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Archive for the ‘Profiteering’ Category

[Asinine] Bankrupt Millionaire: Indiana Who?

Posted by Lex Fear on June 26, 2008

Looks like another fool got into a legal letter flame war with The Pirate Bay… and lost… spectacularly.

I’ve never heard of Indiana Gregg, but I sure as hell won’t be buying or downloading any music after reading her and her representatives ridiculous and embarrassing name-dropping bombing in their email.

“Having sat on cross parliamentary committees, resolved to regenerating music and culture in my country, i’m afraid you may just have picked the wrong person to cross swords with on this occasion.” Ian Morrow (courtesy of TPB)

Very stupid. Here’s the list of emails of the elites that Ian invokes to show how powerful and connected he is:

Ian Morrow <ian@gr8pop.net>
Pauline McNeill <pauline.mcneill.msp@scottish.parliament.uk>
Barbara Orbison <BOrbison@orbison.com>
john dingwall <j.dingwall@dailyrecord.co.uk>
Duncan McCrone <duncan.mccrone@mcps.co.uk>
Mick Blacklock <mick.blacklock@ppluk.com>
Robbie Miller <robbie.miller@jacobsonmiller.com>
phil <phil@gr8pop.net>
Andy Harrower <andy.harrower@mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk>
Mark Taylor <mark.taylor@mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk>
Stanley Banks <stanley@wardlawbanks.com>
Paul Bedford <Paul.Bedford@ingeniousmedia.co.uk>
Veronica Tyrrell <Veronica.Tyrrell@scotent.co.uk>
George Falconer <george.falconer@scotent.co.uk>
Connie Howard <CHowardMus@aol.com>
thom hardwell <thomsongs1@yahoo.com>
Magnus Martinsson <martinsson@playgroundmusic.com>
David Philpott <davidphilpott@philpottreed.co.uk>
Christian Ulf Hansen <christian.ulf@virgin.net>

Normally I’ll just read the legal threats, laugh and forget about it but this one is the most asinine and presumptious yet. Just for curiousity, I’ll be watching out for copywrong discussion by the Scottish Parliament and press articles from The Mirror, The Daily Record and The BBC on copywrong.

It will be interesting to see how much influence the small label, bankrupt millionaire, Indiana Gregg has over these groups, if any. I’m aslo interested in seeing if the Scottish Parliament works for the people or the corporates.

HT: Torrentfreak

Oh and BTW: Ian, copyright kills culture, it kills creativity. Would we have heard of Shakespeare if media companies had existed in the 17th Century to make sure that none of his plays were reproduced?

How much exposure has Indiana Gregg actually had as a result of sharing of her music between friends? (a: probably not much TPB can do for her – click on the link for irony-goodness)

As far as anyone who has an ounce of intellect is concerned, Bittorrent is the new radio. But then is that really free?

It wasn’t video that killed the radio star, it was his own record label.

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Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Little Hitlers, Profiteering, Quoteyness, Technology, The Love of Libel, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta, Wealth Creation, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Leave a Comment »

[Evil] The Secret of Bill Gates Success

Posted by Lex Fear on June 21, 2008

The BBC News has a gushing article and interview with Bill Gates on their site:

When these criticisms are put to Mr Gates, he says he finds it “ironic” that he could be accused of such a thing when Microsoft had “evangelised” its software to other companies, begging them “please write software for our platform”. – The Secret of Bill Gates Success

Is that why their new Silverlight (competitor to Adobe Flash) software won’t work on Linux?

I only ask because for some reason ITV has done a deal to make their programs available via streaming off their website using Micro$ofts Silverlight platform. Which means I can’t watch the latest episodes of Headcases online.

Channel 4 also has similar restrictions, due to their 4OD service only being available for M$ Windows OS’es. This is apparently due to their program makers insistence on using DRM. But why then show 1 minute clips of TV programs interspersed with 2 minute long advertisements between each clip? What really pisses me off about Channel 4 is their lying free-beer tagline “Free Catch-Up”. It’s not free, it’s DRM’d, so why call it free? Why not simply say “M$ Users Catch-Up” or “Programs Made Available for Download with DRM”.

Oh well I guess it’s back to Bittorrent for enjoying content that is supposed to be freely available for all to watch. Well done to ITV and Channel 4 for passively promoting piracy!

Hats off to BBC at least for making their i-Player stream on Linux. Or is it just hats off to government for pwning the BBC and forcing them to make it available for taxpayers?

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Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Profiteering, Technology | 1 Comment »

Blessed is Steve Pavlina

Posted by Lex Fear on May 28, 2008

Pavlova - Good for You“I’m now going to give you 10 reasons why getting an education is good, but going to school is one of the worst ways to go about it. Since Media Studies seems to be the most popular course for undergraduates these days, I’ll slant this article towards Media Studies and it’s ubiquitous failings. However, you’ll find that most of these points apply equally well to other educational courses (yes, even Management Science).”

