Yes We Scan: WHISTLEBLOWER – feat. Edward Snowden [RAP NEWS 19]

June 26, 2013

What I want to know: what role would a video codec called h.264 and software patents play in all of this…?

Mass surveillance is so much easier if there is just one codec and if an american organisation, the MPEG-LA – still protected by the US government – controls the moving image worldwide

RAP NEWS 19 – Whistleblower

Written by Giordano Nanni & Hugo Farrant – Juice Rap News

– Good afternoon, viewers, thank you for clicking
through to view this exclusive brand new edition
of Juice Rap News back through with a global transmission
with your host Robert Foster, and we’re glad to begin

by introducing this routine interview scheduled today,
with our regular US guest, now director of the NSA,
General Baxter – Hi – Can you provide via satellite
an update on the state of Empire? – Bob, I have to confide

I’m satisfied. In fact, I got no axe to grind.
Our Nobel Peace prize President mastermind
has a healthy appetite for sending drones to smash the lives
of Brown children… Muslims… I mean terrorist hoodlums

Egregious… – Goddamn right we agree it’s just;
Every American’ll feel hot pangs of pride when they hear of this.
But guess what I’m most excited about that’s finally happening
– What? – The court martial of Private Bradley Manning

Three years without trial and a touch of torture
That’s how we punish dissent in the Free World Order.
After this, no one will dare blow whistles, or leak intel
or question our right to read every single freaking email… oops

– Did you just say you read everyone’s emails?
– What? emails? no, we don’t read, scan, track, record and store every detail
– At all? – no sir. not wittingly…
perhaps a few billion emails… accidentally

– Ok General. we’re just getting sent a signal
it’s the fearless journalist Crusader, direct from Rio
the Guardian of civil liberties, Sir Glenn Greenwald.
– Robert, hello – Hi, Glenn, What quest are you and your steed on?

– A hero has leaked classified documents finally proving
that the NSA has secretly obtained access directly to all
the servers of Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, Youtube, Skype, and Google,
this PRISM system for spying on users from the dark side of the Moon’ll

record everything, that arrives on screens: emails, chats, Grindr feed
Robert, it took great courage from this whistle blower to decide to leak
they’ve taken a great risk in getting us, their fellow citizens
this critical glimpse into what is really happening.. behind the scenes

– Mark Zuckerberg, your position? – word, sit back, listen
you rocking with Zuckerberg, fuckin’ nerd tactician
– So PRISM? – what’s that, ‘PRISM’? Never even heard of that system
yeah we got a program running, but we call it FASCISM

– Do your users like that? – a billion likes, cousin:
and if you dislike something, here’s my dislike button,
I’m in charge you fuckin’ turds, interview’s over, finished, ended
– Er… – Mark Zuckerberg CEO, bitches! unfriended

– Uh okay then…General, would you like to make a statement?
– I’m disgusted – You are? that’s amazing
– I had no idea that this could occur, It’s devastating
– shocking, I concur; so will there be an investigation?

– You betcha, we’re gonna get those who broke their oath to the law
– Wonderful… – And hold them responsible, this has gone too far.
– I think the whole world feels the same… – Call Gitmo!
I’m personally going to torture whoever leaked all this info

– Wait, what…? – We’ve become a frickin’ culture of leaks
What if every uppity geek who happens not to agree
with the state’s tyranny decided to expose it to all and sundry
– That might lead to a revolution – Indeed! see what I mean?

Look, we welcome this debate, openly. free speech is sanctified
– Ok then, does the NSA keep… – Sorry that’s classified
– so what are the laws for the… – EEENG!! Access denied
– Well, how can we see – Oops debate time has expired…

– Ah hold on, we’re picking up another feed: this time from Hong Kong
Glen?! – It’s me again, I got an update on what’s going on
– Greenwald! We’re gonna prosecute you for reason… I mean treason
– Uh-uh! your threats are no match for my shield and

you’ll cower under the weight of words when I’m weilding my pen-sword
By the power of Greenwald!
– Ah… did you have an update for the people? – oh, yeah… now World,
meet the brave leaker, Edward Snowden
He’s made a video to reveal his motives for whistle-blowin’

What’s up Edward – hey Glenn what’s up
– Yeah what’s going on here?
– Me wan big up the At Steppa dem Ellsberg and Manning
You know what I’m saying?
– Yo, Snowden they’re gonna come around here looking for you today
– Word? – word. Bust it

– Whistle Blower
You know say Eddy-a Snowden Dem gon bla-ame
Fi leaking secrets out
Dem NSA a sayna Eddy-a Snowden done betray de USA
By leaking secrets out

Whistle Blower
You know say Eddy-a Snowden Dem gon bla-ame
Fi leaking secrets out
Dem NSA a sayna Eddy-a Snowden done betray de USA
By leaking secrets out

Workin a for dem N-SA down in Hawaii
findin-a me some paper that na be irie
’bout de Babylon put fire ;pon de civil liberty
so me decide fi trade me safety
for de sake o-defend all-ah-me city-zen privacy
if ya see supm, say supm, follow me, and be

Whistle Blower
You know say Eddy-a Snowden Dem gon bla-ame
Fi leaking secrets out
Dem NSA a sayna Eddy-a Snowden done betray de USA
Fi leaking secrets out

– Well, dear viewers, that’s about it for this edition
But it wouldn’t be complete without some final questions
Whistleblowers. They leak in the public interest.
now what remains to be known is: is the public interested?

