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’…

Heigh ho! Who is there?

As part of the Great Mixcloud Upload I’m re-visting some old podcasts – currently upto the Wicker Man Return to Summerisle ones (probably the best podcasts I’ve done in recent times) but I missed this version of Willow’s Song by Isobel Campbell when I put them together – or rejected it because there are SO many similar covers of just that song that I could do a podcast on that alone (don’t tempt me! I still love this song deeply). And the Mock Turtles version is surprisingly good and proves a man can sing this too.

Anyway it’s a great cover, and I see someone has put love into this Wikipedia entry for Willow’s Song, pretty sure 2 years ago most of these weren’t listed or findable (I did do a lot of research for those shows, and actually tracking down covers & originals was very hard).

Also should mention Seafood’s version – it has something of the proper spooky otherworldness about it, rather than being a facsimile of previous versions (some of the neo-pagan/goth versions I did come across and thought they were too close to the original)

Calling out RIAA and MPAA lies over SOPA & PIPA

Or to use their term ‘misinformation’.

Really the RIAA and MPAA don’t seem to know when to lick their wounds and give it a rest, judging by their petty and frankly wrong response to the successful Internet Blackout and actions by Wikipedia and Google – so it’s nice to see Techdirt calling them out line by line, internet forum style, and rather than coming over all green ink it’s great to see such stupidity pwned so intelligently and with knowledge. Something the RIAA and MPAA seem to lack, with the cases as mentioned where blogs have been taken down for sharing music with permission from their very own members – or from non-members thus they have no jurisidiction over.

No, it’s sad to see such protectionism at work with the corporates, trying to save an industry which, to quote Jello Biafra ‘put out too many lousy records’ – whereas Spotify, Bandcamp and a lot of independents seem to be in rather rude health at the moment providing good music to people who want to buy it, not at the rare £15 a pop for an album but many multiples of pennies per track…or special formats like vinyl which the big boys were so quick to drop. Also strange that RIAA, BPI et al are first to trumpet the rude health and worldwide success of the likes of Adele – on the indy label XL no less – but then go and claim the industry is then ailing under piracy. Which is it? It can’t be both…

Especially offensive and intentionally misleading (and an outright lie, in my case anyway – aren’t generalisations a bitch, RIAA?) is this part:

but how many knew what they were supporting or opposing? Would they have cast their clicks if they knew they were supporting foreign criminals selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals to Americans? Was it SOPA they were opposed to, or censorship?

Ahh the old ‘piracy supports terrorism’ unfounded propaganda trick! If those ‘foreign criminals’ are selling patent-free AIDS drugs to keep people alive in sub-saharan Africa and Asia, then yes, I’m quite happy for them to break the law. Ditto those resisting Monsanto’s efforts to screw the developing world over GMO crops.

But that’s actually not what this was about, and the language is intentionally inflammatory and misleading – that to oppose SOPA or PIPA is to be one with criminals and counterfeiters and yes, probably terrorists. I remember this particular strategy being used directly after 9/11 and had to point out there were many ‘ways’ (as John now says ‘Yes there are alternatives’) not just the black and white that was presented as the currentfait accompli. And also look where that thinking took us all…

It’s not about allowing counterfeit goods – there are already many laws to deal with those, especially in the drug sector. What was the worrying thing was possible uses for censorship and a corporate crackdown on patents over drugs where generic versions now flourish under a concerted action to not allow the pharma giants to squeeze poor countries more into debt, or play god with people’s lives over patent rights. And censoring sites that would enable such access, or take away financial accesss such as Paypal to those who were organising around these – people like Sherman would say ‘oh of course that isn’t in the bill’ – but laws like this are so broad and open then of course it could have a freezing effect. Laws are always misused, and those drafting them must counter for that, unfortunately when faced by nosy government and corporates they will be misused to protect those interests.

But to tell me I was supporting ‘criminals’ by my SOPA Blackout, well Mr Sherman you can fuck right off. Especially when later suggesting by classic veiled association that I and others might have been ‘hacking’ sites for Anonymous too. By and large the protest was lawful, and can’t say I was critical of Anonymous’s actions (maybe their techniques with that DDOS Spanish link director that was floating around Twitter – that was silly & dangerous) – well I call that a dirty trick and misinformation too because like most people I wasn’t involved.

Basically RIAA and MPAA had to back off by forces of many good and vocal people rising up and expressing how unhappy they were with such legislation that wasn’t transparent and most definitely not consulted widely or considered enough. That’s democracy, and if you don’t like it Mr Sherman, you know where to go.

