Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of Speech’

Clay Shirky – Why SOPA Is A Bad Idea – TED Talk

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

As per the description on the TED site:

What does a bill like PIPA/SOPA mean to our shareable world? At the TED offices, Clay Shirky delivers a proper manifesto — a call to defend our freedom to create, discuss, link and share, rather than passively consume.

Take it away, Clay:

New Stuff Coming

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I’ve been busy over the holidays doing the usual things: wrestling with trees in the living room, eating too much, enduring overlapping fractured conversations in rooms full of simultaneously speaking family members and stuff like that.

tired santa

During that time I’ve also been reorganizing my office/edit suite and lining up my production agenda for the coming year.

One of the first things I want to do here on these pages is summarize the entire process of making Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol and the ongoing work involved in promoting and distributing the project.

This will include all the upcoming efforts I’ll be applying to the Ruffus Project as a whole – including a slate of new episodes made exclusively for release on the web and a series of print-to-order books based on the original shows. That post will be put up here soon – I promise.

I’m also in the process of setting up a whole new blog site at which will – eventually – take over from this site. Millsworks will fade away and get archived somewhere but I’m not going to worry about that right now.

On the horizon for the coming year are numerous web-based productions I’m involved in and will enjoy sharing with you here as they become more presentable. These will include Rubber Chicken Players and Fred Stinson’s My Fuzzy Bunny.

Both of those projects evolved from our creative incubation process with the Rhino Group – a semi-weekly gathering of our core colleagues at Parkdale’s Rhino Bar & Grill.

More ambitious plans lay in wait for some longer form projects and I’m looking forward to being able to reveal them as they get closer to reality.

On top of all that I’m also looking for some kind of job because none of these works are paying my salary – yet.

There’s a lot of commentary I want to offer up since we are entering the year where the War On The Internet truly erupts. The Occupy Movement which sprang from the Arab Spring is just the tip of the iceberg of the disruptive nature of social media and the new ability of citizens to bypass traditional corporate and state controlled media to receive and disseminate information and culture. The interwebz hold the distinct possibility to make fundamental changes in how not just our individual lives are lived but how we as human beings think, operate and interact with each other and the planet we share. That’s big stuff. And believe it or not, kids puppet shows – and other offerings from indie producers like myself – have a place in all that. We are at the cusp of “use it or lose it” with respect to the Net – and also, believe me, of “defend it or die”.

That material will have a better home on the new RobboMills site.

There are many others playing in the same cultural media sandbox as yours truly. I’m privileged to know and work with quite a few remarkable people here in Toronto who are increasingly active in establishing what we do online as a serious industry. You’ll be hearing more about them too. They are awesome.

But – between now and then I have to get all the shit in the boxes on my office floor up on the shelves, all the spaghetti of wires under/over/across my standing desk organized into a reasonable facsimile of a non-combustible electrical array, all my outstanding contracts and other legal documents vetted and signed, and I think there’s also this little thing called back taxes.

Blah blah blah. There’s always going to be something to do.

Soooooooo – bear with me as I get my proverbial shit together and we’ll have a fun and entertaining ride in Robbo’s culture bucket from now to the end of 2012. What happens after that is between you and your local faux-Mayan bullshit distributor.

Predictions for the coming year? Everything is going to get very dark and scary and mean and bloody – and there will be puppets. Keep smiling, tell the ones you love that you love them, and speak out loud against lies, intolerance and hypocrisy. And eat more vegetables.

And now – here’s a video of a crow tubing on a rooftop.

video source

Welcome to the New Year.


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.

eG8 Alt Press Conference

Monday, May 30th, 2011

A follow up to my previous post on the eG8 – here’s the impromptu press conference held by those attendees (Lawrence Lessig, Susan Crawford, Jeff Jarvis at al) putting their spin on the Sarkozy government/business G8 slant on their proposed ownership and control of the interwebs.

Short strokes: “Yo, Nikki – the net is infinitely more than just a handy platform from whence you greedy geezers can continue to shill your lies and sell your shit. So go fuck yourself.”

But I paraphrase – let the better minds speak:

[EN] La société civile s’en va t’en guerre à l’ e-G8 from OWNI on Vimeo.

