Radical media, politics and culture.

hydrarchist's blog

V2V - A User Built Infrastructure for Video Distribution

Background Since the beginning freedom to communicate has been bridled by costs of production and distribution. Gutherberg, creator of the first modern printing press, was himself the first victim of media venture capitalism, losing his machinery to the financier Fust shortly after its completion. Books however required transportation and booksellers to distribute them, and especially where controversial materials were at issue this was a risky affair - twenty years prior to the liberation of the Bastille nearly 40% of those locked within its walls were serving sentences related to the booktrade. The twentieth century had its own form of controls, more tactful and becoming a civilised dictatorship of opinion. Distribution mechanisms were bought up and cartellized; alternative models such as cable or satellite required a level of investment that demanded commercial for-profit operation, all carried out under a state of artificial scarcity imposed by government through its management of radio spectrum. With the award in 1996 of a huge slice of the radio licenses to the incumbent television networks under the pretext fo the need to shift to High Definition Television the US government left no doubt that the synergistic utopia between the forces of media power and the political class remained intact.

Simultaneous with these developments however there was another: the formation of diffuse networks sharing files horizontally, parsing information for one another, recombining each other's data and forwarding it onwards. This tendency received a quantum boost in 1999 with the emergence of the first mass file sharing tool Napster that established the technical conditions for the massive point to point transfer of media files directly from one user to another using HTTP. This tool rendered clear to users what would later be articulated by network analysts as the fundamental characteristics of digital production. First both the inputs and the outputs were informational. As such they had what are known as 'public good' characteristics, namely that the cost of paying for initial production includes does is that of all subsequent copies. Furthermore the ability of one person to use the data does not hinder from the opportunity for any other to use the same data. Secondly, co-operation was made easy by a huge decline in communication costs, so that all one needed to know was whether a file was online at a given time or not, and this functionality was handled by the search interface. Thirdly, the ease of connecting the network provided a gigantic base of users with different types of files - elsewhere peer systems have succeeded by providing access to a panoramic range of living labour. Fourthly, all of these things had been rendered possible by the massive decline in cost of computational equipment capable of processing, storing and retrieving widely dispersed data - this apparatus provided both a means of production, and when attached to the network, a means of distribution.

As the jaws of the law closed in on Napster, and the latter attempted to weather the storm by becoming a commercial operation and initiating negotiations with commercial interests nominally owning the digital goods being shared, numerous alternative file-sharing systems arose and flourished. Most of these networks however contained similar content predictably mainstream in character, and so the process of user passivity to protagonism seemed stalled, locked into the prison of the imagination that had been constructed by decades of marketing, promotion and imagineering.

V2V V2V is conceived as an answer to several problems. The first is to make critical and creative work more widely available and familiar. Secondly to lay the plumbing of a network upon which people will be able to build their own gateways, according to their subjectivity. Thirdly to encourage users to make their to allow their materials to be used as building blocks for others. Fourthly to enable a space for users and producers for feedback and the development of relations.

The fundamental resource necessary for V2V are plentiful bandwidth and storage space. Many high-speed services now charge a flat rate based upon the presumption that users will only use a fraction of their notional capacity creating a surplus available for allocation to purposes other than personal data transfers. Likewise the dizzying speed at which hard disk space has grown means that many users have surplus memory that they do not need. These two factors combined with evolving peer to peer protocols satisfy the necessary requirements to begin building a user-based infrastructure.

Given the permeation of internet coordination into social radical organizing that community is already quite elaborately networked. Communications have emphasized organization of demonstrations and events, or the development of common analytical resources however rather than the collectivization of unused transmission resources.

Increasing amounts of our media consumption are digitally delivered while commodity process continue to drive down the price of equipment and connectivity such that what today appears as a service available only to limited sections of the population will be extended to the population as a whole. By assembling this infrastructure now we can anticipate these developments, refine our techniques and be ready to convey our meanings to a wider audience.

Sustainability & Scalability Our history is littered with the contradictions of independent media structures and few have managed to retain their integrity. The reason for this has been the cost-sustainability nexus. As a magazine's readership grows printing costs increase, the level of commitment required of the writers rises and deals with commercial distributors become difficult to avoid. Typically two outcomes emerge. The first is dependency on external forms of funding from foundations, arts councils or private individuals. As anyone who has failed in a grant application is well aware, this reliance introduces distortions, both obvious and subtle, in purpose and self-perception. This tension is accentuated as the project expands and the discrepancy between external funding and internal revenue generation grows.

Professionalization is the other path that often awaits sometime critical endeavours. Daily newspapers such as Liberation and Tageszeitung in Europe are good examples of this, as are the various free-sheets in the United States such as Village Voice. Over time this commercialization eviscerates the critical quality of the work and imposes a 'mainstreaming effect'.

Peer to peer forms have the potential to scale through these difficulties without imposing financial burdens. As a network widens, its new participants bring additional resources so that the 'load' is distributed over a greater number of machines. The programme that we recommend for downloading files "Bit Torrent" illustrates this point. the performance of file sharing protocols such as Gnutella and Fast Track (Kazaa, Grokster) is handicapped by the fact that there are many users who only download files and do not contribute resources to the network. This is the problem economists classically refer to as 'the tragedy of the commons' or 'free riding'. In short the refusal of some to share inhibits the functioning of the system as a whole. Bit Torrent distinguished itself from these protocols by hardwiring in the code the obligation to share a file as one downloads it. The initial source of the file is known as a 'seed' and it distributes different components of the file to requesting clients. Each client is also connected to a 'tracker' that monitors which users are active and which elements of the file are in their possession. Via the tracker the clients then begin a coordinated exchange of packets between one another, gathering data from multiple sources simultaneously in a swarm formation. The result is that the higher the level of demand for a file, the more sources exist and the better the performance of the system.

