Banksy: Walmart Selling Ripoffs, Mislabeled Street Art. So Are Amazon, Other Mega-Retailers

Walmart is selling copies of Banksy. Unauthorized copies of Banksy for anywhere from $26.87 to $868.99 if you want it super-sized. And yes these, like the Banksys you can get on eBay are not official Banksy art, which makes them not really worthless or valuable. But this is not one Banksy’s pranks.  Jo Brooks, Banksy’s publicist told LAist:

The Banksy canvases you showed me are counterfeit reproductions and we are currently dealing with Walmart about them.

Walmart appears to simply list these prints which are actually sold and shipped from other websites like and PlumStruck; and those sites, which sell the pieces for the same price as Walmart, don’t reveal where they get the work. But wherever it’s from, it’s not authorized by the artist. Now granted, Walmart or any retailer could sell a picture that you or I took of a Banksy, but they couldn’t say it was art by Banksy, instead it’s a photo by me or by you of a Banksy. But that isn’t what’s being done.

And some of the images aren’t even Banksy! There’s a Mr. Brainwash, Life is Beautiful, that’s identified as Banksy (and apparently being sold through Walmart without the artist’s permission). And Eddie Colla–whose artwork stenciled with

If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission

and mislabeled as a Banksy is being sold (without permission) through Walmart–told L.A. Taco exactly how he he felt about mega-Borg-mart selling his art

I made a piece about individuals controlling their own fate and not making their success contingent on the approval of others. It then gets adopted by a neo-feudal corporation like Walmart. A corporation whose employment practices have created a 2 million person underclass in this country. That’s where this becomes an issue of conviction…Walmart is right there on the wrong side of history. As far as the Banksy thing, that’s just ignorance. It’s common when a group of people try to cash in on something they know little or nothing about. All they see is an opportunity to exploit something and make some money. They see a stencil and call it a Banksy.

Colla took matters into his own hands, creating a new print mocking Walmart with the words

It’s Only Stealing If You Get Caught

The print run is sold out. Colla’s original If you want to achieve greatness… is also being sold by Amazon as a Banksy.

Amazon and eBay both have lots of “Banksy” available, so this is a large problem of artists’ work being appropriated stolen and sold though online retailers who either have no clue or don’t care.

One is Banksy, one isn’t.

This is Mr. Brainwash:

These are Eddie Colla:

Eddie Colla says:

Walmart waves American Flags, kowtows to a hypocritical right wing Christian ideology but that’s merely a marketing strategy. If Walmart actually believed in any part of that ridiculous rhetoric they would certainly never put work by an artist like me in their stores.

 Art geek side note: The term “rip off” comes from the turn of the 19th century when posters would be slapped up to advertise operas, plays, circuses and the like. Crooks would follow behind the postering crews and literally “rip off” the posters from the walls, either to sell or because they worked for rival productions.

Department of Homeland Stupidity: Fair Use, Parody and Satire vs the Government

The Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency are using their muscle and copyright law to threaten a novelty store dealer with a lawsuit if he doesn’t stop selling items satirizing the snoopy bureaucracies.

Several offending to the gubmit (but I-am-12 funny to everyone else) hats, tee shirts and coffee mugs sport the words

Department of Homeland Stupidity

and the DHS logo, altered to give the eagle a dunce cap holding a bottle and a pot leaf, while the NSA parody tee shirts use the agency’s logo, altering the slogan to read

Peeping while your sleeping

Below the NSA logo is the slogan

The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens.

Another design bears the NSA’s official seal with the slogan

Spying on You Since 1952

In 2011 the NSA sent cease-and-desist orders to claiming that Dan McCall’s parody images in his Zazzle online store violated laws against the use, mutilation, alteration or impersonation of government seals, so McCall moved the images over to his store which is a redirect from his own website, He updates images based on news stories, and shows a distinct tongue in cheek libertarian attitude, billing his gear as

Freedom Products for Liberty Lovers.

Now McCall is suing the NSA and DHS on constitutional grounds, in Federal Court. In his eight-page lawsuit seeking declaratory judgment, the satirist entrepreneur claims:

use of images of the NSA and DHS seals, whether unaltered but in combination with critical text, or altered in parodic form, did not create any likelihood of confusion about the source or sponsorship of the materials on which they were available to be printed. No reasonable viewer is likely to believe that any of the materials is affiliated with or sponsored by defendants. Nor were the seals affixed to the items to be sold with any fraudulent intent.

