Posts Tagged ‘cory doctorow’

Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol – Finally

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol is now online and available for the world to see and share. You can even watch it here:

It would help a lot if you go to the YouTube site to Like and Comment on the show. That kind of audience engagement – *cough*buzzwords*couch* – really does make a difference.

We’ll also be posting it to our channel and a bunch of other sites very soon – as in: as soon as I can get my shit together to do so.

I promise to write a whole bunch more about how we made it, with photos and clips, and what our next steps will be for the Ruffus project – but for now you can check out what other people are saying by checking out their posts and leaving comments:

Please share this show with as many others as you can. It’s our gift to everyone for the holidays.

Download links will be posted soon – and if you want to watch the earlier Ruffus episodes you can find them on the official Ruffus web site.

And if you really really like JP Houston’s song “Merry Merry” you can find it on our Bandcamp site as a free download. It’s an immensely catchy tune and deserves to be heard over and over again. Enjoy!


P. S. Comments here are also appreciated. Tell me what you think of the show – I’d really like to know.

The Revolution Will Be Digitized

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing posted about Heather Brooke’s new book The Revolution Will Be Digitized.

Brooke finishes the book with a manifesto of sorts, a call to arms to press, politicos and public to confront the coming deluge of data and channel it for transparency and accountability, but away from surveillance and invasion of privacy (a delicate operation, to be sure!) and to resist using the net as an excuse for more intrusive information policy.

Sounds like essential reading to me.

Cheers. Stay informed.

Jack Christie Talks To The Board

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Jack Christie – you are fucking awesome.

Cory Doctorow posted on BoingBoing about how Jack Christie (a 12th grade student at Donald A. Wilson Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario) has been suspended indefinitely for posting his animated videos on YouTube. Christie was originally given a one day suspension and ordered by the Principal, Warren Palmer to immediately remove the videos. Jack Christie refused and was then given the indefinite suspension. When Gavin Russell (prime minister of the student council) and others took up a petition to get Christie back in school they were told to stop and threatened with punishment.

Way to go, Mr. Palmer.

That’s a really unique way of teaching the fundamentals of democratic rights and freedoms to the youth of our country. But, of course, that’s not really what you were doing, was it? And, of course, they don’t really need to be taught these things, do they? No.

As amply demonstrated in Jack Christie’s rebuttal to the school board, it is the staff of Donald A. Wilson Secondary School (in particular Mr. Palmer) and the Durham District School Board that need to be taught the basics of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Take it away, Jack:

To be fair – not all school administrators are as thick as Mr. Wilson. However, the pinheads who do exist in positions of authority within our school system need to remember they are running (not ruling) institutions of learning – not prisons. Students are citizens. If a person in such a position of power is incapable of seeing the inappropriateness of their response to a situation and then wield their power further in a blind insistence of their authority – it becomes obvious that such a person is not worthy of maintaining that position.

The principal of Donald A. Wilson Secondary School – and the Durham District School Board – owe Jack Christie a very humble and public apology.

Shame on you, Mr. Palmer.

Jack Christie – you fucking rock.

Never apologize. Never retract. Never back down.


P. S. I especially liked the part with: “Look at the fucking puppety puppet!” – but maybe that’s just me.

P. P. S. You can read further coverage by the Globe & Mail here – where the comments are priceless. And there’s a report over at ParentCentral with a great photo from one of Christie’s videos where he suggests Sen. Joe Leiberman has sexual relations with goats.

Wouldn’t surprize me at all.

Bruce Sterling – Vernacular Video – Vimeo Festival

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Found this post by Cory Doctorow over on BoingBoing – it’s Bruce Sterling at the Vimeo Festival giving the closing keynote on vernacular video. He references the Dick Van Dyke Show, amongst other things – like: the future will be filled with old people, afraid of the sky, living in dirty cities – great stuff.

His phrase “obsolete before plateau” is just as brilliant as “pants like a kangaroo” and “life span of hamsters”. Sterling has the ability to inspire and this is an inspiring talk – just not in the way you’d expect from Sterling. Despite his habitual snarkiness, here he’s almost a cranky luddite as he proclaims the “future is not going to be as smart as you want it to be”. And he’s right. It’s no reason to give up, curl in a ball and die. It’s just a very realistic look at where we’re going.

Short strokes? We’re inexorably crawling deeper and deeper up our own ass.

Enjoy the ride.


P.S. I’ll be the guy on the left-turn corner of your colon, just past the burrito obstruction, with his hat out for spare change as he gives a little song and dance. Watch out for the corn.

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.


Where Good Ideas Come From

Friday, September 24th, 2010

I found this over at BoingBoing – It looks like one of those extraordinary RSA Animate works that visually distill a talk and embed it securely into the depths of your brain – but since it’s not on the RSA site proper I suspect it’s actually just a promo for Steven Johnson’s book done in the same style.

Regardless – it’s pretty good and worth 4 minutes of your time just for the nifty drawings:

Or – you can just watch his great TED Talk and get 13 minutes more of Johnson’s good ideas.


Cory Doctorow Challenges Moore On “Radical Extremists” Perspective

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Best-selling, award-winning, Canadian author Cory Doctorow has challenged Heritage Minister James Moore’s publicly expressed view that those who oppose proposed DMCA style digital locks (as part of Bill C-32 the Copyright Reform Bill) are nothing more than “radical extremists”.

