Radical media, politics and culture.

hydrarchist's blog

Juillet 1936 (Serge Utge-Royo) ------------------------------ Juillet 1936 dans les casernes catalanes La mort bute sur les milices et le peuple compte ses armes Dans les villages et les hameaux les paysans groupent les terres En un seul et riche morceau et passe le vent libertaire

Je pense à vous vieux compagnons dont la jeunesse est à la douane et pardonner si ma chanson vous refait mal à votre Espagne Mais j'ai besoin de vous apprendre j'ai envie de vous ressembler Je gueulerai pour qu'on entende ce que vous m'avez enseigné

Donne-moi ta main camarade Prête-moi ton coeur compagnons Nous referons les barricades Comme hier la confédération

A quelques heures de Barcelone se sont groupés des menuisiers Et sans patron tout refonctionne on sourit dans les ateliers Sur la place de la mairie qu'on a changé en maternelle Des femmes ont pris la blanchisserie et sortent le linge au soleil

Donne-moi ta main camarade Prête-moi ton coeur compagnons Nous referons les barricades Et la vie, nous la gagnerons

Tandis que quelques militaires font leur métier de matadors Des ouvriers, des ouvrières détruisent une prison d'abord Là-bas, c'est la mort qui s'avance tandis qu'ici: Ah madame c'est l'anarchie La liberté dans l'espérance il ont osé la vivre aussi

Dame tu mano companero I presta me tu corazon Barricadas leventaremos Como ahier la confederacion

call me anytime

At 7.30pm on saturday we (Act Up) have a demonstration against homophobia in the Marais, corner of rue des Archives et rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie (closest metro : Hotel de Ville). You'll find me there

Can you recommend some good second hand bookshops b y the way? I'm looking for several old issues of multitudes and some rarer anarchist things....

go see my friend Patrick at Le Point du Jour, rue Gay-Lussac ; don't remember the exact number, but it's at the corner of rue des Ursulines (RER Luxembourg, or buses 21 and 27) you'll find treasures at his place, and he can give you advices on other places ; he knows very well the history of social movements

We Came, We Saw, We Seized - 'cos there was fuck all else to do

The futility and vacuousness of the WSIS was a premise rather than a conclusion of the We Seize campaign animated by those around Geneva 03 during the last year. Without any real jurisdiction to alter any regulatory frameworks and lacking any financial resources of its own to kickstart initiatives, the gravy train extravaganza could only promise a rhetorical "Declaration on the Information Society" and an empty "Action Plan" designed to achieve the wordy fantasies of consensus outlined in the former. WSIS had no real world prosthesis and even a realm of discursive power and agenda-setting was a flop; the stymying of the negotiations of the EU constitution was compounded by the capture of the Count Vlad Saddam Hussein to ensure that the public attention and the meagre attention of journalists were concentrated elsewhere.

It was both predictable and appropriate that a masquerade that passed itself off as an exercise in consensus-building with a 'pathbreaking and innovative' involvement of all the stakeholders (business!! and poverty industries!) should style itself as a confab dedicated to resolving the digital divide. Apart from this rather lacklustre spin however there was a shocking vulgarity to the obvious disinterest in resolving social crises. Proposals to launch a solidarity fund which would assist a communications/ICT catch-up by developing countries were refused and then stalled. Such an embarassment was simply too much for some social democrats who (on the instigation of the Senegalese President) couldn't restrain themselves from launching a 'voluntary' fund to the same end.

No conflict then with programs such as the recently launched 'Digital Freedom Initiative' administered by USAID with their 'partners' Cisco and Hewlett Packard, guided by an approach outlined by Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans: ""Our solution is free enterprise and free markets. We know that the miracle of capitalism is that in an environment of free enterprise the spirit of competition takes hold, leading to more innovation, which leads to economic growth, which leads to higher standards of living, which leads to quality of life, which leads to a world that lives peace and prosperity."

David Carney, Bush Administration Announces Digital Freedom Initiative http://www.techlawjournal.com/topstories/2003/20030304.asp

What is odd at this point is that such statements still appear as extreme, as anomalies, when in fact they represent the normative baseline. This point is missed by the NGO sector who persist in their conviction that we are soon to return to an era of leftist paternalism, keynesian economics and social partnership. Positions assumed by initiatives such as geneva03 are seen as simple ideological statements rather than calibrated responses to material conditions and simple political observation.

From Vituperative to Substance Despite the immodest ventings of neo-liberal loudmouths, WSIS also contained space for equivocation and the fudge. Indeed it emerged as the preferred way to address controversial subjects. A case in point is the fight over the characterization of the different software 'solutions' available' and their benefits. Initial language favorable to the free software path was bitterly attacked by agents of the Business Software Association specifically the US government and the evasively named Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors. Such was the state of high dudgeon at Microsoft over this matter that they threatened to refuse to participate altogether should free software even be mentioned. High ranking officials from the ITU were so shaken by this threat to their credibility that they fled the third preparatory conference in september to mollify Microsoft representatives in Rome. Nonetheless they found themselves in a tricky position. Trenchant opposition from proprietary software monopolists was to be weighed against a clear countercurrent of mainstream endorsement of free software alternatives. 2003 was the year when GNU/Linux was taken close to capital's breast, or more accurately the nipple of the state; Israel, Brazil and the city of Munich all announced programs amounting to the progressive replacement of residual proprietary systems, whilst Japan, Korea and Taiwan came to an agreement for collaborative development of Free software/open source software( FLOSS). Such shifts underlined the degree to which the question of mainstream FLOSS adoption would be a battle taking place within the establishment itself rather than between the centers and margins.

To such delicate matters WSIS draftsmen brought what was obviously a practiced hand in the war against meaning: "Access to information and knowledge can be promoted by increasing awareness among all stake-holders of the possibilities offered by different software models, including proprietary, open-source and free software, in order to increase competition, access by users, diversity of choice, and to enable all users to develop solutions which best meet their requirements." (Part III s.27)

Meanwhile the declaration contained the anticipated eulogy to 'cyber-security' even if expressed in tongue-twisted manner:

"A global culture of cyber-security needs to be promoted, developed and implemented .... supported by increased international co-operation. Within this global culture of cyber-security, it is important to enhance security and to ensure the protection of data and privacy, while enhancing access and trade .....While recognizing the principles of universal and non-discriminatory access to ICTs for all nations, we support the activities of the United Nations to prevent the potential use of ICTs for purposes that are inconsistent with the objectives of maintaining international stability and security, and may adversely affect the integrity of the infrastructure within States, to the detriment of their security. It is necessary to prevent the use of information resources and technologies for criminal and terrorist purposes, while respecting human rights."

Despite this genuflection to the global fashion for moral panic there is reason to be happy that there no specific items of security focussed legislation - such as the Cybercrime Treaty - were overtly pushed.

The Violent Life of Property Whilst weasel words promised global equity on the route to geneva, the real drive for wealth redistribution upwards continued in other fora. Notable in this respect were the bilateral agreements reached by the US with Chile, Jordan and Singapore during the WSIS process. Despite their ostensibly religious deference to global free trade the US in fact favours bilateral environments where access or exclusion from its vast internal market in foods and clothing can be leveraged to extract concessions from developing countries. The path to the TRIPS annex to the GATT agreed in 1991, for example, was marked by the repeated targeting of dissident states with Section 301 trade retaliation actions or trade bribes administered via the GSP programs and trade agreements. Having raised the bar as far as is possible in multilateral contexts, expansionist forces are now focussing on the bilateral and regional environment.