Modus Operandi Submitting materials to the network requires the following steps. First the file should be compressed with the codec of your choice. If pressed we commend VP3 and XVid because of their non-proprietary character or DivX because of its efficiency and ubiquity. Ultimately however such technical determinations are not the province of V2V. The file should then be renamed following our naming convention, which means simply the addition of v2v_ before the file name. This convention makes it easier for users to search for independent files within the larger sea of music and video files.Basic data about the file must then be provided by filling in a form at v2v.indymedia.de that provides a summary of the genre, length, size, format, description, language and license type. When completed this file downloads to your desktop. Both the media file and the .info metadata form should then be placed in a folder with same name as the file and the uploaded via FTP to a V2V server. This means that the load of the initial wave of demand is spread over the servers and the time required to transfer is reduced.

The servers are set up with a scrip that proliferates the file through the server ring and generates three links. The first is a 'magnet' link and is commonly used by Gnutella Clients. The second is an eDonkey2000 link for clients of the eponymous network. The last is a torrent file, which must be downloaded and then opened to commence the transfer. Finally the news of the file's release appears on a V2V site/RSS containing both the basic metadata and the p2p links.

A Syndicated Network and No Exclusive Gateway V2V is a protean group composed of many diverse subjectivities. To try and capture them all in a definition of political purpose or cultural hue would be reductive and futile. The characteristics of the network also make it unnecessary. V2V is an infrastructure project to which each can build their own gateway. Files uploaded are published to an RSS (really Simple Syndication) wire that can be integrated into any page alongside one's own content or links. We urge others to form their own release groups, digitizing and making available files that reflect their interests. Individual Bit Torrent files and edonkey links can easily be copied and added to pages or emails.

A Community of Produsers "...where the gift is concerned, goods circulate in the service of ties. Any exchange of goods or services with no guarantee of recompense in order to create, nourish, or recreate social bonds between people is a gift. We intend to show how the gift, as a form of circulation of goods that promotes social bonding, represents a key element in any society." Jacque Godbout

Cultural workers are standardly used as source of moral authority by the copyright lobby as if the production of capitalist culture was not also a matter of exploitation of artists. Despite common adversaries little meaningful dialogue has taken place between cultural workers and p2p users. Users are depicted in a parasitic light -- when not portrayed as 'pirates' or 'criminals' -- as their activity is presented as consisting only in the unsanctioned consumption of the work of others. The lucrative rewards of mass culture are available however only to a handful, those whom the entertainment magnates have decreed will receive millions of dollars of promotion. For the rest there is the work of the journeyman, debt or the part-time job.

What keeps most independent culture alive is the rich fabric of community that makes the uneconomic possible, the myriad DIY film showings and concerts, the small magazines and distros, the tapestry of email lists that provides a conduit for feedback, response, and engagement with the meanings produced. And of course there are the beds and couches to sleep on all over the world, the curious packages and letters received in the post. To this list of 'benefits' provided by users and peers we can add two others. The first is the actual physical and telecommunications platform upon which works can be hosted persistently and served at speeds that make viewing convenient rather than just feasible. Secondly the release of the material takes place into a crowd of potential emissaries, from individuals to independent film theaters and public access television.

Collaborative software allows commentary to be added directly to the notice of the film's release so that dialogue between users and producers occur, a dialogue which could relate to the substance of the film, the technique behind a shot, and offer of assistance or an invitation to present one's work. As the costs of equipment fall further, and video-editing skills proliferate, further inflections in literacy occur and more people will write audio-visually, Garage TV and Belles Images. Every user will also be a producer, and these categories will cease to have any salience in the age of the produser. This promiscuous mixing of images is anathema to copyright lovers and the interests behind them, but disturbs others as well, who have seen their work exploited, decontextualised and appropriated. Yet we know that copyright infringement makes no sound in cyberspace, and that such cries can serve to legitimize the fashion for extending control, monitoring and police-ware in the network. Away from the clumsy vice of the law space for reciprocal respect is fundamental. The licenses we attach to our achievements are signals about the way we want to be treated, appeals for fair attribution, for the protection of the subject, for protection against unjust profiteering. Mutual parasitism is possible but requires that we are all careful not to kill the host.

1. SETI example

2. Visibility

There's No Such Thing as Free Beer Limits of freedom: commodity form; sharing of mainstream media products contributes productively to maintaining mainstream preferences. Payment may be lacking but the formula upon which the media companies relies remain intact: popularity of their archive produces revenues to control contemporary production and marketing, guaranteeing their dominance over the future.

Product placement: millions of dollars are the evidence of the value producing capacity of media products as mirrors refracting our world, encouraging and fashioning consumption.

Distinction between free infrastructure and the affective effects of media in the production of exchange value. The first is the basis for the potential assault on the other, the possible platform for a self-determined reverse engineering of the mind. Without the second aspect the first loses its political significance, but it is necessary, it at least affords us the chance to make our own mistakes. When we counterpose free to proprietary, we are really talking about the problem.

path dependency

Some Consequences 1. Law 2. Censorship 3. Space of politicization created by repression of file trading laws.

joolsyp@blueyonder.co.uk Negri doc

What is Peer 2 Peer?

