Tag Archive for 'grab your torrents and pitchforks'

Intellectual Property Law Has Gone Quite Far Enough and Is Now Hereby Null and Void

A court has ruled that it is legal to remove works from the public domain and put them back under copyright in the United States.

Okay. That’s it. I can’t take these ridiculous decisions anymore. I’ve been thinking this for a long time, but now I’m just gonna come out and say it:

Intellectual property law in the United States no longer serves the public, and until it has been reformed to do so, it is to be ignored.

We the people of the United States of America have the right, and duty, to disregard and oppose these unconstitutional sections of the law. They no longer serves to, as stated in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution, “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.” The law in its current incarnation actively impedes the Progress of Science and the Arts, and the limited Times are now so lengthy so as to be effectively unlimited. Copyright, patent, and trademark law together not only no longer matches the description in I.8.8, but it in many cases violates the First Amendment.

I believe in the necessity for there to be laws which promote the progress of science and art, and grant the creative persons responsible for such advances the exclusive right to claim a reasonable level of authorial control for a limited time. The former need is not being met by the law at all, and the latter is incidentally met in an unsatisfactory way by the current overarching and easily-abused law. But by upholding the current useful portions of the law, we validate the entirety of it.

As a citizen of the United States, I hereby declare that I do not consent to governance by Intellectual Property law, including, but not limited to, the current laws pertaining to copyrights, patents, and trademarks. I encourage the like-minded people of the United States to join me in affirming our non-consent, and continuing to do so until the law once again serves the public good as outlined in our Constitution.

In regards to my own work, I would appreciate it if the spirit of the Creative Commons licenses I release them under were respected, but please do so out of goodwill, and not out of a false sense of legal obligation to do so.

To the extent possible under law, Zacqary Adam Green has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Intellectual Property Law Has Gone Quite Far Enough and Is Now Hereby Null and Void and the header image preceding it. This work is published from the United States. Not that any of this matters as of this writing, of course, because copyright is null and void; I’m just saying this for when one day it’s valid again.

    Update: Pirate Bay Lawyer Wants A Retrial

    Time to clarify my last post, as the news has surfaced in English from The Local, whose slogan is “Sweden’s news in English.” Convenient, no?

    “A lawyer representing one of the men convicted in the Pirate Bay trial has called for a retrial after reports that the judge was a member of the same copyright protection organisations as several of the main entertainment industry representatives.
    One of the groups of which [Judge] Norström is a signed up member is Svenska föreningen för upphovsrätt (‘the Swedish Copyright Association’), where he is joined by Henrik Pontén, Peter Danowsky and Monique Wadsted, all of whom represented the entertainment industry in the case against file sharing site The Pirate Bay.

    The judge also sits on the board of Svenska föreningen för industriellt rättsskydd (Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property), a group actively advocating for more stringent copyright laws.

    Norström argues that he was not however swayed in his judgement by involvement with copyright protection groups.”

    Of course you don’t think you have a conflict of interest, Norström. You’re a member of the scumbag lobby, so you have to stay in character. It’s rather disgusting how the “good guys” upholding the “law” are resorting to political corruption. Granted, Norström did dismiss a lot of the charges based on lack of evidence, but that just amounts to covering his ass.

      Arr, Google Me Timbers

      The Pirate Google Logo
      In the recent Pirate Bay Trial, which the defendants “lost”, the argument was frequently made that The Pirate Bay does nothing more than Google: they post links to stuff, some of which happens to infringe upon copyright, but they don’t have a lot of control over what links are in their database. The Pirate Bay just happened to be completely disinterested in removing any links to anything that wasn’t a virus. It’s techically not illegal, which is why their conviction is such an outrage, and why Google does pretty much the same thing. To drive that point home in protest of this silliness, The Pirate Google has appeared.

      It’s nothing more than a Google Custom Search which adds “filetype:torrent” to the end of each query, which is doable on regular Google searches as well. Even if The Pirate Google is taken down by someone or other, that functionality will still be available in Google. Of course, given Google’s track record of being a pussy when it comes to defending themselves against Big IP Whoring (because “Big Entertainment” is kind of a stretch), it’s possible that this won’t last. Or it could catalyze Google’s growth of a spine.
      Continue reading ‘Arr, Google Me Timbers’

        Pirate Bay Founders Found Guilty. Of Something. They’re Pretty Sure.