Lessig is great – so’s Jarvis – but be sure to catch Jérémie Zimmermann around 18:15 where he really nails what is going on with all this eG8 bullshit.


P.S. Found this over at BoingBoing posted by Cory Doctorow. Thanks!

Lawrence Lessig – America’s Broadband Policy

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

One of a series of four talks just posted by Lawrence Lessig. Here’s how he describes this one:

Talk given at SNW 2010 about three areas of policy — broadband, cybersecurity, and copyright, and about the corruption of the process of policy making affecting each. A mix of my old concerns with one section of the new concerns.

It’s a very good primer on where the U.S. (and consequently Canada and other countries) stands in regards to how the internet is being mishandled. The other talks are equally informative and engaging.

Lessig is to U.S. issues on the internet, copyright law and government corruption as Michael Geist is for Canada. Every time either of them speak out on points of law with respect to how our governments and corporations interact with the extension of our nervous systems (ie. the internet) we should pay heed.


Download Disobedience

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Nifty little info comic courtesy of the InfoAnarchy Wiki. Just cick on the image to see it full size.

Download Disobedience

Pass it on.

And while you’re at it – go sign the Public Domain Manifesto. As blogged on BoingBoing by Cory Doctorow:

The Public Domain is the rule, copyright protection is the exception. Since copyright protection is granted only with respect to original forms of expression, the vast majority of data, information and ideas produced worldwide at any given time belongs to the Public Domain. In addition to information that is not eligible for protection, the Public Domain is enlarged every year by works whose term of protection expires. The combined application of the requirements for protection and the limited duration of the copyright protection contribute to the wealth of the Public Domain so as to ensure access to our shared culture and knowledge.

Read it. Sign it. Talk about it.


P. S. Thanks for the comic link, Fred!

P. P. S. If you want to get really fucked up squirrely ass mad about all this corporate ownership of the entire fucking world bullshit be sure to drop by Michael Geist’s blog where he looks at the secret ACTA negotiations that start today in Mexico where this agreement is being designed to extend far beyond counterfeiting and how it will reshape domestic law in many countries, including Canada.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation – or – How It Feels To Have The CRTC Fuck You Up The Ass

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I spent a lovely two weeks in PEI this summer visiting with friends and family. When I returned I discovered that while I was gone the CRTC had made the willfully ignorant and insultingly dirt stupid decision to change the rules in how we are allowed to buy access to the internet in Canada.


“But, Robbo,”, I hear you ask, “What does that have to do with me?”

Here it is in a nutshell from

It means that Bell will be allowed to impose ridiculously low limits on how much you are allowed to download per month and charge you excessive overage fees for it, even if you are using someone else’s Internet service that operates on a Bell line. The motion they filed asks for a 60 gigabyte (GB) per month limit with a fee of $1.125 per gigabyte for overages. 60GB is an incredibly low limit and is unrealistic given the amount of rich content (such as video) that permeates the web today. Even non-enthusiast users can easily exceed that by things as common as frequent YouTube usage and of course, more techie people like myself go higher than that still. Bell already has a fee structure like this in place for their own customers but now wants to extend that to cover all third party Internet providers that are forced to use their lines. For many customers, it could mean their cost for Internet service could more than double and for no extra speed or quality of service.

What makes this bad? For starters, most third party Internet providers don’t buy their bandwidth from Bell, they buy it from other companies and already pay for usage, an average of which is factored into their monthly fees that you pay as a customer. Secondly, Bell has consistently claimed that they need to do this in order to deal with congestion and overcrowding on their network. This has been demonstrated as an outright lie by not only outside analysis but often by Bell’s own submissions to the CRTC. Aside from the fact that bandwidth cost is the lowest it has been in history, their network is simply not as overcrowded as they say and the cost of keeping up with demand is already covered in what they charge people now, as is demonstrated by Bell’s continuing profitability. Bell is essentially using false information to charge us all significantly more for a service that already makes them a tidy profit.

