Radical media, politics and culture.


hydrarchist writes:

" The following long essay was prepared by Negativland for the forthcoming conference organised by the Center for the Public Domain. The essay provides a detailed analysis of some of the issues raised by intellectual property, a legal category that has been unrelentingly expanded in the last decade. Criminal liability now attaches to uses made by individual consumers of cultural products,a nd works produced in our lifetime will never be avaliable for recombination before our deaths - unless the 'life scientists' manage to pull off the immortality thing...

A full report on the conference will be published after the event here at slash.autonomedia.org.

We make this text available as a HTML document - it was released only in PDF format- in homage to the first victim of the DMCA's war to disable users' rights through criminalising those that make the tools required to exert those rights.

Dimitry Sklyarov was arrested at Defcon during the summer for his part in creating tools which allow the circumnavigation of Adobe's e-book reader encryption program.

Drop the Charges against Dimitry!

N© 10/14/2001 by Negativland;

Editor’s Note: See http://www.negativland.com for more


By Negativland


It's been ten years since Negativland was sued by Island Records for the copyright
infringement, trademark infringement, defamation of character and consumer fraud
contained in our 1991 "U2" single. In the big wide world of idea ownership, a lot has
changed since then - the Internet and its worldwide empowerment of individuals through
personalized interconnection, the effects of globalization and how it bypasses both the
ideologies of local governments and the rule of their national laws, and the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act with which intellectual property owners are attempting to survive
all these rugs being pulled out from under them. There is a contemporary realization that,
on one hand, the fate of all content is now in the hands of its receiving audience more than
ever before, and on the other hand, that worldwide commerce is scrambling to forge all
kinds of new laws and regulations to maintain their traditional control over the fate of
“their” content.

hydrarchist writes: "

It has become a trivial remark, even a ridiculous one, indeed, it is being
made by all and sundry: in the aftermath of the demolition of the WTC and
the imperial war on Afghanistan, with the amount of "collateral damages"
increasing out of sight, we all have entered a new phase of social life and
This phase is heavily affected by paranoia, war propaganda, will to
censorship, restriction of such civil rights as free speech, re-embellished
mcCarthysm and angry mobs demanding new *berufsverboten* in the sinister
light of the rhetoric on the "clash of civilizations".
Back to the home front. Another Cold War. The Empire asks for it.

However, the events of September 11th have "only" made more apparent and
explicit the fact that after Genoa we had entered a *catastrophic* realm
By "catastrophe" I don't mean the end of the world, but a new topology, a
space created by an abrupt discontinuity.
The threshold was in via Tolemaide on July 20th. There we experienced a
sudden displacement. Less than two months later we experienced a second
one, like a "fold-in" and "cut-up" of public space. This forced us to
re-think our approach.
Such a discussion is still going on and there's no rabbit in our hats. All
I can say is that none of the phenomena I am going to describe exists
anymore, at least not in Italy and certainly not in its original
As a matter of fact, the only white overalls one sees on TV or on the
papers these days are related to anthrax and biological warfare.
On the other hand, we are not starting over: there can be no doubt that the
multitudes of people who have challenged global capitalism all around the
planet are still willing to do it. On last sunday, more than 200,000
thousands people demonstrated in Perugia, Italy, against the US bombings of
Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of people did the same here in Germany. The
more "collateral damage" the Empire causes on Afghanistan, the less people
are willing to accept excuses.
I know, it is harder than ever, but only fools thought it would be easy.

Louis Lingg writes: "Pakistani site dawn.com has posted an essay by Kaiser Bengali: Understanding the Taliban.

An excerpt: 'Even by nineteenth century standards, the Taliban are an anachronism. It is, however, necessary to see where they have come from and how the
Taliban phenomenon has come about. The US decision to engage the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by mobilizing the Islamic clergy in
Afghanistan and Pakistan ordained death and destruction for millions of Afghans. Millions more streamed as refugees into neighbouring
countries. Amongst them were hundreds of thousands of orphans.

These orphans were collected in scores of madrassahs in Afghan refugee camps and in Pakistani cities run by the same clergy. These orphans
grew up through childhood, adolescence and youth in an environment completely devoid of women. They have never known the love and care
of mothers and elder sisters. They have never seen the benign smiles of grandmothers or aunts. They have never played with younger sisters
or female cousins.

These products of the madrassahs - the Taliban - are thus a unique breed of men. Their harshness towards women, towards their opponents
and, indeed, towards themselves should be seen in this context. They are the byproducts of the human destruction wreaked by the US-USSR
clash in Afghanistan. They are certainly not men who will be cowed down by the American display of its awesome firepower.'"

Louis Lingg writes: "An analysis of US government actions in terms of mythic narratives & an enduring icon of US popular culture can be found at http://home.eol.ca/~dord/."