Peer to peer is a form of network where all the participants provide one another with resources. Everyone gives and receives resources (bandwidth, storage, processing power) or knowledge (facts, opinions, techniques).

There are many existing p2p communities on the web. At any given time there are seven million people sharing or downloading files using systems such as fast track (kazaa, grokster), Gnutella (Limewire, Bearshare) and eDonkey (eMule, MlDonkey).

Why use a P2P structure to distribute audio-visual works over the net? A search for independent or critical material rarely yields anything but disappointment. Instead the products of the marketing and promotion

V2V is a community of people who share resources such as storage space and bandwidth and form communites of video users and producers based on a shared user-assembled infrastructure. This allows the widespread distribution of video at a speed otherwise accessible only corporate groups who pay large sums and have favourable deals to provide their files.

How is the speed of my download determined? Some systems transfer files directly from one user to another - this limits the speed of the line to that of the slower user. Later versions simultaneously download from different locations and thus reach faster speeds. The best systems also allow the sharing of partially downloaded files. Some people don't share their files and just download - this reduces the transfer capacity of a given file in the network. Bit torrent obliges users to share the files that they are downloading, increasing the speed.

What is the difference between Gnutella, Fast-Track, EDonkey and Bit Torrent? Each system uses different methods to search and download files

What are P2P links?

What is hashing and why is it useful? Hashing is the process of generating a cryptographic checksum unique to a given file. The hash is a function of the number and organisation of bits in the file; thus two files of the same size will still have different cryptographic hashes.

Hashing is useful in file sharing due to the prevalence of corrupted files on the networks. Sometimes these are fakes inserted by users but the media and entertainment companies are now employing companies to propagate these useless files in the network with the intention of annoying the file-sharing community. Cryptographic hashes allow us to verify the contents of a file before it is downloaded -- as long as the source of the cryptographic hash can be verified.

How do I play these files?

What is a release group?

Release groups developed amongst those making available the first copies of digital works, transferring video or DVD to a compressed format and securing servers to function as an initial distribution layer, so that the load of data created by demand on its availability is spread between sources. Usually they then produce a cryptographic checksum so that the authenticity of the file can be guaranteed - preventing the downloading of a corrupted or misnamed file. This checksum is then posted on a webpage and the user can then use it to search the file sharing network.

Where can I get news on the politics of peer2peer and on the latest file-sharing programs?Infoanarchy is probably the most interesting site covering peer 2 peer news and reviews of innovative applications.

Zeropaid and Slyck are the best sources for breaking news.

Zeropaid also provides a useful to the applications available under different operating systems: Macintosh: http://www.zeropaid.com/php/top_prog.php?frm_where=1&frm_where_type=mac

Windows: http://www.zeropaid.com/php/top_prog.php?frm_where=1&frm_where_type=win

Linux: http://www.zeropaid.com/php/top_prog.php?frm_where=1&frm_where_type=nix

I cycled passed many a broken demesne wall, once the sign of entrenched ascendancy, now the symbol of a passing order. The walls were built when the day's labour of a tenant was tuppence; bullock's blood had been added, it was said, to bind the mortar, and the people's blood, too. The Big House might be spruce, or gaunt in decay; weeds on the avenue and families without issue. Virtue and strength was going from the leeches who had sucked life from the people. The arid brittleness or the harsh brilliance of the ascendancy mind remained. I made the men manouevre in demesne land to rid them of their inherent respect for the owners.

On Another Man's Wound 85

The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule...power no longer has today any form of legitimization other than emergency.

-Giorgio Agamben, Means Without Ends: Notes on Politics, 1996

Fragmentation and patchy organization provided the leitmotif for the demonstrations against the G8 Summit that took place in Evian at the beginning of June. Given the spatial decentralization of the actions between Annemasse (France) and Lausanne and Geneva (Switzerland) such a situation was predictable. This account derives from my experience in Geneva as part of the Geneva03.org live stream and is necessarily coloured and partial.

Swiss borders were already tightly controlled several days prior to the summit. Due to the time required to set up the studio we arrived on May 26th, but not before being subjected to extensive search and questioning by the zealous Swiss borderguards. White lies were repeated each time they sneakily tried to have us admit that we were going to the G8, but no dice, we denied all! Eventually they let us on our way and we took the road to Lausanne. There a small demonstration organised by high-school students was in course and the police made manifest their enthusiasm for overkill by posting a cop on the corner of literally every street in the centre of the city. But the demo was a serene affair and concluded on the central square, home otherwise to both the town hall and the incipient indymedia centre. Whispers suggested that Lausanne would be the focus of action for the more radical groups although local dynamics were to upset this prediction somewhat. Local authorities had put an official campsite at demonstrator's disposal, but it was essentially boycotted. Instead a rather beautiful lakeside location was selected, a campsite cheerfully called 'Oulala' autonomously installed, and a small media centre established.

Geneva is a mere half hour journey by car from lausanne so we moved on to rendez-vous with the others from our group. 'L'Usine' cultural center hosted our base of operations. Originally squatted in 1985 during the wave of struggles over space that swept Switzerland, l'Usine was subsequently purchased by the city council and legalised. A vast space the centre contains two large concert halls, a theatre, a beautiful cinema, restaurant, bar and numerous studios and offices, some of which are used the city council.