This move is blatantly anti-competitive and Bell’s only motivation for it is that they also provide TV and phone service, both of which are losing numbers to cheaper, more consumer friendly solutions provided online. Severely low limitations like these stifle Canada’s ability to innovate and are quickly taking us from a position as a world leader in Internet penetration to a laughing stock. Other countries around the world are now offered speeds multiple factors higher than what we get here and with much more reasonable download limits, if any at all. Simply put, Bell is trying to control how we use the Internet in order to protect their failing traditional business models. The CRTC (which is staffed largely by former big telecom executives) is complicit in this and is now consistently ruling in Bell’s favour despite all evidence clearly demonstrating their true intentions. This organisation is either incompetent, corrupt or both. Their mandate is to ensure a fair, competitive environment for Canadian consumers and in this, they are an utter failure to us all.

It’s as if the decision was written by the representatives of Bell itself – just as the infamous copyright reform Bill-61 was so obviously written by the U.S. Ambassador and the U.S. media lobby.

We must remember this is consistent behaviour from this current incarnation of the watchdogs of the public airwaves (and other forms of communication) in this country who no longer act as servants of the citizens but as the intentionally ill-informed and weak-kneed mouthpiece of the Harper government and the corporate toads who hold the leashes of our elected representatives.

It’s all part of the same steaming pile of crap as the decisions involving the formation of the New Media Fund – burdening any investment in innovative new forms of online content with required partnerships with the dying business models of broadcast television (an act akin to tossing an anchor to a drowning man) and establishing a board stacked with representatives of the cable industry thereby letting the groaning bloated giants of media retain their role as gatekeepers, jealously guarding their entitled turf by wedging their smug pimpled haunches firmly in the doorway that leads to the future, piling their dung upon the steps for us all to wade through and thereby guaranteeing any growth or success to be had in this country will surely be pissed away in yet another series of meaningless and wasteful gestures. Oh sure, a few good things will come from some of those who have the stomach to swim through that rising fetid tide – the industry itself will stall whilst desperate independent creators will have no alternative but to seek opportunity outside our borders.

It’s the same old sad fucking story.

All this has, without a doubt, occurred under the direction of the Harper government who have made it clear they want the CRTC to take a more lax attitude to regulating the internet – all in the cause of letting the marketplace take its course and to foster increased competition.

From a CBC report:

Criticisms of the CRTC in online message boards and in comments on CBC stories have been building since it was ordered to proceed with a “light regulatory touch” in 2006 by then industry minister Maxime Bernier.

“Canada’s new government has again furthered its ambitious policy agenda for the telecommunications sector by issuing the policy direction to the CRTC,” Bernier said at the time. “Our plan will increase competition in the marketplace, which ultimately will have a positive effect on the consumer who will benefit from greater choices and improved products and services.”


The old media retain control of the purse strings thereby thwarting any threat of competition to their rotted zombie-like economic models. Access to content is now beholden to the pricing schemes of a monopolistic telco who will pursue its own best interests and seek to limit the growth and viability of any alternative carriers.

In October the CRTC will render its decision on Net Neutrality and if, as it now seems very likely, they will once again kowtow to the wishes of the Harper government and effectively give away control of what we are allowed to see and say in our internet to the same dickhead greedy fucks who claim to own the internet.

Keep your hands off my thoughts and words, buddy. You don’t own me.

I’m with McLuhan on this one.

“Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth’s atmosphere to a company as a monopoly.”

- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964

Now there is a movement afoot to have the CRTC disbanded. You can sign the petition here. I did. I did it even though I know it won’t make a lick of difference. You should sign it too.

“But, Robbo,”, you ask, “Why bother signing if it won’t change anything?”

Think of it as sticking a finger in those dead-eyes of Harper.

A new government, with a decisive, informed and pro-active agenda to keep access to the internet open to true competitive practices is really the only way to get through this. Even then we’ll still be subjected to the same damnable dance of lobbyist monkeys and back room corporate pressure to wrest the choices of the citizens from their grasp and place them firmly in the pockets of the broadcast and telecom industry.

But go ahead and sign – if only to speak up publicly and say: “Yo – yeah you – you with the half-digested wad of my cash sticking out of your poop hole. Yeah you. I’m talkin’ to you. can you hear me? Good. Fuck off.”

Now these are not terribly civilized words to be tossing around on the internet, I know that, but I have never claimed to be a paragon of civilization. If I offend anyone with my vitriol that’s just too fucking bad. I’m a pissed off citizen who also happens to work as an independent in the same industry that is continually being fucked up the arse like some orphaned child in the basement of a Victorian workhouse. I feel I have a right to bitch and complain.