The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas was always preferable to TRIPS as a template for maximal enclosure. As a result since 1998 there have been negotiations to extend a revised FTAA to the 34 states of the Americas. Substantively the changes relate to a widening of criminal offenses to include non-commercial copyright infringement, the narrowing of the circumstances in which compulsory licenses on patents can be exercised and an effective extension of the patent term. The most recent round of negotiations occurred in Miami in november but little movement took place around these IP questions, whilst outside protestors faced faced the democracy of rubber bullets, stun guns and electrified riot shields.

"Intellectual Property protection is important to encourage innovation and creativity in the information society; similarly, the wide dissemination, diffusion, and sharing of knowledge is important to encourage innovation and creativity. Facilitating meaningful participation by all in intellectual property issues and knowledge sharing through full awareness and capacity building is a fundamental part of an inclusive Information Society.

Semantic examination of US Documents in run-up.

ICANN - Committees Uber Alles. "Gaps in the Net" Ignacio Ramonet, Le Monde diplomatique http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=04/01/15/1556228

Tunisian Antics

Security Nuttiness

From delegates participating in the meetings. As of 24:00 Sunday night, the only open issue is finance and the digital solidarity fund, where the main conflict is between the EU mainly Germany and Africa.

Hey, what's a Couple of Broken Windows between Citizens?!

Our Fuck-Ups

Never achieved consensus as to what the purpose was of being there: counter-summit? Moment of new constitution?

Managed the media component very incompetently. Unwillingness on the part of some to confront the question. Poor organization in general. No monitoring of palimpsests. no general media activity inquiry.

Woeful interaction with local genevans particularly in regard to the demonstration. lack of knowledge about composition on CCS but presumption from outside that we must be connected (e.g. plenary list of the CS)

Geneva03 criticized for its failure to devise and elaborate a clear platform identifying simple key demands that could be shared by all. If an alternative organizational and conceptual design had emerged this would be irrelevant; but it didn't.

Fixation upon logistics (locations etc, and then the absurd discussion around money and theo bondolfi) marginalized the discussion about content. The only serious discussion on content questions had taken place in august and took the form commonly known as a row. That was as near as we got.

Miserable use of the time available.

All the families are like trotskyist attempts to simulate representativeness. Youth! Women!!

Masters in the art of saying nothing.

Licence fees and GDP per capita: The case for open source in developing countries by Rishab Aiyer Ghosh

RF http://www.contra.info/wsis http://rights.jinbo.net/english

http://www.wsis-online.net/csnews www.ecommons.ca http://www.us-mission.ch/press2003/1203WSIS.htm

"Geneva is not Seattle. Civil Society does not throw stones, it produces papers. Civil Society has moved from turmoil to trust." Wolfgang Kleinwaechter University of Aarhus, Member of the Civil Society WSIS Bureau

Ben Ali (Tunisie), =5F Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus : particuli=E8rement efficace dans la r=E9= pression des mouvements sociaux), =

=5F Pervez Musharraf (Pakistan), =

- J. Maria Aznar (Espagne : fid=E8le alli=E9 de Georges Bush), =

Fidel Castro (Cuba), =

- J-P Raffarin (France),

Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Jordan, Korea (Republic of), Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, Spain, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Ukraine, Zimbabwe (mugabe)

re: Hacktivista - Documentary screening at WSIS

They cost CHF 9.- for 30 minutes, 19.- for two hours, 48.- for 24 hours and 198.- for seven days. www.edwebproject.org/andy/blog/

Partnership announcements included a USD 400,000 grant by the US Government for ICT development in low-income countries. Cisco and ITU also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open 20 more Internet Training Centres in developing countries. As well, Hewlett-Packard will provide low-cost products that will help overcome the illiteracy barrier to ICT. Handwritten texts for example will be recognized for e-mail transmission. Microsoft, working with UNDP, will provide a billion dollar programme over 5 years to bring ICT skills to underserved communities. One innovative initiative announced to bridge the digital divide is the Bhutan E-Post project. For faster, cheaper and more reliable communication to remote, mountainous areas of Bhutan, the Government of India will deliver e-post services to the Bhutanese Postal Service via a USD 400,000 a V-satellite network and solar panels power system. The partners include ITU, Bhutan Telecom and Post, Worldspace and Encore India. And at the very close of the Summit, the cities of Geneva and Lyon and the Government of Senegal have announced contributions totaling about 1 million euros to fund information technology in developing countries. The contributions will represent the first three payments towards the Digital Solidarity Fund, the creation of which is to be considered by a UN working group for the Tunis phase.

Belarus KGB chief: Internet should be brought under control

>KGB should exert control over Internet, because international terrorism >and organized crime more and more often use WWW. "We are trying to >provide all the possibilities, and legal - fist of all, in order to be >able to control Internet, "- said Mr. Leonid Erin, chief of Belarusian >KGB. > >Mr. Erin emphasizes that he understands criticism of this position, >especially in connection with human rights violation. But he insists >that prior to that are state interests and secret services activities. > >Useful links: > >Interfax (in Russian) > >http://www.e-belarus.org/news/200312101.html

Subject: [WSIS CS-Plenary] Re: CS Plenary statement condemning repression In-Reply-To: References: Message-ID:

Hello all, I wanted to be sure that those who were not present at the final plenary did have the chance to see the statement on repression we drafted and released after unanimous (except for World Press Freedom Committee) agreement that a statement had to be made:

--from http://hubproject.org/news/2003/12/420.php --

PRESS RELEASE December 12, 2003

The Civil Society Plenary, meeting in its final session during the first phase of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) taking place from December 10-12, 2003 in Geneva, unanimously condemns the undemocratic actions of the Swiss authorities and the Summit organisers in suppressing dissenting and alternative voices.

Over the past three days:

- The Polimedia Lab organised by Geneva 03 collective (http://www.geneva03.net), meant to be an open space for participatory communication, was shut down by riot police on Tuesday December 9th, 2003.

- Printed documents critical of the WSIS and of the media and IT corporate monopolies were confiscated and prevented from being circulated inside the Palexpo, the official venue of the WSIS on December 10th, 2003.

- A peaceful demonstration of 50 local and international people at the Gare Cornavin, Geneva, on December 12th, 2003, protesting the WSIS and the corporate control of information and supporting community media, was surrounded by about 40 civil police and several vans filled with riot police, and prevented from continuing. Demonstrators were detained, searched, identified and those refusing to be identified were taken to the police station.

These events continue the pattern of political repression that has been a constant feature of public life in Geneva since the G-8 meeting in June 2003.

We strongly condemn these violations of the right to assemble and freedom of expression that have cast a shadow of hypocrisy over the summit.

For more information on these incidents, please contact Geneva 03, telephone 079-757-4372


Stallman on 20 years http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=04/01/05/1231254


http://wsis.ecommons.ca http://smsi.agora-electronique.ca

The WEMF "report" you refer to is a joint platform of the European and World Broadcasting Unions and the International Association of Broadcasting, outlining the joint concerns of public and private broadcasters.

