26c3 - Here be Dragons!

HereBeDragons.pngThe congress for the crazy ones the wild ones the good ones the ones defending freedom and digital liberties keep the information flowing unhindered without borders the last of their kind - the real dragons. Those who share and know will meet and talk and copy and paste and for so much knowledge brought to a boil the outcome is unknown.

There be Dragons! Dragons Everywhere. I will be one and so should you.

26c3 Official Website

And on the 28th around 23:00 in the smokers lounge the dragons will undertake a special journey through time:
Indian Timetravels - an audiovisual performance by Das Kraftfuttermischwerk & protobeamaz:fALK (hey thats me ;)


Linux Libertine - Free the Times and make it better

linuxlibertine.pngFree fonts are such thing, most are ugly or just plain copies or incomplete or in the end have the same copyright restrictments as the for pay high quality fonts (mostly because the authors didn´t apply a alternative copyright to them) so its nice to see that there are more and more fonts coming to the table that have less restrictive copyright or are free in the whole sense. Even better it is when said fonts are of high quality - or if they are copying an already available font - make it even better quality. That happened to the Times New Roman - the most controversial font of modern time (or so some say). Blessed with an open source linux compatible license the creators made Linux Libertine even better then the original (and maybe even usable at all?). Everyone can grab a copy for free. Its in the OpenType format and spans all characters that you would ever need in a font and a regular, italic, bold, bolditalic, small caps and - hold you breath - a Organic Grotesk (non-linear sans-serif) version.

via @murdelta.


Kutiman ThruYou Youtube CutUps - feat. our own Bastai ;D

I was just pointed by captain mulda who is our new flyer designer to these amazing cutup videos - and the original reason for the journey to ThruYou was that our own MC Bastai is featured in one of the videos. The idea of the cutup videos is to take lots of different youtube videos with soundsamples in them and cut them up and remix them into one continuous new song. Bastai features in the fitting dubby song all complete with multiple dub sirens and some other really strange music gear from another dimension.

Be sure to check out the other creations with different music styles in the above link.


GateHouse vs. NYT - they settle out of court

In what for me is a very dissapointing outcome of the high profile lawsuit between GateHouse and the New York Times both sides have agreed to settle the case before anything could be cleared. While I don´t like lawsuits this could have actually meant that artists could be a bit more protected when the publish their work from greedy companies/scrupelous bloggers making money with their art. There is still the big grey zone of embeds not falling under copyright because they might be considered links (my research has shown that it might not be the grey zone some think it is and it quite clearly defined in a different lawsuit (US) and in law opionions(Germany) still no clear law will give insentive to the greedy). I have no clue why the EFF wants to support bussiness models that take the work from people who are offering for free and use it to make money by just posting links - I always thought the EFF supports the small people on the net - this lawsuit - while beeing fought between two media giant - could have actually put some legal ground on the definition of legal copyright AND copyleft in the age of hyperlinking with nobody really coming to harm other then the two media giants (not a big shame at all).
To make my point clear again - there is a growing sense that you can make a bussiness modell that is close to traditional TV or radio - but instead of paying a single cent to the well meaning content creators that put their content out for the world at large to enjoy without fear of procescution - you just take their content wrap some ads around it and enjoy making money by not doing anything other then copy and paste a link now and then - all the while the original author does not get a single cent out of this endaevour - or has a say what kind of commercial are around his content. That is a growing concern from content creators - one that has yet to be adressed either by law or at least by words or action from institutions like the EFF or Creative Commons. Seeing the EFF siding with the lawlessness that is currently favoring just those companies that have deep pockets and can threaten everyone with their lawyers while those without the "institutional standing" of the RIAA just have to pray for the goodwill of mankind - we all know how well that goes (he says looking at the bonuses for bankers of just bailed out banks).

PS: I have been made aware of a recent draft RDFa that at least wants to send along license information with content - I have no clue yet (read I didn´t have enough time to go through the spec) how that might affect above problems but be sure that I will report about it ones I have a clearer understanding.