Thursday That evening we began the live stream with the broadcast of a public meeting organised by the No Border network on the joint themes of freedom of movement and freedom of information. The purpose was to promote the discussion of new political themes and attempt to tease out possible analogies between the application of management and control methods in these two very different areas. Practically the meeting also set out the reasoning behind the organization of the first International demonstration in Geneva, scheduled for the following day. This unauthorised demo targeted the institutional zone on the city's right bank, where the United Nations organizations are quartered, visiting the institutional homes of the World Trade Organization, the International Organization on Migration and the World Intellectual Property Organization. The meeting/broadcast outlined the background behind these institutions, discussed the relative autonomy of migrants and independent communications infrastructures, the political economy behind intellectual property expansion and its impact on everyday life. The centrality of migrant subjectivity, the force of their creative movement, was emphasised in opposition to traditional perceptions of migrants as victims to be sympathised with or ostracised.

Friday Shortly after 11.00 on friday morning we made our way to the Place Wilson which was the departure point for the demo. Several hundred people were already there and their numbers grew quickly with the arrival of large contingents from Annemasse and the Genevan campsites, swelling the numbers to a couple of thousand.

The WTO HQ was the first stop, the scene at this holy place for economic fundamentalists was quite surreal. Fenced off from the street the building is set back from the road with a lawn in front. The gates were closed and lines of police stood before the building itself. Two vans of cops were also stationed behind grills in what seemed like a small garage. This thin mesh was all that separated them from the demo and it seemed that they were placed there for sheer provocation, but apart from taunting and insult they were left unmolested. Speakers addressed the crowd on the delinquent urge to commodify everything that defines the WTO, and specifically attacked the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights annex to the GATT. This treaty is the basis upon which patents, copyrights and trademarks are coercively enforced worldwide with the threat, to those who do not abide by its cannon, of retaliatory trade sanctions on the agricultural and textile products that form the central part of developing economies. Using this mechanism, these countries are compelled to participate in the reinforcement of the system of structural economic injustice that keeps them in their abject poverty and dependence. As the speeches came to a close parts of the crowd bust open the gates of the WTO and began to attack the police and throw bottles and stones at the building. The No Border network however had been clear that the objective of the demo was not the physical assault on the buildings themselves but rather to develop the intelligence of our critical assault in general. Appeals were made to people to rejoin the demo and as the first volleys of tear gas drenched the air people regrouped and moved on to the next destination.

The International Organization on Migration, despite its typically technocratic title, is the foremost international institution treating migration as a 'management question', tweaking migrant fluxes so as to contain them within the demands of the economy and the power of the state. Their activities range from running seminars to discourage migration in some places, recruiting desirable labour in others, organising forced deportations, the erection of new border control posts in places such as the Ukraine and the administration of prison colonies such as the little known Island of Nauru in the Pacific. This tiny state otherwise devastated by phosphate mining is the location for what is styled a 'detention' and 'processing center'. While their work was being described windows were smashed at the back of the building bringing on another attack by the police, more gas and a couple of arrests.

Thus we made our way through the desolate but verdant roads to the final destination which lay on the fringes of downtown: the World Intellectual Property Organisation. After TRIPS had been rammed though the GATT, business interests together with their allies in the US, EU and Japanese governments shifted their focus to WIPO as a vehicle for the advancement of their interests. WIPO administer the Berne and Paris Treaties that govern copyright and patents/trademarks respectively, and it too is a UN organisation. Notwithstanding the numerical superiority of developing countries WIPO has only ever functioned to push the interests of the elitist cabal. Whilst supposed to provide 'technical assistance' to developing countries in the area of IPL law, they in fact see their mission as the expansion of private property interests everywhere. An example of this is their failure to encourage countries to take advantage of compulsory licensing provisions in patent law. The concrete effects of this can be seen in the area of pharmaceuticals; patents last 20 years during which time the manufacturer can charge whatever price they like because competition is ruled out. Compulsory licensing allows production despite the patent, and has been the means by which countries like Brazil have been able to tackle the AIDS epidemic. Anti-retroviral treatment - the main reason why the numbers dying of AIDS in the west have plummeted - originally cost 10-15,000 dollars a year under patent, but under compulsory license the same treatment can be acquired for $300 a year. In sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean this is the difference between life and death for tens of millions of people. Elsewhere, WIPO's 1996 copyright treaty mandated the introduction of laws to forbid the evasion of copyright management systems, electronic locks that seek to control our every use of media and condition it upon payment to the owner. Breach of these laws is to be punished with criminal sanctions.

At WIPO the speaker described the way that intellectual property laws consist in alienating workers from their own immaterial labour just as happens in the factory. What's more he stressed that the tendency to obscure the functioning of production through trade secrets and other forms of IP saps workers potential to be able to self-manage production themselves. The example of the occupied Zanon factory in Argentina was evoked: if the workers don't know how to keep the machinery turning, how could they ever take back control over production. He finished with a call for 'an army of ideas' to re-appropriate knowledge and turn it to good use - for our side.

The demo then continued through the city towards the Parc des Bastions - informal site for many discussions during these days. On the way a car showroom, petrol station and the offices of the International Chamber of Commerce had their windows broken in a rather systematic way, but things remained controlled and oddly calm.

