of the early 1950s, January 1, 2011, would have been a happy day for you under the old copyright laws. I Got a Woman (Ray Charles and Renald Richard), Mambo Italiano (Bob Merrill), Mister Sandman (Pat Ballard), Misty (Erroll Garner), Only You (and You Alone) (Buck Ram), Shake, Rattle and Roll (Jesse Stone, under his songwriting name, Charles E. Calhoun) – they would have all become available.

Go – read the whole post. It goes on to list many, many, many more works which rightly should have become public property – representing the culture we’ve grown up in, been immersed in and must respond to with works of our own.

But that didn’t happen.

Instead, we exist in a continually growing cultural vacuum which benefits undead corporations and renders our own view of the world around us into a relentless advertisement for more of the same.

Copyright was created to protect the public domain – to ensure works would eventually fall into the commons – so we would all benefit. The law, and our own government representatives, have been corrupted – the laws inverted and twisted – and this effort continues – and will continue – until we either give up or stand up.

You and yours are poorer now.

Happy New Year.

Go make something new.

Cheers.

This New Generation Will Fight Back

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Fuck yeah.

I found this over at BoingBoing where Cory Doctorow said: “This young man is one of the best speakers I’ve heard, and I salute his passion and his integrity.”

I have my faith in humanity restored whenever I hear young men and women speak words like this:

They can’t stop us demonstrating, they can’t stop us fighting back, and how ever much they try to imprison us in the streets of London, those are our streets. We will always be there to demonstrate, we will always be there to fight… We are no longer that generation that doesn’t care, we are no longer that generation to sit back and take whatever they give us. We are now the generation at the heart of the fight back.

They deserve our praise and, more importantly, our support. There is a very big fight coming. Large storm clouds of unrest are looming on the horizon of our lives. The stakes are going to be very dear and the end result – as much as these things ever have any true end – is in no wait a certainty. The next decade is going to be hell. No doubt about it. The young men and women who think and act as this student does will bear the brunt of the fight. Old farts like me must be prepared to do more than write angry blog posts or rage on Twitter.

I have a lot more to say about the recent events around the world with respect to freedom of speech and the right to dissent. There is a post-production deadline I must endeavour to meet and that will keep me busy for the next few weeks. Come the new year there be other projects that will occupy my time. But I do have more to say and I will find the time and the various ways and means of doing so. In the meantime, don’t be cynical, don’t be depressed, and don’t be savagely angry. Just be determined to add your own voice, in whatever way, regardless of how trivial it may seem. We are Spartacus, we are Anonymous, we are Assange, we are the Who’s of Whoville – and we will be heard.

So there.

Theft: A History Of Music

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Cory Doctorow posted this on BoingBoing and I thought I’d share it with you. James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins and Keith Aoki – the same folks who brought us “Bound By Law” – have another treatise on copyright in comic book form coming out called: “Theft: A History Of Music”.

Here’s a sample page:

theft a history of music

Can’t wait to read the whole thing.

Meanwhile – the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) is slathering on the brown lipstick for a lobbying trip to Washington where they’ll dance like a self-pleasuring monkey to the lying tunes of the US music industry, conveniently ignoring the actual facts about Canadian copyright law as so deftly explicated by Prof. Michael Geist. I’m so fed up with this bullshit – let’s just toss a nickel in Graham Henderson’s tin cup and kick him down the stairs.

Cheers.

Fuck You James Moore

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore gave a speech on Bill C-32, Canada’s copyright reform bill, where he referred to opponents of the over-reaching proposals as “radical extremists”.

Watch this great annotated video of the speech – produced by Tamara Winegust & Michael Geist – where each of his fatuous, inaccurate and loathsome statements are rebutted by a myriad of voices from across the country who are far from being radical extremists.

And once you’ve had your fill of James Moore’s brown lipstick toadying to the U.S. media lobby, give a call or send a message to your own MP – and to douchebag Moore himself – letting them know you will not tolerate having your legally purchased content held ransom by digital locks. See the UPDATE below for their response to me.

Fuck them. And fuck you, James Moore, for being such a dickweed.

Can you tell I’m in a really foul and venomous mood this morning? Chum bucket arrogant bastards like Moore and his buck-toothed boss always bring out the best in me.

Have a nice day.

Cheers.

UPDATE: Later today I received this auto-response email from the offices of Tony Clement and James Moore with respect to my sending them my views on Bill C-32:

Thank you for your correspondence regarding Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act.

This legislation will bring Canada in line with international standards and promote homegrown innovation and creativity. It is a fair, balanced, and common-sense approach, respecting both the rights of creators and the interests of consumers in a modern marketplace. The Government of Canada is working to secure Canada’s place in the digital economy and to promote
a more prosperous and competitive country.

The popularity of Web 2.0, social media, and new technologies such as MP3 players and digital books have changed the way Canadians create and make use of copyrighted material. This bill recognizes the many new ways in which teachers, students, artists, software companies, consumers, families, copyright owners and many others use technology. It gives creators and copyright owners the tools to protect their work and grow their business models. It provides clearer rules that will enable all
Canadians to fully participate in the digital economy, now and in the future.

For more information, please visit balancedcopyright.gc.ca.

Sincerely,

Tony Clement
Minister of Industry

James Moore
Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages

It is now going to take me weeks to wash all their bullshit out of my computer. You never expect to hear any kind of real discourse from a politician when you send them a letter or an email. What’s galling is the bald deception of these fuckers, adhering to their talking points, reciting the same deliberately misleading, lying and hypocritical garbage they spout in question period, during press conferences and at their much ballyhooed – (and subsequently ignored) – public consultations. I figure if someone is going to act like a thieving prick they’d better own up to it and not pretend they’re doing me a favour.

Yo, Tony – Hey, Jimmy – fuck you.

The Power Of The Mash-Up

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I present this as an example of the power of the mash-up to comment, contrast, parody, satirize and otherwise take the piss out of anyone or anything which affects us all.

Removing the power of the people to speak back through culture only serves to give power to assholes like this funky jerk with a great set of pipes. Support fair copyright reform, like Net Neutrality it is a vital component of Free Speech.

Cheers.

P.S. In Finland Broadband Is A Legal Right – tell your phone & cable companies and their big media lobbyists to fuck off.