Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Downstreams (Dedicated to Bonniers AB)

Media magnate Carl-Johan Bonnier

This morning in Dagens Nyheter, Carl-Johan Bonnier has a 'debate' article entitled "Ett efterblivet paradis för olagliga IT-pirater" (A Backwater Paradise for Illegal IT-Pirates). It describes Bonnier's perception that Sweden is awash with P2P file sharing networks dealing out copyrighted material with little chance of reprimand. I understand Carl-Johan's concerns as he does lead one of the largest media empires in Europe with 150 companies in the stable. However, for such media where 'content' is seen as the primary product, the future is not looking so bright. In the United States

Fully half of all teens and 57% of teens who use the internet could be considered Content Creators. They have created a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations. Pew

So, while Rupert Murdoch is trying to capture some of the natives on MySpace (via services rather than content), Carl-Johan is arguing for a strengthening of copyright law:

"De som motarbetar en fungerande upphovsrätt på nätet anför ibland att den olovliga fildelningen till och med gynnar kreatörerna. Detta resonemang saknar helt logik. Internet skapar fantastiska möjligheter för musiker, skribenter och filmare att producera och distribuera sina verk till låg kostnad. Men att en artist väljer att lägga ut sin musik på nätet förändrar på inget sätt varje enskild kreatörs rätt att själv välja hur hon vill erbjuda andra att ta del av sitt verk, och om hon vill sätta ett pris på det eller tillgängliggöra det gratis."
(Those who work against the function of copyright on the net suggest occasionally that unlawful file sharing actually favours creators. This reasoning lacks all logic. The internet creates fantastic possibilities for musicians, writers and film makers to produce and distribute their work at a low cost. But that an artist chooses to put their music on the net does not change the right of every artist to invite others to partake of their work, and whether or not she will put a price on her work or distribute it for free.)


"Det gäller möjligheten att via domstol få uppgifter om den som har gjort ett upphovsrättsintrång för att exempelvis kunna sända informationsbrev eller agera civilrättsligt."
(It concerns the possibility for a court to obtain information on those that have infringed copyright and could, for example send a cease and desist letter or begin civil proceedings.) Carl-Johan Bonnier, "Ett efterblivet paradis för olagliga IT-pirater"

I am still trying to understand what "But that an artist chooses to put their music on the net does not change the right of every artist to invite others to partake of their work" means. But look what Carl-Johan was saying two years ago about media and democracy, compared with his perception of digital media networks today:

I dag tycker vi att det är helt okej med övervakningskameror överallt och ungdomar vill vara med i dokusåpor. Detta återspeglar en samhällsutveckling […]Förtroendet för alla medier har dock minskat kraftigt och detta måste branschen ta på allvar. Jag tror inte att fler regler är lösningen."
(Today we think that it is completely OK with surveillance cameras everywhere and the young want to be in reality TV. This reflects a social development...The confidence [of the public] in all media has certainly decreased greatly and this the industry must take seriously. I do not think that more rules are a solution.)
Carl-Johan Bonnier om Demokratirådets rapport om mediernas integritet

It also seems he does not like the idea of regulation when it comes to cross-media ownership and publication. But he does today think that more rules can help protect the industry from file sharing, which is essentially a form of citizen's publishing. I am not sure if the "social development" Carl-Johan has in mind can be titled so. He proposes a society of surveillance and punishment for copyright infringement and of deregulated media when it comes to ownership. The Swedish parliament has today said no to the proposals supported by Bonnier. Sweden seems doomed to remain a pirate backwater......

This all coincides with the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting in Rio de Janeiro, 12 - 15 November 2007. The summary of the IGF chairman is now online, which includes the passages:

It was also pointed out that law was always a product of society and reflected commonly held standards. With regard to the protection of intellectual property and copyright, it was always possible to make exceptions, as in the case of education. One of the speakers pointed out that open access to scientific knowledge was an essential element in the development process and therefore very important for developing countries. Movements, such as Creative Commons were mentioned in this
There was also a discussion on open standards and free and open source software. It was pointed out that they may lower the barriers of entry and promote innovation and were therefore important for developing countries. It was underlined that there was no contradiction between free and open source software and intellectual property. It was also recalled that in the WSIS outcome documents, both open source and proprietary software were seen as equally valuable and both models had their merit.

I detect some conflict with the views of Carl-Johan Bonnier and the idea that "law was always a product of society and reflected commonly held standards." If Sweden is "A Backwater Paradise for Illegal IT-Pirates" one must ask why?

Anyway on to the free (and aware) media for this week:

A Marine's Iraq Experiences (Video, 28:30)
Marine artillery sergeant Joel Oyer initially supported the war as he entered Iraq with the 2003 invasion force. He tells of his gradual disillusionment with the war and the continuing occupation.
Please help get this video aired on your local community access television. See for more information about this series and to have DVDs mailed to the station. Thank you for your help.

CBS Uncovers Startling Iraq Veteran Suicide Rate
"There were over 6,000 war veteran suicides in 2005 in the USA. The highest rates are among veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their suicide rates are 2-4 times higher than non-vets their age." (via Think)

Soundcloud is a site for sharing and making music over the net. Members can upload tunes, work on them and collaborate with others. It is up and running but one needs an invite to participate. I have been asking for one since yesterday but without result....anyone want to invite me?

Audio Selections from the Sackner Archive
The rift is embedded in the nomenclature: Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. Visual Poetry seems plain enough: language that is evident to the eye in unexpected senses. Concrete is not so transparent: "verbivocovisual." The schism is inscribed in the sign.

Animal Farm, by George Orwell
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201 Stories by Anton Chekhov
Constance Garnett translated and published 13 volumes of Chekhov stories in the years 1916-1922. Unfortunately, the order of the stories is almost random, and in the last volume Mrs. Garnett stated: "I regret that it is impossible to obtain the necessary information for a chronological list of all Tchehov's works." This site presents all 201 stories in the order of their publication in Russia.

5 Songs from Alien Virus
Alien Virus is a Sci-fi punk band from Brisbane 1988-present... Napalm sticks to Kids was voted into the 4ZZZ Hot 100 for 7 years in a row. Alien Virus also does Escape from Toytown and Acid World songs. I saw them play several times in the late 1980s in Bris vegas. Boulder Lodge, Small World Experience, Omniscient Gallery, Queer, The Target building in the Valley, ZZZ market days, the FunkYard, Livid festival.......aaaahhhhhhhh

CD Baby: let's find you some great new music
CD Baby is a little online record store that sells albums by independent musicians.

The America Project Radio Documentary
A public radio documentary series funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and created by producer and reporter Alix Spiegel. Programs from the series air on This American Life and All Things Considered. Alix Spiegel was a founding producer of the public radio program This American Life, where she is currently a contributing editor. She contributes to NPR's All Things Considered and the New York Times Magazine. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and lives in Washington, DC.
The America Project recommends...

This American Life
Radio Diaries
Hearing Voices
Sound Portraits

Legal Download
When you make use of our services you can sell your music through and your own website(s). Besides that, Legaldownload has agreements with multiple major websites where music enthusiasts can be found. These websites together have more than three million visitors each month. Most of these websites aim for a specific musical audience. This way your music can be offered to the right people.

Finally, a tip for any pirates in the area of Årsta Folkets Hus, Årsta torg tomorrow:
WMAOYW Who makes and owns your work?
The project Who Makes and Owns Your Work has grown out of a year-long discussion held during the Open Content meetings which centred on ownership, distribution and forms of sharing within contemporary cultural and knowledge production.

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