Archive for category copyright

First Time I’ve Seen Max Headroom Since Forever

Come on Johnny Rotten/Eminem.
Are you going to be out there in the streets?

Maybe you’d better think twice about your fans, unless you’re going to be in the streets with them.

Just sayin’


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A Play On Words For The History Books

Stories like this give me hope. Whenever people can fight the oil guys with a funny joke we all come out ahead. Jokes about green jobs wouldn’t fly, and besides, if green energy got the kind of subsidies as big oil, we could train the oil workers to make future energy resources that would protect their children.

Let’s face it; even the – sort of – big oil guy’s children will benefit from clear air, water, and fire-free faucets.

Did somebody from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service division actually say:

“Any time anybody uses Smokey’s image for anything other than wildfire prevention,” said Helene Cleveland, fire prevention program manager for the Forest Service, “it confuses the public. What we’re trying to do is keep Smokey on message.” Cleveland added that the 1952 Smokey the Bear Act takes the character out of the public domain and “any change in that would have to go through Congress.”

Since I was BORN in 1952, I can’t remember the “Smokey the Bear Act”, but I’ll just bet you that Helene Cleveland got a little call from the now-oily “Ad Council” to make that statement, but, then again, we’re now living in the 21st century.

Also, since I was born in 1952, I can remember the great ad the “Ad Council” made which featured an American Indian shedding tears over what consumerism had already done to his land. That was before the ridiculous “this is your brain on drugs” ad came out.

What happened, “Ad Council”?

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New Copyright Alert System Infringes The Constitution

The so called Copyright Alert System (CAS) or better known as Six Strikes is beginning this week and many ISPs including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon,  Time Warner and others will begin policing the Internet for the RIAA and MPAA. The ISPs will first send out warnings if their system determines there has been an unauthorized download coming from your IP address. If you get too many your service may be downgraded and even terminated completely. An entity set up by the ISPs, RIAA and MPAA called the Center for Copyright Information is charged with “educating” those accused and will hear your case for a $35 fee if you fight their charges.

There have been many cases lately where judges have ruled an IP address alone is not sufficient evidence of wrong doing and it in no way proves who did it or even whether any downloading occurred. If CAS relies solely on IP addresses then the standard of evidence is far below that of regular courts and even with regular courts many are falsely accused so the risk is even greater with this outfit.

The problem  is this scheme is blatantly unconstitutional. The Constitution grants Congress sole authority to enact copyright laws and only federal courts have jurisdiction to handle copyright cases and punish violators. The new Copyright Alert System (CAS), or “Six Strikes” does an end run around Congress and the Federal Courts and has set up a quasi-judicial system to punish copyright infringers apart from the federal courts.

There is zero transparency on the process of determining guilt with no apparent appeals process or due process. The process for determining infringers is secret and they alone decide your guilt or innocence.

Righthaven case law could come into place here. Righthaven is now a defunct copyright troll but in their hay-day they were threatening to take the domain names of those they were suing for copyright infringement. Courts ruled that there was no provision in copyright law to award a domain name as part of a copyright infringement suit. Likewise there is no provision in copyright law for an ISP to deny or ramp down service as a punishment for copyright infringement. The ISPs along with the RIAA and MPAA are creating their own law and extra-judicial system to punish copyright violators.

Call your ISP and let them know this system is unacceptable and will not even have the desired effect of reducing piracy. Call your Congressmen and Senators and let them know their authority is being infringed upon. It is a blatant hypocrisy for the RIAA and MPAA to set up a system to go after alleged infringers when they themselves are infringing on the Constitution.

This will undoubtedly fail like similar attempts in France and New Zealand and everything else the RIAA and MPAA  have tried but on the way a lot of innocent people will be victimized by this sham. The only thing that will mitigate piracy is to offer legitimate alternatives and adapt to a changing market place.

Related story from Arstechnica:  What the 1930s fashion industry tells us about Big Content’s “six strikes” plan

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Rick Santorum Calls For Regulating the Internet and Believes Freedom Should be Limited

GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a freedom problem. He says there is too much freedom on the Internet and it should be regulated. He was the only candidate that did not take a strong stand against SOPA and PIPA and called for regulating the Internet and said freedom should be limited. He called those that want limited government “radical individualism”. Rick Santorum is no conservative. Don’t be fooled by this authoritarian masquerading as a conservative.

