Category Archives: copyright

stop the EU from destroying your internet freedom

On 12 September 2018 the EU Parliament will debate and vote on Article 13. Time to fire up your email and social media devices and let yourself be heard again, which is why I’m resurfacing this post about the what and the why.

Yep. They are at it again, those pesky governments. If it ain’t the US trying to destroy net neutrality it’s the EU trying to setup a link tax and an automated content filter/surveillance/censorship machine.

I’m talking about the copyright reform law the EU is trying to get through in a few days.

Article 11 is bad. It tries to setup a link tax, meaning you cant link or post snippets to e.g. news articles on your site. A similar law was passed earlier in Spain and it causes Google news to simply pull back out of Spain. If the same happens to the whole of the EU, that would suck mayor balls.

Article 13 is far worse though. That’s the content filter, which means any site where content can be uploaded e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Imgur etc will be forced to automatically scan your upload and filter it if it isn’t allowed. The claim is that they want to stop terrorists and bad people from spreading illegal content on the internet. The reality will be that those bad guys will find ways around it and the rest of us will be stuck with a filter that’s going to block our uploads because of flawed algorithms and bureaucratic decisions. Internet memes use copyrighted content, but will the filter be able to detect sarcasm? I don’t think so.

Hey look, a meme, with a copyrighted image. I guess we won't be able to do that anymore once Article 13 is in effect.

To quote Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the WWW:

Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet, from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.

So please help out and email, tweet or call your MEP’s and make it clear Article 11 & 13 have to go. The freedom of the internet depends on you!

Update (25/6): the vote of the 20st was lost as 15 MEPS voted for article 13. Next date is 4-5 July to stop this thing from becoming final!
So let your voice be heard and save your internet!

Update (15/7): Yay!  We won! For now. After the summer break this will surely come back though. They won’t give up this easily.

don’t let the EU censor your internet: stop ACTA

ACTA infographic

You might have heard that SOPA got stopped (for now) in the USA, a bill to censor the internet and limit online freedom for everyone. An even worse deal is going down on our EU-side of the globe unfortunately, where ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) has already been signed, but not yet approved (luckily).

ACTA – a global treaty – could allow corporations to censor the Internet. Negotiated in secret by a small number of rich countries and corporate powers, it would set up a shadowy new anti-counterfeiting body to allow private interests to police everything that we do online and impose massive penalties — even prison sentences — against people they say have harmed their business.
avaaz.org

So it’s about time to do something about this before this bill gets voted in the EU Parliament and gets adopted globally.
First you can start by reading about ACTA, find out what’s wrong with it, sign the petition and act against it.

For those in the US, you can go sign the White House petition. Do it, because this deal is worse than SOPA, as it spans beyond the internet and deals even with regulations on medication and food.

The oppressively strict regulations could mean people everywhere are punished for simple acts such as sharing a newspaper article or uploading a video of a party where copyrighted music is played. Sold as a trade agreement to protect copyrights, ACTA could also ban lifesaving generic drugs and threaten local farmers’ access to the seeds they need. And, amazingly, t he ACTA committee will have carte blanche to change its own rules and sanctions with no democratic scrutiny.
avaaz.org

Spread the word, sign the petition, just do something so this is stopped just like SOPA was.

Afterwards, you can get back to your memes and lolcats. :)

 

going commercial

creativecommons.org

A while ago there was this product that came out on the Belgian market that allowed shopkeepers, barbers and anyone who was having a business to bypass the Belgian version of RIAA called SABAM by offering royalty free music in a box. You just had to hook up the little box to an audio system and it would play hours of music that SABAM could not claim any royalty fees for.

Since that little device isn’t cheap I figured the home-made way would be cheaper. You could use an old PC or a laptop and hook that up to your audio system. After all there’s tons of free music out there on archive.org and other sites right? Yes there is. But when I started digging around for some examples it turned out that even though that music is licensed under a Creative Commons license, most of it is restricted from commercial use.

The thing is that this “no commercial use” clause seems to make perfect sense when you publish something online at first. You don’t want someone use your music or pictures just like that and get filthy rich off it, without effort? But the thing is that this clause also prevents all sorts of indirect commercial use that’s not meant to make money off the sweat of your back. Someone might want to use that awesome photo in a business presentation. No can do. Someone might want to play your music in his bar. Nope, can’t do that either. That person might even be a DJ playing at a paid gig. In theory he can’t play any tunes licensed under the non-commercial clause, but you might want that promotion right? Non-commercial turns out to be a bit of a grey area it seems, and it’s clear that the Creative Commons lads are struggling with it as well.