Warning to proto-mashup historians – ignore Wikipedia

Don’t believe a lot of what you read here.

It’s just wrong. Maybe it has been edited by a few people to self promote; all respect to those people, but they arrived a bit later. Doesn’t it strike you as odd, when the page actually mentions GYBO and Boomselection started in 2001/2002 all the ‘notable’ dates are from 2004/5 on? So apparently we all sat on our hands for 2-3 years doing nothing? Probably posting lolcats and bitching about Weiser/IDC LOL.

I added the first mashup albums/compilations (Parkspliced, I Created A Monster, London Booted – some of the first to mash up a whole album) a while back and they’ve been removed. Why? Well probably cos the wikitrolls and wikimods use Google as a primary source. Extremely sad – but why you should NEVER use Wikipedia as a primary source. Ever. It has some rather glaring omissions/wrongness:

  • No Frenchbloke & Son? Esp in Bootleg Albums – no Haggis Trax (1999 apparently, not 2002! Played on JOHN PEEL FFS)
  • No Fondue Meltdown?
  • No Soundhog?
  • No Erol Alkan / Kurtis Rush?
  • No Strictly Kev? No DJ Food?
  • No Coldcut – they’re rather important re: mashups…Beats and Pieces was seminal as well as the KLF
  • Your Woman by Whitetown as good as it is, is NOT a mashup. It has no recognisable 2nd ‘B’ element?
  • No Cartel Communique – well Bastard is sort of mentioned…in passing, sad for this is the first ever mashup club, the one that influenced Bootie. So why is it passed over, with a small image credit?
  • Soulwax created Blue Monday vs Kylie – really? LOL (it was actually Erol Alkan as Kurtis Rush, Soulwax remade it)
  • No mention of how DJ Hero actually started at Bastard?
  • Never ever heard of Bonna Music, Good Copy Bad Copy (self promo?), WTF is Glee doing there?, White Panda – WHO?, Max Tannone – ditto, never heard of you, Tom Caruana – ??? and Clayton Counts should probably not be there either – the latter was just doing it as a stunt like his rather sick ‘death’. ‘Punkmash’ != mash.
  • Why is Girl Talk on there since he’s said he’s not a mashup artist?
  • Love you ToTom but why is there a separate section for your work and GHP and Freelance Hellraiser doesn’t? Or Soundhog or Frenchbloke or Fondue Meltdown or…
  • Ditto Legion of Doom – you’re a precursor cos you started doing mashups in 2004? Really? Err…

OTOH, nice to see Phil n’ Dog’s Doctor Pressure getting rather belated props…

As an aside, I heard from John that one of the editor of  an influential 70’s gay rights magazine added it to Wikipedia cos it wasn’t there – to be deleted by some Wikitroll. Why? Well apparently it ‘didn’t have enough Google hits’. *facepalm*

Of course! If  it isn’t on Google it doesn’t exist! I mean it’s not like there is a massive pre-history of the world that hasn’t been digitised yet…oh. And this is recent history that thinks mashups started in 2004/2005 – it’s far worse for say the history of Gay Rights and GLF. Distortion for personal gain of near and nearish history is very common.

Oh and response to those who’ll helpfully say: ‘why don’t you edit it then?’ – I did that for many years correcting the mistakes, they all get reverted back to wrong/self promo/recent stuff. So maybe you should have a go (enough people repeatedly doing it might get the message across). Go to it gang!

Other response might be: ‘who gives a fuck about history’ - well it’s a lucrative & powerful position to write it. Such gatekeepers get appearance fees, book deals and lazy journalists apply them with ‘expert’ status firming up their position and their ‘idea’ of history. It then gets written down as ‘the truth’ til many years later – if ever – someone actually bothers to question it, but by then the damage is done. But recent events have shown it’s worryingly about who shouts the loudest, who shouts longest, and public perception rather than any idea of truth (which I know is subjective, but to abandon any ideal of objective truth even if it is an impossible goal, but an important journey, is worrying).

And no I wasn’t adding Radio Clash – someone did that years ago and it stayed for a while*, ironically when I’d stopped playing purely mashups…more adding those who should be remembered and never were (part of the remit of Radio Clash and the mashup history series, it has to be said – must resurrect the Mashup History because otherwise this will be forgotten and people will think Glee invented mashups LOL).

*It then got removed as teh Wikitroll said apparently podcasts have nothing to do with mashups…okaaaay. Never reappeared on the podcasting page. Being one of the first (I lose count of whether I’m 2nd, 3rd or 4th – not bothered about the ranking, tbh) podcasts in the UK doesn’t count for much it seems :-P


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