The End of Democracy: Say NO to ACTA (video)

November 3, 2011

Transcript (via LYBIO.net):

“Can you imagine your internet service provider policing everything you do online? Can you imagine generic drugs that could save lives being banned? Can you imagine seeds that could feed 1000′s being controlled and withheld in the name of patents? This will become reality with ACTA!!!

ACTA is the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trading Agreement”. Disguised as a Trade Agreement, ACTA goes much, much further than that.

For the past three years, ACTA has been negotiated in secret by 39 countries. But the negotiators are not democratically elected representatives. They don’t represent us, but they’re deciding laws behind our backs.

Bypassing democratic process, they impose new criminal sanctions to stop online file sharing. ACTA aims to make Internet Service & Access Providers legally responsible for what their users do online, turning them into private copyright police and judge, censoring their networks. The chilling effects on Free speech would be terrible.

In the name of patents, ACTA would give large corporations the power to stop generic drugs before they reach the people who need them and stop the use of certain seeds for crops.

The European Parliament will soon vote on ACTA. This VOTE will be the occasion to say NO, once and for all, to this dangerous treaty. As citizens, we must URGE our representatives to reject ACTA!!!

NO To ACTA

Learn more
laquadrature.net/ACTA

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Pirates, Wall Street and World Revolution

October 5, 2011

8,9% and I am one of them

8,9% of Berlin voted for the Pirate Party last month and I’m proud to say that I was able to contribute to that outcome: while being an Austrian living in Berlin I am allowed to vote in my district. For the first time there was the candidate “Piratenpartei” on the ballot and that’s where I made my cross. And So did many other. And news that close to 10% of Berlin is now in Pirate Party hands spread quickly around the globe (blog.p2pfoundation.net).

I was actually a bit surprised about just how wide that news travelled: it seems people have been waiting for this (blog.p2pfoundation.net). Those 8,9% for the Pirates in Berlin are a signal for others: if Berlin can do it your city, your country can do it too.

And guess what, now after the success in Berlin the German Pirate Party gets around 7% in polls – that is 7% Germany wide: should there be general elections next Sunday we’d had the Piratenpartei sitting in the German Bundestag.

And there is still much more potential for sure: I would not be surprised at all should Pirate Parties around Europe get two digit results in elections within the next five years.

People this is it, this is the time to get out and vote for the Pirates. And if you can’t vote let your family know, your father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt etc.:

Let them know why you want the Pirate Party in your (local) government, explain to them why the Pirate Party is like “a patch for Democracy” as I read somewhere.

Let them know why (software) patents are truly evil and why Copyright is in fact Copywrong.

Let them know about the Patent Trolls and Copyright Thieves.

Let them know about h.264.

Let them know that Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Frauenhofer Institute and all those others h.264 patent holders are S-T-A-E-L-I-N-G everyone’s video footage using software patents (you do not own your own h.264 video footage, not even after transcoding to e.g. an open format: licensing fees for any “commercial” use will need to be paid to all those thieves hiding behind the acronym MPEG-LA).

Let your people know the truth about why a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs could “achieve” what they did in those last 30 years:

Gates, Jobs etc. are a simply a special kind of breed of thieves who (while now retired used to) organise, set up and run a wide range of (in the US legal, in Europe for sure quite illegal) extortion schemes based on software patents and related “legal” constructs. Latest examples: the Samsung tablet that Apple tries so hard to block via court orders or the fact that Microsoft will make money with basically every Android phone you buy ($5/phone Protection Money for the IP lawyers thanks to software patents).

Or maybe there is something else that makes you angry…? Maybe it’s the RIAA or the MPAA (better know as MAFIAA)…?

There surely are many good reasons to be very angry these days (WikiLeaks censorship, youngsters/hackers who defend Democracy put in jail, Greece looted by the Banks, …) and each reason is a good one to turn your anger into real political change by voting Pirate Party!

This is our chance to get rid of those governments that have been corrupted be the Content and Copyright Mafia.

This is our chance to get rid of ACTA and all future attempts by the Content Mafia who is trying to undermine Democracy in order to save their dying business model, a model that never was right in the first place, a business model that is based on stealing but never giving back to society. One of the best examples being The Walt Disney Company and the Micky Mouse Protection Act from 1998.