It is available from EBU and/or IAB.

Lyon Decalaration http://www.cities-lyon.org/en/declaration

I do agree entirely. Neither the Internet Governance Working Group nor the Task Force on the Digital Solidarity Fund are likely to look to the WSIS Civil Society for membership. But (as I argue on the governance list), we should build on our strength - a broad platform of

Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Implementing the WSIS Action Plan A unique conference for policy-makers, ICT activists and action-oriented private sector organizations

Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, 25-26 March 2004

Following the hectic pace and overwhelming volume of activities at WSIS Geneva, it is important that organizations take time to reassess the vast amount of outputs and project themes. The CTO conference will act as a follow-up to WSIS, focusing on "Implementation and Best Practices". Following a three-month gestation period, we should be able to make more sense of WSIS outputs, by focusing on specific key topics in the relative serenity of a comfortable resort on the outskirts of Nairobi. You will be able to deliberate, plan and share common areas of interest. This event is aimed at facilitating the journey to WSIS 2005 in a creative, constructive way.

The conference will have the following objectives:

∑ Understanding and reviewing leading thinking and strategies on best practices, which can be shared between key member groups. Review how other stakeholders are going to approach similar goals and strategic objectives.

∑ How to develop action plans which cascade through the supply chain.

∑ Reviewing the role of stakeholder alliances between government, not for profit organizations/NGOs and the private sector, reviewing key case studies materials throughout the world, including a focus on procurement and the supply chain.

∑ Uncover the challenges and opportunities of developing Private Finance Initiatives.

∑ Assess how joint cross-border initiatives like skills and capacity building can work. Is there a common roadmap to developing "e-citizen" communities.

∑ Share common challenges on modernizing Government agendas in relation to WSIS. Assess what external tools and resources exist which can support stakeholders in this endeavour.

∑ How to enhance private sector investor commitment.

The programme will include the following sessions:

1.. Implementing the WSIS Action Plan: The Challenge for Policy-Makers - Ministers, deputy ministers and leading technocrats present latest policy and project proposals. How can effective co-ordination be achieved across all ministries involved in ICT implementation.

2.. Implementing the WSIS Action Plan: The Challenge for Regulators - Regulators and private sector operators share knowledge on best practices to facilitate rapid roll-out of telecommunication services.

3.. Implementing the WSIS Action Plan: The Challenge for Development Partners - How can multilateral and bilateral institutions best respond to the project and development opportunities currently multiplying in the market?

4.. Implementing the WSIS Action Plan: The Challenge for the Private Sector: How can the private sector best respond to the lack of communications infrastructure development, retarding Africa's participation in the world economic system. The African Internet Service Providers Association (AfrISPA) will lead this forum for private sector players to develop a strategy for the development of affordable and efficient Internet infrastructural development in Africa.

5.. Implementing the WSIS Action Plan: The Role of Civil Society - NGOs, church organizations, media, academia all have a vital role to play in implementing the WSIS programme. How can diverse initiatives be effectives co-ordinated in order to achieve optimum results?

6.. Financing the WSIS Action Plan: The Role of Private Financial Institutions and the Capital Markets; leveraging state funding to mobilise private sector investment

7.. Implementing the WSIS Action Plan across the Region: Understanding the confluence of national and regional ICT projects and how they can best be co-ordinated

Speaking Opportunities Presentation proposals are invited, covering the topics outlined above. Proposals should be sent to Sean Moroney, AITEC Africa (sean@aitecafrica.com), including a brief outline and the presenter's CV summary.

Sponsorship Opportunities

The CTO conference provides a unique opportunity to make a marketing impact on leading policy-makers, regulators and government and private sector decision-makers through the exclusive sponsorship opportunities available at the conference. For details contact your AITEC representative.

Kenya National ICT Convention The conference will coincide with the Kenya ICT National Convention over 22-26 March which is intended to develop a detailed consensus between government, civil society and the private sector on the country's national ICT policy. In addition, the Convention with showcase East African national and regional ICT projects in order to attract donor support or private sector investment, this conference is not limited to region or country.

The conference and the Convention will be opened with a combined plenary session on the morning of 22 March. Other combined activities will be a welcoming cocktail party on 22 March and a dinner on 23 March.

Safari Park Hotel provides a five-star residential conference facility with a relaxed environment in a semi-bush setting (see www.safaripark-hotel.com). AITEC Africa has been appointed by CTO to organise the conference. For further details, contact Sean Moroney, +44-1480-495595; sean@aitecafrica.com

1. background to conf/ITU/UNESCO

2. Jurisdiction - FTAA, WIPO, GATS, TRIPS, ICANN, EU directives

3. Strategy; redfinitio of ip as trade issue

5. Attitude of Biz ccbi/icc, US - Infrastructure, Formazione, Sicurezza.

4. Cybercrime treaty/ crim provisions, NET, FTA, bilaterals, ICANN, Floss, Cassa.

5. Linking themes which are connected to a society with information and communications at the centre of production.

6. Practices, not just claims. Conference to elaborate a discussion on themes ignored within the official framework.

7. Paris, Metallolab

5a Official

6. Cris

7. Geneva03

8. layers

9. Why Go? Constuitutive moment share skills relaunch a discussion outside of the pattern of summit-hopping experiment with decentralized mode of organizing capitalize on public attention to raise consciousness aropund issues such as IP/precarity

access to communications workers outside of the west 3-400 delegates related to cris, 8-10,000 delegates for summit

1. BBC Announcement about archives http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3177479.stm

He said the new online service was part of the corporation's future, or "second phase", strategy for the development of digital technology.

Mr Dyke said he believed this second phase would see a shift of emphasis by broadcasters.

Their focus would move away from commercial considerations to providing "public value", he said.

"I believe that we are about to move into a second phase of the digital revolution, a phase which will be more about public than private value; about free, not pay services; about inclusivity, not exclusion.

"In particular, it will be about how public money can be combined with new digital technologies to transform everyone's lives."

2. Controversy over WIPO meeting on FLOSS 2a. Aggressive posture adopted by the uS State Department on orders of copyright industry 2b. Meanwhile announcements about Munich and Brazil 2c Software Patents Directive 2d Litigation commence against P2p users Microsoft had threatened to boycot WSIS if "Open Source" was so much as mentioned in the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.

3. Refusal to establish separate fund to finance digital divide program.

Today, 16th July, a governmental sub-group constituted of the governments of China, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, San Salvador and the USA was formed to look at issues of Human Rights, the “Right to Communicate” and Cultural Rights.

Egypt blocked a European proposition to introduce a freedom to communicate. China, presumably, is responsible for the exclusion of HRIC. Opposition to Libya's role in the Human Rights trade led to the exclusion of RSF.

4. Concentration US Italy 5. No threat to ICAANN despite some efforts in that direction Exclusions HRIC http://iso.hrichina.org/iso/news_item.adp?news_id=1527

RSF http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=797215.09.2003

Bureaucratic obstacles to registration etc.

4. Delays in actual process 5. counter/ Alternate summit

6. Environment - basel action network or the silicon valley toxics, Soenke 7. Role of Migrant labour and migrant subsistence 8. CS to draft their own declaration out of exasperation with official process

Stress shift from the state centered vision of the 1970s to communications from below. http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs/im/content_themes/contributions/ccbi.doc ].

