Here’s another talk from the re:publica 2012 conference in Berlin. In this one, Rick Falkvinge elaborates on how the Pirate Parties organise themselves in a swarmlike fashion.
The dreaded Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) nudged forward on Thursday as the governments of 22 EU nations, along with the EU itself, signed on the dotted line in a ceremony in Tokyo (I posted an introductory video about the agreement earlier here). The remaining governments are expected to sign in the near future, after which all the major negotiation parties have signed the treaty.
This does not, however, yet mean that the agreement will take effect, as it still needs to be ratified in both the national parliaments and the European parliament. The vote in the European parliament is expected to be held in June, and a “no” in Brussels would apparently moot any decisions made in national parliaments. So, this gives us still some time to rally against the agreement. In Poland, tens of thousands of people have already taken to the streets earlier this week to protest against the signing of the treaty (this, of course, did not stop the Polish representative from going ahead and signing anyway).
In other interesting news, a French MEP in charge of investigating the agreement for the European parliament has resigned from his position, denouncing the non-transparency of the negotiation process, calling the whole process a “charade”. It looks like significant opposition to the agreement is finally rising in Europe. What we need now is relentless campaigning to push ACTA into the mainstream political discourse. The copyright industry and their stooges have done their utmost to slip the agreement through without anybody noticing, but we can make sure this is not going to happen. We won the SOPA/PIPA battle and we can win this one too.
As Rick Falkvinge points out, the promoters of the agreement have shown to be perfectly willing to lie through their teeth to push it through, so we need to counter this by distributing correct information in the media and also straight to the relevant parliamentarians. Here are some useful sources on ACTA:
EDRI has also put together a good howto for campaigning against ACTA with contact information for MEPs:
For those who are on Twitter, here’s an easy tool for tweeting MEPs:
La Quadrature du Net also has a howto:
Stopacta.info offers an infobox on ACTA for your website:
Then there’s this site set up by Polish activists:
Finally, there’s this petition that you can sign:
And another petition:
And yet another petition for the British:
A number of high-profile websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit and BoingBoing, are going to black out on Wednesday, January 18 to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill that is currently in the US House of Representatives (and its Senate version). If you want to join in the protest, here’s a code that will allow you to easily black out your WordPress.com-blog. Simply add a Text-widget anywhere in the blog and paste the code below as its body text. This will place a black bar on top of the blog content with a link to americancensorship.org. You can adjust the size and the position of the bar to cover the area you want covered. If you want to black out your whole blog, put “100%” as the width and the height.
<a style="width:400px;height:100px;vertical-align:middle;text-align:center;background-color:#000;position:absolute;z-index:5555;top:0;left:0;background-image:url('http://americancensorship.org/images/stop-censorship-small.png');background-position:center center;background-repeat:no-repeat;" href="http://americancensorship.org"></a>
Nina Paley has put together this excellent and practical guide for those who want to release their work, be it text, audio or video, Freely on the Internet. She argues that:
“Copy restrictions place a barrier between you, the artist, and most forms of support. By removing the barriers of copyright, you make it possible to receive money and other kinds of support from your audience, both directly and through distributors, thereby increasing your chances of success.”
And remember, by freeing your work, you also free yourself from the clutches of the copyright industry!
This howto shows how to download eBooks using Adobe’s ADEPT DRM (Digital Rights Management) scheme on Linux and how to decrypt those books so that you can use your eBook viewer of choice to read them and copy them to any device you wish.
wine ~/.wine/drive_c/"Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Digital Editions/digitaleditions.exe"
wine msiexec /i python-2.7.2.msi
wine msiexec /i pycrypto-2.3.win32-py2.7.msi
wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Python27/python.exe ineptkey.pyw
wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Python27/python.exe ineptpdf.pyw
wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Python27/python.exe ineptepub.pyw