Radical media, politics and culture.


"Hack License"

Simson Garfinkel


A Hacker Manifesto

McKenzie Wark

As cultural critic and New School University professor McKenzie Wark
sees things, today's battles over copyrights, trademarks, and patents
are simply the next phase in the age-old battle between the productive
classes and the ruling classes that strive to turn those producers
into subjects. But whereas Marx and Engels saw the battle of
capitalist society as being between two social classes — the proletariat
and the bourgeoisie — Wark sees one between two newly emergent classes:
the hackers and a new group that Wark has added to the lexicon of the
academy: the "vectoralist class."


Following the removal of the tracker and vtorrent files (subsequent to a threat by lawyers for the film production company), several other torrent trackerts are now carrying the Eyes on the Prize. Here is one hosting the first three episodes.

This from Cory Dottow's Boing-Boing.

Eyes on the Screen: Direct action to save Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize is a seminal documentary about the US civil rights movement, a classic that is shown and re-shown every year around this time, for Black History Month. The problem (see earlier BB post) is that the archival footage in Eyes on the Prize was only cleared for the initial production, and the cost of clearing the copyrights again is prohibitive. It seems, then, that this documentary is doomed to vanish, once the existing VHS copies wear out.

Peer-to-Peer A general call to all P2P-users

As of late the MPAA's and RIAA's of the world are claiming that we are robbing them of their rightly earned money and are trying to find ways to legally put and end to it. The scare tactics have been fruitful, it would seem as they keep getting settlements out of court and probably make a profit out of it.

This campaign of theirs, of course, isn't to target and eradicate filesharing as much as an attempt to control the market and where our money goes. Most of us feel that they should very well look into availability and affordable prices instead of claiming higher moral ground. The wealthiest nowadays decide what we shall listen to and watch, using staggering PR campaigns, and most releases are "format" productions, where talent and creativity comes second only to business concept and money.

Read the rest at Infoanarchy.org"

The following article is from exquisite magazine, Mute. Check it out.

Commercial Commons

by researchers at the Economic Observatory of the University of Openess

Creative Commons advertise their licenses as the best-of-both-worlds between copyright and the public domain. But is the word 'commons' then a misnomer, and can such licensing be subjected to the same abuse as copyright? Saul Albert raises the question and a discussion within the University of Openess Wiki follows

The Creative Commons licenses have become a kind of default orthodoxy in non-commercial licensing. Every unpunctuated half-sentence spilled into a weblog, every petulant rant published by 'Free Culture' pundits, every square millimetre of Lawrence Lessig's abundant intellectual property is immediately and righteously staked out as part of the great wealth of man's 'Creative Commons'.

Read the rest of the article"


Dan Hunter, Legal Affairs

Computer users of the world have united behind Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig — and what they're doing is much more important than his critics realize.

At Swarthmore College, the crowd is mostly students, and maybe a few professors and interested outsiders. It's a typical turnout for a public lecture by a well-known law professor.

But there is something different and a little odd about this group. Swarthmore doesn't have a law school, so the audience includes no young men in suits that still have the label attached, and no young women with high-heeled shoes so new the soles aren't scuffed. And there is something else, something funny about the T-shirts. Everywhere you look, there are T-shirts with slogans, not logos. No "Tommy Hilfiger" and "Ralph Lauren" here. Just shirts with references too obscure to parse. What is "Downhill Battle"? Or "Grey Tuesday"? One kid has a shirt with the picture of a skull and crossbones on it, and written boldly across it are the words "Home Taping is Killing the Music Industry." Look closer, and you'll see, in tiny type, "(And it's fun)."

Gabriel writes:

"Angels Disrupt Nanotech Conference and Present 'Can of Worms' Award to Former Monsanto Man"

Buckinghamshire, UK, 9th Dec 2004 — A host of heavenly angels from THRONG (The Heavenly Righteous Opposed to Nanotech Greed) appeared today unto a nanotechnology business conference in order to bestow a "Can of Worms" Award on a representative of the Nanotechnology Industry. Chosen to receive the award was Mr Harry Swan, formerly of Monsanto, who is Nanotechnology manager of Britain's leading producer of carbon nanotubes, Thomas Swan & Co.

hydrarchist writes: "This text was originally published in Green Pepper's 'Information Issue', December 2003. You can find the other articles online at their web-site."

"Pirate Practice, Information Insurgency and Its Limits"

Alan Toner

Autonomous communications systems require three
functional elements: the means of production, transmission
facilities and informational raw materials. The
spread of the commodity PC has taken care of the
first. The second has been confronted through innovative
digital techniques — peer to peer [p2p] networks
to pool bandwidth and streaming technologies — and
through the illegal occupation of the airwaves by
pirate radios and more recently street televisions
[Telestreet], and in some countries through public
cable access and even independent satellite broadcasting
initiatives [DeepDish TV, NoWarTV, Global

The last element has proven the most challenging
as access to the audio-visual lexicon that can
engage a wider public is constrained by a system of
property rights — copyrights and trademarks — that
denies the possibility of recycling the works of others
— whether to convey our argument or contest that of

"World Wide Web Inventor Warns Of Patent Licensing Royalty Threat"

Steven Burke, CRN

Speaking at the Emerging Technologies Conference at M.I.T. on
Wednesday, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said that
royalty-free standards are key to advancing the online world.

Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C),
told several hundred attendees at the MIT conference that it's
"very important" that everyone involved makes sure the Web is not
"tripped up by software patents."

hydrarchist writes:

"Reluctant Revolutionaries:
The False Modesty of Reformist Critics of Copyright"
Johan Söderberg, Journal of Hyper(+)drome.Manifestation

Any estimation of the long-term viability of the intellectual property regime rests on one fundamental assumption. Whether or not immaterial use values (non-rival goods) are believed to be qualitatively different from material use values (tangible, rival goods).[1] Which position is taken at this point is decisive. Hackers, activists, and scholars campaigning against copyright stress the discrepancy between endless informational resources and limited material resources. Those neo-classical economists that have paid attention to knowledge as a factor in economic growth generally agrees:

“If a public or social good is defined as one that can be used by additional persons without causing any additional cost, then knowledge is such a good of the purest type.”[2]

Spectropolis: Mobile Media, Art, and the City

October 1–3 from 12–4 PM, New York City, City Hall Park

Spectropolis is a three-day event (October 1-3, 2004) in Lower Manhattan that highlights the diverse ways artists, technical innovators and activists are using communication technologies to generate urban experiences and public voice. The increasing presence of mobile communication technologies is transforming the ways we live, construct and move through our built environment. The participants of Spectropolis make obvious or play with this shift, creating new urban perceptions and social interactions with cell phones, laptops, wireless internet, PDAs and radio. Don't forget to bring your Wi-Fi enabled laptop or PDA  for an added encounter!


Subscribe to Technology