McCall further claims that

his images make fair use of the NSA and DHS seals “to identify federal government agencies as the subject of criticism,” and are protected by the First Amendment. And he claims it’s unconstitutional for the government to forbid him from displaying and selling his parodies to “customers who want to display the items to express their own criticisms of NSA and DHS.”

Oddly the TSA has not complained about the image parodying them:




Hat tip:

DMCA Abuse on YouTube, Punk Bands Targeted


In recent months there has been a slew of DMCA takedowns on YouTube affecting numerous punk bands.

Apparently SST Records, owned by Greg Ginn, has been utilizing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to claim copyright infringement on a vast number of videos that utilize brief clips of music from Black Flag, including skateboard videos made by fans. Well, gosh, that’s what copyright holders can do, though it does seem sort of mean.

SST has also claimed multiple copyright takedowns on bands that have nothing to do with SST, including X, Fear, Sin 34, Lower Class Brats, Puzzled Panthers, and the Adolescents. Also affected, videos made by fans under Fair Use, utilizing snippets of  songs.

YouTube user Creamy GoodnessX writes that SST:

have since admitted that they never even viewed the allegedly offending videos before issuing the strikes! Rather, they used automated software in their campaign, in many cases resulting in false DMCA takedowns of videos that were legitimately using copyrighted material under the fair use doctrine. Several users permanently lost their channels (i.e., termination), and others permanently lost special privileges like being able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes.

YouTube provides copyright holders with a Content ID program. YouTube account holders who use the software must submit title lists and audio files, as well as proof of copyright. The program can be used to:

  • Identify user-uploaded videos comprised entirely OR partially of their content, and
  • Choose, in advance, what they want to happen when those videos are found. Make money from them. Get stats on them. Or block them from YouTube altogether.>
  • Reduce Infringement. Educate your fans about your copyright preferences and prevent your content from being distributed on YouTube without your permission.
  • Fully Automated. Once you’re set up, Content ID will identify, claim, and apply policies to YouTube videos for you.

The DMCA takedown of “Democracy” by the Adolescents on Frontier Records, which also handles their publishing via Bug Music, indicated that a company called Love Cat Music had also claimed DMCA rights, along with SST. I wrote to Love Cat, which has only one punk band, Reagan Youth, in its catalog. Owner Randy Frisch replied:

i do not know why LoveCat Music is mentioned here.   Could be a mistake.

we have sent takedown notices with respect to other songs in our
catalog that we do in fact control.

But not this one

Is it possible that YouTube’s Content ID program is faulty and can’t tell punk songs apart? If so, major fail.

So I wrote to SST Record’s owner Greg Ginn and asked him about YouTube. At first he said

I don’t know much about YouTube.

Then I asked about fan videos being posted on YouTube. His response:

I then asked if he enforced copyright. He replied:

At times.


Greg did not write back, and blocked me on Facebook, making it impossible to contact him further. Ginn has been a brutal enforcer of SST’s copyrights, though oddly he showed disdain for U2′s when SST released Negativland’s single U2 (Full disclosure, I worked for a branch of SST Records in the mid-1980s. In 1991 I wrote an analysis of the U2/Negativland controversy for U2′s magazine Propaganda; when that piece was repurposed as a press release, I was paid. I know many former SST Records artists, as well as people affiliated with U2).

When a video is falsely DMCA’ed on YouTube, it is the responsibility of the real copyright owner to prove they are the rightful copyright holder. It can take up to 10 days for the DMCAed video to be restored.  Alerted to the Adolescents’ video takedown, Frontier Records’ owner and founder Lisa Fancher worked with YouTube, sending in the correct forms to restore the video.  Often bands do not know their videos have been taken down, or why, as in the case of Lower Class Brats:

How could they get our videos taken down off of YouTube and why would they do something like this? I am completely baffled…
I look forward to your reply, thanks….

Since it can take over a week to restore a video, DMCA-ing  a video is an effective means of harassment or of silencing speech, as seen during Anonymous’ Project Chanology when videos shot at protests and/or using Fair Use clips of Scientology videos, or the organization’s logos, were DMCA-ed.