Other events

UNESCO: symposium with Nobel laureates UN: world forum on electronic media World Bank: InfoDev symposium UN ICT task force: various initiatives

CRIS focus groups on: IP, Info-Sec, Access, Media Diversity and Development

Polymedia Lab Stuff Radio - Plureil mamonbbux@nerim.net www.cnrl.org


Hipatia (Argentina)

Pirate pride

European Headquarters of MS are in Rome.

Hackitectura - we seize! a bidirectional internet antena. we are not 100% sure we will be able, but if we eventually can, we would need a place to set it up, a roof... close to the media center. a strong pole to fix it...

Oekonux discussion

http://worldwatch.linuxgazette.com/article.php?sid=184&mode=&order=0 http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs/pcip/plenary/pct-talk.pdf

il 23 novembre l'italian linux society organizza il LinuxDay, http://www.defectiveyeti.com/archives/000690.html http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.08/view.html?pg=4 http://www.crisinfo.org/live/index.php?section=2&subsection=2&id=56 http://www.sindominio.net/karakola/english.htm http://www.crisinfo.org/live/index.php?section=2&subsection=3 http://www.crisinfo.org/live/index.php?section=2&subsection=3&id=56 Testing Media Carta http://demandmedia.net/ http://www.wacc.org.uk http://www.grain.org http://www.commedia.org.uk/airflash/index.htm http://wsis-pct.org


and there's a 'we seize' posting here:


and a world forum on communication rights posting here:


You extracted:

1.Social factory, IP as legal relation that taxes health and 'leisure, IP as fetter on self-valorization initiatives 2. Agreement on Basic Telecommunications and Accounting Rate Mechanism (where the porno story fits it). 3. The difference between networks and coalitions (which I wanted to discuss with you anyhow). 4. History of the ITU 5. The quote from the Department of State Bulletin accurately predicting the future!

I’ve no problem with the dropping of 4. 5 could go in as a footnote? 2 could go in as a footnote. 3. I can survive without even if it means leaving out the representation question, which I am loathe to do.

1.though really should be fitted in, not least because it has been the site of considerable anguish on my part and the source of all the delays that have driven you round the bend. Furthermore I think it’s a really important insight and as I mentioned on the phone, Dyer Witherford/Bettig etc. show the limits of bog--standard application of 'Marxist' schemas, fixated only on the labour relation and not the more general social pattern. Capital is a logic and form of social relationship, not just isolated instances of unfair exchange. The self-valorization stuff indicates the antagonistic potential of p2p and leapfrogs the innovation claims of Lessig et al. It's also a nice lead in to other discussions about general intellect and illustrates the use of layers model.

From: Alan Toner Date: Wed May 14, 2003 4:47:06 PM Europe/Rome To: jamie king Subject: Re: article

Hi Jamie,

You asked for it, and I have small suspicion that this may not be the kind of help you desired, but hell.....!

Here are the paragraphs relevant to the social factory. They were in the introduction,.

========= "At a collective level, intellectual property privileges enable monopoly pricing -- ripping off consumers -- by barring competition. They also ensure that whilst the tools of production and distribution - hardware, software and networks - become accessible to wider parts of the population, control of the market shifts to the informational inputs in production - the digital artisan may own her own tools but never the object of her own manufacture. Likewise trade secret law constrains the movement of knowledge and prevents the free use of individual capacities. On a systemic level copyright affects collective political discourse by exacerbating concentration of ownership in media because those with large inventories enjoy lower production costs, whereas newcomers can be shut out simply by a refusal to license; the outcome is a narrower range of views and the subordination of communicative practices to business models. Overall, intellectual property rules manifest the diffusion of exploitation in modern social factory, taxing our access to health, self-development and leisure rather than simply extracting surplus from labour.

The non-rivalrous nature of information -- use by one doesn't diminish availability to another – network-driven decline in communications cost, and cheap commodity hardware enable new realms of cooperation where human labour is central. GNU/Linux, Kuro5hin, Indymedia, SETI, and filesharing networks such as eDonkey and Kazaa are just a few of the outcomes of this protean productive force composed through the voluntary cooperation of network prod-users. A key benefit of the peer-based production model limned above is that volunteer labour goes where it is most competent -- bypassing the inefficiencies of task allocation through firms or price signals -- and goes only where it's willing. Such spaces of free association constitute a significant terrain of individual freedom. Although this voluntary labour and its fruits are partially appropriated by capitalism, these practices are nonetheless concrete experiences of self-valorization, where participants appropriate the tools and knowledge of production and employ them to their own ends in a sort of triumph of use over exchange. Intellectual property laws limit or attempt to crush the potential of this mode of production by narrowing the range of inputs available to be refined or repurposed by all. " -------- You already have the phrase 'Accounting rate Mechanism' bracketed for a not and here is what you can compose the note from, it includes the stuff on porno ......:

"Elsewhere the revenue-sharing 'Accounting Rate Mechanism' instituted by the ITU has been discarded. This term refers to the calculation by which telephone companies divide income from calls between the county of origin and that in which it is received. Until recently this figure was 50% of a fictitious fixed rate, distinct from both cost of provision or charge to the user. This system once constituted an important source of income for developing countries -- in 1996 the United States, for example, had a deficit of 5.6 billion dollars, much of which flowed to poor neighboring countries. From 1997 the FCC announced a reduced accounting rate, practically capping the amounts transferred. Although the ITU responded with an alternative proposal in 1999, it was by this time too late and many countries had adopted the FCC system (xxx).

"(xxx) Interestingly legal restraints on the domestic market for sex-lines in the US catalyzed the use of innovative routing mechanisms via peripheral nations such as Guyana, who receives up to 40% of its Gross Domestic Product from such calls. See Frederick E. Allen "When Sex Drives Technological innovation and Why It has to", www.plannedparenthood.org/education/updatearch.html) =================

The paragraph before the section entitled "The Kinder Face of Military Humanism" should include the following or rather a stylish abbreviation therof:

"Having redefined IP as a trade issue and exhausted the immediate opportunities presented by the GATT, knowledge industries and the US government then moved policy back to WIP where the level of protection was once again ratcheted up in two treaties in 1996 (The World Copyright Treaty and the World Performers and Phonographs Treaty). Even this event however witnessed a steeling of developing countries position and the end of the multilateral trojan horse was nigh. Fused with frustration at the refusal by many states to go beyond formal compliance with TRIPS (leading arch-lobbyist and former head of the US Patents and trademarks Office, Bruce Lehman, to baldly state "TRIPS has been a terrible failure") the US has returned once again to coercive bilateral deals, whose ideal protectionist template is provided by the recent Free Trade Agreement with Singapore. For many accustomed to the association of the WTO with satanic acts, it is urgent to understand that the place of the game has changed.

Lastly, the last paragraph before "Conference without a content" should continue:

No conflict then with programs such as the recently launched 'Digital Freedom Initiative' administered by USAID with their 'partners' Cisco and Hewlett Packard, guided by the approach outlined by Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans: ""Our solution is free enterprise and free markets. We know that the miracle of capitalism is that in an environment of free enterprise the spirit of competition takes hold, leading to more innovation, which leads to economic growth, which leads to higher standards of living, which leads to quality of life, which leads to a world that lives peace and prosperity."