Louis Lingg writes: "The role of our erstwhile ally Pakistan in breeding a ferocious Jehadi culture has been substantially discussed in mainstream U.S. media. The influence of pro-Taliban and Jehadi elements in the Pakistani military and intelligence agency (ISI) is also known.

Less obvious, and perhaps unknown, is the degree to which Jehadi culture asserts itself in other Pakistani institutions. Secular-Humanist website infidels.org has posted the story of Dr. Younis Shaikh, sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan.

Dr. Shaikh was found guilty of asserting "that
neither Prophet Mohammed nor his Parents could logically have been Muslims before
Islam was revealed to the Prophet."

More information on Dr. Shaikh and Pakistani blasphemy laws can be found at the Rationalist International website."

hydrarchist writes: "Naomi! We love your sweet eye for poetic perversity! Rock on!

The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) October 4, 2001

By Naomi Klein

There are many contenders for biggest political opportunist since the September 11 atrocities. Politicians ramming through life-changing laws while telling voters they are still mourning; corporations diving for public cash; pundits accusing their opponents of treason.

Yet amid the chorus of draconian proposals and McCarthyite threats, one voice of opportunism still stands out. That voice belongs to Robyn Mazer, who is using September 11 to call for an international crackdown on counterfeit T-shirts.

Not surprisingly, Ms Mazer is a trade lawyer in Washington DC. Even less surprising, she specialises in trade laws that protect America's single largest export -- copyright.

That is music, movies, logos, seed patents, software and much more. Trade related intellectual property rights (Trips) are among the most controversial side-agreements in the run-up to next month's World Trade Organisation meeting in Qatar.

It is the battleground for disputes ranging from Brazil's right to disseminate free generic Aids drugs, to China's huge market in knock-off Britney Spears CDs.

American multinationals are desperate to gain access to these large markets for their products - but they want protection. Many poor countries, meanwhile, say Trips cost millions to police, while strangleholds on intellectual property drive up costs for local industries and consumers.

What does any of this trade wrangling have to do with terrorism? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Unless, of course, you ask Ms Mazer, who wrote an article last week in the Washington Post headlined -- From T-shirts to terrorism: That fake Nike swoosh may be helping fund bin Laden's network.

... read the rest of this account of normalised inanity at infoshop.org."

Dr. John Cunningham Lilly, who championed
the study of interspecies communications and LSD during a career
that probed the mystery of human consciousness, has died. He
was 86.

See the AP obituary at

An old interview is online at

an odd piece by him titled dolphin-human relations and lsd can be found at

and a short biography is at http://www.eccosys.co.jp/lilly/thestory.html

Louis Lingg writes: "The Times of India has posted an essay by Rashmee Z. Ahmed exploring the "war on terrorism," the "clash of civilizations," and the tensions, contradictions, and practical choices faced by Islamic diaspora communities in Europe and the U.S."

Anonymous Comrade writes:




23rd Street

Artists/cultural workers are knowledge makers and engaged citizens.
They are
experts at creatively utilizing their hybrid skills to reach numerous
audiencesÐfrom school children and people on the street, to
and far-flung electronic audiencesÐwith meaningful "messages" ranging
healing images and narratives to analyses of mass-media imagery and
manipulation. The traditional view of art1s potential in this crisis
expressed in the New York Times of September 17, in which the pleasures
art were described as "comfort, replenishment, beauty," the museum "as
calm haven from devastating events," and the future direction of public
as a return to the memorial, and a turning away from the "humorous or
ironic." All of these observations are apt, but reinforce the notion of
contemporary art is remove from daily life. In a time of crisis, they
are too

hydrarchist writes: "

So you're a writer, and you've got this really cool series that's set to ship from Com.X in November called Cla$$war. The series, which is getting loads of pre-publication buzz, is about superheroes in a world just like ours - one ruled by multinational corporations, where politicians are corrupt at best, the strings are pulled by big business, and America's foreign policy is a joke and a half. Believing itself to be the most powerful nation on the planet, the powerful in Cla$$war's America believe it's population is too complacent to rise up or even unite for a cause, and it's mere reputation, superheroes, and financial might is enough to keep attacks of its borders from occurring. Frankly, it was a view of America that, aside from the superheroes, many held.
Writer Rob Williams and artist Trevor Hairsine were set to enter the world of comics in a big way when Cla$$war #1 hit the stands.

But something else hit first on September 11th.

As a result of the terrorist attacks, Cla$$war’s November release has been pushed back to 2002, the publisher opting not to bring out a book that has what some might see as views of America that are less than favorable in light of the attack. Cla$$war will come out – just not for a few more months.

However, we still wanted to take a look at the series from Com.X as well as speak with its creators, so here we are. As a side note, these interviews were conducted a week prior to the attack, and any comments made by Williams in no way are meant to reflect on America after the terrorist acts of the 11th.

The more dour stuff over, on with the show…


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