I have described this event in some length as it has been overlooked in the accounts of others. As stated above, the purpose of the action was to introduce people to some new ideas and make them aware of less obvious sources of political power. All involved agreed that it was a great success, but in order for its ramifications to be the reasoning and content needs to be inserted into the communications circuit of our struggles.

DWM600-54682-07229-66748 TOP C StarOne

2:30pm - 3:45pm IP: Think Tank

Any exclusive claim to "all now-known or hereafter existing rights...of every kind and nature throughout the universe" is outlandish enough to make the most ambitious conquistador cringe. Is intellectual property the economy of the future; or is it the strip-mining of history? Does it guarantee the viability of creativity; or is it a tidal wave of authoritarian exploitation? And worst of all, does the subject really have to be so droll and technocratic? Panelists, Alan Toner, Jamie Love and Greg Pomerantz, will address the ways in which the future of innovation is at risk due to the closure of the public commons through both legal and technological activity and the recent countervailing interest in legal reform that shifts away from protecting corporate rights toward reclaiming the public domain. Organized by Ted Byfield

trade secrets ucita benkler overcoming agoraphobia

The art of theft

marcantonio Raimundi - durer's printer reproduction Reynolds - emulation 1774 discouse on art encourages imitation of masters old and new

barbie/napier barbie/acqua harry potter/time warner

"The problem remains that such practices are likely to meet legal challenges; but this only emphasizes the necessity of a broadly praacticed art of theft - of many parallel thefts , both mainstream and marginal. only the continuation and intensification of culture jamming can give momentum to necessary initiatives to reform copyright law."


Pierre Huyghe retelling dog day afternoon and the story of john wojtowicz

the third memory

1. Forthcoming proposal on counterfeiting and piracy in EU.

2. Innovation? Is it necessarily good? The danger of the innovation argument and the commons/enclosures discourse. The temptation of economic argument, alluriong because we see ourselves confronted by cartels, and we know that within the parameters of classical economics immaterial goods are public goods.

Has there ever been any sustained investigation of the effects of innovatio on distribution? Why is it that those interested in innovation generally ingnore questions of equity, and vice-versa.

3. Mass market in pirated goods provides sustenance for many in the great cities of the third world, and constitutes an increasing point of confrontation. The riot in San cristabl de las Casa is only a first skirmish in what will undoubtedly become a more blloody battle. We have already seen the attempts by copyright monmopolists to draw connections between terrorist funding and counterfeiting of copyrighted and trademarked goods. Some believe that it is merley a matter of time before there is a an armed international conflict based upon the contestation of IP rights. The question is whtyher this war has actually already begun within states rather than between states? Is this not paradigmatic of the contemporary international organisation of power,

4. Within the industrialised west, the counterfeit market also constitues an important and growing economy. Specifically it is vital to new immigrants who encounter obstacles to their entry into the orthodox labour market. This can be seen clearly in Italy, where ambulant vendors of pirated software and cds/dvds are ubiquitous. There is sometimes a wariness amongst those who have been charcterised as 'reformers' to identify themselves with these activities, and that is something which should be challenged.

5. The process of enclosure has been accompaniued by the introduction of a wideranging criminalistaion of individual use of copyrighted works. The NET, the DMCA. Sklyarov, boy in Hong Kong, the raids in Belgium, Jeffrey Gerard Levy.

6. Apart from all these dour facts, there is also a ludic aspect. The battle in the peer to peer terrain is the best example of this game. Napster. Think pig-latin. Or better still think Gnutella, or one of the dozens of derivative applications operating off their networks. Or freenet. This is literally a game of 'catch me if you can', and the RIAA is it.

7. This brings us back to a curious point, which is often ignored, the relation between that which is constructed, as an artefact, as 'crime' and innovation.

8. The question must be posed as to what this technological society wants to do with vast array tools and the cpacity of mass production which is available to it, yet instead decisions continue to be made under the cosh of economic imperatives in an environment where austerity is imposed to a degree that is utterly absurd. The first obstacle is the refusal to pose the question. The shame is that alternative futures are in the large part anything but 'utopias', The technological means required to materially sustain other trajectories exist.

917- 751-7582. eurolinux alliance RAFI Rural Advancement Foundation International TACD Michael Davis - Progressive IP Law Assoc. DocketWatch July 13, 2001 from the Committee of Appropriations


Within the amounts available to the PTO in fiscal year 2002, the Committee expects that not less than $3,000,000 will be provided to expand PTO's relationship with the National Inventor's Hall of Fame and Inventure Place, and not less than $1,000,000 will be provided to the International Intellectual Property Institute to promote sustainable development in developing countries and to protect business interests by assisting in the establishment of intellectual property legal frameworks. W3C Patent Policy Framework

collapse of idea/expression dichotomy open conflict with the FA collapse of public private distinction

napster- german constitutional court 1963 compare soviet control of printing presses

Wind Done Gone- Alice Randall Damien Loeb

Sklyarov Universal v Reimerdes Eldred Free Republic

MyMp3 got a performance license Rosetta v Random House

default rule removal of formalities, date, owner absence of notice registered 15% were renewed so they were protected only for 28 years required by Berne Convention divisibility

repro distro perf/display divided ownership? Must be done with the contracts to get permissions.

ostrom at 50 Kazaa - no liabilty http://www.recordingartistscoalition.com/ Jeffrey gerard Levy