Back in 1993 I was asked to give an address at a gathering of the Alliance For Children & Television. Alan Mirabelli very kindly introduced me as being a vertically integrated individual in reference to my wearing of many hats as writer, producer, director, performer, designer, code monkey, chief cook and bottle washer. Vertically integrated was a hot buzz word of the day applied to major entertainment companies as they took increasingly orgasmic delight in absorbing each other like some corporate version of The Blob.

In my talk I spoke of a very near future where the internet would be more powerful, more pervasive and capable of carrying more content and exchange of ideas than anything we had ever known before. Most of the folks there had barely heard of the internet, let alone the world wide web, and they shook their headsin disbelief and chuckled at my naive optimism. A very few of the folks in the back – you know who you are – nodded, as if to say: “Good, I’m not the only one who sees this happening.” The folks from the CRTC who were in attendance, sitting at the front tables, merely leaned back with scowls on their faces as I pressed home the point that their position would soon become undermined and eventually irrelevant as the power to become a broadcaster moved from the monopolistic uses of the public airwaves to the individual uses of countless members of the public itself. That the internet would replace television and ignore borders. The role of the CRTC as guardians of Canadian culture in media would inexorably and inevitably dissolve away to nothing. The CRTC reps didn’t like being told they would no longer fulfill a necessary function.

I probably didn’t endear myself with anyone in the crowd by finishing my talk with a quote from Hunter S. Thompson’s Generation Of Swine:

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

I thought it was funny.

16 years later …

Perhaps this group of willfully ignorant and dismally pliable bureaucrats were listening to my words after all. Perhaps they went ahead and took my advice and found a new relevance for themselves. Perhaps they have moved on and defined a new role for themselves in 21st century.

Corporate Cocksuckers.

Yeah – that’ll look real pretty on a resume.

The hell with civil discourse. We scared their asses when the public outcry rose up over Bill-C61 and saved Canada from inheriting the disastrous DMCA policies of the U.S. Net Neutrality and truly competitive access to the net should and will become an election issue. The parties that side with corporate rule will fall.

Old rules need to change. New rules need to be applied. All of this must be in the service of the needs of the people and not the needs of a few grotesquely self-interested business turds. It’s just a fucking pisser that we have to needlessly claw our way through this steaming deluge of horseshit to get there.

So . . . Sign every petition you can. Join every Facebook group you can. Attend every rally you can. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell them again and again. Make them so sick of hearing about it they actually do something to make it stop so that at the very least you’ll finally shut the fuck up about it.

Most importantly – Vote.

Vote the fuckers out who give your power to the corporations.

Vote the fuckers in who will eventually become corrupted themselves but who maybe – just maybe – will be able to effect some change for at least a brief window of time.

They do not own the internet and they do not own culture.

You do.

It is a part of your nervous system.

Don’t let anyone sell, own or control that which belongs to you – that which is you – that which is all of us – together.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Fuck them.


P.S. While yer at it, check out – good source of info & news.

P. P. S. That’s it for venomous rants for now. Only happy happy joy joy from now on – until they really piss me off.

AND NOW . . . – just cuz I always like to leave you with something upbeat – here’s Felicia Day and the cast of The Guild in their amazing hit music video Do You Want To Date My Avatar?, which yesterday topped 1 million views on iTunes. That fucking rocks, @feliciaday!

What does any of this have to do the CRTC and Bell and all that crap I was ranting about? Only that merely watching stuff like this is now going to cost you more – for no reason other than Bell wants more of your money and there aint jack shit you can do about it.

Enjoy it while you can.

Canada’s Copyright Consultation

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Speak Out On Copyright

UPDATE: As mentioned in the earlier version of this blog post, Michael Geist will launch has launched the Speak Out On Copyright website and you should go there now.

I’ve been bleating for some time now about how the Harper government was trying to jam through Bill C-61 in the hopes of looking good in that particular shade of brown lipstick the U.S. media lobby loves so well, and how in the well-intentioned but malignantly misguided efforts to reform copyright law in Canada the people most affected by these changes – the people of the country – were not consulted.