If YouTube’s content identifying software is at fault for false DMCAs, then those using it should definitely alert YouTube about the glitches since it looks pretty creepy and bad to take down videos for which you do not own the copyrights. However, if  people are purposefully DMCAing  videos out of spite, and have a long record of false claims, perhaps YouTube should treat them with the same vigorous enforcement they show to copyright abusers.

YouTube’s PR department did not respond to my questions about the accuracy of its Content ID software, however they did say:

Unfortunately, in some cases, individuals abuse our notification process by submitting fraudulent claims.  When we become aware of this, we take action by reinstating the videos and/or accounts affected, and taking appropriate action against the individual responsible.

The PR person followed up to my questions about Content ID being possibly faulty with this:

You can read more about both of these things are our Copyright Center. Thanks!

Which is where I started in the first place.

Humboldt: You’ve Got to Dig from Week to Week to Get Results or Roses

Someone got kinda mad at me for writing about Paul Gallegos winning the Humboldt County Attorney’s race, an online writer named Rose who is virulently anti-Gallegos. On December 5, a week after I wrote the post about Gallegos’ win, Rose threw down cranky, ad hominem, gritty sandpaper neener epithets, which were pretty funny.

Despicable propagandist

is snappy, fer shur. But not as cool (nor anywhere as accurate) as when I was called a

voodoo hussy.

And that was to my face, in real life.

Still, nice use of the Word-of-the Day Calendar! Frankly I think


would have been a lot cleverer. And one must keep in mind that propaganda is in the eyes of both the creator/creatrix and the reader/s.

Because this article was up on FDL, Rose wrote

It really must be about right vs left after all. /(sarc)

I covered Gallegos because there things he supports that I support, things I like about him–for instance,  he says he’s heard of Big Flats, and he also says he’s never surfed the mythic surf spot, nor does he claim to know where it is. And that means something to a lot of folks in Humboldt.

Rose  complained that the comments were closed on my post. Well, the comments on all my posts close after a certain amount of time. That’s just what happens.

So anyway, Rose does allow comments on her page:

Post a Comment

Comment moderation is enabled. This means your comment won’t show up unless or until it is approved. Shoulda done this years ago. This is primarily to limit the attacks on other posters. If you have something to add to the topic at hand, you should have no trouble. Thanks – and weigh in…

Gosh yeah, within moments someone did have something to add which was approved–someone who was more comfy posting anonymously:

Anonymous said…
She swallows. And i don’t mean koolaid.

Now that’s some weighing in on the topic at hand. Thar she blows!

(And when is swallowing a bad thing?)

Rose then posted her disdain for my lack of a university degree, making fun of my not having graduated college; mocked me like having had jobs and stuff; though by their fruits ye shall know them…grapes of thorns, figs of thistles? So Rose, seriously whatever.

My link alert, which is not super timely, and a friend in Humboldt who doesn’t really monitor regularly, directed me over to Rose’s site Wednesday night, Dec 7.  I wrote what I thought was a very nice response, somewhat belatedly, but still…

Hi Rose. Posts on FDL close automatically after 48 hours; nothing cowardly about it, simply a way to prevent spammers and bots. Sorry you missed the window, but thanks for the linkage!

I find your views intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. You can read more of my despicable propaganda at

which showed up after a mere three minutes.

And I posted about all of this on my Facebook page which got a lot of comments.  I thought in light of the current kerfuffle over anonymous/Anonymous, DDoS, WikiLeaks and Assange it would be timely on Thursday day to use Rose’s anonymous poster to illustrate a point about online anonymity.

Rose had posted the two following remarks after 9pm Wednesday night:

Rose said…

Lisa Derrick, You’re a tool. You got used here. You don’t know jack about the subject. You do your readers and yourself a disservice.

If this article is any indication of the accuracy of your writing, you ought to find another profession.

Did they pay you?

12/08/2010 9:08 PM

A few minutes later,

Rose said…

Tell you what, Lisa – open up your comments on that post. I’ll post the real facts. Then your readers can actually get a fair honest picture and make up their own minds – maybe they’ll prefer the fairy tale. But at least they’ll know the Emperor isn’t wearing any fine robes. Whaddya say?
12/08/2010 9:22 PM

Assange and personal commitments kept me away from until Thursday night, December 9 when I responded between 6 and 7 pm, politely saying that again comments close automatically, but that I had made sure that people were getting directed to her blog as it is important to gain a variety of perspectives.

