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Personal concerns regarding SOPA, PIPA & ACTA

March 7th, 2012 1 comment

E-mail, dated 21st January 2012, to Richard Stallman, Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig.

Dearest Richard, Lawrence & Cory

Tonight I am writing you in relation to my concerns on the recent activities around SOPA & PIPA.
The U.S. senate postponed PIPA, whereas SOPA goes back to the “drawing board”[0]. For the record: Neither the U.S. senate[1], nor the European Union[2] said “No” to the Acts, but only postponed the “decision”.

Let me introduce my concern with the following topic.
Today I received an invitation by the CCC[3] head quartier, calling for an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the expulsion of Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Domscheit-Berg aka “The Architect of Wikileaks” and founder of Openleaks[4]). You might have heard and remember, that Daniel, after not having been correctly informed by the board, decided to quit Wikileaks and found his proper project, which he, during the development process, intended to get reviewed and signed with some sort of “official seal” by the hackers of the CCC.
It might just have been an unfortunate move, as many protagonists were surprised by the reaction of the CCC and his enthousiasm.
So today the largest, and most powerful hacker society in Europe, calls for a meeting to discuss possible changes in the regulations of the Club, to legally allow expulsions of this sort. Actually I am very happy, that the CCC, with its “very german” way to sort out such “issues”, is calling for a discussion. But, – and as you might guess from my wording, – I am indeed very much worried.
After I met Julian & Daniel in person at the 25C3[5] and felt much respect towards their honorable efforts, this story has since taken the worst way, such a commitment can take. – Poor Bradley Manning…

Meanwhile (today as well) the best friend of my mother is calling me to ask, if I could tell her if it’s a good idea to buy an iPad, while Apple launches its EBook service with the following restrictions.
quote
(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.
unquote

Well, yeah! – All this sort of crap is boring, I know. Information wants to be free[6]. And the Nyan Cats[7], “For the LULZ[8]” and whatever Laser Canon DDOS script by Anonymous are not bringing the matters further as well.
While most (h)activists are busy taking down websites of right wing parties or governments, they are, in the other hand, busy with some sort of “trench warfare” fighting GNU vs. BSD, CC vs. Public Domain etc. – Briefly, busy with themselves…

Last October, Richard was giving a talk[9] at the ETHZ (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), explicitly explaining the 4 freedoms of Free Software. While the ETHZ, as the highest ranked academic institute in Switzerland, supplies the technical grey mass of the tomorrows technology companies, I was personally shocked how it comes, that Information Technology students in 2011 are still not aware of this fundamental knowledge.
In December, Cory held an epic talk in Zurich about the politics of copyright[10], while his presence was abused by one of the hosts (at least this was my personal impression), a person who is on the board of the federal cultural department of Switzerland, who has never ever published anything under GFDL or CC license, to promote herself and underlining her “governmental assignment” and commitment to freedom. (There are so many others who deserve the position of representing freedom in Switzerland and host people like Cory.) While only a minority of the audience in Zurich has fundamentally understood, what Cory is talking about, he was later presenting his concept of post-copyright-war in the talk “the coming war on general computatiion”[11] at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (28C3)[12], where he found himself in an audience of educated supporters only. (I well remember, when Lawrence gave his talk at the 23C3[13] I was sitting with my GNU costume[14] in one of the first rows ).

Getting back to the subject, let me add that I am writing this e-mail out of a deep concern, which I personally understand as an interconnection of issues which, in the core, are interrelated.
Grown up in Kathmandu, Nepal and living in one of the wealthiest countries, scarce of natural resources but hosting the two largest banks (each of the producing 3 times the GDP) and hosting the head offices of large oil corporations and the weapon industry, I have ever since struggled finding partners to discuss concerns regarding global economy and did only find mental peace in books by Naomi Klein[15] (The Shock Doctrine), André Gorz[16] and Slavoj Žižek.
Even during a project for the European Commission, working as a researcher in Technology Assesment for the project ETICA[17] (Ethical Issues of Emerging ICT Applications), I understood, that within a research project of the EU, the regulations and directives over free/open standards (ODT)[18] are not applied in the research process.

The concept of Freedom of a Free Society seems to remain an Outopos[19] (Utopia), in which freedom fighters are kept busy with their own concerns and discussions.
Over 6 years I have continuously tried to bring and teach the concept of Free Software to an African University[20], giving my partners and fellows all the necessary freedom to continue and bring the project further themselves, while Nicolas Negroponte got corrupted by M$ and the global public nurtured by the disinformative news of a 100$ laptop. – I understood that western NGO’s are driven by exploitation and self-deception, as well as the “recepients” in under-developed countries, who have been tought how to globally represent the neo-imperialist begging culture. The only way for me to continue my commitment to fight at the roots of global exploitation would be in the role of Colonel Kurtz[21].
Last year I tried to enlighten the hacker society at the 27C3[22] with the subject of artistic freedom in Classical Music, which is, as Richard beautifully explains in his statement[23], a very similar concern of musicians and composers, as well as software developpers and authors. – Well, it just has been percieved as “the most beautiful talk ever” (at the Chaos Communication Congress’) and is remembered as a nice music concert, while the fundamental message is being lost.
The last years I have been working with many musicians, film directors and artists who all comprehend and share such views, but when they get an offer by Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical Music or whatever big corp. they collapse (e.g. —————-ZENSORED———–) and, in many cases, only perform due to a regular Cocaine consumption ———ZENSORED——, as well as ——–ZENSORED——— at my presentation of “The Concert” at the 27C3).
With ———ZENSORED—–, who is a big shot in Music Management in Europe, managing ———————–ZENSORED——————— etc., I am trying to take the discussion to a level which could bring some significant paradign shift in licenseing music and the rights on music performances. – Total fail! This guy is busy gathering money to feed his family and assure that his kids rise in a decent environment.