“They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues.

That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I’m aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

– Rick Santorum

See also Rick Santorum is tired of you people wanting the government to leave you alone on Hot Air.

Freedom is limited and Internet should be regulated

Santorum defends SOPA

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Internet Community Can Never Again Ignore Politics.

A question every politician should be asked at every opportunity is, “Do you understand the Internet and do you regularly use it?”. If the answer is no they are unfit for office period. It is no longer acceptable for Congress who seeks to regulate the Internet to not understand what they are proposing to legislate.
In turn it is no longer acceptable for the Internet community to ignore politics and allow interests such as Hollywood and the Music Industry that have admitted they do not understand or even like the Internet to set the agenda. The Internet community cannot just come out and oppose a couple of bills and say the battle is won. Those that want to control and censor the Internet will not stop and will find ways to get their agenda through. The Internet community must stop them at every turn which means we all need to stay informed of what is happening in Washington and around the world. If it isn’t bills the anti-Internet forces are pushing it is hiding rules deep inside International agreements. These are the most dangerous because they are negotiated in secret and signed quickly so there is little time to mobilize opposition.

This week in Hollywood unknown and un-elected negotiators will be horse-trading your rights under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that is being  held in secret. While Hollywood will be well represented, the public, Internet and Tech Industries, and civil liberties groups are shut out of talks. Hollywood will fight hard to get their agenda passed buried deep inside any agreements especially now they have lost SOPA/PIPA.

Call your Congressman and demand that all international agreements be open to public scrutiny especially on issues that effect the public so fundamentally as our free speech rights as well as our rights to access information and knowledge.

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PIPA SOPA ACTA and TPP Designed to Eliminate Safe Harbors

Back in 2000 Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This was pre Napster. There was a provision in the DMCA called Safe Harbors that would shield providers from lawsuits if they registered with the copyright office and removed any material that copyright holders complained about. This provision was hotly contested by Hollywood, the media, newspapers and other content creators but the provision made it in just barely as a compromise. How important was that provision? If it had not passed it would have killed the Internet as we know it in its infancy. There would be no Facebook, Google, Youtube, blogs, Twitter, Flickr or any sites that allow user generated content.

Since then Hollywood, the music industry, and the media have vowed to either eliminate Safe Harbors completely or render it meaningless. Bills such as SOPA and PIPA are designed to do just that. Now we have ACTA and TPP and other international agreements that are designed to do the same thing without any input from the public, effected industries, or civil liberties groups and even sidestep Congress and government bodies around the world.

The gist of the matter is if we lose Safe Harbors we have lost the Internet.

Next week negotiations will be held in Hollywood for TPP (Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership). Negotiations will be secret with no public input. Hollywood will be well represented but no tech, internet companies, or civil liberties groups have been invited to participate.

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Present Law Works; Just Not Well Enough I Guess

A young man asked me how I was doing today and I said I was OK, but mad at the government. He said he was too and asked if I ever used the internet. 🙂

He said the government had just shut down a website called Megaupload. I have never heard of this site, but – sure enough – when I got home I typed in the URL and saw this screen which has been reproduced at Wikipedia along with an article about the Megaupload site:

Apparently the site, originally based in Hong Kong was taken down one day after the recent internet blackout protest meant to sway congressmen from voting for the SOPA/PIPA bills.

I am against internet piracy for the sake of profiting off other artists and if this was done for that sake, I have no problem with the shutdown.

My question is this:

If they already have tools to go after copyright theft in other countries, why the new bills? Is the government getting tired of going through the regular legal channels?


3D Printing, the Next Battleground Over IP

3D Printing 03.

3D printing will be the next battleground over IP. This technology will change the world more profoundly than the Internet has thus far. Once the cost of the printers and materials for copying are down to consumer levels the applications will be limitless. Imagine printing car parts, clothing, any physical object? It will have applications we cannot even imagine right now. This is the precursor to a Star Trek like replicator.