Doctorow, co-editor of BoingBoing and ardent copyfighter writes:

Here’s what that means for creators: if Apple, or Microsoft, or Google, or TiVo, or any other tech company happens to sell my works with a digital lock, only they can give you permission to take the digital lock off. The person who created the work and the company that published it have no say in the matter.

So if you buy $1,000 worth of digitally locked books for your Kindle or iPad, the author and the publisher can’t give you the right to move those to another device. That means that not only are you locked into the Kindle — so is the copyright holder. Authors and publishers who decide to stop selling via a digitally locked platform have to take the risk that their readers will abandon their investment in proprietary books in order to follow them to the next device.

So that’s Minister Moore’s version of “author’s rights” — any tech company that happens to load my books on their device or in their software ends up usurping my copyrights. I may have written the book, sweated over it, poured my heart into it — but all my rights are as nothing alongside the rights that Apple, Microsoft, Sony and the other DRM tech-giants get merely by assembling some electronics in a Chinese sweatshop.

That’s the “creativity” that the new Canadian copyright law rewards: writing an ebook reader, designing a tablet, building a phone. Those “creators” get more say in the destiny of Canadian artists’ copyrights than the artists themselves.

You should read Doctorow’s complete post and then submit your own response to James Moore to let him know just how many “radical extremists” there are in this country.

Doctorow concludes his post asking Moore for both and apology and an explanation. I think we all deserve one.

My opinion? James Moore should wipe off that brown lipstick he wears to impress the U.S. media lobby and go fuck himself.


UPDATE: Michael Geist posted further reactions to James Moore’s douchebag comments, including Moore’s efforts to deny that he even said them despite the online presence of video footage which proves him to be not only deliberately misleading about Bill C-32 but also an outright fucking liar. What a dick.

Canadian DMCA In 6 Weeks

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

The Harper government is, once again, marching in lock-step with the US media lobby and will attempt to pass a copyright reform bill that echoes the worst parts of the failed US DMCA.

They held a public copyright consultation that garnered a lot of attention and a lot of input – which they have promptly ignored.

The consultations were obviously nothing more than an attempt at pacifying an obviously outraged public who howled in reaction to Harper’s blatant kowtowing to US big media lobby lies and deceit.

Combined with the ongoing ACTA negotiations this bill will put Canada on a path of locked down information and corporate controls over your free speech rights. It’s a fucking drag to have to go through all this again but I hope the anger that will erupt from this becomes an election triggering issue that finally provides the shot in those tiny Harper nads that sends him squealing from any position of public influence.

From Michael Geist’s blog:

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Within Six Weeks

Months of public debate over the future of Canadian copyright law were quietly decided earlier this week, when sources say the Prime Minister’s Office reached a verdict over the direction of the next copyright bill. The PMO was forced to make the call after Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement were unable to reach consensus on the broad framework of a new bill. As I reported last week, Moore has argued for a virtual repeat of Bill C-61, with strong digital locks provisions similar to those found in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a rejection of a flexible fair dealing approach. Consistent with earlier comments on the need for a forward-looking, flexible approach, Clement argued for changes from C-61.

With mounting pressure from the U.S. – there have repeated meetings with senior U.S. officials in recent weeks – the PMO sided squarely with Moore’s vision of a U.S.-style copyright law. The detailed provisions will be negotiated over the coming weeks by the respective departments, but they now have their marching orders of completing a bill that will satisfy the U.S. that comes complete with tough anti-circumvention rules and no flexible fair dealing provision.

The bill is not expected until June, but it will have dramatic repurcussions once introduced. First, the bill represents a stunning reversal from the government’s seeming shift away from C-61 and its commitment to a bill based on the national copyright consultation. Instead, the consultation appears to have been little more than theatre, with the PMO and Moore choosing to dismiss public opinion. Second, after adopting distinctly pro-consumer positions on other issues, Moore has abandoned that approach with support for what may become the most anti-consumer copyright bill in Canadian history. Third, the bill will immediately impact the Canadian position at the ACTA and CETA negotiations, where the bill’s provisions on anti-circumvention and ISP liability will effectively become the Canadian delegation position.

For those wondering what can be done, my only answer is to speak out now. Write a paper letter to your Member of Parliament and send copies to the Prime Minister, Moore, Clement and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. No stamp is required – be sure to include your home address and send it to the House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6. Once that is done, join the Facebook group and the Facebook page and be sure to ask others do the same. You may spoken out before, but your voice is needed yet again.

Time to kick this arrogant dead-eyed fuck and his brown-lipstick cronies out of office.

Make a noise. Tell your friends. Shut them down.

I’d like to add the words of Cory Doctorow about this news from his BoingBoing post:

What a goddamned disaster. The Tories have shown — yet again — their utter contempt for public opinion and Canadian culture and small business when these present an inconvenience to more windfall profits for offshore entertainment giants.

Remember: thousands of us responded to the Tory inquiry on copyright law, and overwhelmingly, we said we did not want a US-style copyright disaster at home. Remember: hundreds of thousands of us wrote and called our MPs. Remember: Canadian artists’ coalitions fought against the imposition of a DMCA in Canada. Remember: America’s copyright war has been an absolute trainwreck, with tens of thousands facing lawsuits, competition and innovation eroded by DRM, free speech challenged by copyright takedowns, and no improvements for creators or creativity.

There’s only one thing stupider than being the first country to enact the DMCA, in spite of its obvious shortcomings: enacting the DMCA after the first country has spent a decade showing how rotten and backwards this approach to copyright is.

Amen to that.

Time to get loud and nasty, folks.