If so, this might be a good day to exhibit it:
Ignorance is a choice, in the age of the internet
Many consider this all very bewildering
Some praise these acts as heroic, worthy of mimicking

Others condemn them as illegal and prohibited
But, can’t both be equally applicative?
To be good humans we’re sometimes called upon to be bad citizens.
Some nations were even born by breaking laws of the tyrranous.

Do you support heroes from days of yore
who in order to cause reforms disobeyed the law?
Then what about those in the present who heed the same call?
This is Robert Foster for Rap News, good day to you all

Lyrics via reverbnation.com

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“Another big Bag of Hurt” (since the USPTO asked)

June 20, 2011

As Slashdot reported Software Patent Reform Happening Now (17.06.11) and the “USPTO is inviting public comments to change the system”.

Here is my public comment, I took the liberty of adapting some of my favourites lyrics for the occasion. Do sing along by all means!

Another big Bag of Hurt (part 2)

We don’t need no software patents

We don’t need no Jobs control

No unfree codec in the classroom

Lawyers, leave them kids alone

Hey! Steve! Leave them kids alone!

All in all it’s just another big Bag of Hurt.

All in all you’re just another big Bag of Hurt.


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)


Software patents have almost arrived in Germany

May 20, 2010

FOSS patents reports that the German high court declares all software potentially patentable (19.05.10, fosspatents.blogspot.com)

“After a landmark court ruling, the German perspective on the validity of software patents is now closer than ever to that of the US.”

When looking at the financial situation in Europe we should ask ourselves if we can afford these dangerous kind of situations. The H.264 licensing fiasco will probably go on for a while and might cost some (Apple…?) more than they would like to.

Update 1: Bundesgerichtshof ebnet Weg für Softwarepatente and BGH-Urteil zu Softwarepatenten stößt auf viel Kritik (www.heise.de)

Now what if political instability (due to the financial situation in Europe) is the next thing…? If my to be founded company will suffer in the future thanks to this (I live in Germany) I will remember that it were Microsoft’s FAT patents that brought us to this. Will those people ever learn? Will they ever be held responsible for their greed? This is the second time within a few weeks that Microsoft’s actions/patents are potentially threatening my future as an independent artist/filmmaker (first the H.264 licensing fiasco and now this).

Update 2: The discussion on Slashdot German High Court Declares All Software Patentable (yro.slashdot.org)

Entry for this particular patent, Xa ZB 20/08 (a Siemens patent), in the End Software Patents Wiki (en.swpat.org)

The part that worries me: (from the second http://www.heise.de article above)

“So gehen sie etwa bei der “Verbesserung des Kontrastes” eines Bilds oder bei der effizienteren Aufteilung von Arbeitsspeicher durch eine auf einem Computer laufende Software von einem “technischen Effekt” aus, der schutzwürdig sein könne.”

In short this basically says that enhancing the contrast of an image might be “a technical effect” that could be patentable…

Seems like an invitation to patent trolls, maybe from the video codec department…? At least we’ll have a very public discussion about why one would (not) want to use an H.264 camera…!

From a comment on http://www.heise.de (user B-E-N):

“Er hat, was es Computersoftware betrifft, ein
Urteil im Sinne von “Alles unter der Sonne ist patentierbar”
getroffen. Damit sind wir selbstständigen Softwareentwickler und
kleinen Firmen im Abmahnland Deutschland juristisch gesehen tot,
beziehungsweise alle mit einem Bein im Knast. Der gesamte Kampf um
die Softwarepatente in Europa ging gestern für das größte und
wirtschaftlich bedeutendste Land der Union verloren.”

The user basically says that now “anything under the sun” could be patented, de facto a legal disaster for all small shops/software developers.

On a personal level this is just extremely disappointing, and having followed patent troll cases on Slashdot for the last ten years or so I now also have to consider the options of:

* leaving the country

* going back to analogue film/video

or

* changing profession and

* becoming an atheist monk in the Himalayas

Well done ladies and gentlemen from all those institutions/companies/corporations in this world that hold patents on software, well done!

You made my day.


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.”


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