Embedding Content - Are Links Exempt from Copyright? The Lawsuit

Last year there was this highly linked discussion here on this blog prompted by a discussion on BoingBoing about the state of embedded media and the creative common license on ad filled (commercial) blogs. One of the arguments why the Creative Commons License would not even apply at all for embedded media content was that all embeds are links - a kind of bombshell for content creators using the creative commons license and wanting to be sure its not used by others to make money with your content. Asking some lawyers around the world and some emails from and to the Creative Commons foundation later the issue has not been resolved. The foundation was that here in Germany embeds are protected under normal copyright/left they where published - where in the states embedded content is seen as links.
Interestingly this morning comes in news that there is a high profile high stakes lawsuit going on in the USofA that will clearify exactly if links themself fall under copyright. While "the freedom of the net is at stake" is the headlines you will see around the world I have a different take on that. In GateHouse vs. The Times Company GateHouse is accusing the Times that they are aggregating Headlines for their local news service "Your Town" by bypassing GateHouses original news writing completely with just grabbing the headlines and linking to the original article - meanwhile the claim that people never click on the links and just read the headlines on the Your Town website - you know like google news et al does.
Putting links under copyright law would be an interesting feat. It would allow the big news corps to put their stories under copyright and all links to it - theoretically driving the traffic spike up and controlling the content 100%. On the otherhand small blogs who have been linking to these newspaper websites would all of the sudden not be allowed to do that anymore. Now this is where Creative Commons comes into play and the reason the lawsuit - if lost by the Times - would clear up the original issue. If you place the links (or embeds if you think embeds are links) under creative commons - people can link to you again - that would most likely mean a boost of creative commons content because websites want to be linked to. The content and the links have a clear legal status and we just have to figure out that pesky problem of commercialism of a website and the web would have more legal legs in the end.
This will not be the spin you will hear. Since the bigger end of the lawsuit is ironically enough one of the biggest news headline setters in the US they will fight tooth and nail against the lawsuit and will spin it into direction that the freedom of the tubes is at stakes because its exactly these companies who want to benefit from free content and have the advertisers lined up to actually make money of it - compared to those small local journalistic entities or artists for that matter - who never see a dime for actually creating the work. I would love the sleeping Creative Commons Foundations to actually embrace a ruling for putting the whole link business on legal ground as at the moment its a dark shade of grey ruling the land of the clicks and embeds. And while they are at it release an addition to their license that says "Do not use on websites with advertisment" just to make that clear.


Apple miniDisplay port can be licensed - Apples fantasy world

Apple has opened up the DRMed, stripped down propitiatory miniDisplay port that is to be found on all MacBooks for free licensing.
I beg the gods of hardware heaven to have Apple fail with this endeavor. For humans not intelligent enough to learn from past mistakes there is no place on earth.
This "idea" has failure written all over it. First its a display port standard from apple. Something they have tried at least two times already without any kind of success - just leaving a lot of customers in the dust with exotic connectors that you can not buy any adaptors for anymore (I still have a fully functioning G5 with three adaptors dangling on its back just to get to VGA because a ADC to VGA adaptor is hugely expensive and hard to come by (so its ADC to DVI to VGA) . Secondly - I would be all over this spec if they actually managed to improve upon a spec that is far more versatile and robustly designed to begin with - HDMI. They could be in heaven if they would have made display port not broken by design and integrating degrading DRM in it. You know make it the antithesis of HDMI. But but what they do is try to release a new spec just after they have been blasted with criticism all over the netosphere about their inclusion of DRM so this is a now a hostile market and they think anyone is picking in up? HDMI - while having the same DRM problems at least does not have a marketing problem at the same time. Oh and what about freaking audio? At least the novelty of the failed ADC adaptor was to reduce cable clutter. Now apples "mini" version of the "standard display port" is ommiting the audio spec so you still have to add an audio cable to your clinical clean apple desk? (nothing I mind personally I would like to add - cable clutter has its charme ;)
It will be an epic failure again and I am totally unsure why Apple is putting itself in the same hot waters again as they must have learned from ADC at least a tiny bit - and ADC had a LOT more going for it then the miniDisplayPort - no bad press, not broken by design, less cables.


Germany: You are allowed to Sample - Sabrina Setlur vs. Kraftwerk

The first ever ruling that actually weakens tradional copyright in my lifetime has been taken place in a high profile case about sampling. The once hip - now copyright greedy elektronik pioneers of Kraftwerk have sued Moses Pelham (not much better) for using a two second samples from their song "Metall on Metall" in Sabrina Setlurs Song "Nur Mir" which was produced by Pelham.

Der Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) hat das sogenannte Sampeln von Musikstücken erleichtert. Künstler dürfen unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen kleine Tonfetzen aus Musikstücken entnehmen und daraus ein eigenes Werk schaffen, entschied das Karlsruher Gericht am heutigen Donnerstagmorgen. In dem Prozess ging es um eine Klage der Gruppe Kraftwerk gegen den Produzenten und Komponisten Moses Pelham.

Our - what America calls - Surpeme Court (its Bundesgerichtshof) has said that under copyright you are not allowed to take any part of one artwork and sell it in another - yet there is an interpretative exclusion cause:

Allerdings sehe das Urheberrecht eine Ausnahme von dieser Regel vor, um das kulturelle Schaffen zu fördern. Danach dürfe ein Musiker solche Tonsequenzen aus anderen Stücken entnehmen, die wegen ihrer besonderen Eigenart nicht einfach nachgespielt werden könnten. Für Melodien gelte diese Ausnahme allerdings nicht.