This is how Steve Pavlina’s desultory article, 10 Reasons You Should Never Have Religion, would have started if he had been writing about education. It gets worse from there on. Setting up a field of straw men, Steve proceeds to hack away at his own ideological perception of Christianity whilst nebulously applying it to all religions, even Buddhism.

I’m not even going to attempt a debunk since there is no consistent rhyme or reason, just a bunch of ill-conceived arguments and logical fallacies coated with outright and simple prejudice.

Instead, I found a hilarious and unintended irony near the bottom of his piece. Under point 10, Faith is fear, he quotes and ad-libs the beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor (donate heavily).

Let’s ignore the fact that he didn’t even bother to reference where this quote is from (does he even know?), and also the implicit alternative to this statement, Blessed are the rich.

What caught my attention was the appended line at the bottom of the article in bold, which appears to be appended in some form to all of his articles:

If you find this site helpful, please leave a donation for Steve so you can enjoy the spirit of giving too.

Awesome! So where did Steve inherit this “spirit of giving” anyhow? Seriously, was this an article on religion or was it simply a pitch for people who are religiously minded, or considering religion, to join the religion of Steve Pavlova?

If religion, and specifically Christianity, asks people to donate and join in the spirit of giving then it’s fake and greedy, if Steve Pavlova asks you to donate, then it’s simply because he’s spiritual and truly believes in the spirit of giving!

So blessed are the rich, blessed is Steve Pavlova.

Posted in Buyer Beware, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Wealth Creation | 4 Comments »

Hidden Fees

Posted by Lex Fear on April 5, 2008

I received an email a while ago from Sue Craig of not-for-profit Hidden Fees requesting a link to their site providing genuine, free advice on avoiding hidden fees.

The site looks promising and contains many articles. I thought it was a great idea and have now added a link on the blogroll. I wrote back to Sue and advised that it needed some guides and template letters to make it really useful and she wrote back to thank me and advise it “should be on the site in the next month or so [emailed 5 Apr 08]”. For now you’ll have to have a bit of time on your hands to navigate and read the detailed but useful articles.

One thing that did concern me was their archaic and heavy-handed IP & Copyright Notice which surprises me coming from a site that purports to be helping people avoid fees and such:

Except as permitted below no part of the Website may be reproduced, displayed, copied, translated, adapted, downloaded, broadcast, used or republished in any form including (without limitation) distribution, or storage in a system for retrieval.

Considering the service they are offering it’s forgivable, but I would hope as they progress they change this not to be so drastic. Technically speaking your webpages are already downloaded and stored in the cache (physically on the hard drive) of anyone who visits the site to read the information from a library or shared computer (read ‘public’) then they are already breaking your copyright notice.

It’s something I’m willing to overlook in linking to Hidden Fees but it’s something worth bearing in mind when considering the target audience- people who seek to avoid or fight predatory and subversive systems. People who read software EULAs and seriously consider open-source. People who don’t like signing unfair contracts.

Posted in Bad Company, Bank Robbers, Blogidarity, Copywrong, Financial Terrorism, How I Did It, Opinion, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Wealth Creation | Leave a Comment »

The Car That is Fueled by the Blood of Farmers

Posted by Lex Fear on January 11, 2008

Green KillerPersistent readers will already know of the Battery Powered Death Machine, I now give you the Tata Nano aka ‘The (Death-to-the) People’s Car’.

From Private Eye (sorry folks, no link you’ll have to buy it):

“Although it began life in the mid-19th century helping the British sell opium to the Chinese, Tata is unique among Indian companies in the way it sells itself as a compassionate, socially concerned enterprise…

…This might surprise some of the farmers of Singur, the richly fertile farmland north-west of Calcutta where the car is being built. The 997 acre site produced three crops a year and provided a decent living to more than 20,000 people. But when Tata picked it up for its new plant in 2006 … the communist chief minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, announced that the land was to be forcibly acquired under a Raj-era law…

…Several people have died since the resistance began, including a teenage girl called Tapasi Malik who was raped and strangled by goons guarding the land.”

A small, cheap, fuel efficient car that has cost human lives… environMENTALISTs must be queuing up to place their orders!

Posted in Absolute Power, Global Alarming, Little Hitlers, Opinion, Profiteering, Uncircumcised Philistines | Leave a Comment »

What Should Westernised Christians Protest Next?

Posted by Lex Fear on December 9, 2007

Temporarily breaking my self-imposed blog-silence-because-I’m-just-too-busy-right-now for an issue which is close to my heart.

It’s hard to balance you’re Christian faith with civil disobedience and generally outside-of-the-law-but-just causes, especially when faced with the prevalent mindset amongst Westernised Christianity is to ‘submit’ yourself to “governing authorities” that have been “established by God”. Unfortunately this Christian feels that this particular scripture has been misappropriated and become warped into something more akin to “honour thy government, then God” but I digress.

