Monthly Archives: January 2012

POwr, broccoli and Kopimi

In the shadow of the culture industry’s final crisis of the 20th-century, grows a larger portrait of the POwr, broccoli and Kopimi. The culture industry’s complete failure is followed by the uncanny success of the diffused structure of an Internet elite, spread the world over. The book you’re about to read has no author, no designer, no typesetter, no distribution channel. Nevertheless, you have it in front of you. How did that happen?

Read the frightening instructions of a loosely coherent core of IT specialists grafted into an unsuspecting generation of youths, and how the group stole the eggs, dollars and jpegs in front of the powerless establishment and strong financial interests. Learn how servers, seeders, trackers, e-mail, company formation, foreign investors, Ikko’s weekly allowance, scandalous advertisements, links and search services, infiltrated and destroyed an entire world that had nowhere to run, no one to consult, and no one to trust…

The machine, which operates under the radar frequency is unhindered from the Cambodian jungle to the gay neighborhoods of San Francisco, via the empty beaches of Tel-Aviv, and into the Internet of plain folks in Jönköping suburbs and Gothenburg harbor. It leaves no one unmoved and mangles everything in its path. Technically superior and physically independent it’s constantly transforming, mutating and reappearing in new guises and under new codenames. With a stranglehold on its opponents it’s completely untouched and even more – incomprehensible.

It has rightly been said that this is the first time Kopimi has freed the world and we can be sure that it’s not the last.


Chief of EU Resigns over ACTA

An excellent comment (from Hadzy01) from the Guardian, regarding their coverage of Twitter censorship, but complete avoidance of the ACTA bill.

You know, Guardian… I find it amusing how you report on this, but not on ACTA, despite the EU signing it yesterday.
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You report on this, but you don’t report on the fact that the EU signed this treaty, despite both lawyers and the Foundation for Free Information pointing out that ACTA in its current FINAL form violates EU treaties, human rights, and criminalises damn near anyone with a computer.

And despite the fact that the Chief of the EU resigned in disgust over how the issue has been handled by the EU.

Or the fact that there were protests throughout Poland to protest just how wrong ACTA in its current form is.

Or the fact that by 10pm yesterday, across all the major ANTI-ACTA petitions, near 500,000 people had signed up to say NO.

You report on this, but you don’t report on the fact that the Irish were planning to instate a “SOPA” on their people without even going through parliament.

I’ll leave people to Google the last two. You know, let them enjoy freedom of information and expression before it’s stripped away from them without their knowledge.

And you’re not the only major publication in the UK to even do this. As a UK citizen, I am both disgusted and disappointed by your lack of informative information on these subjects in the UK media. You’re leading your readers wilfully blind, and honestly? It’s a damn shame.

Twitter doing this to people who rely on them is a disappointment especially considering how important it and other similar services were when overthrowing dictatorships. The Guardian refusing to report on ACTA and related, wide-affecting “agreements”, though, is just as bad. I have never been so disappointed with this publication.

Google and Bing accused of directing users to illegal copies of music

From >

Google and other search engines “overwhelmingly” direct music fans to illegal copies of copyrighted tracks online, a coalition of entertainment industry groups has told the government.

In a confidential document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, lobbying groups for the major rights holders claimed Google and Microsoft’s Bing are making it “much more difficult” for people to find legal music and films online.

The private document, obtained by the free speech campaigners Open Rights Group and shared with the Guardian, urges the government to introduce a voluntary body that would remove rogue websites from internet search results.

The proposals were made to the culture minister Ed Vaizey as part of a series of consultations on internet piracy between rights holders, search giants and the government in November last year. The nine-page document was submitted on behalf of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the UK body for the music majors, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Premier League, the Publishers Association and the Pact, the film and TV independent producers’ trade body.

Privately, rights holders said there is a “spirit of optimism” between the entertainment groups and search engines as they attempt to usher in more legal media sites, including Google’s own fledgling music service.

Google has in the past year stepped up efforts to remove copyright-infringing content, launching a fast-track removal requests form and filtering terms “associated with infringement”. However, the rights holders claim in the document that “as time goes on, the situation is getting worse rather than better”.

“Consumers rely on search engines to find and access entertainment content and they play a vital role in the UK digital economy,” the rights holders state.

“At present, consumer searching for digital copies of copyright entertainment content are directed overwhelmingly to illegal sites and services.”

The entertainment groups want Google to “continuously review key search words” and “effectively screen” mobile apps on Android smartphones in an effort to combat illicit sharing.

The document claims that 16 of the first 20 Google search results for chart singles link to “known illegal sites”, according to searches by the BPI in September. In an attempt to persuade the government to clamp down on search engines, the groups claim that 41% of Google’s first-page results for bestselling books in April last year were “non-legal links” to websites.

“Much of the illegal activity in the digital economy is facilitated and encouraged by money-making rogue sites,” the document claimed.