So if its not a melody and if its hard to recreate because it has interesting features and if it advances cultural producing then you are allowed to sample freely. Tiny tiny victory for those who believe in sampling - big loss for those who thought Kraftwerk are cool.

Now somebody needs to rethink if they should be using Kraftwerks songs as openers in a podcast that promotes free culture - maybe change to a song from Moses Pelham? *giggles*

Original Article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.


New MacBook(Pro) broken by design

Word is out that the new Apple MacBooks and MacBookPros with their new display port technology are lovely looking environmently "friendly" trojan horses of the MPAA (that is the movie mafia of america). When you buy a movie through the iTunes (not only music anymore) store and play it on these new machines - you have to have a copyright safe monitor attached to actually view the movie. That is a mafia approved monitor. If you do not you get a nice little warning sign saying that you are not allowed to play the movie.

Now this raises an interesting question: Is the lack of a miniDisplayPort to analog video adapter something that will never be rectified because it would mean that this would breach HDCP copyright protection? Anyone ponder what this would mean to the Apple using VJs? Not to mention that the movie mafia does the exact same mistake as the music mafia had been doing - by actually forcing people to crack movies just to watch them on their devices - while at the same time teaching millions of people how to actually crack a movie who then find it so easy and enjoying the freedom afterwards that they don´t ever buy one again.

This decision of Apple and the movie mafia is so wrong on so many levels its mind boggling that in the current environment such mistakes are made. What is Apple thinking? They are not above the godline just yet - they must know that these things are creating a huge backlash on the internet - just after their movie store was heralded as something great.
Watch the blog storm about this in the coming days with the citizens demanding DRM free movies and apple apologizing and putting a software patch out in a three month timeframe and the movie industry realising their mistake in less then one year (when they need a bailout).

To the people thinking this stuff up I can only say one thing: Stupid fucking idiots - you must have won your harvard degree in the lottery.

To quote a commenter on the Engadget thread:

I'm not really down with stealing, but when they decide they are going to control how I watch my movies and listen to music they can go die in a fire.


Music Industry asks for $25 Billion Bailout - Socialism hits the Music Industry?

In a stunning dumb move the Music Industry of the USA has asked the US government for a $25 billion bailout to pay for the multimillion dollar stars and music managers who did not understand the change needed in their business model. This is the most ridiculous proposal ever. I would not be surprised if it actually goes through. If it happens to go through I am hoping that all music that the labels own becomes public domain - I mean in the end the public paid for it and attach a "lead parachute" by making clear that no manager gets any benefits and has to pay double the taxes of everyone else until the end of their day.

From the American Association of independent music:
The U.S. spends around $695 billion a year on defense so it would be a bargain to support the American music industry and stabilize National and global security. Now, more than ever, America needs the recording industry’s creative musical genius to infect the world with the sound and soul of America.

Right because music helps to spread your bullshit patriotism and american propaganda win wars and make the world a saver place - so some stars and clueless managers need some more millions to free the world from independent music.

via Kraftfuttermischwerk

PS: By the way I am not 100% sure if the original article was not meant as tongue in cheek considering the source is an independent music platform and the proposal is so extremely over top that if it would be genuine it would set the record for most propaganda laden press piece of modern history.