David Carney, Bush Administration Announces Digital Freedom Initiative http://www.techlawjournal.com/topstories/2003/20030304.asp

===== oh and footnote Benkler's layer argument with the following cite Yochai Benkler, From Consumers to Users: Shfiting the Deeper Structures of Regulation Towards Sustainable Commons and User Access, 52 Fed. Comm. L.J. 561 (2000)


Indeed, under a regime of full employment, the "sack" would cease to play its role as a disciplinary measure. The social position of the boss would be undermined, and the self-assurance and class-consciousness of the working class would grow. Strikes for wage increases and improvements in conditions of work would create political tension.

Kalecki 1943, quoted in Henwood at 206


Les entreprises investissent jusqu'a 40% de leur chiffre d'affaires en marketing, publicite, styling design etc (dans l'industrie audio-visuelle americaine 50% du budget d'un film est investi dans sa promotion et son lancement). Ajourd hui les investissements dans la machine de l'expression peuvent largement depassert les investissements en. Lazzarato 231

"Those responsible for this new social critique share with the managers a culture of mobility, thev are opportunistic, capable of seizing any occasion, and function in networks. They are capable of monopolizing to their benefit the points of contact between networks, they amass heavily laden address-books without allowing others to benefit from them, they attribute to themselves responsibility for events to whose organization they have contributed..... they become entrepreneurs of themselves as recommended by the economists and the banks. Relations of exploitation become based upon differentials in mobility: the more one does, the more one is mobile, the more one is employable. Querrien, 258

"Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable." Foucault, cited in Henwood, 2003, 185.

"Nobody likes playing the heavy and having to resort to litigation," said Cary Sherman, the RIAA's president. "But when your product is being regularly stolen, there comes a time when you have to take appropriate action.

We need to communicate the lacks and the excesses of our working and living situations in order to escape from the neoliberal fragmentation which separates and debilitates us, turning us into victims of fear, of exploitation or of the individualism of ‘each one for herself.’ But, above all, we want to make possible the collective construction of other lives through a shared creative struggle. Our insistence upon singularity we owe to our desire to not produce, once again, false homogeneities, without permitting that this insistence prevents us from saying anything at all.

Precarias a la derive

Le premier acte de tout changement politique, de toute transformation de la société, est un changement culturel. La première tâche, c'est la production de ce que Felix Guattari appelait la subjectivité: la création de nouvelles socialités qui ne soient fondées ni sur l'échange marchand ni sur la vente de la force de travail.


Un pas dans ce sens est que tout le monde puisse choisir sa forme de travail discontinu ou à temps très réduit tout en étant assuré d'un revenu suffisant. Cela existe en Europe du Nord. Les autoactivités en deviennent finalement prépondérantes. L'emploi du temps n'est plus le temps de l'emploi.

what? gorz

Bookchin wrote in 1977 (not about information) 'A century ago, scarcity had to be endured; today, it has to be enforced - hence the importance of the state in the present era'. oek

"...class composition - understood as the various forms of labour which arise when particular forms of labour-power are inserted in specific processes if production...... Wright, 49.

difference between scarcity and rivalry

Why a guaranteed income? i) Inability of growth to create full employment or even stabilize existing levels of unemployment.

ii) To break with the logic of productivism.

iii) But what about the New Slavery as Caffentzis calls it? Is work really going away?

- Vision of Ferry: equal sum for all but treated as a primary income and thus taxable.

voute - the vault refoulement - repression, driving back cautère - adjuvant - additive (= stimulant) stimulant pléthorique - [classes] overcrowded [documentation] excessive foisonnement - profusion; abundance defoulement - rterlease of tension, unwinding

slittamento - slipping, skidding, sliding, fall, postponement; constatare - to notice, note, observe; riecheggia - (vi) to re-echo; rimarcare - (vt) to remark, observe. tampone - tampon; (gen: Med) plug; (di cotone) wad; (per pulire una ferita) swab; (per stendere un liquido) pad; (cuscinetto, per timbri) ink-pad; (di carta assorbente) blotter; 2 (adj) provvedimento tampone, stopgap measure intanto - in the meantime purche - provided that espugnato - stormable inghiottire - swallow scossone - a shakeup/jolt ignavia -sloth, slothfulness bacino - area scalfire - to scratch, graze, nick, (fig.) affect escogitare - devise, contrive, concoct, think out marchingegno - contraption, contrivance, gadget


[1] http://www.marshallbrain.com/robotic-freedom.htm

[2] http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/07/24/1227209



Why Hackers Do What They Do: Understanding Motivation and Effort in Free/Open Source Software Projects http://opensource.mit.edu/papers/lakhaniwolf.pdf

Davenport & Beck Attention Economy

www.wireless.dk www.piratbyran.org

superflex http://ourproject.org Gustavo Duch de VSF

Technologies of Collective Authorship

(i) Creative Commons (ii) Scientific Signatures (iii) Polyphonic video


The GNU project began twenty years ago and built upon the religious dedication of its founder combined with a novel legal instrument which allowed the work to be decentralized, parallelized and sequential. The name of the invention is the General Public License of course. The GPL's novelty lay in its subversion of copyright law (a system of exclusive private rights) by means of a licensing assemblage.

Synchronically, the world of music was undergoing its first Indie revolution on the back of the rupture initiated by punk, expressed in a galaxy of fanzines, independent record labels and distribution systems. This movement of "Rock Against the Majors" rejected the campaigns of the music industry against Home Taping (Is Killing Music!) and more generally cultivated a disrespect of the property of the dominant labels and their property rights.

The Midi was one of the products whose massification at the beginning of the 1980s made it easier than ever to establish an independent production facility - its commodification, alongside that of the video recorder (whose crucial legal battle was won in 1980 in the US Supreme Court), provided an early marker of the future diffusion of media-production technologies amongst an initial prosumer niche and then a consumer mass. The Midi, sampler and sequencer was to enable the emergence of the decades next great cultural movement, which would strike a much harder blow initially against the industry using the tool of appropriation: Hip Hop. Major industry interests took note and began a series of massive legal actions against the appropriationists, concluding in multiple seven figure compensation awards for the unauthorized sampling of their property - tunes for which they had often paid the original artist peanuts such as James Brown. Similar if less dramatic clashes had been taking place in the worlds of literature and visual arts in the post-war period (Warhol himself was the defendant in an action taken by Heinz beans for use of their trademark in his multi-colour prints.)

As a consequence of this emergence to visibility of conflicts around copyright there emerged an 'anti-copyright' attitude in wildly distinct milieus, most of them having some sort of anti-property libertarian ideas or linked to milieus of artistic appropriation. Linux Torvalds completion of the kernel to the GNU operating system in 1992 not only created the first functional non-proprietary system but also allowed the 'coming out' of the free software's different model of authorship beyond the esoteric public familiar with the GPL. The time for hybridization had arrived and from this point on regular attempts were made to 'port' the GPL model into a form capable of delivering the same objective for traditional creative works.

No Copyright versus Copyleft

The rhetoric of 'anti-copyright' denoted an attitude rather than a methodology. The marks were meaningless legally although they certainly had importance in fashioning ethical relationships between people involved in the DIY music scene.