Intellectual Property and communications Omnibus Reform Act 1999 (brought in work for hire in sound recordings) Repealed in October 2000 NET 1997 DMCA 1998 AHRA 1992 Copyright Renewal Act 1992 Computer Sopftware Rental Amendment Act 1990 Copyright Remedy Clarification Act 1990 Anti Counterfeiting Consumer protection act 1996 Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act 1995 Digital Theft and Copyright Damages Act 1999

and now Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act extending the draconian sanctions which apply to 1201 and 1202 infringements to (a) IN GENERAL. The provisions of section 1203 and 1204 of title 17, United States Code, shall apply to any violation of this Act as if --

(1) a violation of section 5 or 6(a)(1) of this Act were a violation of section 1201 of title 17, United States Code;


(a) IN GENERAL. -- A manufacturer, importer, or seller of digital media devices may not --

(1) sell, or offer for sale, in interstate commerce, or

(2) cause to be transported in, or in a manner affecting, interstate commerce,

a digital medial device unless the device includes and utilizes standard security technologies that adhere to the security system standards adopted under section 3.

(b) EXCEPTION. -- Subsection (a) does not apply to the sale, offer for sale, or transportation of a digital media device that was legally manufactured or imported, and sold to the consumer, prior to the effective date of regulations adopted under section 3 and not subsequently modified in violation of section 6(a).



(1) knowingly remove or alter any standard security technology in a digital media device lawfully transported in interstate commerce, or ]] & s.6a2 (2) a violation of section 4 or section 6(a)(2) of this act were a violation of section 1202 of that title. [[knowingly transmit or make available to the public any copyrighted material where the security measure associated with a standard security technology has been removed or altered, without the authority of the copyright owner. ]]

xerox 1948 & 1959 popular

Copyrioght Term Extension Act 1998 Sonny Bono Visual Artists Rights Act 1990

JL on PD: Material not subject to copyright protection either because the material is not protectable by copyright (eg ideas, facts, processes systems) or becuas ecopyright protection has expired (eg Mark twain's Tom Sawyer) or been forfeited by failure to comply with a statutory condition for copyright. The public domain comprises material that the public is free to use in any way it pleases.

Viewing thsaes things within the law can only get you so far.

WeinrebХs suggestion that fair use must ultimately rest in Тa communityХs established practices and understandingsУ could do much to rescue us from the uncertainties and intellectual impoverishment of conventional section 107 analysis, and would carry us beyond the confines of parody and market harm analysis as well.

In this respect, section 107 stands in sharp contrast to so much of property theory generally as may propose (quite wrongly, in our judgment) that property rights are presumptively superior to rights grounded in public entitlements. [cite Underkuffler as to this last point]]

But younger works (understand that this is a term of art, not necessarily bounded or defined merely by time) present another dimension. If the antecedent work has not yet had occasion to recoup, it may be fair to call upon the creator of a subsequent, transformatively critical appropriative work to share in proceeds from that work. There need be no conventional copyright justification in this; we need not jump through doctrinal hoops. The thought here is simply that if the copyrighted work has not managed to return its investment to its creator, there is nothing inequitable - but let us say, rather, that there appears to be something equitable - in broadening fair use so as to return to the copyrighted work some measure of the later workХs success. And convention would be served by such a principle, meanwhile, if only indirectly. The incentive to produce works would be preserved, and preserved in settings where, at present, the fair use doctrine actually does not do so.

Which brings us to our final thought: would it not be equitable to require an acknowledgment of the creative provenance of an antecedent work by the creator of a second work? Among the moral rights, the right to acknowledgment has always seemed singularly just. It costs nothing in economic terms. It can mean much to those whose work has been appropriated. One writer, recalling the earliest experiences with sampling, observed that most musicians whose work was sampled were content with an acknowledgment. That is no longer necessarily the case today, but the point is no less valid for the fact that the music industry may have succeeded in altering the consciousness of artists. Fair use at present does not formally require an acknowledgment. We think such a requirement should play an ordinary role in cases of transformative critical appropriation.


When they are smart, they said they were worried about congestion. But when they were honest they said something different. Said Somers, of AT&T, Тwe didnХt spend 56 billion on a cable system to have the blood sucked from our veins

The monopoly rights that the 1790 statute granted were essentially protections against pirate presses. The target of the regulation was the press that would take an American authorХs book, and simply reproduce it without compensation to the original author. These pirate presses were to focus their energy on stealing from the British and French; Americans were to be exempted from the pirate trade.

Most Americans agree with the Disney Corporation that Mickey Mouse is DisneyХs now and forever; they donХt even notice the irony then when Disney can make millions off of HugoХs creation, the Hunch Back of Notre Dame, or Prokofiev or Pocahontas.

Lessig is being very dark and pessimistic.


Wesley Cohen et al., Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not), NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, Working Paper No. 7552, 2000 (discussing the importance of patents relative to other mechanisms of appropriation across various industries and concluding that patents are particularly important in the pharmaceutical arena);

the explicit policy of the U.S. government to promote patenting of government-sponsored research results by universities, government agencies, and other recipients of federal research funds. This policy, which was codified beginning in 1980 with passage of the Bayh-Dole Act5 and the Stevenson-Wydler Act,6 has turned universities into major players in the biopharmaceutical patenting arena.