Creative Commons in Crystal Castles throwing stones

No this is not my long promised article on creative commons but its some insight why this article never appeared. I found a band that I actually liked musical wise and I whizzed the net to find out more about them - you know some nice postpunktrash80s8bitwomanscreaming music. Interestingly the first articles that I found about the band where about plagiarizing other bands and visual artists who had released their stuff under creative commons. Allegedly Crystal Castles (only really bad myspace site that I am not linking to) stole some riffs and sampled some stuff outright and also used some artwork found on the web licensed under Creative Commons for their promotion t-shirts. Now the band became kind of famous (hey they are a lot of fun after all) and was sported in a commercial.
Now I just had the discussion yesterday - no its not allowed to use other people creative common licensed work if you make money if its not explicitly set to the "commercial attribution" license - which is virtually none of the stuff found. Just have a browse through flickr and search in the advanced search option for stuff that you can use commercially - you get if you are lucky 1% of the results you would normally.
Now of course most of the failure lies with the band itself but MUCH MORE of the failure lies with the creative commons foundation and the non-existing rules about non-commercialism. The most asked question about creative commons must be "Am I doing something commercial?". And guess what - even after sending repeated emails to a lot of people in the digital rights movement including Creative Commons Foundation itself - nobody can answer that question. It seems nobody can answer for sure any questions that goes deeper then the "oh creative commons is so cool and free and makes the world a better place". Don´t understand me wrong. I love what creative commons does - yet in the end they better hammer out ANY legal problem they can not answer to someone who creates content. It seems at the moment for example that putting embeds in your page - in Germany you ARE liable (court opinion from Munich of all places) for copyright infringement even if the video is hosted on another site - while in the US you do NOT seem to be liable (but thats not a given - noone is 100% sure). That is: you post a noncommercial CC video that is hosted on YouTube or other similar places on your for profit site (which in itself is not clear where that starts) you are liable for copyright infringement. And no creative commons does know shit about this. "We can not comment on this" was all I got from 4 different people inside the creative commons foundation. Its a nightmare PR wise and legal wise and I predict this will likely bring Creative Commons to a fall if they do not get their act together on the thorny "grey" issues of their license - heck make mock court examples just so its out of the way once and for all. If they are not doing it a high profile case will come around the next bend and you will have plastered all over everything how insufficient CC is. I was a bit shocked - as a content producer - with the lack of understanding on the part of the CC in these "grey goo" matters.
So going back to the band I can see how they started out all indy like never thought it possible to get a record deal or the label are just friends having a great community and then it all of the sudden took off and they where in the spotlight and the once notforprofit thing turned in some bucks and also some media attention and the original owners of the artwork got upset their CC licensed stuff was used - then the band starting to denying it - being their first record and all and not wanting to spoil their success.
Moral of story - produce your own stuff when you want to be successful - 100% of it not matter what medium you operate the bullet is going to bite you otherwise also its the best way to develop your own handwriting and further the art you are doing on a whole.
Oh and embrace Creative Commons but if you have a question about some legal stuff ASK OUT VERY LOUD - make a stink out of it. I can really only hope that the Creative Commons folks are clearing up the legal mess they are having in front of them before it goes downhill.

PS: I will not post any links because I don´t want to take part of the blame game on this band. Nor do I post any email exchange with the lawyers as they have asked me nicely not to because nobody is 100% sure about the legality and implications of some of the CC license points.


Last•FM paying royalties to Indy Musicians

In another upset to the big players Last•FM has decided to pay royalties to small music labels and individual musicians who upload music to their their service. At the moment 70.000 of such artists are signed up on Last•FM and have uploaded 450.000 tracks in total.
If you are signed with a record label you get nothing directly (just the 1% your record label might get you) but if you are unsigned independend and not a member of the RIAA, GEMA or similar rip off institution then you get you share from Last•FM directly without any penalty (read you get more money if you are not signed up with the devils).
Now I have used Last•FM a bit in the past but have not yet forked over the 5 Dollar for their extended service because its owned by CBS - a media giant in itself and I just won´t support these ever, but quite generally this is a way in the very right direction and just another nail into the Music Industry Mafias coffin.



The YouTube Logs, Viacom, Lawsuits and yes - Embeds.

It has come to our all attention that Google is being sued by Viacom (MTV etc.) for copyright infringement and the using habits of all people ever watching a youtube video will be part of that lawsuit and google has to comply. Now privacy issues aside there will be another highly interesting aspect of this court battle to watch: embeds.
Yes I know I have promised a lengthy article or podcast about the whole "how embeds fall into copyright or not" issue. The reason why I still not have done so is that even after over a month of research I have no 100% answer to this very question and the reason I have no answer is that there is none out there it seems (I still have two option left for research). Now this lawsuit is wanting damages for each and all views of copyrighted material and this includes embeds. Now its a funny situation (not so funny actually) because if google looses the first round of the suit (so its found they are infringing copyright) then they will try to keep the damage to a minimum and that would mean that they try to push the embed button. Meaning Google would argue that those who embeded a youtube video are on their own when it comes to copyright and they are only liable when it comes to content on their site. Its the logical way out and would set the record straight.
I will be watching this closely.
Quite generally this lawsuit is worst that can happen to the net as whole and I sincerely hope Google has an ace up their sleeve. Not only is the privacy issue involved with all this data a can of worms also the whole music industries grip on the net would grow tremendously if they win this (an you better check if you have any infringing loop on your site - youtube or not - because thats going to be their next target).
I predict some secret out of court negotiations and google handing over some large swathes of cash and nothing gets resolved in the end for the whole net.


Cory Doctorow: Embedded videos are exempt from the Creative Commons License

I don´t want to be mean and have no personal problems with Cory Doctorow or the BoingBoing staff but there is an incident that I want to bring to a broader discussion as I see this as a huge problem for Creative Commons in the long run and seeing the ignorance from those that are front speaker for CC good with a large following I need to call them out on it.
There is this post on boingboing with a video from the great street artist MUTO who makes an awesome animated street art painting. In the beginning of that movie there is a nice handwritten plate - clearly readable and standing long enough to notice that says that the following video is made available under a creative commons attribute noncommercial share alike license. Now we all know that boingboing is an ad supported site that clearly makes money (hey its the number one or two independent blog on the net they have likely tens of thousands page impressions a day and that clearly generates money beyond the hosting costs (or they do something wrong)). So a light discussion came into gear in the first couple of comments prompting the following:

#5 POSTED BY SAISUMIMEN , MAY 15, 2008 3:29 PM
The video says that no "commercial websites" are allowed to post the video. Doesn't boingboing count as a "commercial website" since they have ads and sponsors?