GPL and the later copyleft licenses make a decisive break with this trajectory - rather than rejecting its corpus, the licenses are based on copyright law.

The fundamental move expressed in each subsequent 'copyleft license' has been the same: one section of the license will grant other users 'rights' habitually reserved to the owner and another will require that the work be distributed to others 'downstream' on the same terms. The result is that whilst individual benefits of the work may be privately appropriated, the work itself cannot be privatised.

What is a license and what is the difference with a contract:

- License is an irrevocable offer to the world in general. Licenses give people rights to do certain things with a work on certain terms provided that 'conditions' specified by the rights holder are observed. Contracts, on the other hand, are negotiated individually so as to take account of specific circumstances and allow differential treatment. Contracts are formed when there has been 'offer' and 'acceptance' and a counterpart ('consideration') is given to the party conceding rights or property.

Non-revocable: "Notwithstanding the above, Licensor reserves the right to release the Work under different license terms or to stop distributing the Work at any time; provided, however that any such election will not serve to withdraw this License."

Copyleft v Other non sharealike licenses:

License that do not include a "share alike" provision are non-copyleft licenses.They do not requires licensees to offer derivations back to the public on exactly the same terms they were offered.

Creative Commons CC has been the most high profile attempt to disseminate the alternative licensing model in the world of cultural production. Its success can be attributed to both its timing (coming on the heels of a series of exhausting and ultimately failed legal challenges to copyright expansions), and being both well-resourced and promoted by some very high profile players on the critical IP scene (such as Larry Lessig).

The Licensing Engine The CC site contains a licensing engine designed so as to as extract the information necessary so as to assemble a license in accordance with the author/producer's wishes/intentions. There are in fact only three questions, two of which are binary.

- Is attribution required (y/n)

- Is Commercial Use allowed (y/n)

- Are derivatives allowed (Sharealike)? (y/n/sharealike)

Having answered these questions the engine spits out a summary of the effects of your decisions in simple language. Behind this document there is another, which you can click through to, conmtaining the 'legal code', ie the full legal text of the license.

In the following section I'll make an anatomical breakdown of the license contents.

License Dissection

0. Disclaimer CC is not a law firm; they are clarifying that the use of this document does not constitute a counsel-client relationship which could render them liable for w=hat happens in the future.

1. Definitions

2. Fair Use Rights The license does not take away rights which you would have under the normal terms of copyright law. Copyright is a limited right; it does not encompass everything.

3. License Grant List of the Freedoms given to the user under the license

4. Restrictions

The combination of 3 & 4 effectively grants rights and then makes it impossible to restrict them downstream. "....a grant to third parties with a required grant-back to us under the same terms."

5.Representation, Warranties and Disclaimer

If you are licensing the work you must be able to demonstrate that you enjoy the ownership that would entitle you to license it.

Warranty - A statement or representation that the goods and/or services will perform as promised in the agreement; a guaranty. For example, a License Agreement relating to a database of samples of musical compositions may contain a Warranty that the Licensor has obtained permission from the composers and performers of the individual musical works to provide access to the database to the Licensee.

disclaimer - (law) a voluntary repudiation of a person's legal claim to something

6. Limitation on liability

Should anything happen of a negative nature arising out of the use of the license the licensor will not be responsible for anything except for that contained in the section on warranties in paragraph 5.


What happens where licensing conditions are breached


- Severable clauses should one be found to be inapplicable. - No exceptions to be presumed in the absence of an explicit waiver

8. - removal of the cc license will not change the rights conceded to licensees during the period whilst the license was in vigor. One can change the terms of the license, but not he terms of the deal agreed with people who accepted your offer: Clause 8(a) states: "Each time You distribute or publicly digitally perform the Work or a Collective Work, the Licensor offers to the recipient a license to the Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this License."

a. Founders Copyright The initial duration of copyright in the US was 14 years, although it could be extended

b. Public Domain Dedication

Problem of non-commercial clause

Rischi di mordere la tua propria coda

Why do you want to use a license? - Dilemma for independent producers of culture: as the sustainability model is not constructed around retail sales, there is no reason to restrict the redistribution by individuals. There are also practical reasons why copyright is difficult to exploit: * there aren't the means to satisfactorily monitor for violation * there may not be means to finance the protracted legal proceedings required so as to ensure and enforcement of rights * many of the defendants will not have financial resources to make themselves attractive targets in the sense of any anticipated windfall.

On the other hand there are good reasons to allow free circulation: - helps to build a community of supporters and admirers whose interest is monetized in other situations: concerts, film showings, collaborations - generates publicity and familiarity with the cultural work that can open up other revenue possibilities - in the context of p2p architectures it transfers the cost of distribution from the individual or corporate author to the community of users/fans.

Where might refusing to allow derivative works be appropriate? Minuses - Ethical question about the use of film footage of migrant children (wastun.org) - copyright laws can function unwittingly to protect the subjects of representation.

- This poses a problem where the recycling is carried out by an organisation/individual which you do not approve of, or in a context which perverts the original intention.

What benefits flow form the widespread adoption of the license? Pluses - Cultivation of a community ethic of sharing footage or other media enlarges the base of common materials available to all. In a situation where corporate media production benefits from having the exclusive rights over a vast quantity and range of material, this form of aggregation of user material may be the only way to compete on the level of materials: e.g. September 11th and the fall of the trade towers will be used for innumerable future documentaries, many of the m made by independent film makers. Most of that footage is owned and will have to be licensed. Yet scores of indy camera operators shout images of the calamity.

*distinction between the public domain and licensing

* problem of the definition of commercial: "monetary compensation or financial gain," in terms of building a community capable of sustaining itself economically whilst nurturing a different normative basis, it will be desirable to allow them to receive some financial remuneration, e.g where they take video to produce a derivative work and want to sell it, or charge a fee to screen or to attend a screening. *cc license waives p2p exchange provisions of NET, removing those exchanges from the broadened conception of compensation (which in the law now apparently extends to the receipt of other works) *severable clauses in case of jurisdictional differences

However, if someone pays your fee and gets a copy, the GPL gives them the freedom to release it to the public, with or without a fee. For example, someone could pay your fee, and then put her copy on a web site for the general public.

- Is there a roll of honour required for derivative works? Apart from the initial attribution. - Important to underline that none of these licenses have been tested at trial thusfar.

Monitoring License Compliance - Not done by CC - Not done by NGV/V2V (as Void says, why should we become the intermediaries?); responsibility of individual author, will become more significant a question if the plans for a 'left" tv materialize (Acroris, EmiliTV)

Collective Authorship in Science "... the name of the scientist can document not only the instability of its logic, but also the sociabilities, the geographies, and the materialities of the communities in which it is deployed." (26) - Scientists Names As Documents, Mario Biagioli, 11/1/1999

Several factors lie behind the frequency of multi-authorship in science, linked both to the specific function that the act of naming is intended to fulfill and the changing circumstance of scientific production with the deepening of the trend towards "Big Science". Responsibility is still a key ingredient of authorial assignation in science (intensified by some spectacular recent instances of fraudulent scientific claims, and not simply credit. The names amount to a package rather than a source ('well-demarcated name within a chain'). Epistemological. Authoritative. Entry pouint to the grievance process. A scientific text, like a book published in 16th century britain, needs to have ".... a real name.... a real address... it must refer to a physically traceable body."