“Intermediaries, unwittingly or by wilfully turning a blind eye (or in some cases, by encouraging such activity), play a key role in enabling content theft and often even profit from it. Only a comprehensive approach can address this issue.”

The entertainment bodies call for search engines to:

• Assign lower rankings to sites that “repeatedly” make available copyright-infringing material

• Prioritise sites that “obtain certification as a licensed site” for music and film downloading

• Stop indexing sites that are subject to court orders

• Stop indexing “substantially infringing websites”

• Improve “notice and takedown” system

• Ensure that users are not directed to illicit filesharing sites through suggested search

• Ensure search engines do not advertise around unlawful sites or sell keywords associated with piracy or sell mobile apps “which facilitate infringement”

The chief executive of BPI, Geoff Taylor, said on Thursday: “The vast majority of consumers want search engines to direct them to legal sources of entertainment rather than the online black market.

“As search engines roll out high-quality content services, like Google Music, we want to build a constructive partnership that supports a legal online economy. We hope that Google and other search engines will respond positively.”

A spokeswoman for the Motion Picture Association added: “If you look for film or music via a search engine you usually find websites providing access to pirated films or music at the top of the list of results.

“This is confusing for consumers, damages the legal market and legitimises copyright theft. We are in dialogue with search engines, ISPs [internet service providers], advertising networks and payment processors about a code to deal with the escalating problem of online copyright theft which threatens the growth of the entire creative industries sector. This paper is a result of that dialogue and we appreciate government’s continuing efforts to help bring about a more responsible internet”.

A spokesman for Google said: “Google takes the fight against online piracy very seriously. Last year, we removed over five million infringing items from Google Search. We have made industry-leading efforts in this field, investing over $50m (£32m) in fighting bad advertisements and over $30m on Content ID software, giving rights holders control over their YouTube content.

“We continue to work in close partnership with rights holders to help them combat piracy and protect their property.”

Peter Bradwell, campaigner for the Open Rights Group, said the proposal contained “some dangerous ideas”. He said: “It’s another plan to take on far too much power over what we’re allowed to look at and do online.”

Alleged tea tape leaked online – link available here

Reposted from ^Copy&Seed^

A tape alleged to be the so-called secret teapot tape recording has apparently been leaked on the internet.

The tape is poor quality but the voices of John Key and John Banks can be heard and also the voice of Key’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, shooing the media away.

It appears to have been released to coincide with Key’s first major speech of the year in Auckland this morning

At one point Key gives Banks his private cellphone number – one that has not been widely circulated – apparently confirming the authenticity of the tape.

This just shows that the election was fixed. If anyone has a copy of this tape, a transcript or any more information please let us know by comment.

Update: Thank you to Lewis for a link to the tape, here is the link (please note its not hosted by our servers)

How will ACTA affect UK copyright law?

Detailed Legal information on ACTA, a leak of some of the articles contained within and analysis. Interesting, scary stuff, take a look.

” Thanks to La Quadrature Du Net we now have a leak of the consolidated text for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) after the Luzern round of negotiations. It is always difficult to analyse texts that are in the drafting process, but we can now get a better idea of possible changes to national legislation. If the most restrictive aspects of the text were passed tomorrow, what would it change in UK law? This is a wide-ranging agreement, so I will try to concentrate on the copyright aspects. When there are different options in the text, I will choose the one that seems more restrictive, so this analysis is a worst-case scenario. I am also going not going to go in detail into the changes brought about by the Digital Economy Act, as some of the most substantive issues are under consultation…

So, any recording, even a partial recording for any purpose, of a cinematographic work would become a criminal offence. Really. This of course, does not exist in UK copyright law, so it can be classed as a major change.

Should we be worried?

Yes. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I know that these changes may seem like minor technical issues, but it is important that we try to find a way to convey to the public that we might be faced with some substantial changes to UK copyright law. During GikII, Hugh Hancock gave an excellent presentation about how the debate against the Digital Economy Bill was lost. It is difficult to get people worked up about changes in statutory damages, but we need to act on ACTA now.”

Read the full article and analysis here>



ACTA Explained in plain English. It’s not looking good.

Megauploads Ira Rothken, a strong defence.

Ira Rothken, the internet law attorney from San Francisco who has taken up the role of defending Kim Dotcom et al has said “the government is acting like a “copyright extremist” by taking down one of the world’s largest cloud storage services “without any notice or chance for Megaupload to be heard in a court of law.” The result is both “offensive to the rights of Megaupload, but also to the rights of millions of consumers worldwide”

Anonymous message, re:ACTA.

George Carlin said it best…

ACTA must be stopped. SOPA was a mere distraction.

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Negotiating Parties –

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • European Union
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • United States

Essential ACTA Resources – 

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA:Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video
  • Reuters: ACTA signed in Tokyo: Article
  • United States ACTA: Read
  • European Union Trade Commission ACTA: Read
  • Australian Gov’t ACTA: Read
  • Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic: Read
  • ACTA Undermines Access to Medicines: Article

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA. #ActAgainstACTA