(just wondering)

Interesting point right?

#7 POSTED BY POHJIE , MAY 15, 2008 7:10 PM
As far as I know, commercial sites are those that charge for access, not sites that use sponsors or gain revenue from ads. No money is being made from the sharing of this video, as clicking on an ad is not mandatory.

at that point I could not hold myself as the notion that a "not for pay" website equals a noncommercial website is so flawed and could not be standing on its own so I wrote a staunch honest unpolite reply (its how I am and I can´t help it):

#16 POSTED BY FALK , MAY 16, 2008 1:42 AM

BULLSHIT. Boingboing generates money through ads which comes from visitors to this site which come to see the content that is on boing boing - I really think the hypocrisy on this blog about bloaking how great creative commons is and then show full work of art (not a citation) is just mind-boggling. Boingboing is about as commercial as it gets for a blog and still there are so many cc violations. I wonder how Cory would feel if I post a copy "Little Brother" in full on a special blog that has adverts in between the text put a small link at the very end to corys blog... Or better yet I distribute a printed copy in an ad supported dead tree version of aforementioned blog with full little brother in it.

I really think the boingboing staff needs to get a grip on where they stand - either make money but then leave CC "non commercial" stuff out or kill the ads - you can´t have it both ways and remain credible...

Now the work of art is great (and a link to the artist website and a pic of the video would have done the artist more of a favor).

And then came the moment of revelation that I would not have expected from a man that I thought was highly intelligent above the fray and a fighter for the good:

#18 POSTED BY CORY DOCTOROW , MAY 16, 2008 8:21 AM
Falk, you need to look up the difference between embedding and copying. But of course, that would mean you'd have to discuss the facts, rather than grinding your personal vendetta axe.

Right so if I put up a CC licensed video on a video sharing site it looses all its rights? Well I let it speak with my own words:

#19 POSTED BY FALK , MAY 18, 2008 4:30 AM
Cory first of all - I have nothing against you or your site or whatever - I like it thats why I am coming here. Still I am a video artist and if I publish a piece under CC I do not want - even an embed - to be used to make other people rich.
I am sure you will explain to me the difference (its bits and bytes and doesn´t matter where they come from)... Its content from someone else inside your container - how about I embed the rss feed of boing boing into a an add supported "cool website" together with say some others make some editorial adjustments to it (say kill some less convincing stories) but otherwise do nothing else... I really do not see a problem with distributing content but when it says "not for commercial reuse" it means it and in add supported blog is commercial no way you turn it.

I am highly aware that this is one of the great controversies of CC and it has not been vetted in court but I see this as a problem - especially since you not even link to the guys webpage or make it a story in any way about him - you just plainly putting up his stuff on your website that generates money - embed or copy. He gains nothing. I would even say you didn´t attribute to him as your whole post does not mention his name once. Even so the begging of the movie asks very nicely about attribution and non commercialism.

I think its more an ethic thing then something that has to do with law. I am not against you embedding this piece per se but frame it accordingly make sure that the guy gets some attention that is more then this video (he has well deserved it) you know just things that you preach every day on this blog. This post is perceived by me (as a video artist sometimes publishing CC movies) as a rip-off - and perception sometimes forms opinions - yours may differ but I can´t see from your answer that it is well informed or thought about.

I was trying to stir up an informed debate and not a flame war and was actually wanting to get an opinion where your staff stands on this issue rather then getting a dog bark back personal offensive things. Maybe it was to harsh (and I know that I am too honest and forward speaking my mind without making it political correct) still some stand other then "its an embed stupid" (like I am commenting on creative commons and don´t know what an embed is or have not thought about embeds) would have been great and furthered the debate as I see this as an issue and its even more an issue with video then it is with text imnsho. there is a lot more too it but I am sure this comment is lost in time anyway - if you want to further a debate about it I invite you to do so - you say how and where ;)

I deeply believe this needs a debate rather sooner then later - I am reconsidering the use of CC (and I have been a supported since year one) because I do not want other people make money of my stuff and I know for fact other artists think the same (not even to mention that exactly this topic comes up when I speak to artists about how they should use CC in the first place - like "but people are just going to copy my stuff on their blogs and I don´t even get clicks or anything out of it - and they might even make money with their ads from my content" - I am not making this up I can name you three artists around here that have exactly responded the same and I couldn´t even defuse them as I am unsure where this leads as well)

