18+, “looking younger”…? Depictions of your naked body may be illegal in the EU soon!

November 25, 2010

A new EU legislative proposal may well in fact turn out to be a de facto criminalisation of any kind of “erotic” depiction of adults who, in the eye of a judge, may “look younger than 18″: EU verbietet erotische Darstellungen von Erwachsenen (EU banning erotic depictions of adults) (www.pornoanwalt.de).


“David” by Michelangelo can – at this point – still be seen at the Galleria dell’ Accademia, Florence/Italy

(Source: Wikipedia)

In the near future it may not matter how old you actually are (!!!), “erotic” depictions of your naked body or any erotic material may be highly illegal to produce or possess, even if you can prove that those involved are e.g. 25!

Of course there is a very cynical pretext, this legislative proposal says it aims at child pornography. Yet de facto this is “freedom from porn” the way Steve Jobs was preaching it. This law should be a pope’s wet dream come true…

So e.g. if your partner happens to be Asian and you made some nude snapshots on the beach you may already be out of luck: if a European judge feels that your Asian partner “looks younger than 18″ you and your partner may already be in serious legal troubles.

And what about art…? Caravaggio’s nude boy in “Amor Vincit Omnia”…? Will it have to be moved from the museum…? Could Michaelangelo’s David not seem (too) erotic and look like he was under age…? Careful if you are a film maker and planing a coming of age drama! I guess Larry Clark’s “Kids” could already be highly problematic in this context…

Of course a whole generation of Xtube, Porntube etc. (young) adults of 18+ will face a serious problem: if someone thinks you “look (!!!) under 18″ it will be enough to criminalise you and your fans. Your ID card will not help you here! And once e.g. a news paper writes that you have produced or possessed child porn it will be almost impossible to defend your good name.

“Amor Vincit Omnia” by Caravaggio can – at this point – still be seen at the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin/Germany

(Source: Wikipedia)

This really is simply how censorship starts. Just take a delicate topic like CP, broaden the definition and once the laws are put in place it will be easy to use this to get rid of anyone you wish to target. An art book with nude paintings or a David Hamilton photography book may be enough. And an erotic Manga style comic book may be even more dangerous to possess… Also be sure to get rid of that old sex education book or your parent’s naturist guide from the 1960s, it may well get you in serious trouble!

I wonder if those “looking younger than 18″ or those possessing “erotic” depictions of those “looking younger than 18″ will at one point have to wear some kind of label…? I suggest a star. Pink should do. This worked before and should work again.

As the lawyer linked from that article above says: this legislative proposal does not help children at all, actual victims of CP. What it does is possibly criminalise any “erotic” depiction of those who are 18+ and it also potentially criminalises a whole generation of teens/young adults. The only legal porn in Europe then would be one for and with old people. I’m sure there is a market too. Yet all youngsters and couples who might share nude pics and videos among one another or anyone using sites like Porntube could easily face jail time. So if you are a parent beware of your teenage kids: their naked bodies are about to be declared “illegal”. Be prepared to visit them in prison.

Europe beware. It looks like a storm is coming. (Corporate) Fascism is definitely just around the corner. This one is about censorship and the pretext is as cynical as it could possibly get.

And what a coincidence that at the same time the TSA porn scanners, that are according to experts not helping with safety at all, but as Americans found out are only there to humiliate you, are being installed at an airport near you. This is all about intimidation and control. “You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.”

ACTA is on the way (EU-Parlament begrüßt Anti-Piraterie-Abkommen ACTA/EU parliament welcomes Anti-Piracy-Agreement ACTA) (www.heise.de), “terror warnings” make the round and lobbyists are trying to pass laws that will bring us back to the middle age. That’s real “freedom from porn”. By all means do enjoy your iPad – while you still can…

It’s so good to know that young people will still be sent to fight wars and while they may drive a car and buy alcohol at (around) 18, “erotic” depictions of  their bodies and their sexual practices may soon be illegal and could destroy their and their loved one’s lives.