Let's tell 'em what we REALLY think!

Here’s your chance.

Michael Geist reports on the launching of the Copyright Consultation Website where you – and everyone you encourage to go there – can let the government know exactly what you feel and think about copyright law and how it affects you, this country and the world.

As Geist himself says in a previous post:

There has been some criticism over the past week about perceived “A” lists for those invited to roundtables and those excluded. My view is that the only list that really matters is the list of people who take the time to make a public submission. That process is open to everyone and this is the ideal opportunity to ensure that Canadians voices are heard. The government has not consulted on copyright since 2001 and this consultation represents both a crucial opportunity and a potential threat. While Canadians can ensure that the government understands that copyright matters and that a balance is needed, some groups will undoubtedly use the consultation to push for a return of Bill C-61. Indeed, the recording industry has already said that that bill did not go far enough. That means we could see pressure for a Canadian DMCA, a three-strikes and you’re out process, and the extension of the term of copyright to eat into the public domain.

Countering those calls will require broad participation. To help foster that participation, tomorrow I will be launching a new website geared specifically to the copyright consultation along with my short form response to these questions. I plan to blog a long form response throughout the summer.

Geist will soon have his own site up to help organize voices that can speak just as loudly as the favoured elite who get to sit in on the roundtable discussions and twist the government’s ear. This is important shit that will affect everything from the public domain, the DMCA, that fucking ACTA bullshit, Net Neutrality, Freedom Of Speech, government transparency, open culture and more.

I’ll be sure to holler about it when the other site comes online.

In the meantime visit the consultation site – tell your friends – talk about it – think about it and be sure to give Geist’s latest post a read since it really distills the issues to the core points that will affect everything we will do for the rest of our lives.

Everything? Really? Isn’t that a bit of an exaggeration? Indulging in hyperbole, perhaps? Not when you give it even just a moments thought.

Here’s Geist’s thoughts on Why Does Copyright Matter?

For me, copyright matters because I am a professor and my students need access to copyrighted materials and the freedom to use those materials. It matters because I am a researcher who needs assurance that as materials are archived they will not be locked down under digital rights management. It matters because I am deeply concerned about privacy and fear that DRM could be harmful to my personal privacy. It matters because I have created videos and need flexibility in the law to allow for remix and transformed works and do not want my content taken down from the Internet based on unproven claims. It matters because I am a writer and I need certainty of access to speak freely. It matters because I am a consumer of digital entertainment and I want the law to reasonably reflect the right to view the content on the device of my choice. It matters because I am a parent whose children have only known life with the Internet and I want to ensure that they experience all the digital world has to offer. It matters because I live in a city with a strong connection to the digital economy and we need forward-looking laws to allow the next generation of companies to thrive. It matters because I am a proud Canadian who wants laws based not on external political pressure, but rather on the best interest of millions of Canadians.

So think about it. Read about it. Talk about it. Visit the site(s).

And then speak up.


P. S. Muchos gracias to Jimmy Kayak (aka Jim Taylor) for his shout out about this post and the issue at large. Thanks, man!

Declaration Of Independence Of Cyberspace

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

It seems apropos of current events to re-post this remarkable piece of writing, originally composed back in 1996 by John Perry Barlow.

The Declaration Of Independence Of Cyberspace, crafted as a response to America’s Telecommunications Act of 1996, still resonates very strongly today as we see corrupt governments and grasping corporate authority from all around the world attempt to assume ownership and control of cyberspace. As various laws are passed at the behest and urging of dying media monopolies, designed to shape and constrain the flow of information throughout the internet, depriving citizens in the real world of their basic rights and freedoms, we also see an increasing outrage and awareness on the part of the citizens who inhabit both the real world and cyberspace.

If you are reading these words you are a citizen of cyberspace.

Keep reading.

Three strikes laws that would give corporations the governance under law to decide who is allowed to have access, punitive lawsuits to enforce proscribed consumer behaviour, control of information access through filters and firewalls, disabling entire systems to prevent free speech and informed discourse, unwarranted and unlimited spying on all communications – all these affronts to the democratic rule of law are happening right now and they affect you directly.