I am not expecting a reply back as the comment is probably lost in time yet still interesting there are others who share my view further down:

#21 POSTED BY JFLEX , MAY 18, 2008 6:10 AM
I find Falk's contention interesting. I'm not sure if Cory's response is accurate. Speaking directly to the restrictions:

"You are free to copy, display, distribute this work for non-commercial purposes only."

puts BoingBoing in violation. The ads on this site are paid on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis. These impressions are contracted on a total-buy basis, meaning that an advertiser books a set number of impressions. Therefore, anyone viewing this page uses contracted impressions, fulfilling the advertiser's contract with BoingBoing, and getting BoingBoing (or, to be precise, Federated Media) one step closer to being able to invoice the advertiser.

In that sense, this is absolutely a commercial website and puts this video in violation of the expressed terms.

Now let's take the second clause:

No commercial websites or televisions are allowed to display this film without the author's permission.

We don't know enough information to address this. The author's authorization almost certainly trumps the first clause of the license. Therefore, if the author gave expressed permission to use this film on this site, BoingBoing has done nothing wrong.

Perhaps Cory can tell us if they contacted the author.

Perhaps... (I would bet that he didn´t but I like to be proofed wrong - its also not the general theme of the debate and also that would have prompted a "posted with the permission of the author" type of line in the blog post).

Quite generally this topic needs a discussion - what is a commercial website - were does it start? Does CC only apply if you are an "old economy" media institution but if you are a cool hip website generating money CC does not apply? Are all ad supported website commercial (I do not think so generally - especially when they are run by a nonprofit org who needs to pay their hosting bills). How can this issue be raised out in the open? Are subtle violations like this going to spell the end of CC because CC artists are unlikely to go after those sites for litigation. Its a big issue that needs discussing. BTW its one of the main reasons I keep ads of this site - because I do not want to violate CC and would like to post CC noncommercial content from time to time.

UPDATEAs fellow prototype mogreens points out a similar discussion almost came off on the big germany class A "Spreeblick" as they posted the same video - and guess what I consider Spreeblick as commercial as boingboing (its a company - they are paying people to post they have ads the generate money - its a commercial site - its like SPON (spiegel online) or similar would post the video and then I know these sites are out front in calling them for it and demanding all sorts of things (pull down, litigation with EFF etc etc). THIS NEEDS DISCUSSION GUYS - ITS NOT OK!

UPDATE 2 Thanks Cory for taking the time to post here in these comments. The discussion goes on :) For the rest of you coming here: Do you think embeds are just links or actually the content itself (that is ethically and in law)?


Interview with Rick Falkvinge Head of the Swedish Pirate Party

Just read a very great interview by the head of the Pirate Party in Sweden. Its a must read for the copyleft fighters out there. It highlights the current status quo of the copy battle.

In summary, secrecy, fear and deception is the administration's friend in introducing the Big Brother state. What we can do about it is counteract that - which is as simple, and hard, as talking about it. Being vigilant about finding out new bills, new proposals, and talking about them with our friends, our colleagues, and in forums. Break the secrecy and tear down the veil. After all, politicians desire to get re-elected.

One of my predictions for 2008 is that this epic battle will head into a very violent final.


DRM is declared DEAD

Today in London Steve Jobs the Apple Distortion Field Generator and EMI Music (the record label that has the Beatles, Chemical Brothers and some other few) declared Digital Rights Management dead. EMI states that 84% of consumers would prefer digital music playing devices free of DRM to be able to freely copy and use their music.
You will read that in about trazillion blogs in 20 minutes here are the slides:

EMI declares DRM dead slides (pdf)

What this means is crystal clear. A big record studio admits that the whole DRM thing was wrong is wrong and will be wrong now and always. Consumer rejoice, EMI will have a short "record" sales as all those that support this decision will show their support through a purchase (well maybe not) and the other biggies will follow, then next is the movie industry and in three years everything is fully completely DRM free. Right? RIGHT!

Generally this shows how powerful consumers are once they break free of the TV and advertising brainwash the company soak them in all their life. This has extremely far reaching consequences inside and outside all of society. Generally I support this with all my heart - not that I will start buying music again, but maybe this will also spur better music in the future. The next fight copyright as it is at the moment in general? Or a complete reshape of the media industry top to bottom left to right?
With DRM out of the way it definitely frees up some thoughts.

