The German government is making some odd waves lately. I posted about their odd internet censorship policy before affecting Flickr users in Germany, but there’s two posts on Hadez’ blog that really made me raise an eyebrow to who’s in charge of one of the most powerful countries in the European Union.
First there was the law they passed making all hacking tools illegal in Germany. Owning a tool, which means just having it on your hard drive is enough to get sent to jail for a year, or get a serious fine. Hacking tools however are not evil pieces of satanic source code mind you, they are the tools used by security experts and IT network admins to keep their networks running safely, while trying to detect intrusions, or prevent them.
It’s like with a crowbar. It’s used for burglary sure, but not everyone with a crowbar is intending to break into your car or house now is he?
A second one I thought was exclusive for those silly bats that live across the Atlantic. You know, those lads that got Bush junior re-elected and like to bomb small countries and all. They have these debates going down on whether or not Intelligent Design (talk about a contradiction) should be taught in school as an alternative to Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Turns out the same discussion is arising in Germany as well now ffs. Looks like the Americans aren’t the only silly bats out there anymore, and they moved into my backyard dammit.
I’m really hoping the rest of Europe isn’t going to be picking these crazy laws up as well, or we’re al screwed.
Flickr is dealing with a lot of censorship fuzz lately, some legit and some not imo.
For instance in this case where the sex blogger Violet Blue got her pictures censored because her account didn’t make it through the adult filter is kinda shitty. Her account wasn’t packed with porn or anything, but as someone who blogs on the subject of fornication (funny word isn’t it) and all that has to do with it, there are some pics in there showing some skin, and (OMGWTF!) perhaps even a nipple or two.
So her account got suspended and censored, so she got rather pissed about it, which she has the right to of course. In the end everything turned out alright. The Flickr guys apologized to her, which is nice, and the naughty pics are now marked as such so they don’t show up in peoples safe searches.
The idea behind the filtering Flickr does is simple, and a good one. They want people to be in control of what pictures they want to see turning up in their search results. As is the case with Google and Yahoo, safe search filters the NSFW pictures for you. But as has been proven countless times before on the internet, filtering isn’t an easy task, so mistakes happen.
People get pissed of rather quickly with these kind of mistakes though, and in some cases, web 2.0 has enabled the mobs to start spamming their ass off with “flickr sucks” statements all over the intahweb.
For instance in the case where Flickr censors pictures for users from Germany (here). The problem here is that Flickr is forced to do this to apply to German law, and didn’t just apply this policy because they don’t like bratwurst und sauerkraut.
However, tons of Flickr users are now posting and reposting pictures telling Flickr to stop their censoring activities, which they can’t really do anything about without risking a big fat lawsuit. Flickr users who may or may not know at all what the deal is about anyway, judging from some of the comments posted on the support forums…
This kind of stuff is extra sad because a newspaper should damn well be aware of things like copyright violations and such, and definitely be respecting the copyright of others, if they want their own rights to be respected as well.
They sure lost my respect, but I guess they wouldn’t care less about the little man, judging from what they where up to…
You probably heard about this by now but the Google subpoena is a real bitch. So the government wants to invade the privacy of every American, and I’m pretty sure non-Americans such as myself as well by getting search query information concerning kiddy porn. I can’t say I don’t like them fighting that smut though, but they are violating “our” civil rights in the process as well, and that’s a no-no in my book.
Google seems to be the only one that didn’t fold (here’s a big FU to MSN and Yahoo btw, who did turn over the requested data) I’d say they are definitely sticking by their “don’t be evil” motto.
One thing did hit me though when I read about all this stuff. Google has a awful lot of information on all of us using their services. Through your google account they can track your recent web queries, your email traffic, your blogging activity…
I didn’t have a problem with that before, because I trust Google for some reason. Problem is, if they are forced to hand over the data by the government… that trust in Google isn’t worth a damn anymore is it.
I bet a lot of people will be started to look into anonymisers and stuff like that before they start surfing for their dose of explicit nudity in the future…
Can I Get An Amen? is an audio installation that unfolds a critical perspective of perhaps the most sampled drums beat in the history of recorded music, the Amen Break. It begins with the pop track Amen Brother by 60’s soul band The Winstons, and traces the transformation of their drum solo from its original context as part of a ‘B’ side vinyl single into its use as a key aural ingredient in contemporary cultural expression. The work attempts to bring into scrutiny the techno-utopian notion that ‘information wants to be free’- it questions its effectiveness as a democratizing agent. This as well as other issues are foregrounded through a history of the Amen Break and its peculiar relationship to current copyright law.
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work � even minor, unrecognisable snippets of music.
Though the article focuses mainly on rap artists, who are making big bucks using unknown samples from older funk (or whatever) tunes, this could easily be extrapolated to other musical genres, such as electronic ones which are based on sampling old funk, hip-hop, rave and hardcore tunes. Genres like drum’n’bass, breakcore, breaks and a dozen others heavily depending on recycling sounds of the past could become more or less endangered by a law like this.
Keep you hands off our Amens and Firefights judges, or your in for a shit load of trouble… :)
Lighten up on the copyright thing ffs.