The economy of science works with a different coin; originality is to be doubted rather than admired. The premises that underwrite the intellectual property system can not be transported into this new context.

Think of how "eponimy works as a form of symbolic capital, because monetary capital or material property cannot translate into scientific authorship." (18)

"Because the peculiar logic of scientific credit and responsibility prevents the construction of the scientific author either as the holder of intellectual property rights or as a worker paid for his/her work, it is hard, perhaps impossible, to find appropriate legal or economic categories to manage the function of that name. Scientific authorship, then, is a vast "underground economy" regulated by practices that are inherently administrative and private because they cannot be explicitly articulated in legal or economic terms. Despite the vast epistemological gap between art and science, scientific authorship bears more than tangential analogies to the figure of the artist, and to the untangible quality of artistic value." (22)

"In sum the 'workers' tend to think of authorship in corporate terms, that is, as stocks in a company that carry credit and responsibility in proportion to their share of the total value of the enterprise."

Attempts to hold onto traditional notions of authorship fail to confront the functional; mechanisms of big science whereas the workerist fragmentation of credit makes individual responsibility impossible.

Proposals: - contributorship/guarantorship (modularization of the functions think film credits)

Default Author List From 1998 a new approach to the problem emerged from the unexpected field of particle physics, specifically the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) to be later extended to the biggest physics laboratory in Europe: CERN. Recognizing the number and interdependent quality of contributions to the work done there, the lab specified that all publications should carry the names of all those on a default author list, revised twice a year. In order to become a default author, individuals must fulfill basic thresholds of participation in the labs work (50% of one's research time over three years). Essentially attribution functions upon the basis of a labor theory rather than in accordance with a concept of he individual genius of the inventor/scientist; time off can be taken without losing one's author status. Biagoli suggests that such a system may function in this area of physics because of characteristics particular to the field: peer-esteem is the most valuable form of cultural capital and the key to later employability; all activity takes place around one physical space making denial/ignorance of others contributions more difficult interesting events take place during long experiments and can occur under anyone's observation almost randomly.

Organizational Ramifications - The limitations of the consensus model can be addressed by dispensing once and for all with the grasping for representativity inherent in the concept of the group that needs to "consense". Instead the multi-authorship model offers the option for those in disagreement to simply step outside, distance themselves from the decision taken and the visibility to render that meaningful. Instead of starting from a point of seeking agreement on a text this method may also be more capable of creating a record of what is held in common.

"The author's byline is a tribal inscription, not the primary source for individual vitae." (32)

Each publication goes through three levels of scrutiny. First there is a basic approval process by a publication committee whereas the other two revolve around the submission of comments online. Up to three days before the submission date members of the DAL can decide to retract their name from this document as a means of distancing themselves from such a conclusion.

The community is able to function also because it has a means of sanctioning because it is global in effect (there aren't too many particle colliders around to run to).

Specious Parallels This capacity to sanction is a bit taboo in political circles despite the fact that sanctioning takes place all the time. Once there, after all, there were purges and show-trials. On a more banal level there was expulsion, which often amounted also to excommunication. Tiny sects indulged in this rather heavily. These things have their analogues in today's supposedly network based political culture ; people are cut loose, or individuals simply seek supplying the information necessary in order for things to go on in a form of active non co-operation. On a more banal level punishment are inflicted through the spreading of malicious gossip in a primitive form of character-assassination. Aside form the unpleasant personal consequences of these things the other problem is that they bequeath little to those who would later seek to address similar problems and overcome previous blockage-points.

Some of us have experimented with wiki's for exactly this reason - their capacity to function as documents that contain their own critics, as roadmaps to contested terms and strategies, as a way of rendering conflict visible rather than allowing the fictitious unity which is contained in edited compositions flatten the dissenting voices. The difficulty is that without starting from a moment of the common, the wiki never really reflects the process of rupture as people come and go, editing in a free-flow of openness. Departures never need to be explained because they are not inscribed as names/avatars on the text itself. A process of attrition from fifty names to five would posits the question: why did the other 45 leave?

Traces of a conversation So i think it's not a matter of colllectiveness or individuality but of subverting the command of the signatire

"On the whole, at any rate, I have achieved what I set out to achieve. But do not tell me that it was not worth the trouble. In any case, I am not appealing for any man's verdict, I am only imparting knowledge, I am only making a report. To you also, honored Members of the Academy, I have only made a report." - Kafka, wrote in report to the academy

Many of the people that we work with have a background as much in the art or academic world, as thei domestic economy, as they do in forms of confronational adventuring and reflection that we consider the political

But basically the outcomes aren't privatised in the same way as in art/academy.

I mean i come from a political culture that accounted it as insane to sign smth by name. at a certain moment i also realized a certain liberatorial moment in being able to say: yes it was me who said this -- so what... but that's a totally different perspective, it has nothing to do with today

leo loewenthal who wrote a text about the astonishing fact that after a movie everyone who was contributing at least a lttile bit to the project is mentioned by name and in a certain hidden hierarchy

The collective identity and 'magazine' of multiple origins stuff was pretty interesting at the time, but it had a somewhat superficial treatment of identity.

because in a banal way, you could ask what is the GPL from for authoring political projects/ideas

as a spinozist i'd say: it's a question of composition and decomposition i write a text and i compose it from different elements which suit and don't suit to the thoughts i have but neither the elements nor the thoughts belong to me. i can only report them ... so it's about the relations..... good is what is useful or helpful for me and others, creates and composes new relations

Signatures in Free Software BSD attribution.

No simple term exists in english that conveys the sense of the 'precarite' in french or precariato in Italian. Over the last five years however it has become a key term in describing the character of the new work-force emerging outside of the forms of production that were the stamp of the postwar period. Because the definition of precarity is first of all negative, emphasizing the loss of the social guarantees that were the hallmarks of social partnership in the post-war period: wage increases linked in some way to inflation and productivity, health insurance and holiday pay, fixity of employment and seniority. These concessions to organized labour were however limited to those dedicated to activities that were defined as 'productive work'; careworkers, women's work in the home, cauldron of social reproductuion, pert-time and many service workers never had access to these benefits. 'Precarity' thus is a theme which not only captures the factual mutations in the nature of the workforce this half-century, but extends further, bringing within its scope and creating a common space for confrontation with feminine, affective and atypic al labour. Precaria a la derive put it like this: " There is no adequate English translation for all that is implied by ‘precariedad’. The word, increasingly common in discourses about work in Europe, while sometimes used to refer only to a condition of inadequate income, can be applied more generally to the diversity of life/work conditions associated with part-time, flexible, unregulated, multiple, no-contract, no-benefits, at home, project-basis, freelance, illegal or invisible employment.

Webster’s defines precarious as: “dependent upon chance circumstances, unknown conditions, or uncertain developments; characterized by a lack of stability or security that threatens with danger.” This is pretty much right on target. "

or later:

"We might venture a definition of the word precariousness, broad enough to acknowledge the amplitude and multidimensionality of the phenomenon, but concrete enough to avoid that the term lose all explicative force: thus we will call precariousness the juncture of conditions, both material and symbolic, which determine an uncertainty with respect to the continued access to the resources necessary for the full development of a person’s life."