Occupy Wall Street and World Revolution

“I see Corporatism, Fascism, chronic Capitalism. I don’t see a free market. I see a police state, I see an American Empire, I see 700 military bases in 135 foreign countries. I see 5000 dead bodies in Iraq. A welfare warfare state which gives out billions of dollars in foreign aid for dictators (…).”

(From the Voice Over/interview at the beginning of the embedded video about the current Occupy Wall Street movement:)

Nobody Can Predict The Moment Of Revolution (2011), 8:01

by Martyna Starosta & Iva Radivojevic, CC BY-NC 3.0

Video’s page on Vimeo.

One more thing…

Now that we have Freedom from Steve:

Steve Jobs,

You personally may get away with this and keep making your dirty money for quite a while. Yet not forever.

Thing is you are old and I am so much younger than you. Chances are I’ll still be around when you are long gone. And I’ll make sure the world will hear the true story about h.264. I’ll make sure that people get a chance to remember Steve Jobs for who he really was. You are no innovator, your are no inventor. At the end of the day you are simply that: a thief.

And Fuck You for that.

FUCK YOU STEVE JOBS FOR H.264.

FUCK YOU.

FUCK YOU.

FUCK YOU.

And FUCK YOU.

Update (06.10.11) :

Steve Jobs died this morning. Here the discussion on Slashdot.

Yes, it’s always very sad when someone dies and I’m sure many including his family will miss him. Yet death does not mean you have to be dishonest. The man may have done a lot for the Apple shareholders and may have pushed the industry in the directions he wanted, but for me personally he is one the biggest disappointments when it comes to role models:

I used to watch his Apple sales shows back in the ’90 on a Performa 5200, connected to the internet via modem. He was a brilliant sales person. He really was. Unfortunately he was not honest about his products shortcomings and he betrayed a whole generation of artists, film makers and young ones who bought his h.264 pitch. Steve Jobs choose to betray and steal from everyone (h.264 video footage) so that he could build a monopoly around/by using the moving image:

* He tried to push h.264 as the only legal video codec for distribution: when you already own an online store for movies (iTunes) as well as parts of a Hollywood film studio (Disney, before that Pixar) this simply is extremely greedy and shows you do not like competition at all. For over ten years open-source audio/video codec developers were severly bullied by all those who stand behind h.264. In his own words (blogs.fsfe.org):

“All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other “open source” codecs now.”

* At the same time, knowingly, just as all the other h.264 patent holders, he was happy with stealing your and mine h.264 video footage: I got an h.264 camera and went out shooting footage, for weeks, months. I was planing to use that footage commercially until I found out about the scheme that Jobs etc. had set up/were happy to make their dirty deals with: the MPEG-LA.

Jobs not only wanted a monopoly on distribution but he also wanted to control independent content, e.g. accepted – and never communicated – the MPEG-LA’s rules e.g. about how long (!!!) your h.264 online video can be before you have to start paying fees to them. Steve Jobs was prepared to and did sell his user, did betray those artists who trusted him and who supported his company in all those years when Apple almost went out of business.

Steve Jobs betrayed us with h.264. I won’t forget that. And I will make sure that this story reaches as many people as possible, now and in the future.

A monopoly on the moving image is simply a very, very dangerous thing. It would be highly irresponsible not to let future generations know about this. Basically what Jobs opened up/promoted is a road to Fascism. People need to hear the h.264 story so that something like this can never happen again!


“Faites vos jeux…!”

August 5, 2011

IWW poster printed 1911

(Source: Wikipedia)

While this old days info graphic style poster is now 100 years old it could hardly be more up to date today – and it also works for any kind of suppressive regime (with e.g. a centralised economy): “We shoot at you” is what is happening in Syria these days (www.bbc.co.uk).

Yesterday I started again reading Robert Peston’s business blog: How close is Credit Crunch 2? His latest post from today: The origins of today’s market mayhem (www.bbc.co.uk).

For a look at alternatives to our current money (based) system see the P2P Foundation blog and those posts with the P2P Money tag (blog.p2pfoundation.net).