So for whose rights are we actually fighting for, if we don’t have the artists, authors and curators on our sides, as they are being kept busy feeding the economy? Economy constantly pulls us back into the mud of self-deception.
For a person who has something to share and something to give, these are tough days…

I think we need a concept to corrupt the system with its own rules. Just like Richard when he copyrighted Freedom by introducing the GPL. A law that excludes the possibility for governments to take away out information, our know-how, our knwoledge.
What if we introduced a “meta-internet”, where everyone that accesses it needs to sign an agreement that as soon as he is entering into this area of unconditional freedom, in which his personality disolves and everyone is part of the whole, he looses the right to claim for any right.

I am tired to continuously fight for things that are so evident and fundamental. I am sad to see that politicians today are not representing respectful positions, but act in interests of corrupt corporations and lobbies.
Is it true that nowadays we need to activate a majority of the global blogosphere, while hundreds of thousands of kids outrage because they can’ t copy-paste their homework because wikipedia is blacked-out, to bring a handful of senators to just postpone a vote on an act that is totally lapse…? – WTF!

The most feasible way out I can see today is to accelerate the self-extermination of humankind, for the sake of a healthy planet.

Yours, Alex

[0] http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/01/20/209210/sopa-goes-back-to-the-drawing-board-pipa-postponed
[1] http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/sopa-bill-sent-back-to-the-drawing-board-in-wake-of-internet-protests.html
[2] http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/01/20/0259218/eu-to-sign-acta-later-this-month
[3] http://ccc.de/
[4] http://openleaks.org/
[5] http://events.ccc.de/congress/2008/Fahrplan/events/2916.en.html
[6] … as in freedom, not beer
[7] http://blog.lix.cc/2011/06/06/nyan-cat/
[8] http://lix.cc/img/lulz.jpg
[9] http://blog.lix.cc/2011/10/18/richard-stallmans-talk-at-ethz/
[10] http://blog.lix.cc/2011/12/08/recording-the-politics-of-copyright-and-the-new-cultural-economy/
[11] http://events.ccc.de/congress/2011/Fahrplan/events/4848.en.html
[12] http://events.ccc.de/congress/2011
[13] http://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Fahrplan/events/1760.en.html
[14] http://boingboing.net/2006/09/04/gnu-costume-for-free.html
[15] http://www.naomiklein.org
[16] http://www.bookzilla.de/shop/action/productDetails/11426123/andre_gorz_critique_of_economic_reason_1844676676.html?aUrl=90006951
[17] http://etica-project.eu/
[18] http://www.eionet.europa.eu/software/opendocument
[19] Greek for “no place”
[20] http://blog.lix.cc/malawi/about/
[21] http://blog.lix.cc/2011/07/21/bloody-niggers/
[22] http://events.ccc.de/congress/2010/Fahrplan/events/4201.en.html
[23] http://lix.cc/video/PatentAbsurdityStallman.ogv
[24] ———ZENSORED—–
[25] ———ZENSORED—–
[26] ———ZENSORED—–
[27] ———ZENSORED—–
[28] ———ZENSORED—–
[29] ———ZENSORED—–
— Lx // 0x18F80934 “so long and thanks for all the fish”

… this letter lacks a question. – There is none. There is reason only!

© Goatse

December 30th, 2010 No comments

got (c)?

Artículo en El País

December 29th, 2010 No comments

Los dos músicos junto a Alex Antener han creado para el 27C3 un espectáculo reinvindicativo alrededor del copyright, los creative commons y la cultura libre, interpretando piezas de música clásica bien conocidas (composiciones de Debussy y Beethoven) combinandas con proyecciones llenas de humor e ironía y trozos de vídeo o música de artistas conocidos. Después de recibir tremendos aplausos, a la pregunta de que tipo de “hardware” han utilizado, responden con gracia que un Steinway y un Stradivarius.

Patricia Sevilla Ciordia (para leer más, clica aqui)

“The Concert” (27C3) feedback

December 29th, 2010 No comments

Photos by Udo (CC-NC-BY-SA)

More photos at Sven’s Photostream,

Michael Schmid’s (x-photo.ch) Flickr site

and Simon Bierwald’s Flickr

“The concert” was my ultimate congress high point, and I’m sorry to say that the video is unlikely to communicate the magic that happened in Saal 1 on the evening of Day 2. But I predict that this isn’t the last time you’ll see Alex Antener, Corey Cerovsek and Julien Quentin put on this piece they premiered at 27c3. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t done TED by the end of next year.