Unlike the movie and music industries that failed to see the implications of the Internet and did not act until it was too late the manufacturing industries can already see this coming. They can either see the potential and enthusiastically embrace it or they can circle the wagons ala RIAA and try and sue the technology out of existence in its infancy and/or create laws that will make criminals out of anyone but industry using such a device.

This is why the copyright wars of today are critical to the future because they will set the stage for how things will be done in the future.

Once the genie is out of the bottle there is no turning back so the smart move will be for industries to adapt. Those that do will be the power companies of tomorrow and those that don’t will be left behind as they fight an endless and fruitless battle to put the genie back in the bottle which has always failed throughout history.

Photo Attribution: Flickr

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Senator Hatch is Lucky SOPA/PIPA Didn’t Pass. Used Image Without Permission.

Michael Jolley took a photo of Orrin Hatch and posted it on Facebook and his Flickr page with a Creative Commons Licence which allows other users to use the photo as long as they give attribution. As you know Senator Hatch has always been a crusader on copyright protection so you would think the Senator would be sensitive on copyright issues. However, Senator Hatch and/or his campaign lifted the image and placed it on both Sentor Hatch’s Flickr page and their campaign website without attribution nor permission from Jolley.

Not only did they lift it but added their own © All rights reserved to a photo they did not own with no attribution.

On Facebook’s Utah Republican Party – Official Group, Michael Jolley took Senator Hatch to task and made the observation that SOPA like laws could cause Hatch to lose his entire website for posting copyrighted materials without permission. Mr Jolly demanded a news conference where Senator Hatch would publicly apologize.  Hatch’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, gave a terse response basically saying what Hatch did was no big deal because Jolley uploaded the photo to Facebook and tagged the Photo as if this somehow gave the Senator permission to use the photo as he saw fit even claiming “all rights reserved”.

Dave Hansen is a good man but he does not understand copyright law as passed by Senator Hatch. Everything is automatically copyrighted and the fact you put it online or on Facebook does not change that. The law makes no distinction on whether a copyright symbol is added or not.

Dave Hansen on Facebook ~ “Now let me get this straight Michael. You took a picture of the Senator, then tagged it to his facebook account in effect saying “Here is a picture I took of you, without any reference to a copyright, now months later you are whining about “copyright infringment”. You will have a long, cold wait for a press conference of apology. Get a life.”

People have been sued by Righthaven and others for doing the same thing Senator Hatch did. The penalties for copyright infringement can be up to $190,000 per infringement. These draconian laws were not just passed by the Senator but championed by him. He needs to practice what he legislates lest he find himself on the receiving end of these draconian laws.

**images sent by Michael Jolley with permission to post them**

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Definitive Explanation of PIPA/SOPA

Don’t you love it when things are explained in an easy to understand way. The payed-for congress would have you believe the bills are about preventing foreigners from hurting American businesses with the usual legalese they always fall back on to confuse issues. They are adding domestic aspects to the bills and making sure we don’t know about them through the corporate media.

What the bills are really about concern taking away your rights by blocking your freedom of speech until you can prove you meant no harm. In other words; putting the burden of proof on somebody who has no resources to fight giant corporations.

I’m not saying I support people being able to make money off of other peoples hard work and talent or people disseminating material with the purpose of hurting others. There are gray areas here to be sure, but there must be due process.

This is THE bipartisan issue of our times because it involves the most important medium ever devised for free speech. This is gnawing at the last threads of democracy and treading on thin ice. Radio and television have tiny pockets broadcasting for positive social change which the majority of corporations seem to want gone. Don’t let them get their fingers into the internet.

They used to talk about “the silent generation”. What about the silent corporations? How many profit driven organizations out there care? Make me a believer.


Go Ahead; Shut Down Commerce

Who needs it!

Shut down Wikipedia
Shut down Google
Shut down Facebook
Shut down Amazon
Shut down OWS
Shut down OneUtah

Shut down free speech and the internet!

Shut it all down in the name of safety.

Go ahead, but do it peacefully!

Good luck. 🙂


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