And for those enjoying their rides on the world’s biggest Casino today: just don’t forget that when “zero” comes up it is always the Bank that wins! You won’t be able to change that… Yet we might be able to change the rules. So that it won’t happen again. Of course this means that there would need to be serious consequences. The pyramid scheme would need to go and those responsible would need to be held accountable.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that currently Apple Inc. has more cash than the United States of America (!) (www.bbc.co.uk): (software) patents and traditional copyright have brought us here. Yet it is also no coincidence that right now software patents as well as copyright are finally being investigated and changed by those in charge: UK to legalize private copying of CDs (www.reuters.com) (“Britain will signal on Wednesday that it intends to legalize copying of CDs or DVDs onto digital music players or computers for personal use“). Basically this is the beginning of (a long…?) end of traditional copyright! Software patent reform is happening (politics.slashdot.org) as well as mentioned in a previous post.

And while companies like Apple now have started selling hot air over the internet (“cloud services”) they forget to mention that where there are clouds there will be rain. Sooner or later.

People like Steve Jobs are like those bankers who also generated their financial “products” out of thin air. Their greed brought our financial system close to collapse while the lobbyists were busy targeting Democracy via ACTA. *)

Today we are only a few steps away from real Corporate Fascism, a system where those who can’t pay shall have no voice. More than one politician made suggestions along that line in recent weeks and months. Shame on you.

So have a nice day, make your bets – faites vos jeux, before the croupier says: “Rien ne vas plus!”

And then…?

I guess the People will let you know when the Day of Glory has arrived, when le Jour de Gloire est arrivé

Update:

*) One of many reasons why ACTA is a real, dangerous threat to Democracy: Leaked “ACTA” Lobby Letter Reveals Hollywood Pressure On EU (06.05.11, torrentfreak.com):

A letter sent on behalf of 21 pro-copyright outfits including the Motion Picture Association and IFPI shows how the European Parliament is being urged to sign the controversial ACTA anti-piracy agreement. The backroom lobbying effort document which came into TorrentFreak’s possession, reveals how the organizations ask Parliament not to wait for a response from the European Court of Justice but simply sign “with no further delays.”“ (!!!)


“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.


ACTA, EU and WikiLeaks. And showdown for free speech, indie online media in Germany.

December 3, 2010

ACTA, EU and WikiLeaks

Julian Assange answers your questions (www.guardian.co.uk):

Do you have leaks on ACTA?

Yes, we have leaks on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a trojan horse trade agreement designed from the very beginning to satisfy big players in the US copyright and patent industries. In fact, it was WikiLeaks that first drew ACTA to the public’s attention – with a leak.

Recommended reading.

Showdown for free speech in Germany

As previously discussed it does not look good at all for blogging, online indie media, art and free speech in Germany. Next week might already tell if Berlin and Germany will still be a relevant place to be for new media, online art and anyone considering investing time and money in this country:

Berlin: Infoveranstaltung & Entscheidung zum JMStV (www.netzpolitik.org)

JMStV: Emails an Abgeordnete (www.netzpolitik.org)

And there is yet another potentially serious problem for bloggers in Germany, the Leistungsschutzrecht: think of it as software patents for snippets of words. Basically established media will have exclusive rights to certain phrases they “created”. The article says a website explaining the problem will go online in mid-December.

Ein neues Monopol mit irreführendem Namen (www.heise.de)

Update 1: This is related… One wonders if the same might not have happened in Germany in regards to the JMStV…?!

Wikileaks cables reveal that the US wrote Spain’s proposed copyright law (www.boingboing.net)

Update 2: The Wikileaks Copyright Cables: Confirmations Not Revelations (www.michaelgeist.ca)


A cure for ACTA: FACTAP!

November 13, 2010

ACTA vs. Democracy

Corporations, their lobbyists, the puppets they bought (aka politicians) and those who make the world go round (aka bankers) will be meeting for another secret round of ACTA talks soon: Anti-Piraterie-Abkommen ACTA wird weiter verhandelt (www.heise.de).

Time for the system we got to know as Democracy is running out.

I believe the only acceptable way out of this mess will be to completely:

* reject ACTA
* name and shame those who initiated, designed and promoted it

But this might not happen.

That’s why we should be thinking ahead, for a solution to ACTA, once/if it is put in place. After thinking long and hard about all of this I believe I found it: FACTAP

You see once a system is so badly broken, so unjust, so corrupted as ours, there might not be an easy fix, a simple reform might not do any more.

