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When Progress is Outlawed

Posted in Action at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Barrett Brown

Summary: Commentary on the social regression and the worrisome dynamics we see when it comes to political reformism

The crackdown on dissent intensifies as national debts surge [1] to unprecedented levels [2] and social unrest increases [3]. The Internet has devolved into a sordid surveillance mess with no effective encryption for people and 'encryption' (DRM) as part of the ‘standard’ for abusive monopolistic corporations that make “Intellectual Monopolies” out of copyright, much like a cartel (illegal). The Microsoft booster of Ars Technica, Peter Bright, is of course all for it (see him liked in the good analysis which is [4]) and other news from Ars Technica shows that anything which challenged the centrally-managed and fundamentally-broken Internet is deemed “illegal” and forced to pay huge sums of money to compensate for hypothetical ‘damages’ [5]. Guess which side the police, which is supposed to defend the people, is taking [6]? Anything which challenges the status quo is being crushed, even if the status quo is seriously unjust and morbidly dysfunctional (plainly broken). As long as corporations control governments and those two are groups are propping up organisations like the World Intellectual Property Organization [4] we are going to see no progress whatever. Those who demand progress will be hunted down, jailed, killed, ‘suicided’, or pressured into committing suicide. Just look what happened to people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Aaron Swartz, Barrett Brown, and Jeremy Hammond, who helped expose the “shadow CIA”. No progress can be made in a society which bans reform and carries out surveillance against whistleblowers, journalists, protesters, and civil rights activists.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Congress passes bill to raise US debt ceiling and end shutdown – live

    Today begins with hopes for a bipartisan Senate deal. The Wall Street Journal has published an editorial telling Republicans that enough is enough: “Republicans can best help their cause now by getting this over with and moving on to fight more intelligently another day,” the paper concludes. The conservative National Review reports that GOP members indeed are ready to just “get it over with”.

  2. How bad are US debt levels?

    The US has averted a crisis after the Senate agreed to a cross-party deal to end a partial government shutdown and raise the debt limit.

    Without that deal the US government may not have been able to pay its bills or honour its debts.

  3. Osborne plan to cut energy efficiency funds for fuel poor is ‘unforgivable’
  4. DRM/EME in HTML5 – an American thing

    The idea seems to be that it doesn’t mean any harm to standardize at W3C. I would argue, because of the W3C patent pools, that this is wrong. Anti-trust authorities in both the EU and the US are increasingly looking at anti-competitive uses of patent licenses and other licenses, because especially in high-end technologies like electronics and software it’s leading to a lot of problems. In the EU, we additionally have the Microsoft browser case which establishes that a de facto standard can be equally abused as an adopted formal standard. The W3C standardisation process sets up a patent pool which is free for everyone in the world [was corrected on this point, but it makes an even more important difference for the anti-trust, I guess] all the W3C members. A non-enforcement pact. That makes W3C very resilient to anti-trust investigations, which would not be the case if a DRM standard was adopted outside of the W3C as a de facto standard. If one does not believe that DRM is conducive to online innovation, and if one does not believe that Netflix is the pinnacle of God’s creation, one may not want to provide them with that out.

    Especially large commercial interests, including Google, Netflix and Microsoft are highly aware of this. Those who were irritated with Microsoft’s behaviour in standard organisations in the late 1990s may want to seriously consider if it’s more OK to do the same thing just because it’s one decade later.

  5. BitTorrent search site IsoHunt will shut down, pay MPAA $110 million

    isoHunt, a search engine for BitTorrent files founded more than a decade ago, has agreed today to shut down all its operations worldwide. The company, founded by Canadian Gary Fung, has also accepted a judgment that it must pay the movie studios that sued it $110 million. It’s not clear how much of that the studios will actually be able to collect.

  6. ExtraTorrent Threatens Legal Action Over Police-Ordered Domain Seizure
  7. Model Statute for Implementation of the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty

    The Marrakesh Treaty, adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization this past summer, provides Contracting Parties with great flexibility concerning the implementation of its obligations. Article 4(2) sets forth one way a Contracting Party may meet its obligation under Article 4(1) to permit the making and distribution of accessible format copies domestically. Likewise, Article 5(2) sets forth one way a Contracting Party may meet its obligation under Article 5(1) to permit the cross-border exchange of accessible format copies.

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