There are numerous groups and individuals working on your behalf and you should certainly support their efforts but it also helps when you yourself know what the hell is going on and why these issues are so important.

Read this declaration with a mind to our current events. Maybe even print out a copy and stick it on your wall. Slap your favourite passage on a t-shirt. Share it with friends. Help in whatever way you can to ensure the continued evolution of Cyberspace, the new home of Mind.

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

by John Perry Barlow

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Davos, Switzerland

February 8, 1996

It’s a beautifully written document, isn’t it?


Bandwidth Throttling In Canada – or – Bell Canada = Douchebags

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

I’ve written before about Rogers and Bell playing their lying-arse, smarmy, two-faced, greed bastardly bleats and pronouncements of how they have to throttle bandwidth of users in order to better manage the internet. I got so fed up with Rogers interference in my network usage I shit-canned my account with them and signed on with TekSavvy.

This is how Bell sees you in their world.

TekSavvy, which wholesales bandwidth from Bell and provides far better service, is now subject to the same throttling practices Bell uses to give their own customers incredibly expensive and uber-crappy internet access.

Of course, Bell is reserving the right to decide what gets throttled which, coincidentally, doesn’t include their own priority products and services and recent forays into IPTV. This has been a bone of contention among the re-sellers of access and has made Rocky Gaudrault, CEO of TekSavvy, a major hero in the dispute with his efforts to get the CRTC onside and finally come up with rules, regulations, controls, policies or something that will tell the fat-headed lard-arse fucktards of Bell and Rogers that the internet is not owned by them and they should bloody well be prepared to open the doors for equal access under law and allow for a true state of Network Neutrality to be established in Canada.

It’s said best in an email Gaudrault sent out to TekSavvy customers yesterday and which I am posting here for you:

Dear Customers,

In March 2008 Bell started throttling its Wholesale Customers (TekSavvy among a group of many) without notice. We attempted to have the CRTC force Bell to stop as it removed our ability to do business and give Market choice. The throttling was done in the name of congestion, even if Bell, at the same time launched higher speeds (which they did not share with their wholesalers) and also dabbled with launching IPTV, which consumes even more capacity.

The CRTC sided with Bell in November 2008 but launched a Public Hearing to discuss Network Management Practices, clearly showing they made a decision on throttling without having all the details in hand to do so. As a result we launched a request to reverse their decision from November (The Review & Vary) in May 2009.

The only way we are going to make a difference at this point is to get full public support to stop companies like Bell from bullying the market and the regulators! The Telecom and Cableco Monopolies control 96% of our marketplace, so if we don’t stand up and voice our concerns, this will become a two party dance where choices and services are going to be completely removed and rates raised to unreasonable levels!

Here are the details on how to submit your comments:

1) Go to:

2) Select “Part VII / PN “ from the drop down list and then click “Next”

3) In box entitled “Subject” line, insert “CRTC File #:

4) In the box entitled “Description / Comments / Questions”, insert any comments that you may have on the review and vary application.

5) If you would like to attach a document, select “yes” and follow the instructions for attaching a file.

As indicated in the Title, I believe the deadline is June 22nd, so don’t wait to long

PS – R&V details here:



Rocky Gaudrault
Chief Executive Officer
TekSavvy Solutions Inc.

Even if you’re not a customer of TekSavvy – or any of the other smaller, more effective, companies getting cornholed by Bell – you must step up to the plate and let the CRTC know how you feel about this very important issue. Network Neutrality equals Free Speech. Your ability to see, hear, sense, & speak to and about the world is in danger of being held under the control of a bunch of small minded cretins who only care about their bottom line and the twisted MBA ethics that guide them on that crumbling path which leads us all away from the future.

Fuck Bell. Talk to the CRTC. Make that body relevant again. Use it.

Tom Perlmutter, head of the NFB, brilliant man and possibly the world’s nicest guy evar, stated recently in Banff (and I’m paraphrasing here) that we need to regard the advent of the internet as being akin to the industrial revolution; the changes to business, politics and culture are that far reaching and that profound; and we need to address this with a national strategy and not just leave it up to the marketplace – cuz we all know how well that shit shakes down, don’t we?

You want to live in a free world? Speak up.


P. S. Thanks to Ted for the Perlmutter reference.