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April 2003: o-blog history

Most Recent News: Tape-beatles to d├ębut New Work on rAdioCUSTICA

o-blog  an i.p. blog o-blog: an i.p. blog

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art¦ The (re)making project of playwright Charles Mee, in the best tradition of artistic generosity, makes you the following offer: “Please feel free to take the plays from this website and use them as a resource for your own work: cut them up, rearrange them, rewrite them, throw things out, … pillage the plays and build your own entirely new piece out of the ruins—and then, please, put your own name to the work that results.”


war¦ Get Your War On, that dazzling anti-war detournement, has a new installment. It talks of antidotes, and may itself be the antidote to the endless war coverage.

©¦ Newsfeed. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has not succeeded in an attempt in federal court to challenge the widely-reviled DMCA, in its first attempt to do so. • And, experts predict the imminent demise of the Compact Disc.


war¦ Gimme More Backlash, or at least that’s what Michael Moore could be saying in the aftermath of his controversial Oscar acceptance speech: his book Stupid White Men is again #1, and his movie Bowling for Columbine is still breaking records at the box office.


©¦ P2P is not the problem. An opinion piece at the Daily Princetonian responds to the recent RIAA legal action taken against college student file-sharers, calling for a more realistic approach: “New music rules are needed”.

©¦ Don’t piss off the musician. When eBay cracked down (at the RIAA’s behest) on a musician for auctioning off CD-Rs online — of his own work — the musician began investigating the RIAA’s various claims about its ongoing sales slump, and came to some interesting conclusions.


©¦ Newsfeed. The DMCA is hard at work, and this proves it: A judge rules that security problems in a university debit-card system cannot be discussed. • The EFF warns about a “stealth attack on your living room” by means of various state-level DMCA — er — enhancements. • “Egalitarian licencing” — an idea, hopefully, whose time has come is a reality in the works of this Harvard doctoral candidate.


Three from Nettime

www¦ Media consolidation tends to concentrate with gravity-like force, while at the same time, new media’s infinite array of customization possibilities would seem a hopeful centrifugal counterbalance. “There is still a huge potential for the digital commons, but it requires the formulation of a political agenda that needs to be actively pursued,” says Eric Cluitenberg in “Constructing the Digital Commons.”

war¦ In Italy apparently, there is a “a wave of tactical televisions … rising connected to no-war mobs and new global movement. After video activism and net activism we can consider this a new kind of tv activism for the number of people, energies, ideas involved. …” Manifestos and actions are listed.

©¦ Here’s a hopeful article, casting the copyright issue in the leading role, posits reasons “Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left.”



©¦ Princeton professor Edward Felton (of “Freedom to Tinker” fame) is interviewed today at


Say NO to corrupt audio discs

©¦ Topical source. Avid readers of this frequently-updated sidebar will no doubt find the site Copyleft: Creativity, Technology and Freedom of interest. It features news, essays, links and more.


war¦ Young Hae Chang’s most recent online work OPERATION NUKOREA goes into great detail about what could happen next — if the current U.S. administration decides to take on the North Koreans for their recent actions. It is poignant, detailed and horrific (requires Flash).

©¦ Eyeteeth has a great interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan, NYU professor, intellectual property scholar, and sometime Salon columnist. Very much worth reading. “It’s really about communities sharing.”


©¦ Newsfeed. The U.S. Government agrees with the RIAA that the DMCA does not violate the U.S. Constitution. This is a setback for the ISP Verizon. • The free-for-download public domain e-text provider Project Gutenberg is now joined by a site offering the texts in audio versions. Welcome Radio Gutenberg.

www¦ Those of you with Windows Media Player installed might be interested in a video lecture online concerning the back story behind “virtual communities”, part of a Stanford University comp sci course offering. The abstract suggests that the notion began c. 1993, but I remember the zine and cassette underground of the eighties, which felt very much to us like a virtual community.


©¦ Newsfeed. “Linux is an operating system, not a political movement,” says its author, Linus Torvalds, who goes on to say, people should be able to add DRM to it if they want; much to the consternation of the Linux community. • Speaking of operating systems, Microsoft is heavily involved in hawking its own form of copy protection technology for CDs, hoping to see it deployed on all discs sold in the US. • From [reg.req], Recording Industry Goes After Students Over Music Sharing. • From, File Sharing Forfeits Right To Privacy: Judge Tells Verizon To Identify Customer.

war¦ Film critic Roger Ebert talks about Michael Moore, the current political situation in the US, and much more at He says “I begin to feel like most Americans don’t understand the First Amendment, don’t understand the idea of freedom of speech, and don’t understand that it’s the responsibility of the citizen to speak out.”


war¦ Pox Americana. BBC Director General Greg Dyke has come out and said what some of us have been thinking all along — that US news coverage of the war in Iraq has been unquestioningly patriotic. Dyke said, “For the health of [the UK’s] democracy, it’s vital we don’t follow the path of many American networks.” He singled out Fox News and Clear Channel and particularly in lock-step with the Bush political agenda.


war¦ Of timely interest, and for general interest reading, as well. Leon Trotsky’s 1930-32 pamphlet, “Fascism: What It Is and How To Fight It.”

©¦ The Creative Commons, which issues customizable content licences through its web site, is going global, according to this article at


©¦ Newsfeed. The big news to end the week is, of course, the finding of a federal judge in Los Angeles that file sharing software used for p2p is not illegal. “Grokster and StreamCast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and are used to infringe copyrights.” Perfectly logical from my perspective. And here’s [reg.req] on the subject.

©¦ Honoring the Founder’s Copyright. O’Reilly and Associates, who publish computer books, have done the right thing by stating their intent to voluntarily place the books they publish into the public domain once two fourteen-year periods have elapsed, instead of following that current abuse of power known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998.

©¦ Hidden Revolution. Writing in, Alessandro Ludovico offers the text from the catalog of a show currently on exhibit in Frankfurt, entitled “adonnaM.mp3 — Filesharing, the Hidden Revolution in the Internet”. The essay is “Peer-to-Peer: the collective, collaborative and liberated memory of sound”.


©¦ Worth visiting frequently. I only became aware of the Berkeley Intellectual Property Weblog recently, and now must recommend its excellent commentary, amongst which is this link: Revolution is not an AOL Keyword, currently making the rounds. Be sure also to visit the bIPlog home page.

©¦ No such thing as bad publicity. Madonna has of late been dusting the p2p networks with bogus mp3s, tracks where she bluntly asks “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” The predictable retaliation was swift in coming: Madonna’s website was hacked to display links to mp3 rips of her new album. Also, musical mixmasters have used her profane query to make new music. That’s really how it should be, isn’t it? Do something constructive with it.


©¦ Newsfeed. Not content with the damage already done (i.e. Clear Channel), the FCC wants to continue deregulating radio. Thirty recording artists (at least) disagree. • Apple Computer’s extremely self-confident chairman Steve Jobs thinks he can fix the music industry’s problems. Apple’s previous apparent lack of enthusiasm for DRM has had to go by the wayside, however. • Some are calling for a single system to administer patents worldwide. • The music cartel is becoming increasingly aggressive in making the music consuming public feel like criminals.


©¦ Sneaky. Lawrence Lessig writes today about an apparent end-run strategy aiming to shore up the DMCA before it can be dismantled. Those who want to amend the DMCA are watching.

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