I also wonder if those very young, semi-nude boys with wings in all those Catholic Churches around Europe will then have to be removed one day too…? Probably they will be exempt from censorship for “religious” reasons – now that the pope has allowed condoms for male prostitutes it looks like these are going to be good times indeed for those highly respected moral guardians of our society. Think of the children…!

Witches will be hunted. Books will be burned. Again.

 

18+, “looking younger”…? Depictions of your naked body may be illegal in the EU soon!

 

A controversial EU legislative proposal may well in fact turn out to be a de facto criminalisation for any kind of “erotic” depiction of adults who, in the eye of a judge, may “look younger than 18″.

 

In the near future it might not matter how old you actually are (!!!), “erotic” depictions of your naked body or any erotic material may be highly illegal to produce or possess, even if you can prove that those involved are e.g. 25!

 

Of course there is a very cynical pretext, this legislative proposal says it aims at child pornography. Yet de facto this is “freedom from porn” the way Steve Jobs was preaching it, this law really should be a pope’s wet dream come true.

 

So e.g. if your partner happens to be Asian and you made some nude snapshots on the beach you may already be out of luck: if a European judge feels that your Asian partner “looks younger than 18″ you and your partner may already be in serious legal troubles.

 

And what about art…? Caravaggio’s nude boy in ““Amor Vincit Omnia”…? Will it have to be moved from the museum…? Could Michaelangelo’s David not seem (too) erotic and look like he was under age…? Careful if you are a film maker and planing a coming of age drama! I guess Larry Clark’s “Kids” could already be highly problematic in this context…

 

Of course a whole generation of Xtube, Porntube etc. (young) adults of 18+ will face a serious problem: if someone thinks you “look under 18″ it will be enough to criminalise you and your fans. Your ID card will not help you here! And once e.g. a news paper prints that you have produced or possessed child porn it will be almost impossible to defend your good name.

 

This really is simply how censorship starts. Just take a delicate topic like CP, broaden the definition and once the laws are put in place it will be easy to use this to get rid of anyone you wish to target. An art book with Caravaggio paintings or a Larry Clark photography book may be enough. And an erotic Manga style comic book may be even more dangerous to posses… Also be sure to get rid of that old sex education book or your parent’s naturist book from the 1960′, it may well get you in serious trouble!

 

I wonder if those “looking younger than 18″ or those possessing “erotic” depictions of those “looking younger than 18″ will at one point have to wear some kind of mark…? I suggest a star. Pink or yellow should do. This worked before and should work again!

 

As the lawyer linked from that article above says: this legislative proposal does not at all help children, actual victims of CP. What it does is possibly criminalise any “erotic” depiction of those of 18+ and it potentially criminalises a whole generation of teens/young adults at the same time. The only legal porn in Europe then should be one for and with old people. I’m sure there is a market too. Yet all youngsters and couples who might share nude pics and videos among one another or anyone using sites like Porntube could easily face jail time. So if you are a parent beware of your teenage kids: their naked bodies are about to be declared “illegal”. Be prepared to visit them in prison.

 

Europe beware. It looks like a storm is coming. (Corporate) Fascism is definitely just around the corner. This one is about censorship and the pretext is as cynical as it could possibly get.

 

And what a coincidence that at the same time the TSA porn scanners, that, according to experts are not helping with safety, but are really only there to humiliate you, are being installed at an airport near you.

 

ACTA is on the way, “terror warnings” make the round and lobbyists are trying to pass laws that will bring us back to the middle age. That’s “freedom from porn”. By all means do enjoy your iPad – while you still can.

 

I also wonder if those very young, semi-nude boys with wings in all those Catholic Churches around Europe will then have to be removed one day too…? Probably they will be except from censorship for “religious” reasons – now that the pope has allowed condoms for male prostitutes it looks like these are going to be good times indeed for those highly respected moral guardians of our society. Think of the children…!

 

It’s also good to know that young people will still be sent to fight wars and while they may drive a car and buy alcohol at (around) 18, “erotic” depictions of their bodies and their sexual practices may soon be illegal and could destroy their and their loved one’s lives.

 

Witches will be hunted. Books will be burned. Again.