UPDATE: Well its all out there now, the news and all. The sour grape is thats its also a move to price the songs higher - which is bullshit. The move is clever price it higher now, phase out the cheap ones with DRM and leave the new price in. 1,30 USD is pretty huge. Anyway. The best blurb from Steve out of the news conference has to be the following which I definately would like execs of other companies to read and also Apple itself to read - because sometimes they don´t follow that idea themselves:

Q: And the second part of my question is: What do you think this will have an impact on the iPod-iTunes relationship in terms of now being able to buy your music on any player and not just on iPod?
A: Well again, you've been able to play all sorts of music on iPod forever. iPods have played MP3s forever. So the only music that has been in question is music you buy off the iTunes store. Now again, you can burn a CD and read that CD back in and it takes off the DRM. So you could then play it on anything else. We compete based on having what we we think is the best music store and based on what we think is having the best music players. And if customers agree with us, we are going to do well. If they don't, well we're going to get a message back that we have to work harder.


The emergence of Hollywood came from fleeing Patents

For my research in "Live Cinema" I am reading that real good Book "History of Film" by Jerzy Toeplitz. In the chapter "the american film in the beginning of its career" Toeplitz describes how Hollywood came into existence. In 1908 the Motion Pictures Patents Company was found to make patent claims to all institutions, people and technique that uses Film as a medium. The original founders of what must be the original of the Motion Pictures Association of America included the Edison Manufacturing Company, Biograph and Vitagraph.
Now the fun part - for circumventing the patent claims and the payment to the Motion Pictures Patents Company producers and customers of the film-renting business went to the west because it was hard to claim patents there in the early 20th century - it was still wild and lawlessness ruled. The book goes on on how the the patent trust was misjudging customers demand for better quality movies and gave rise to the independents of that time - and therefore is "responsible" for Hollywoods raging success.
This is exactly what happens at the moment and judging the historic pretext and the disappearance of the original trust and the companies involved can only give hope that the current "copyright war" will see the same fate.


Open University goes open Content with Creative Commons

group2.jpgCreative Commons Licensing Sheme is spreading like a wildfire - more and more musicians, artists and content creators in general publish their creative output under the license that makes it easy to retain your copyright and give away some copyleft to your audience. Now the biggest online University in Britain - The Open University - together with the BBC and Hewlett Packard is starting the "Open Content Initiative" and will publish ALL their learning materials in the coming months for everyone to see copy distribute learn from share add and discuss without any DRM without any restrictions. I surely hope this sets an example and all and every school in the world would adapt the CC license as mandatory to let the flow of information stream into the heads of the knowledge hungry without hinderance and let a century of progress follow. My hat goes to the Open University for their brave endeavor.

Update: On another front the Creative Common License has been upheld in a Dutch court. This is a big development as it means that at least in Holland you have now legal assurance that the Creative Common license protects your Creativity and lets you copy rip mix burn appropriately licensed work without a "police is around the corner" hassle.


Filmmaker by Day - By night she fought for fair use

0974155314.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgIn the tradition of "Understanding Comics" and with a look akin to Crypt Keeper and Mad Magazin The Duke Center For Public Domain is releasing a comic book to explain the copyleft movement, problems with intellectual property laws in todays world with its effect on the arts all revolving around a case study of a filmmaker. The comic will be released under a Creative Common License and sold through amazon for about $6 - no word on if it will be available for free pdf download.

A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the Rocky theme tune. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? "Eyes on the Prize", the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the subject of – yes – a new comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary, and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Find out more about the law, and decide what kind of rules you think would be best for the arts.

via boingboing


Society to Fight copyright infringements under legal suspicion

The german society to fight copyright infringment and part of a global network sponsored by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in the US is under legal scrutiny as evidence was found that they sponsored a warez server (one of the biggest fastest in germany) to "track down illegal file downloading".

It seems like the biggest joke of the century. The very same company that made multiple stupid "filesharing is illegal" spots that you had to pay for to see in the cinema and on rental dvds is now in legal trouble because they seem to have supported a big download server sitting on the network knot of germany in Frankfurt. Apparently they sponsored the server to get access to the log data. It will be interesting to see how this case pans out. The hilarious thing is that some of the spots have shown "evil hackers" in prison - being visited by their wife and children singing them birthday songs once a year outside the prison wall or being shown almost sexually harassed by male inmates - lets see if those very same people making up those spots actually landing in prison for the exact crime they tried to make us believe is the uttermost evil to society.
This all after the rootkit fiasco from Sony that exposed millions of computers and installed sony made malware. Give people too much power and they will misuse it.
Story developing - more indepth information on