So the question is: what’s the risk of putting your stuff out there under a Creative Commons license that does allow commercial use? Are you going to be ripped off? Maybe. But people are ripping off copyrighted material every day. So it doesn’t matter what kind of license you slap on it? If someone wants to violate it, they will, no matter what. Publishing material under a more liberal license just opens more possibilities for people to use it for all the right reasons. Isn’t that what we are aiming for in the first place? Look at the Open Source movement as an example. There’s no clause in the popular licenses that prevents commercial use. In fact, that’s one of the reasons that Open Source Software is so mature and widely used this day.
I know that software and finished products like music, photo’s, video’s and text are not the same. Software is never really a finished product as it continuously evolves, but the idea is the same.

Paniq does it for all his music for example. He does it for the above mentioned reasons and services like Jamendo sell his music to shopkeepers, barbers and bartenders so they can play this royalty free music without having to pay fees to a silly copyright organisation like SABAM. They pay the artist a percentage of the sales afterwards, so it’s good karma all around.
So I thought I’d go commercial too where I can. My Flickr pictures can now be used commercially, and these awesome wallpapers (if I may say so myself) as well.

Just think about it, the next time you pick a cc-license.

Photo by Andrew*, cc-licensed.

get a free dj set and save the black swan

I usually don’t do this but I’m going to go ahead into some easy-peasy copy-pasting blog posting shizzle (via UEH). Judging from the names on the track list this set just has to be kick-ass, even without listening to it myself. I just hope it’s not a Rick-roll hoax oslt. Anyway, check it out and support the Black Swan!

The Black Swan – Bristol’s 1 and only underground music venue has been closed due to new licensing laws and we’re here to oppose it! Joining Anakissed and Parasite in the studio is special guest Svengali from Mongrel who is part of the campaign to stop the Swan from closing it’s doors for good. We drop a selection of live sets from artists who played at Toxic Dancehall to give you all a taster of the variety of music you’d be likely to hear at the Swan. We also tell you how you can do your bit to save the now legendary venue.

Track listing for the set:

  1. Shitmat – Live @ Toxic Dancehall 3 (24/01/03)
  2. End.user – Fear (Hymen)
  3. The Bug – Live @ Toxic Dancehall 3 (24/01/03)
  4. Bong-Ra – Gideon War (Hydrophonic)
  5. Grinderman – Go Tell The Women (Anti-)
  6. Himuro Yoshiteru – Hopeless Monsters (Tangram Disc)
  7. Broken Note – Crux (Ad Noiseam)
  8. Aaron Spectre – Live @ Toxic Dancehall 9 (11/06/05)
  9. Krumble – Time To Burn (Death$ucker)

Go get it at Goatlab!

Photo by aussiegall, cc-licensed.

french taunts in high definition

Since we can now post videos, I shall do it a second time! But I’m not doing it just because I can (even though it would be a valid excuse) but because the awesomely funny lads from Monty Python have decided to put their own clips up over at YouTube in their very own Monty Python YouTube channel.

Instead of suing the ass off their fans who have been posting their copyrighted clips over the last 3 years in crap quality, they blow their nose at them and instead post the clips themselves in high quality, as they where intended to be viewed. How cool is that? Eat that RIAA and Metallica I say!

Instead they only want to use this opportunity to sell their DVD’s and movies. A bloody good idea in my opinion. Thanks to that, we can now enjoy the French taunts in high def.
Superbe!

why youtube rocks… well, sort of

Have you noticed that every music video seems to be on Youtube these days? Now Youtube isn’t the most kick ass, neat looking and coolest video service out there, (that’s Vimeo)  but when it comes down to content, they seem to have it all

No matter what video clip you’re looking for, it’s probably there. Like this silly video they played on a local music station lately. It was a top 10 of the worst haircuts from the 80’s. Well, that makes sense doesn’t it. What the hell where those barbers thinking back then anyway? At the top position there was this song which I had heard before long ago (in the 80s probably). It had this guy that looked like he was related to the lead singer of that watered down rock band Tokyo Hotel. Yeah. Lots and lots of hair is what I’m talking about.

I didn’t catch the groups name, but I searched a lyrics phrase on Youtube and guess what? Of course it was on there. Shared it with my pals of course, and we laughed our ass off. Turns out there’s even a Manson cover of it. Funny.

I don’t get how they can host so many music video’s without getting RIAA on their asses though. I mean, seriously. Check out the amount of Metallica vids on there.