Here Come The Drones: Extradition & Copyright

I’ve been a bit lax in posting about copyleft issues – partly because, apart from the SOPA/PIPA win it’s been mostly a deluge of shit, nasty political fudging (eh, Dave?), endless cases like Megaupload (love that the NZ court finally got some balls and told FBI where to go on deleting all the data) and a lot of sneaky ‘let’s just rename the bill and submit it when they’re not looking’ games playing.

One case really bothers me though and keeps popping back up – it’s the Richard O’Dwyer TV Shack case. This is for two reasons:

1) That special rendition extradition law – I thought this was supposed to be for terrorists? Oh copyright is terrorism now? (and no downloading Buffy is not supporting the Mafia, as much as you might want it to). The extradition law is worrying for many reasons – the current one is political as with Julian Assange’s 100m dash to the Ecuadorean Embassy, he should go for the Olympics! Not the act of a calm man thinking that real justice will be done.

This is because the US will never release any of it’s citizens without due process but has lent on many countries to not do that for their citizens. And sadly the UK – under the panic around 9/11 or 7/7 I’m guessing – agreed. And so there’s a fast track extradition for our citizens, but say there was someone the UK wanted it doesn’t work the other way.

2) In this case Richard O’Dwyer hasn’t broken any UK law, and it’s questionable he broke any US laws either. I don’t see how handing UK citizens over to a foreign country makes anyone happier or safer, especially when they seem innocent of any charges? The US as with Megaupload is acting as copyright police to the world, and seeking to have paramilitary actions in foreign lands over copyright. In fact they’ve just changed their law to make killing non-US citizens abroad legal in the US (it did say US citizens, but strangely the US citizens didn’t like that. But killing some forrin’ mostly brown dudes – hell yeah!).

It might sound paranoid and slightly over-dramatic but I am starting to wonder the ‘Holy WW3′ I’ve been expecting next will be about copyright and trade, and not religion or oil. America was founded on copyright infringement, getting rich like China did copying other people’s IP cheaper than the competition and not signing up to copyright treaties until much later after the $$$s were in. It’s how the film industry started in fact, and put the likes of Pathe and Melies out of business with their copying. Strange how they now want to force other places to be exactly the opposite of what they were in their industrial/’second world’ stage?

What next? Copyright drones* taking out the offices Mediafire and Rapidgator?

And It’s nice to see that Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales and Tom Watson agree on this. This case is disturbing and sets a precedent where the US can extradite (and in future maybe kill? Only partly joking on that one…) whoever it likes for whatever reason it likes, either copyright, terrorism or just doesn’t like the look of you.

* Oh and Americans I said DRONES. D-R-O-N-E-S. *waves hands in front through static haze*

I’m starting to wonder if there’s a Great Firewall blocking all drones references in the US, or just people are too brainwashed to notice/care that Flying Mechanised Killing Machines are blowing up random people in foreign countries. I mean hello? Skynet or what? Scary stuff that people seem to not be freaked by, did I wake up with a new pair of special shades a few months ago or something?

No-one I know in the US ever comments on my drones posts, it’s like they don’t exist. Sadly I suspect people are fine with their way of life being subsidised by whole families being blown up, sometimes in error? Well if your margin of error was a rather shocking 32% of all fatalities apparently and 175 children. Oh those terrorist children! As long as you have cheap oil, American Idol and pretend to have the American Dream and just not think about what’s going on in your name, it’s OK, eh? I feel like Johnny Rotten in 1977 about this, I wonder is there a codeword that starts the deprogramming? Or is there a climate of fear talking about something that is apparently a verboten subject by the CIA?

I hope I am wrong, but there’s so many people who look the other way then prattle on about the footy, X Factor, American Idol, Will & Kate, Olympics or such other invented distraction that I do wonder that if the revolution comes, I’ll just keep my head down and let the shooting gallery do it’s work. Yes like Mr Rotten I do care, I care too much and think people deserve so much better – but I do wonder why I bother sometimes when met by deathly silence.

Oh at least at this rate there won’t be anyone left to say ‘I told you so’…

Milly Dowler, Soham and News International

Like a lot of people I am shocked by the revelations that News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s phone (the murdered Walton on Thames teenager) – but as you can see from this video of the excellent Tom Watson, this is not new. Murdoch’s henchmen and spies hacked into the phones of the parents of the murdered Soham children, as well as politicians and bribed the police for information, and there are hints that these horrendous acts (interfering with the search for a missing teenager and deleting her voicemails, giving her parents false hope and possibly hindering the investigation) and the recent case of the innocent landlord in the Jo Yeates killing, where the Sun and Mirror are in the high court being accused of contempt of court in their dealings.

What can you do? Well you can tell everyone not to buy News of the World, The Sun or other News International papers – as with Hillsborough and Liverpool and the lies they told, a boycott can be successful for 20+ years…and many years ago a similar action against WHSmiths over Gay News was successful.

But even better, hit them where it hurts – their advertisers. Tweet or contact the advertisers mentioned on this list, the child-friendly and socially concious likes of Butlins, WHSmiths, Body Shop and tell them they should be appalled that the paper that campaigned for ‘Sarah’s Law’ played so fast and loose with the law and parent’s worst nightmare, a missing child – and hindered the investigation and broke many laws doing so. And more importantly broke major ethical laws – celeb tittle tattle is one thing, but interfering with the voicemail of someone missing could have been the difference between life or death, who knows what clues they deleted? Or what information might have been there? The implications are truly blood chilling. Tell them you won’t be buying their products while they support News of the World. It sounds like Renault (?) and NPower are already doing that…

I’d like to see Rebekah Brooks and Murdoch and co. in jail actually…for lying repeatedly about the phone tapping, bribery of police officers, and perverting the course of justice and interfering with investigations – and of course the illegal wiretapping/phone use charges especially of government officials and politicians. But I’ll settle for the News of the World being shut down, or sold off, and the Murdoch deal being cancelled…

You can also sign the petition to stop Murdoch getting control of all of BSkyB. Jeremy Hunt has said it’s a done deal, but maybe with enough groundswell over this recent hackgate discovery it’ll get put on hold, or even better stopped entirely. Nice to see that even the Torygraph seems to have mistepped with this frankly piss-poor piece of journalism trying to rake up some ‘pinko-liberal-commie-fags-are-at-it-again!’ story about the BBC – as one commenter said:

‘I would love to know what you think the other side of this story is.
Haven’t heard too many people saying that hacking the poor girl’s phone and misleading her family and the police was a sensible move. ‘

Exactly. Unlike some of the other offences, there isn’t a moral, ethical or legal standpoint that can ever excuse this. Hence why the News of the Screws is fucked.

And how did they get the number? I suspect a police leak – Rebekah Brooks admitted paying off police and the police don’t want that to blow up in their faces, or like Tom Watson said, maybe they are scared of News International too. It’s time to stop being scared and prevent Murdoch getting more control of media in the UK, and stand up against the media corporates…what will be next, murder to get a story? This is Orwellian, and unless MPs and Police and everyone wants to live in a 1984 world where Big Brother watching you is not the State but the Media corporations (and Google and Facebook too). Act now, or otherwise it’s going to be trial by media and lies all the way…

The Jam said it best –

‘Don’t believe it all
Find out for yourself
Check before you spread
News of the world…

Each morning our key to the world comes through the door
More than often its just a comic, not much more
Don’t take it too serious – not many do
Read between the lines and you’ll find the truth’

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