Universities have taken the opportunity to file patent applications on basic research discoveries, such as new DNA sequences, protein structures, and disease pathways, that are primarily valuable as inputs into further research, accelerating the encroachment of the patent system into what was formerly the domain of open science.

upstream/downstream effect

In 1979, universities received 264 patents;14 by 1997, that number had increased to 2,436.15 This almost 10-fold increase in university patenting was significantly greater than the twofold increase in overall patenting during the same time period,16 and substantially exceeded growth in university research spending.17

Patents are plainly important to private investors in biopharmaceutical research. In some industries, patents serve primarily as Тbargaining chipsУ to negotiate around patents held by other firms,32 but in the biopharmaceutical industry, firms hope to use patents to enhance their profits. But the patents that primarily serve this function are patents that permit them to charge higher prices (and earn higher profits) on the products they sell, not patents that permit other institutions to charge firms higher prices for the research tools that they buy.33

Bronwyn Hall & Rosemarine Ham Ziedonis, The Patent Paradox Revisited: Determinants of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1980-1994 (National Bureau of Econ. Research Working Paper NO. W7602, 1999) (discussing use of semiconductor patents as bargaining chips to forestall potential infringement litigation).

allow march in prior to exhaustion of appeals expedite the exceptional circumstances procedure and remove the 'exceptional' constraint

public choice problems with a reivigorated level of discretion?

Patents on research discoveries impose costs on R&D, and these costs may well exceed any social benefits that they offer in the form of motivating further private investment in product development. It makes little sense to entrust decisions about when to patent the results of government-sponsored research to the unbridled discretion of institutions that are not motivated to weigh the costs against the benefits. A more sensible approach would give research sponsors such as NIH more authority to restrict patenting of publicly-funded research when such patenting is more likely to retard than promote subsequent research and development. A public research sponsor is particularly likely to invoke such authority to promote free dissemination of discoveries made in the course of grants to pursue the development of fundamental knowledge and research tools with the goal of enabling wide-ranging further investigation. As a likely sponsor of such future investigation, the agency will be motivated to keep its costs down, and this goal will often be better served by restricting patents. A conspicuous recent example is ТrawУ DNA sequence data generated in the course of the Human Genome Project, a fundamental resource for much future biomedical research. Although in this particular setting NIH has had some success, despite the constraints of the Bayh- Dole Act, in its hortatory efforts to restrict patenting of this fundamental information, hortatory efforts that rely on self-restraint by universities may no longer be sufficient.

sony broadband powell/broadband/sony

free labour/free culture eben

the more they disintermediate the more there is just them and us.

if all culture all information all art all music all knowledge has zero marginal cost and can be given to everybody everywhere at the same price for that it can be mader in the first place, why, is it ever moral to exclude anyone from anything.

comprisaon with feeding the world by pressing buttons.

and we have to make sure that we don't forget that the moral question is before our eyes all the time.

without coercion in the world towards whih we are moving all the traditional relations that support ignorance are radically unjust and we have an obligation to fight against them

with the world looking in errors are quickly noticed and corrected

nimmer on the number of licenses required

No time to keep a journal these days, hectic and clamorous as they are, so just some stolen snapshots. Here's a piece lifted from Cory....

Let's take pictures at Starbucks! Lessig's got a great idea: let's all go commit "contributory trade dress infringement" by taking pix in Starbucks this weekend (maybe next holiday weekend we can do Toys R Us or one of the many other retail chains that ban photo-taking).

Story one: Last month while visiting Charleston, three women went into a Starbucks. They were spending the weekend together and one of them had a disposable camera with her. To commemorate their time with one and other they decided to take round robin pictures while sitting around communing. The manager evidently careened out of control, screaming at them, "Didn't they know it was illegal to take photographs in a Starbucks. She insisted that she had to have the disposable camera because this was an absolute violation of Starbuck's copyright of their entire �environment'--that everything in the place is protected and cannot be used with Starbuck's express permission.

Story two: At our local [North Carolina] Starbucks, a friend's daughter, who often has her camera with her, was notified that she was not allowed to take pictures in any Starbucks. No explanation was given, but pressed I would think that the manager there would give a similar rationale.

I wonder what would happen if hundreds of people from around the country experimented this holiday weekend by taking pictures at their local Starbucks �

The worker (lit. labourer) feels to be himself outside work and feels outside himself when working. He is at home when he does not work. When he works, he is not at home. As a result, his work is forced labour, not voluntary labour. Forced labour is not the satisfaction of a need but only a means for satisfying needs outside labour. Its foreignness appears in that labour is avoided as a plague as soon as no physical or other force exists.

Karl Marx, Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts, 1844

Video Sharing

- This is what democracy looks like IMC based system of archiving - drop-off box - people parsed and logged - make copies now at the university in washington

- lots of spontaneous drop-offs; multiple angles; most footage used was from vvideo collectives;5 paper tiger/deep dish whispered media changing america bnf freelancers with whom there was a relationship james and penny (name forgotten)

michael eisenmenger, eric goladis, rick met at an autonomist media conference in texas wanted a general media space

*didn't anticipate how many people 110 people's used - informal, trust based network; no discussion about the terms of use. - tear gas, rubber bullets; nightly programme on deep dish (reason to collecdt, reason to contribute) - TIWDLL new idea, people enamoured, on a high - all contacted again - formal waivers - contracts - some collectives asked for money (2) flat rate and xtra if - those who looked for money had an experience of licensing footage previously - attrbution at the end of the film - cbc - waivers vital prime time before Quebec City - 500 hours off footage to go through