On the positive side…

Lately there seem to be a few sane high-profile voices joining in an important debate, see (EU) Commissioner Kroes: Copyright Reform Needed (www.osnews.com), European Commissioner Lambasts ‘Copyright Middlemen’ (torrentfreak.com) or UK copyright laws to be reviewed, announces Cameron (www.bbc.co.uk).

I wonder if this is not too little too late…?

I’ve been supportive of the Creative Commons movements for years by publishing all my online works under one of their licenses and I will be supportive of this movement in the future. It’s a good start. Yet I feel it might not be enough any more…

I used to vote for the Green Party and while I am delighted that the Greens are doing sensationally well in Central Europa at this moment (23% in Germany should there be elections) I will be voting for the Pirate Party at future occasions where possible. I can’t agree with the argument that “Those pirates who really want to shape intellectual property policy will be better advised to join the more established parties” (fosspatents.blogspot.com). I’d be glad to see the Greens taking on the copyright issue, yet so far I simply have not heard enough from them to satisfy me. And even the Pirate Party might not be enough once and if ACTA is in place…

“Reforming” a system that’s so badly broken as ours simply might not work out: once Democracy is gone for good and Plutocracy, Corporate Fascism or whatever you want to call it has (semi-)officially arrived it might be too late to even talk about these things in public.

We live in a time where those defending free speech (in Europe) have to fear for their safety: Wikileaks founder may seek Swiss asylum: interview (news.yahoo.com). Be prepared to hear about people with critical minds tragically dying in an “air plane accident”, a “car crash” etc. It happened before and it might happen again.

Add to the mix yet more government surveillance (look at the UK for inspiration). This of course will, as always, be for “public safety”: Big Brother, thanks to TV networks, is now simply known to most people as an entertainment format. That’s brainwashing at it’s best. George Orwell would be proud.

In the end I don’t care if the Green Party or the Pirate Party or (as unlikely as it seems) any of the more mainstream parties brings back sanity.

For me this is not about about left and right, simply about right and wrong, or better: it is about fair and unfair.

So what is FACTAP…?

First of all it is a cure for ACTA, the antidote.

ACTA is a “treaty” negotiated in secrecy by lobbyists. It’s about corruption and it is dangerously undemocratic.

FACTAP shall be a public discussion – if public discussions will still be possible that is… Food for thoughts: ACTA will force your ISP to censor your work if someone lodges an unsupported trademark claim (www.boingboing.net)

The idea is that the system then will be broken so badly, so corrupted that something more radical than a simply “copyright reform” will be needed.

Basically FACTAP is about:

* Getting rid of copyright altogether. No replacement. Whatsoever.

* Getting rid of (software) patents altogether. No replacement. Whatsoever.

* What remains is that someone gets credit for their work.

Now it’s interesting that credit not only is about getting named in the context of your work/recognition for your work, but also has to do with credibility, someone might trust you with money (that is if money should still be worth the sum that’s printed on it in the near future…), someone gives you credit, since you previously have proven to produce something of value, e.g. written a book. Getting credit is like collection Karma points.

Since I still think that no one actually can “invent” anything that was not there already (we can only “discover” what nature previously “invented”), copyright and patents are simply an expression of human arrogance, they show our darker sides, the urge to control, conquer and posses for the sake of feeling in control of life, yet in the end we all still remain mortals. “Intellectual property” is really just the latest new age religion (without a spiritual element) for the rich and wealthy, an intellectual frame work constructed to justify their highly immoral deeds and practices.

I believe getting “credit” for one’s work is really all that we need.

Money of course always seems to mess up things and instead of going the more adequate, more humble road, we (might) end up with a monster like ACTA.

And if you think the content MAFIAA was bad then be prepared for the next round: White paper on 3D printing and the law: the coming copyfight (www.boingboing.net)

So dear “politicians”, if you still care a little bit about the people that elected you (that is if elections were not rigged), now is probably one of the last chances to stop this madness and reject ACTA for good!

Then maybe a “copyright reform” might still make sense.

Yet if ACTA should be installed, Democracy will be gone. There will be no need to insult us any further by holding elections that fewer and fewer people turn up to for good reasons. Be honest and call it Corporate Fascism. It’ll make things much easier for everyone. Really.

Once ACTA is in place the only thing we might need is FACTAP as its cure.

And FACTAP is so simple, that even politicians should be able to understand it:

Fuck All Copyright Trolls And Patents

That’s FACTAP.

“Choose wisely”, as they say.


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


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