        This article was written by Thilus and originally posted on his LiveJournal. It is being reposted here, almost verbatim (with some minor grammatical changes), at his open request. While these are not my words and I don’t share some of his anecdotal experiences, I couldn’t have said any of this better myself.

        So we finally have an official verdict in the first round of prosecution against The Pirate Bay, or rather the four brave souls willing to play the part of human shields over it.

        All four defendants were accused of ‘assisting in making copyright content available’. Peter Sunde: Guilty. Fredrik Neij: Guilty. Gottfrid Svartholm: Guilty. Carl Lundström: Guilty. The four receive 1 year in jail each and fines totaling $3,620,000.

        “Assisting in making copyright content available.” What the hell? I was doing that myself when I was fourteen, from the cheap computer in my family’s dining room over a free modem connection. Congratulations, authorities: you’ve succeeded, after all this pomp and circumstance, in royally screwing up the lives of four industrious people with the same charge you would have used to convict me at fourteen for sharing scanned comic books over AOL.

        Me, or anyone else, really. It’s the vague and pervasive wording on this that really bothers me. Find me someone in modern society who isn’t guilty of “assisting in making copyrighted material available.” Go on, I challenge you. Yes, your IPhone counts as entrapment. So does your TiVo, your PC, your XBox, and probably a fax machine.

        Over a million dollars in fines each and one year in jail. I doubt the money will even be a problem in a case like this… it’ll come form somewhere, these guys aren’t stupid and they’ve had a long time to prepare. And jail time is supposed to accomplish what, exactly? Do I even need to go into how utterly backwards and counterproductive that is? No matter what kind of prison circumstances these guys end up in (I really have no idea, either), it’s supposed to what, give them a year in which to build even more hate for the system and plan what they’re going to do when they get out? Or give them a year to turn into paranoid, survivalist animals? No matter how I look at it, this counts as complete bullshit.

        If nothing else, these guys are obviously damned good at what they do, and not likely to appreciate being dicked so hard by The Man. Why not throw them a bone instead and put them to some sort of positive community service. Heal the breach a little, don’t make it worse, you fucking idiots. Cops everywhere are all the same, root out the evil and all that’s left will be sunshine and rainbows. Bullshit. Black and white thinking only means that eventually something purple will appear and run your colorblind ass over because you couldn’t see it.
        Continue reading ‘Pirate Bay Founders Found Guilty. Of Something. They’re Pretty Sure.’

          Kindle Text-To-Speech Now Up To Visually Un-Impaired CEOs, Not People Who Need It

          A few weeks ago, whoever the fuck the Authors Guild is proved they’re just another association filled with complete idiots unable to comprehend adapting their business model to current realities. Unfortunately, their threats to shift their industry’s revenue stream to the lawsuit market have caused Amazon to cripple the Kindle 2′s text-to-speech abilities. Now, instead of allowing the Kindle 2 to read anything aloud to visually impaired users, children, or anyone else who might need or want such a thing, this option will be up to the book publishers.

          Let’s think realistically about this for a second. Amazon hasn’t removed the feature entirely, so as long as a publisher allows it, their book can certainly be read aloud in a robotic, monotone voice. Still with me on this realism thing? Okay, now tell me how many publishers are likely to do this? To be fair, we don’t know. But looking at precedents set by the digitization of music and movies, I’m guessing the number of publishers allowing that will be less than or equal to the number of independent, smaller publishers selling Kindle books through Amazon.

          I really hope, though, that I’m wrong. I hope, to the bottom of my heart, that the publishing industry has about as much respect for the Authors Guild as, well, any author I’ve ever met. I would be so happy if publishers prove me wrong and universally offer the text-to-speech option, because they know that negative reinforcement doesn’t make a customer want to buy another “license” from you. But I am not at all optimistic.

          I should note that my argument about the visually impaired doesn’t seem to jive with the Guild; they state in their “rights alert” thingy that “Kindle 2 isn’t designed for such use” by people with bad vision or blindness. I could question who the hell the Authors Guild is to question how useful something is for visually impaired people, but I think the National Federation for the Blind can do that better than me.

          But oh well. Looks like there’s nothing we can do but fire up our BitTorrent clients in protest.

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