Beyond the differences in terminology however, the condition that the precarity debate refers to should be familiar, indeed it is a discussion which is well advanced in the United States where historically relatively low union density changed the balance of forces, particularly since the 1970s, ascent of the Reagan/Thatcher axis etc. The prevalence of this state was well described by Barbara Ehrenreich in her book "Nickel and Dimed", chronicling her temporary immersion into the America of the working poor. In this masterful - which is elsewhere a model of accessibility - text she demonstrates how even in times of a tight labour market that ought to allow workers more bargaining power and greater wages, the benefits do not materialize. A predominant reason for this breakdown of the market model is the lack of mobility that is the direct corrollary of poverty - without the means of mobility or the ability to take time off to search for another job.On a more effete theoretical level George Caffenzis has confronted the subject in his "Abolition of Work or Towards a Renaissance of Slavery?" in which he counters claims by luminaries such as Jeremy Rifkin and Toni Negri that through atomization, robotization and the general eclipse of immediate physical production by the general intellect, work is in the process of being phased out.

"And then oriented and disoriented, stirred-up and united, we watched a montage which pulled together voices and images from our passages. We debated, we talked about precariousness; everybody talks about precariousness these days. But can we really? Is it useful? How do we define a category which contains such differences, such a variety of experiences and situations? Doubts arise. Is putting the work of a high-wire freelance researcher together with the work of an in-house domestic worker without residency papers in the same category not a way of obscuring a terrible difference in social power? How shall we delineate precariousness outside of labor? And with these and other questions we go to have a drink and to plan, drunken, future itineraries of the singular common."

Such a discussion is tempting for several reasons, some of which might be better resisted. Marx's description of an economic system generating inevitably conflicting classes and postulation of the proletariat as the social aggregation for transformative progress has created a n intellectualized culture always in search of a subject capable of fulfilling such a role. In Italy this gave birth to a series of categorizations according to the period: mass worker, socialised worker, and for some, this has =now metamorphosized into the precarious worker (or according to another, and not necessarily, opposing view the cognitariat, or that group of producers whose creation of value unfolds predominantly in the field of immaterial labour - programmers, fashion and style industry, media, research, advertising). The benefits of such a schematic are not under consideration here. What is to be noted however is that in terms of exploring the state of precarity as a social condition, such a vocabulary, with all its presuppositions and imperatives, is not helpful in the field of inquiry because it conflicts with subjective perceptions many people have of their environment. Their may be a specific component of the precariato who can in some way trace a trajectory from what was once known as the proletariat, but many of those whose circumstances have been stripped of guarantees do not see themselves there. Indeed it is exactly this lack of homogeneity which could be said to be the first thing which the precarious have in common, a singularity, a lack of an exemplary profile against which all others can be measured. In this sense we can say that the 20 year old worker in a call center on a short term contract shares something with the highly paid film-editor who works by contract; their shared situation can only be understood negatively against the lack of the job for life, of the predictability provided by collective representation or the promise of the welfare state to care for its subjects till the grave do them part. Such a general level of description may be useful as a broad sociological premise, but hardly as a key to anticipate new forms of insurrection or community.

Querrien in her review of Le Nouvel Esprit Du Capitalisme compares the organization of production by project to the lot of the intermittents, contrasting the past where workers simply had to administer the functioning of machines whereas now each one must bring a specific ability to a whole. This imposes heavy responsibilities, induces anxiety and externalizes the cost of discipline from the firm to the individual who must constantly renew their employability, expand their skill-set etc.

"Those responsible for this new social critique share with the managers a culture of mobility, thev are opportunistic, capable of seizing any occasion, and function in networks. They are capable of monopolizing to their benefit the points of contact between networks, they amass heavily laden address-books without allowing others to benefit from them, they attribute to themselves responsibility for events to whose organization they have contributed..... they become entrepreneurs of themselves as recommended by the economists and the banks. Relations of exploitation become based upon differentials in mobility: the more one does, the more one is mobile, the more one is employable. Querrien, 258

Dismantling Social Protections

CreW, Chainworkers, Derive Approdi Andrea Fumagalli, Precarii, Derive Approdi. Temp Slave Processed World

Chourmo, Il Cuore di Marsiglia. Jean Claude IzzoNoir set in contemporary Marseille where the protagonist - an ex-cop - must confromt both ex-colleagues and sundry national front supporters.

The New Economy Doug HenwoodThe key to Doug Henwood's talent is pretty simple: he just reads the statistics. rather than talkinbg through his arsehole, Henwood's leftism actually appears to be based on some studies of activity on earth, rather than just debonaire preoccupation about subsumption etc.

MP3 If I Should Fall From Grace with God Rum, Sodomy and the Lash both by The Pogues

Bajo Fondo Tango ClubArgentinian stylee. If you like the Gotan project you'd probably appreciate this.

Consequent to the discussion we had yesterday about where to go with the weblog, I'm going to provide a quick summary of the content areas that I'm actively following.

Abh's concern at the intimidatory factor of 'theory' can be addressed by locating the conceptual reflection in relation to factual incidents and on going 'campaigns', and that indeed is the idea behind the 'feature' proposal. Indeed, in answer to Ben's perplexity before the idea of the journal, this is exactly how I perceive it's purpose to be; a container in which fragments can be collected and put into an intelligible form and where short translations can find a home.

So here it is my worksheet:

- Expansion of and resistance to intellectual property laws, with emphasis on battles around patents and p2p.

- Immaterial labour and information economy. In Barcelona this May there beigins a fight against Forum 2004, a cultural festival modelled in some senses on the social forum. There is a broad campaign which is investigating the relations between culture and gentrification, bohemianism and city branding etc.

- The debate about precariousness in France/Italy/Spain and how that relates to discussions about labour in the US and casualization/flexibility in Ireland/UK. This year May 1st will be the focus for a Europe-wide mobilization around 'precarity' and lots of actions have been taking place already around transport, the reform of the law relating to intermittent labour in france's entertainment industry, campaign for a 'guaranteed income' etc.

Linked to this are the various inquiries and experiences in non-conventional organising, from the Hotlines inquiry into Call Centers, accounts from the fats-food/drink biz etc, the kind of thing found on http://www.prol-position.net/en/index.htm The one other area which I'd like to know more about is sex work, and what kind of conflicts are taking place. In Franmce there have been some amazing campaigns and actions confronting also how things have changed due to the rise in the number of migrant prostitutes etc. Does anyone have any good sources for info on this subject?

- Collaborative audio-visual production, bandidth pooling, collective authorship, copyleft licensing etc. This is basically practical work relating to the http://www.V2V.cc project and to a lesser degree http://www.ngvision.org

- Italian developments around grassroots communications, post-Genoa legal proceedings and the flotasam and jetsam that constitutes everyday life in Berlusconia.

- Ireland, EU enlargement etc. Seeing as there will be the first massive international mobilization in Dublin this coming May 1st, I'd like to give some visibility to the local struggles taking place there, parse through some of the debates about Europe and provide coverage.

Of course other amongst u are interested in these topics too, so this is not an attempt to seal of these themes but a signal that I'm following them, and would be interested in developing longer synthetic pieces in collaboration with others.


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