And then I asked her to define the “they” to whom she was referring. Because I’d love to know.

You’d think cooking foil companies would be subsidizing some bloggers–all that hat making!

My most recent response to Rose hasn’t shown up yet as of 12:27 am Saturday, nor have those responses from people who wrote me Wednesday and Thursday letting me know they have sent Rose their own views.

It strikes me that if one is going to moderate comments–especially after making an queried accusation of a sordid, scurrilous, damaging and  wrong nature–one should be monitoring and moderating comments for replies.

And if one is going to allow anonymous (yet accurate, though caged as a derogatory slam) remarks about a subject’s sexual behavior, one should allow for equally as rapid replies from those who use their names, pseudonyms and Anonymous covering.

Otherwise the blog in question just seems like despicable propaganda. But hey, it’s the holiday season and I’m sure Rose is really busy getting her picket signs ready for the AntiWin rally outside the Gallegos victory party.

Oh and Anonymous #1  of You’ll never have the pleasure.

For the record: No one I have ever written about has paid me to write about about them and junkets, tee shirts, meals, etc. don’t sway me. I did once write a piece about U2, Negativland, Fair Use and copyright. A while later I was paid before it was repurposed into a press release; the essay has also been excerpted elsewhere without recompense.

Oh Hai, Sarah Palin! Lots of People are Anonymous: Thoughts from Cyberia

Many websites have a function whereby commenters can post anonymously. Recently on one, someone posted as Anonymous, posting with regards to me

She swallows

like that’s a bad thing.  At any rate, that person is Anonymous. On some sites, anonymity is encouraged; others prefer you have some sort of screen name, even if it’s Sokpppt7137.

Then there are consciously anonymous actions undertaken under the “leaderless resistance” of Anonymous, like the person who snuck into the public restroom of a hotel ballroom, carefully unrolled the toilet paper and stuck small pieces of paper with

and other entheta URLs on every few sheets, then carefully rolled the t.p. back up again before a large anti-xenu event began.

Pics or it didn't happen

Or the people who are protesting the actions of PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa and others against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

But what about when journalists mention which program/s a bunch of people are using to do a DDoS (distributed denial of service) on the above?  Or the program/s a bunch of people are using to pull a DDoS on Wikileaks, etc? Or entertainment industry sites?

[For the record--and this will prolly make some people all butthurt--I support intellectual property/copyright law; I also firmly believe that all  material in the public domain should be freely shared and distributed; I also support Fair Use.  Oh and from now on I am using DDoS and its lonely sibling DoS as verbs ( DoS: Denial of service, which is like a DDoS, but from just a solo basement or couch)].

It make me wonder who isn’t A/a/nonymous, especially when a tech aide to a politician–whose PAC website was allegedly crashed in protest of said politician’s very aggressive statements against Julian Assange–tells the entire world via what program to use to continue the peaceful, but to some un-lulzy types, really scary and/or annoying attacks:

A technical aide said that the “DOS attackers, a group loosely known as Anon_Ops,  used a tool called LOIC (Lower Orbit Ion Cannon) to flood  The attackers wanted us to know that they were affiliated with through an obscure message in our server log file.“

The tech emailed this screenshot to show what he’s talking about.

Um, wow. Thanks for the hi-tek how-to.

There are few things here that need to be looked at, aside from Rick Astley winning MTV Europe’s Best Act Ever with 100 million votes, which should have been a clue that the internets are srs bsns. The Delphic pythoness murmers:

Chester Wisniewski of Sophos wrote on September 19, 2010 when a number of entertainment industry sites were under DDoS over prosecution of PirateBay:

The people who are being lured into participating may not recognize that DDoSing is criminal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The fact that a few thousand people can bring major websites to their knees is a bit scary. There are rumors that some 4chan* members may be using botnets in the attack as well which introduces even more legal concerns.

No matter how you view it this is not a good situation. That a small number of people can hijack parts of the Internet is demonstrative of what could be done if a larger group, or someone with a lot of zombied PCs were to want to wreak havoc on more critical locations. It has been some time since large scale DDoS attacks have been in the news and hopefully it will be awhile before we see this again.