The Content MAFIAA vs. The People (Week 38/2010, MPAA > ACTA)

September 26, 2010

The EU, Gallo and ACTA

Bericht über “geistige Eigentumsrechte” passiert EU-Parlament (www.heise.de)

Auch Tote unterstützen den Gallo-Report (www.gulli.com)

The MPAA > ACTA link

MPAA Asks If ACTA Can Be Used To Block Wikileaks (yro.slashdot.org)

MPAA Wants To Know If ACTA Can Be Used To Block Wikileaks? (www.techdirt.com)

Civil Disobedience

Stallman Crashes Talk, Fights ‘War On Sharing’ (news.slashdot.org)

Disconnecting the People

In France, Hadopi Reporting Begins, With (Only) 10,000 IP Addresses Per Day (yro.slashdot.org)

Multinational copyright companies will require French ISPs turn over 150,000 subscriber names and addresses per day (www.boingboing.net)

US ISP Suddenlink Claims The DMCA Requires They Disconnect Users (www.techdirt.com)

US ISP Adopts Three-Strikes Policy (yro.slashdot.org)

US ISP Disconnects Alleged Pirates for 6 Months (torrentfreak.com)

Bill Would Allow US DoJ To Shut Down Piracy Sites Worldwide (www.osnews.com)

Extorting the People

ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Law Firm Torn Apart By Leaked Emails (torrentfreak.com)

ACS:Law (Gay) Porn Letters Target Pensioners, Married Men (torrentfreak.com) (This by the way is what you get when you preach “Freedom from porn (techcrunch.com).”)

ACS:Law Email Database Leaked onto The Pirate Bay (www.slyck.com)

UK Anti-Piracy Firm E-mails Reveal Cavalier Attitude Toward Legal Threats (yro.slashdot.org)

Leaked Emails Reveal Profits of Anti-Piracy Cash Scheme (torrentfreak.com)

*** *** ***

In other news…

Google, Apple Settle Justice Dept. Hiring Probe (yro.slashdot.org)

EU stellt Verfahren gegen Apple ein (www.heise.de)

Apple Passes PetroChina to Become Second-Largest Stock (www.bloomberg.com)

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Now Richer Than Apple’s Steve Jobs (blogs.forbes.com)

Some perspective on those last links…

From Steve Jobs to MPAA, MPEG-LA, ACTA and your life

Steve Jobs of course is not only the CEO of Apple, but used to be the CEO of Pixar, that was before he sold Pixar to Disney and subsequently became “Disney’s largest individual shareholder at 7% and a Director of the company” (see Wikipedia).

***

Now there is an organisation called Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

MPAA members include the “seven big” Hollywood studios:

Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group (The Walt Disney Company)

Sony Pictures (Sony Corporation)

Paramount Pictures (Viacom)

20th Century Fox (News Corporation)

Universal Studios (NBC Universal)

Warner Bros. (Time Warner)” (see Wikipedia)

***

And there is another interesting organisation called MPEG-LA (links to my related blog entries),

this is the patent pool behind H.264 and MPEG-2:

MPEG-2 is what everyone needs for a DVD.

H.264 is the codec used in basically any (prosumer) camera, including mobile phones like in Apple’s offerings. As previously discussed: you do not own your own H.264 footage, even transcoding will not help you in escaping the MPEG-LA’s licensing fees (for commercial use).

Apple of course is also an H.264 patent holder and was the only major player not willing to give some kind of official support to the free and open-source WebM project.

And of course you may not use any open-source codec if Steve Jobs will have it his way.

So there are two interesting sets of links to remember in all of this

Steve Jobs > Pixar > Disney > MPAA > ACTA > your (digital) life (think freedom of speech, WikiLeaks, …)

Steve Jobs > Apple > MPEG-LA > software patents > ACTA > your digital life (think fees for H.264, “freedom from porn“, freedom from…)

EU stellt Verfahren gegen Apple ein


Larry Horn translated for all non-lawyers!