One DRM to rule them all

Now voices are raising after everyone awakes with a headache that this move from Apple to Intel processors was about more then just processor speed. Its Intel that has been pushing Palladium or Trusted Computing or whatever you want to call it since the last years and its Intel that already announced that all their processors/mobos will have a hardware side DRM system in the very short future. Now Apple was widely seen as not implementing the Trusted Computing Platform mostly because they didn´t use Intel processors and it was widely believed that IBM would not join the DRM crazyness (even thought they are a member of the Trusted Computing Group). Now if you would have asked me before the iPod if Apple would ever implement DRM on the hardware side I would have said clearly "no". Now I am not sure anymore. That must be a dream come true for all the movie and record industry executives. In less then a year they will have a homogenic hardware enabled DRM scheme on all consumer computer copy machines. Linux comes to rescue you think? Linux is also on Intel/AMD hardware (amd is also a member of the TCP forum) and the Linux community can feel lucky if they even get open access to the DRM functions to run the OS. Environments without diversity can not be a good thing - not for Apple users not for PC users not for Windows Users not for Linux Users - it leaves doors wide open for monopoly power abuse and misuse - at least you can look ahead to rent your video online in less then two years through a DRM enabled trusted computing environment.


ANT´s not Television

If you are frequent to this blog you heard my multiple ramblings on how bad i think television is for the population on the planet. Actually I did something I rarely do - criticize without having a handy solution. The world will breath again the solution is here and its even better then I ever thought as it combines two of the three coolest web-technologies and puts it in an interface as easy to use as a TV box. The ANT is here and their slogan is "ANT´s not television". The slogan is a ripoff from "GNU´s not Linux" and could not be better suited. ANT gives you a nice clean interface as easy to use as the Quicktime Player and a TV set fused together.
The cool thing: its actually nothing more then an RSS feed reader. Yes this little "rss feed" or "xml feed" or "atom feed" you see on the right of many blogs and more and more newssites is used to give you an almost TV like experience. You alter the RSS feed a little (for example in movable type you put <$MTEntryRelEnclosures$> in the RSS 2.0 feed template) and then put in a rel="enclosure" in between your link to the movie you post and from that the ANT filters out the movies. You subscribe to the feed through ANT and click on refresh and there you go. You just watch the movies as they come in. You can refresh all of your subscribed feeds during the night and watch true Blog TV in the morning. You have to try it out to see how cool and easy this is.
After you download ANT you have some pre-installed feeds in there. You can just go to add to add another feed like the one for my vj-blog (copy link).
This programs brings you the closest to TV experience on the web while at the same time beeing MILES away from beeing TV as this is truly giving everyone the right to be a publisher of their own TV channel - on demand and fast :)


Study Day: Filetrading helps Artists.

Another study that shows how wrong the current system seems to be regards audio (and visual?) artists. Apparently the artist seem not to be too concerned about their stuff beeing traded on filesharing networks. Contrary to the few big record labels they even feel the internet and filesharing helps them distribute their work and get the name out. Only 3% of all questioned artists said that the internet failed to protect their work. That completely discredits the record companies claim that the internet is hurting the artists.


The Minas Tirith Project

A team forum members is taking on the grand city of Minas Tirith as seen and read in Tolkins Lord of the Rings. They want to voluntary rebuild the city in all detail as a 3d model. Right now they fight over what to do with it once its finished. Raise you ideas. I would say its a typical open source project to be released to the public to reuse remodel and do whatever if credit to the original modelers are given. Creative Common anyone?


How the music biz can live forever, get even richer, and be loved

The title says it all. The register has a great speech from one of its staff members how the record industry is beeing to stupid to see around the next corner. It was presented to a crowd of record industry executives at the "In the City" convention in the UK. It starts:

You're very lucky people. Like the sex industry, you're in a business where demand is guaranteed. A lot of other people wish they had your problems. What a stroke of good fortune!

Its a nice balanced overview of possibilities the record labels could take to move out of the deadlock they have created between the ever ongoing race of technology and the circumvention of – for them helpful – technology. I do not agree with the all points but its a good suggestion overall. The thing missing is how the upcoming unknown unsigned artists might be supported through a tax like system. Generally pay 2 bugs a month and never care about the whole music thing again is something to look into. How those 2 Bugs are then distributed is - for me at least - kinda important. In general MUSIC SHOULD BE FREE. Free to copy listen and share. The idea with a wireless iPOD is really neat and I hope Apple will be in the position one day to ship such a "21st century personal radio transmitter".


Copyleft - Music and Comics

Creative Commons - yes the License Creators of the License this very Blog is under - with their spearheading promoter and thoughtfather Lawrence Lessig have created a new copy holder license model. In contrast to the CopyRight law Creative Commons is helping users by offering premade CopyLeft licenses. These have been available mostly for Text but now they will come out with something called a "Sample License". This will allow for broader distribution rights on music made public under this license model. It is not only restricted to music but can also be applied to comics and other artforms. This licens model will allow for other people to resample the work - with proper credit and only if the derived work is also puplished under the same license model. Great stuff. I gotta tell our local HipHoppers "Klartext" about dat. :) Beware that the licenses are not yet available in Germany just yet so, but Mr Lessig wants to change that soon. contributed to this article.