Not exactly hiding their corruption
Dec 7th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Staffer axed by Repub­li­can group over retract­ed copyright-reform memo. The Repub­li­can Study Com­mit­tee, a cau­cus of Repub­li­cans in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has told staffer Derek Khan­na that he will be out of a job when Con­gress re-convenes in Jan­u­ary. The incom­ing chair­man of the RSC, Steve Scalise (R-LA) was approached by sev­er­al Repub­li­can mem­bers of Con­gress who were upset about a memo Khan­na wrote advo­cat­ing reform of copy­right law. They asked that Khan­na not be retained, and Scalise agreed to their request. [Ars Tech­ni­ca]

Appar­ent­ly the Repub­li­can fac­tion of the Boot On Your Neck Par­ty wants to be sure every­one under­stands that they’re just as much in the MAFIAA’s pock­et as the Demo­c­ra­t­ic fac­tion, and that vot­ing Repub­li­can will cer­tain­ly not change any­thing.

Series on Copyright History
Jan 27th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

His­to­ry of Copy­right [Falkvinge on Infopol­i­cy]

Giv­en the recent fuss raised by cor­rupt politi­cians (SOPA and ACTA) and thugs enforc­ing the “laws” of the Evil Empire on its pup­pet states, its inter­est­ing to look at this sev­en part series on the his­to­ry of copy­right.

There’s a reason for that
Jan 26th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Seen on Twit­ter:

The Irish Copy­right Act appears to have been copied almost ver­ba­tim from the UK Copy­right Act. How iron­ic.


That’s prob­a­bly because the copy­right indus­try lob­by­ist who wrote the act sent the same file to the politi­cians he bought in each coun­try.

SOPA news
Jan 18th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Today is SOPA blackout day, as many prominent websites protest a bill which, if passed, would allow the copyright industry to shut down any site that links to another site which contains links to what they consider copyright infringement, such as The Pirate Bay. There would still be ways around it, so I decided to exercise one of them today: I saved a backup copy of every post here, and inserted it into Freenet, where it is impossible for any government to remove it.

Indian vs. US copyright law
Apr 22nd, 2010 by Ken Hagler

India's copyright proposals are un-American (and that's bad). India has long been one of the few countries on the US Special 301 "Priority Watch List" (PDF) as one of the world's top offenders when it comes to piracy and copyright infringement. While the inclusion of Canada (yes, Canada) on this list has always seem patently bizarre to us, the case for India is more easily made.

Here's how bad it is: "The piracy rate for music in the online space is estimated at 99%... India was among the top 10 countries in the world for illegal filesharing (P2P) activities... In one case, pamphlets were being distributed with the morning newspaper offering pirated software and referring readers to the website to place orders... It is estimated that India's cable companies declare only 20% of their subscribers and that the piracy level in this market is at 80% with significant losses... The sale of high-risk trade books at traffic junctions in New Delhi appears to be a lesson; last year it was at epidemic proportions." [Ars Technica]

Clearly the cultural approach to works of art is different in India than it is in the United States. In the United States, copyright law exists "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." What this means in concrete terms is that US copyright law is bought and paid for in its entirety by a very large corporation to ensure that a man who died in 1966 is motivated to continue working.

We can tell how successful those US copyright laws have been at fulfilling their stated purpose by the fact that India has been producing more films per year than the US since the 1970s.

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