May 23, 2010

“Yes, in view of the marketplace uncertainties regarding patent licensing needs for such technologies…”

= “In view of the FUD we spread…”

“…there have been expressions of interest from the market urging us to facilitate formation of licenses…”

= “…we’ve been repeatedly told that we are nothing but a patent troll Moloch (supported by Apple, MS and others)…”

“…that would address the market’s need for a convenient one-stop marketplace alternative to negotiating separate licenses with individual patent holders…”

= “…that is simply collecting protection money…”

“…in accessing essential patent rights for VP8 as well as other codecs, and we are looking into the prospects of doing so.”

= “…since we actually believe we own the moving image per se.”

Once more the translation:

“In view of the FUD we spread we’ve been repeatedly told that we are nothing but a patent troll Moloch (supported by Apple, MS and others) that is simply collecting protection money since we actually believe we own the moving image per se.”

Source Larry Horn interview: Digital Daily (digitaldaily.allthingsd.com)

Further reading and discussion: Patent Troll Larry Horn of MPEG-LA Assembling VP8 Patent Pool (www.osnews.com)


CC licensed documentary: “Patent Absurdity – how software patents broke the system” (2010, 29 min.)

May 21, 2010

Watch online or download

About the movie (patentabsurdity.com)

CC licence: by-nd/3.0

(if you need it: VLC)


H.264 List of Shame: all the patent holders

May 18, 2010

The following organizations hold one or more patents in the H.264/AVC patent pool:

(Source: Wikipedia MPEG LA)

Apple Inc.
DAEWOO
Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
France Télécom, société anonyme
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
Fujitsu Limited
Hitachi, Ltd.
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
LG Electronics Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
NTT docomo
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Panasonic Corporation
Robert Bosch GmbH GmbH
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Scientific-Atlanta Vancouver Company
Sedna Patent Services, LLC
Sharp Corporation
Siemens AG
Sony Corporation
Ericsson
The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
Toshiba Corporation
Victor Company of Japan, Limited

Further reading

Why Our Civilization’s Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA

No, you can’t do that with H.264


Is H.264 a legal minefield for video pros?

Why this list…?

It’s a reminder for myself when it comes to spending money or investing in equipement. And yes, I like to share this list with everyone who cares about free artistic expression and who thinks that the moving image is too important and precious and should not be controlled by anyone and surely not by corporations or patent pools. (Software) patents are the cancer of this economy: they encourage greed, create monopolies, discourage innovation and as we are now seeing with the H.264 licensing fiasco they can seriously harm your video business, specially smaller ones.


Save free web video incl. my own movie “Vincent”: vote with your browsers (dump all your Apple/MS browsers!)

May 16, 2010

If the MPEG-LA, the patent pool behind H.264 and MPEG-2, has it their way I am an endangered species: “Vincent“, being 44 min. long would not qualify for the MPEG-LA’s “free” offer, latest after 2015 and there is no way that I (or someone else) will be paying protection money to a fucking patent pool for “Vincent”.

My work would simply not be available online any more (thanks to software patents no alternative). Welcome to the age of Corporate Fascism. It’s standing at your and my front door. But you can still act now:

* vote with your browser: since Apple and Microsoft – both H.264 patent holders – are pushing for H.264 as the future web standard for video: simply dump your Apple/MS browsers now and use Firefox, Chrome or Opera. If not: you might be paying for the rest of your life with more ads (yes, H.264 is “free” for the end user…).

* let others know what is at stake here: those people would like to/are about to establish a MONOPOLY ON THE MOVING IMAGE (lock-in via video codec) – a pretty scary systemic change:

Why Our Civilization’s Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA

And for all my younger – and not so young – readers: if this was a Harry Potter movie Dumbledore would say:

“Dark times lay ahead, Harry. Soon we’ll all have to choose between what is right — and what is easy.”


H.264 may You find the grace to give me my daily fix of decoding today

May 10, 2010

Hail to our new Overlord,

The One and only,

Owner of all legal moving pictures compression algorithms of this world,

Great conqueror of Theora, Dirac and all the other “open source” algorithms,

Master of all moving pictures distribution channels that legally exist:

May You find the grace to give me my daily fix of de/en-coding today.

Hail to MPEG LA!

Hail! Hail! Hail!


%d bloggers like this: