The Staging area for the peoples front in the war over MP3's, personal privacy, and intellectual property
Below you will find a write up one the struggle, as well as empowering tools, such as a congressional mailing list, links to port-to-port and open source sites, and links to news headlines on respected sites such as the BBC and CNN. We also share some of our own anecdotes and experiences. The site is simple, straight to the point, no B.S.
|GETTING UP TO
For years now there has been debate and lawsuits over the exchange of online music, movies, cartoons, and software. until recently these lawsuits have been directed primarily towards port-to-port protocol providers, most notably the ill fated Napster. The winds of the battle are changing, however, and recent actions have begun to threaten the general public and private citizens. By spying on file downloads, web surfing, and through other invasions of your personal privacy record companies have now begun to prosecute their own customers, attempting to level heavy fines. In an even more ominous two senators, John Conyers (D) and Howard Berman (D) have introduced the Consumer and Computer Owners Protection and Security Act of 2003, which promises jail time of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 for the exchange of copyrighted materials over peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa, Imesh, and ICQ.
WHY WE ARE FEARLESS:
If this doesn't worry you it should. Aside from presenting the public with excessive threats of monetary and even criminal penalties at the whim of large record conglomerates it represents a continuation of patterns government and corporate attempts to invade your home and limit you ability to store and transfer data. More and more lawyers and police will be watching your online activities, ready to pounce if you attempt to get your musical groove on illegally. Here's our great hope: none of these laws have been passed yet, and no cases have as of yet been successful. There is still plenty of opportunity for a grass roots movement involving the millions of people who actively participate in peer-to-peer networks. The truth is clear, the argument cogent. They cannot put all of us in jail, nor can they fine away their customer base. In a legal system already operating at capacity due to an expensive and ineffective war on drugs, followed by a much more aggressive and resource intensive war on terror. Attempting to prosecute legal battles against music lovers will simply overwhelm the system. What's more as soon as criminal charges are leveled and people are put in jail the possibility of a supreme court hearing arises. Further some States (my home state of Alaska for instance) have explicit rights to privacy in thier constitutions, it might be very difficult for the to prosecute you. Always remember, we live in a representative democracy, things like copyright law are not moral absolutes in the same way rape and property theft is, they are laws, decided by the people to protect our interests! WE write the laws, WE give them power, WE have the right to resist injustice.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
This site is devoted not to ranting, but to provide simple tools and advice to help the everyman fight the good fight. how can you help? here's the strategy:
FIRST AND FOREMOST:
DON'T GET SCARED AND CHANGE YOU BEHAVIOR! keep downloading, if you are threatened with a lawsuit, great! That's money they have to spend on a lawyer, and that's a room, a judge, police, and a number of other costs the state is going to have to eat. Remember, the strategy is to overwhelm. they are incapable of pushing millions off us through the system, both financially and logistically. If we can make it too expensive, they'll stop, let's not forget this is all about $$$.
Before the situation gets out of hand write some letters. check the links on the right and decide who you want to complain too. We suggest letters to the record companies themselves, your state representatives, as well as your local newspaper.
Be vocal. Organize local protests. find out if anyone in your area is currently embroiled in one of these lawsuits and support them. Harass the lawyers and their firms for prosecuting people. March with pitch forks and torches down to your local courthouse and cause a ruckus. Get fired up and get your friends and family involved. I'm talking about a real fight. don't buy their products, protest their actions, heck egg their houses! make life miserable. They want to start a pissing contest with the American public, show them we can win, WE WILL NOT ROLL OVER AND BE THEIR CASH CATTLE!
A Story from My Home Town:
Need more encouragement? Here's a little anecdote. In my home town Anchorage, Alaska, local legislators attempted to introduce a photo-radar system to police school zones. Hundreds of tickets where issued within the first months, but a number of people decided to fight the tickets on the grounds that they were not issued by Anchorage police officers. The traffic court system began too fill up and judges were forced to delay cases. Once word got out that the system was bogged down, EVERYONE began contesting their tickets. Cases stacked up, the court system ran out of judges and the company issuing tickets ran out of representatives, and within a year the project was cancelled, the law repealed, and the tickets pardoned. We, through grass roots community action, managed to secure a state free of private photo-based tickets.
|Above: Tori Amos, one of m favorite artist, I own many of her albums|
We have also had personal experience with Microsoft Windows Media Player Build 9 generating errors from perfectly good MP3's. While neither the error nor Microsoft specifically relate this to downloaded music, the actual error says "input media format invalid", it seems to occur on recently downloaded MP3's that Winamp and Musicmatch play perfectly well. Which brings us to another point. Many software companies are being lobbied and or sued to help block the transfer of your data. This will become increasingly hard to escape, regardless of the consequences of the legal battles. The solution? First off use aftermarket media players. Microsoft Media player has always been accused both of poor security and spying and there is good reason to believe these charges. While it comes free with Windows it is also part of their efforts to control your electronic data! Links are included to some of our favorite sites. Your second option for dealing with this is more difficult, but also permanent. Switch over to an open source code operating system such as Linux. Open source code means that the only limit to your computers abilities is the time it takes for you to learn some tricks, and anyone can write solid software and, !Oh Golly! share it without any thought whatsoever to copyright concerns. Linux is a major trump card in this battle.
| Links to Microsoft Media
Player 9 error message:
Links To Interesting News Articles:
|Disclaimer: this site
was built by an amateur with blood sweat and beer. Any advice is
just that, advice. I am no lawyer, but I am a concerned
citizen. This site was built having received no money and is not
meant to advertise anything, these are sites I've found and products that
I've used and had good luck with. If I am caught and penalized for my
involvement with MP3's then I literally plan on giving the U.S. the finger
and going to finish my education in Canada, they will not get a dime from
me. I realize this is not an option for everyone, so yall just do
what you can.
Site built by Nick, with significant contributions from Chris