Zombie PCs! Transformers! Terminators! And Batman?!

On September 19, two and half months before Wikileaks spooged a weensy, glistening drop of their load into the Intert00bs, the Recording Industry Association of America was knocked off line for 21 hours. The Motion Picture Association of America, and BPI  (British Phonographic Industry, the organization supporting the British recorded music industry; thank goodness vinyl is making a comeback, or they might feel kinda silly about that quaint vintage monicker. Or not because they’re British.) were all DDoSed (and possibly DoSed). On November 4, the United States Copyright Office was the target of denial service attacks. Remember, remember on the 5th of November.

The September 19th denials seems to  have been prompted when at least one group within the entertainment industry hired their own personal army of one, epic fail guy Aiplex Software, to do a DoS  whose general manager Girish Kumar yakked to the media in a report published on September 8:

What we do is we see all those links on the net. We find the hosting [computer] server and send them a copyright infringement notice because they’re not meant to have those links. If they don’t remove [the link] we send them a second notice and ask them [again] to remove it…Generally speaking 95 per cent of … providers do remove the content. It’s only the torrent sites – 20 to 25 per cent of the torrent sites – that do not have respect for any of the copyright notices. How can we put the site down? The only means that we can put the site down is [by launching a] denial-of-service [attack]. Basically we have to flood [the site] with millions and millions of requests and put the site down.

And sometimes, well–Kumar admits there’s collateral damage:

At times, we have to go an extra mile and attack the site and destroy the data to stop the movie from circulating further.

Destroy the data? Wow, that’s kinda mean. Is Aiplex so targeted that they only destroy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Showgirls is safe?

So, basically, Kumar got all boasty, and the internets got toasty.  Pride goes before a website crash.

By the 5th of November it was  even more widely available knowledge that a program called Lower Orbit Ion Cannon was involved in the website crash.

Sarah Palin’s tech aide reported the crash as a DoS, which is technically, not so-technically and exponetially a different thing (Um like, I–who frequently forgets the skills necessary to change my FB profile picture–can  understand the difference, so it can’t be all that hard to grasp!). Possibly Sarah Palin’s unnamed, unknown and thus anonymous tech aide who mentioned  LOIC was correct and only one bot was doing the deed. Think about it. One lone  hackitivist maybe being a little disinformational?

Or maybe the aide (for revealed the tech aide’s gender) was confused. But I can’t imagine anyone working for SarahPAC as a tech aide being unclear on the difference between the two. That’s what computer school is for.

But this brings up a rather interesting aside. There are bout 29,100 results on Google for “low orbit ion cannon” including the sublime

The news is hilarious right now I’ve never heard a news reader say “low orbit ion cannon” in serious news report before

to listings of torrent sites and other Pottersville-like places online where those so inclined ought be using proxy condoms  and/or be careful. Because for the last few weeks LOIC has been on some radars. And some versions might have cyber-cooties.

Wikileaks and were also hit by DoS. The Jester (th3j35t3r) is claiming the scalps, which he took using something he invented called XerXeS which is actually kind of silly name because even though the Spartans went anhero into battle and were slain, XerXeS lost the war. (Video of  The Jester using XerXeS ion Infosec Island currently inaccessible, but Google it. My tin foil is starting to itch)

The Jester has been promoting his DoS services for nine months, first as an anti-jihadist take down artist and now as a crusader against Wikileaks. In February, 2010 he told Infosec Island:

Regarding helping the good guys defend against such an attack[by XerXeS], I can guarantee that no bad guy has this in his arsenal yet, and no bad guy will ever get it from me. I have not been approached directly by any sec/mil/spook types, but if that happens I would be glad to help out. Preferably, they would approach me with a signed immunity from prosecution document. I am not going to just throw myself to the wolves.

During the first phase of Wikileaks getting DoS’ed last week, this interesting story popped up featuring The Jester, an alleged police raid, fake accounts and a whole lot of supah spai cloaking daggers ( ic whut u did ther?). He also talked about Wikileaks’ insurance file.  That made my head hurt.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Anonymous posted a blog setting out its aims as campaiging for free speech

Hello World. We are Anonymous. What you do or do not know about us is irrelevant. We have decided to write to you, the media, and all citizens of the free world at large to inform you of the message, our intentions, potential targets, and our ongoing peaceful campaign for freedom.