DC Breaking the Bank April 2000 (60 mins) - collaboratively edited tv programme - same protagonists from showdown in seattle - to go out over deep dish - 10,000 dollars, 5000 deficit (CBC) - no payment and no E&O for freespeech - BTB made not during afterwards - two days following protest, edited in new york - 5 groups + youth group plus owned media, sleeping giant (split from changing america) - no archive - not such a sophisticated tape collection system, not as many people to go through the materials - what - felt that SiS didn't cover enough the uissues adequately; which issues should be covered, overall look, committed to doing sections. - BNF did beginning end/end and bb segement - self selting; they chose them - BNF had done intros for SiS - people used mostly thgeir own footage but editing in the same space; rough cuts exchanged, footage that could supplement would be offered, or requests made for footage shot elsewhere and necessary for illustration - less hectic - less isolating - in seattle archive existed but didn't get used: deadlines, shot and post - pre-existing relationship - all the rest are really free standing - confversation about distribution; each group wopuld distribute on their own; money pooled to print tape covers and cover first batch of tapoes, and agreed on a standard price. - somewhere in the hundreds - not as many screenings as it was made for tv - made available on the web straight away - no contractual relationship - some criticuism of BtB from people of the 'openness of the process', wanted access

- edited in Changing america - limited equipment - guidlines circulated at meetings

Attempt by indymedia collectives lesewhere to assume control of democracy, breaking the bank, wanted to be able to use it for fundraisers, alienated many of the orignial collectives - boston IMC fundraiser incident

Prague - tried to make something similar; modularised; didn't work - longer

Quebec - Stefan Wray proposal - copyleft - no interest in making a film, no plan to make a television program - quebec city video mailing list (sharpie co-ordinating video contyributions) - not orghanised, no waiver - just gave footage to him; editing process dragged on for years, editing to produce a final product - people treated badly; urgent emails, fedex etc., false sense of urgency - no vision, jusrt a document, no group dynamic, no collective present in Quebec city, post-hoc, low level of communication and feedback.

Genova 2001 - november meeting - footage going somewhere - no updates for those who contributed - no indication of how the fottage would be used - no knopwledge about films coming out of it - no access to archive (was supposed to be circulated) - Sam, Hamish - no request for waivers - no clear understanding about how the footage would be treated - quid pro quo - assumed accreditation - zona rossa; tape arrived (footage used in crappy way, technically poor, shameful presentation, no credit)

The WSIS summit is interesting only as a context to exploit and not as a focus in itself. Apart from being deadly boring, it's also devoid of real decision-making power: rules relating to intellectual property and telecommunications are under GATT/TRIPS/WTO. One good thing about Geneva -- unless you live there I suppose ;-) -- is that it's also home to the WTO and WIPO (although they are in a similar situation to the ITU as a declining supposedly multilateral institution). Spectrum policy is decided on a national level although the ITU retains a coordination role and could be important on the question of unlicensed use of the 5 Ghz band. The 'digital divide' discourse seems to me to be just the umpteenth liberal denial of the extreme social inequality, dressed up in the clothes of progress and reflecting a moment in the 1990s when technological messianism reigned triumphant. Now it can be a useful way to drum up some more business for telecommunications companies with problems in their domestic markets. Satellite associations made submission to the Prepcom to that effect. Elsewhere lots of important decisions are now being made in standard setting bodies or industry consortia, private sector settings without even formal accountability.

My point is that WSIS will not be a place where important decisions will be made.


Despite this, Geneva in December, and the journey from here to there, presents opportunities.

First to develop a language that allows break the isolation of these specialist areas and to talk about sharing, knowledge, individual autonomy and collective cooperation in general, and not defined by the latest technological fashion. This would include laws relating to the movement of workers, trade secrets, patent laws, technology transfer etc

Second to demonstrate practically and simply the positive potential of this cooperation: assembling wireless networks, broadcasting pirate tv/radio, streaming/gathering remote participation over the net, building p2p networks for the distribution of critical/non-commercial content, showing how easy to switch to free/open source software etc.

So in response to Sean's question/proposal about practical projects I don't think there's any shortage, and some of them can have longevity. Those can also be moments, as Arne suggested, where collaboration can occur between individual organizations without implicating the political relations between everyone. Many of us were involved in the Euraction Hub that took place parallel to the ESF in Florence, which is indicative of our critical stance towards 'civil society' never mind national governments and international organizations.

Thirdly to develop our networks of trust to enable future cooperation, especially with those from the 'global south' whose circumstances I, at least, have yet to really understand, and with whom there is rarely the opportunity to meet.

I suggested to Sean that it would be interesting to examine together the Access to Essential Medicines Campaign. That struggle has evolved in a somewhat similar context, involves 'odd' partners - direct actionists, NGO, governmental - in alliance, and functioning on a global level. An important difference is that it's easier, and a lot less risky, to do DIY communications and media than DIY pharmaceuticals, leaving more space for extra-institutional work that, in turn, modifies the negotiating position of the opposition operating inside.

The network of alternative events does not have to be built on an exact unified program. Ideally, for me, we'll create and leave space for people to take their own initiatives, which is really the difference between a network and traditional forms of political organization. The basic framework of the two conferences and the media lab seems appropriate to that: plenty of opportunities for collaboration and openness and those who want to sign up to the civil societies declaration, or do their own thing entirely are free to do so.


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