Becky Hogge

[…] a breathtaking classical music concert and loads of other geeky and amazingly cool stuff that you have never seen before.

Door Axel Ambak

“Corey Cerovsek (Violine) und Julien Quentin (Piano) spielten ein wunderbares Konzert klassischer Musik. Dazu wurden von Alex Antener Folien zum Thema Copyright und freie Musik gezeigt. Die drei haben uns eine sehr kreative Vorstellung geboten, was vom Publikum mit Standing Ovations belohnt wurde.

Matou

The best experience was The Concert, by no doubt.

Mikael Nordfeldth

Das Konzert heute war super. Die haben es echt hinbekommen das da alle sassen und gebannt ein klassisches Konzert angehört haben. Finde ich toll.

Emonk

Und inzwischen steht das Programm des 27c3; meine Lieblingsvorträge sind zweifellos Das Konzert, eine Aufführung eines klassischen Konzertes unter der Fragestellung “wie sähe die Klassik, wie wir sie heute kennen und schätzen, aus, hätte es im 17. Jahrhundert bereits die Copyright-Gesetze des Jahres 2010 gegeben”.

HC

Ich fand das Konzert grossartig, gerade weil es so anders war als die sonstigen Veranstaltungen, und die Musiker sich bewusst waren, wo sie sind.

duckd

The highlight of today’s 27C3 was the world premiere of “The Concert“, a disconcerting moment for free culture. […]

wiwowo

The Concert by Corey Cerovsek and Julien Quentin spiced with visuals by Alex Antener. It was a brilliant concerto and a nice counterpoint to the usual content you would expect on a hacker meeting.

Tobias Dieckershoff

Neben den zu erwartenden Highlights (PS3 Epic Fail, mahas Sprache des Politischen Verrats, Stuxnet) ist mir insbesondere (weil unerwartet) “The Concert” in Erinnerung geblieben. Ich hatte das vorab nicht gegoogelt, und es hat mich weggeblasen. Kongeniale Konzeption und Ausführung. Darüber hinaus sind das auch noch Leute, die nicht nur exzellente Musiker sind, sondern exzellente Solomusiker, für die Leute viel Geld bezahlen, wenn sie ein Konzert geben.

Chef

C’est, peut-être, une utopie, et elle connaît mille formes: ce soir, pendant une heure et demie, un violoniste et un pianiste ont surpris le public en interprétant Mozart et Beethoven, soulignant qu’il n’aurait pas de musique classique possible sans l’invention du domaine public.

Shao-Lyn

Normalerweise sieht man auf dem Hacker-Getümmel ja vor allem Computerheinis (wie meine Großmutter sagen würde) und ihre Ansammlungen and Rechnern und sonstiger Gadgets, sowohl auf – als auch vor den Vortragsbühnen. Es gab allerdings einen Vortrag, der sich von allen Anderen absetzte und der von vielen Besuchern des Kongresses als ein Highlight, wenn nicht sogar DAS Highlight beschrieben wurde.

diminuendo

Einige Künstler hatten sich wohl an den CCC gewendet und den Vorschlag gemacht, ein kleines Konzert mit Klavier (Steinway) und Geige (Stradivari) zu spielen. So kamen einige Hacker dann in den Genuss eines großartigen Konzerts. Immerhin die Zugabe erfreute noch meine Ohren.

Qbi’s Weblog

[…] a breathtaking classical music concert and loads of other geeky and amazingly cool stuff that you have never seen before.

bits of freedom

… see more comments on Twitter.

27C3 We come in peace

December 26th, 2010 No comments

Tomorrow the 27C3 hacker congress is starting at the bcc in Berlin.
Watch out for “The Concert”, which is taking place at 18:30h on the second congress day (28th of december 2010).

“The Concert” – a disconcerting moment for free culture

November 10th, 2010 No comments

27C3 Chaos Communication Congress event 4201

Corey Cerovsek, known worldwide for their classical recital performances and Alex Antener, accomplished artist present something that’s not quite an ordinary concert, to draw attention to the importance of the public domain in centuries of classical music tradition. It’s both more — and less — than what you might expect to see and hear at a classical concert.

To schedule an interview appointment, get in contact with the Impresario.

More info, see 27C3 Fahrplan.

27C3: "We come in peace"

July 30th, 2010 No comments

We come in peace - 27C3

We come in peace

We come in peace, said the conquerers of the New World.
We come in peace, says the government, when it comes to colonise, regulate, and militarise the new digital world.
We come in peace, say the nation-state sized companies that have set out to monetise the net and chain the users to their shiny new devices.
We come in peace, we say as hackers, geeks and nerds, when we set out towards the real world and try to change it, because it has intruded into our natural habitat, the cyberspace. Let us explore each other’s truly peaceful intentions at this year’s Chaos Communication Congress 27C3 to be held from Monday December 27 to Thursday December 30, 2010 in Berlin, Germany.

Soon on events.ccc.de/congress/2010