The message is simple: freedom of speech. Anonymous is peacefully campaigning for freedom of speech everywhere in all forms. Freedom of speech for: the internet, for journalism and journalists, and citizens of the world at large. Regardless of what you think or have to say; Anonymous is campaigning for you.

And just now on CNN, Bearded Tech Guy told Kyra Philips that DDoS, downloading a programming is

volunteering if you will, to be part of the attack…pranksterism, protest for the modern era

Merry merry! Tis the season!

*[4Chan is a website/forum, founded by Christopher Moot Poole, who just scored a gianormous gig as a venture advisor with Leher Ventures, a rilly big deal in Cyberia. 4Chan as no "members." 4Chan is a very big, like a virtual city, but with words and pictures, some NSFW, and you can find all sorts of things to do or fap to. Do what thou wilt. Or you can move along, nothing here to see. But lots that cannot be unseen.]

Eggnog, Assange and Anonymous

Detail: Boucher, Toilet of Venus

I’m currently mulling intellectual property law, the importance of copyright, and Anonymous, all whom I respect.

Prosecuting a granny for downloading songs: You’re doing it wrong. One Huge Industry Giant wrote:

Headlines about a grandmother being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars did not properly present the big picture, and they were terrible PR for the industry.

He’s right.  (America and businesses based here being huge bullies over Wikileaks is another post for another time).

Some Anonymous are getting very DdoSy via Operation Payback which to me seems a bit misplaced and possibly short-sighted. And there is no way Assange is gonna distract from OpPayback, so give up that concept! There are reasons copyrights exist, these reasons are tl/dr, but copying without permission or pay is an uneven social exchange:

I’ll give you my Space Food Stick if I can crib off your math test

is making a deal; lifting off someone’s page without permission (or attribution, or a processed food snack) is cheating. Residuals and royalties from legal sales and downloads create income streams which allow for a vital economy through employment, purchases, use of services and other businesses, trickle down. As the writers’ strikes proved in Los Angeles, when creative income stops, the economy suffers. Badly.

The studios, at least in Bollywood who admits to it, hired their own private DDoS service, which went and boasted on their gig, hoisting themselves on their own petard, only to fall like a T. rex toe-walking Chihuahua. The RIAA, BPI, MPAA and US Copyright Office have all been recent targets. OMG, WTF!? Somebody crashed the Copyright Office.

First off:  Media interpretation of “Anonymous” needs to be flexible; heck Anonymous is flexible, fluid. Anyone can be “anonymous” online in certain areas of the web, when writing old fashioned letters, or checking on Prince Albert in a can. Princess Di made anonymous calls to a lover. Imagine if she’d been able to organize HRHOPA* on 4Chan…

There may be some Venn diagram spillover of unnamed Anon sets opposed to breast censorship in Australia and sets who think cULtz R cR33PY but never leave the house; sets who raid Second Life; and sets who show up IRL EGF (oh hai!). They may not all interact on 4Chan, either; it’s not like that is the only sandbox. (Trying to shut down IRCs was pretty bush league.)

Sonny Bono is an interesting case. While a Congressperson, he extended creative copyright, benefitting him as a songwriter and his heirs–and members of his faith/a huge corporation by maintaining certain Top Skeret texts as copyrighted. Then he hit a  tree while skiing which was really freaky. I am wondering if it is ethical for a Congressperson to bring forth a bill that directly benefits said C’member. I wonder if Congress is allowed to set forth a law, or the IRS to proffer a deal, which benefits a specific religion over all others.

(Granted, with pressure from congressmembers with ears to the bar and restaurant industry, the Sonny Bono bill was amended to include the Fairness in Music Licensing Act, which exempted smaller establishments from needing a public performance license to play music).

I have a solution to this whole copyright Bobby i$$ue:

Make the telecom companies pay for carrying the transmissions, not unlike radio stations.

According to U2′s manager, Paul McGuinness who I quote above and below, that isn’t an option, despite free content being

part of the commercial agenda of powerful technology and telecoms industries. Look at the figures as free music helped drive an explosion of broadband revenues in the past decade. Revenues from the “internet access” (fixed line and mobile) business quadrupled from 2004 to 2009 to $226bn. Passing them on the way down, music industry revenues fell in the same time period from $25bn to $16bn. Free content has helped fuel the vast profits of the technology and telecoms industries.

Tax the means of delivery!  Like taxing the ships that carry tea, rather than tea.

Oh noes, but if the telecoms don’t liek the tax, then what? They are the t00bs, both of them. Recent activity–against Wikileaks and by security teams (click the lings, plox)– has proven that the clouds aren’t safe either, so dream on over that model.

And while we are on the subject of copyright, for it was copyright what brought forth the Freeweb Cruise, could DMCA be cited on Wikileaks? But do we as taxpayers technically hold part of that copyright? I wonder if the American govt could collect a royalty from the telecoms for each download, link, etc to Wikileaks and share the revenue with the embattled free speech fighters… ??? Profit!

Also I see a whole micro-industry springing up around searching the cables for keywords, dates, concepts.

Will keyword search for giftcards

Full disclosure: I could never figure out how to use Napster, Kazaa, or Pirate Bay and sorta thought they were scary and germy, and like, hard to figure out. I have no clue how to use a torrent, but someone gave me some music once from one of those keychain beer opener things that plugs into the side of the computer. I style several EFG masks and have seen some amazing U2 shows over the years, some for free. I also wrote an essay once about U2 and Negativland; later I got paid for its use, which was kind cool.  And I am prolly gonna annoy a bunch of people with this essay, but really if you can’t speak your mind, what is the point of existing? We are communicating creatures, it is our nature.

*Her Royal Highness’ Own Personal Army

Late Night: Senate to Drop Ban Hammer on teh Internets?

The Internets. Both of them. This meme may become a reality…

We will support a free and open Internet.

That’s what Barack Obama told the United Nations. But then why is there a bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee that would allow the Attorney General to block certain Internet domain names from ISPs?

The bill S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) would create two blacklists of Internet sites “dedicated to infringing activity,” which is defined very broadly as any site where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are “central to the activity of the Internet site.”

Heck, that could be eBay–I’ve seen some pretty bogus Marc Jacobs Stam bags on there, as well as faux Max Studio, BCBG  and Betsey Johnston dresses. And certainly YouTube could be considered such a site, though they do pull any video  which is flagged with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement notice. and other photo storage sites allow people to upload their photoshopped images, as of course does the monster shoop site

Anyway, one of the blacklists can be added to by the courts, the second by the Attorney General.  According to Demand Progress:

Internet service providers (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the government’s gratitude) for blocking domains on the second list.

Copyright is a tricky thing. The Associated Press says:

Associated Press text material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use.

And that means if a tree falls in the forest and only the AP is there to cover it, does that actually mean you can’t mention the tree hitting the earth without violating the AP’s copyright, even if you blogged under Fair Use that

a mighty big piece of living lumber  was felled by unknown means, according to the AP

rather than

a tree fell in the forest

because that is “rewritten”?

So technically if you did blog about it, under COICA your site could be blacklisted by servers and basically disappear because you “violated” copyright by reporting news to which you didn’t have direct access. Unless you paid the AP. So news becomes proprietary information. And that means control of information and possibly no freedom of the press since unlimited access would be truncated.

Nowadays, copyright infringement is handled with lawyer letters, threats of lawsuits and actual court trials, where there is a burden of proof. Should this pass, the lights would go off on sites deemed violators. Demand Progress says:

This bill would bypass that whole system by forcing Internet service providers to block access to sites that are otherwise up. People in other countries could still get to them, but Internet users in the US would be blocked.

Blocked from entire domain names. Sort of like how the governments of Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere block undesirable sites. Granted, because of copyright and licensing laws, when I was in Ireland, I couldn’t watch clips from The View on; when in Turkey, I was unable to listen to Coast to Coast on, so I wonder how many blocked sites would actually still be visible. And plus there are ways around that. Demand Progress claims that

if this law passes Internet traffic will be reconfigured to route around it. Companies will move their US servers and domain names overseas, Internet users will route their traffic through other countries (just like Chinese citizens have to do now!), and software will have to be reconfigured to no longer trust answers from American servers.

Demand Progress is concerned that this bill is the start of a slippery slope  and that with a little prodding from Teh Gubbermints  all sorts of sites could end up being banned, not only news, blogs, politics, and entertainment, but  porn and gambling, which is really what fueled the series of interconnected tubes.