Since it seems that The Golden Compass has effectively ‘bombed‘ on it’s opening weekend in the States, Westernised Christians must now be feeling empty and wondering what next to boycott/protest. Therefore may I suggest they turn their attention to matters of copyright and copyright enforcement?

I’m not talking about making sure Hillsong or Soul Survivor keep their steady stream of income, I’m talking about taking a stand against the principalities and powers at work to give copyright owners and enforcers the power to become despots.

Recently a charity in the UK has been visited by ‘officers’ of the Performing Rights Society (PRS) and told they have fork out a large amount of money for a licence to not only play a radio (which can be heard in the vicinity of the general public) but also to allow the kids to sing Christmas Carols. That’s right folks, songs that were originally created originally as worship for Jesus and generally celebrating the joy of Christ-Mas are owned by artist managing companies who are keen to make a buck from the worship of your Lord and Saviour.

Has anyone considered the ramifications for churches (which are registered charities)? Are there churches out there that already pay these stupid fees? Of course, church leaders may say they are exempt, they sing music from artists such as Matt Redman and Darlene Czech every Sunday. Matt and Darlene may hardly have a problem with this, but their record companies might. For instance: Hillsong is registered with the MAFIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), who have been blitzing file-sharers with legal threats, court summons and out of court settlements. The fact that the file-sharers may be kids, dead people or family pets don’t factor into it, neither does the fact that the file-sharers have not made a single penny from SHARING. All they’ve done is SHARE a digital copy rather than, say, SHARE a physical DVD with a friend. The important part here is that it is the MAFIAA, not the artists that are doing the suing. Darlene and Matt may be happy for churches in America to SHARE and WORSHIP together, but what happens when the MAFIAA has squeezed dry the file-sharers who don’t feel morally obliged to respect copyrightwrong?

We don’t care about this right now because:

1) It doesn’t affect us yet, and
2) It’s only bad people who don’t respect copyright.

But these are both wrong assertions. It’s only a matter of time before the MAFIAA spots the lucrative potential of the tithe. Sounds ridiculous? So does suing a garage for playing a radio.


Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Justice & Mercy, Morals & Ethics, Of The World But Not In It, Opinion, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Technology, The Purpose Missing Church | 8 Comments »

New Barcardi Viral

Posted by Lex Fear on October 12, 2007

The new Barcardi ‘Made to Mix – Bass Tins’ viral below.

I was contacted a few days ago (in previous comments) to ask if I was prepared to show some viral advertising on the blog.

I’ve signed up now, so, on occasion I’ll try to feature both good and relevant ones. Also, will have to work on my keywords.

Posted in Ha-has, Metablog, Profiteering, Video | Leave a Comment »

The New Music

Posted by Lex Fear on October 10, 2007

Three cheers for Radiohead. I’ve never bought an album or really listened to their music, however, in a move that defies and oversteps the fan-punishing MAFIAA, Radiohead have released their new album “In Rainbows” for free download over from teh interwebs.

click here and place your free order for Radiohead: In Rainbows.

Why is this a good move, you ask? Well imagine someone like me, a non-fan of Radiohead, but now I have a chance to listen to an album for free. If I like what I hear, I may be tempted to buy an album (yes p2p people still do buy albums if they’re good/have extra content)!

What’s more, I think this business model has the possibility to generate more cash for bands than the MAFIAA. I haven’t worked out any figures but here’s a guesstimate:

Old Model

  • Album Sales: Limited to already fans (and we know people who buy CDs/DVDs obey the law and don’t share with their friends).
  • Merchandise Sales: Limited to fan base
  • Concert Sales: Limited to fan base
  • Profit = MAFIAA: 90% Band: 10%

New Model

  • Album Sales: 0 potential sales/low revenue, infinite potential fans
  • Merchandise Sales: Infinite potential from open fan base
  • Concert Sales: Sellout potential from open fan base
  • Profit = MAFIAA: 0% Band: 100%

Based on on the new model, bands could easily recoup and even surpass their profits based on the old model!

This is exactly how George Lucas made his fortune by owning the merchandise rights to the Star Wars franchise, which enabled him to go on to produce 3 new movies (yes the reasoning and quality can be argued but,) and convert millions of new fans.

I hear that Nine Inch Nails are doing something similar, this is another band I haven’t heard many tracks from so I’m going to download all the music I can from NIN and sample that too.

Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Little Hitlers, Profiteering | 4 Comments »

Declaration of Beliefs: 9/11

Posted by Lex Fear on September 25, 2007

Following my declaration of beliefs on creation, I thought it would be a good idea to apply it to other things, especially those sorts of things that have variable opinions, areas of gray and much controversy. So I thought I’d turn my attention to 9/11 conspiracy theories and where I stand.

My opinion is it’s not just the whacko’s that believe some sort of conspiracy or cover up has taken place, there is a lot of reasonable discussion going on, coming from reasonable sources. What seems to be most damaging to Conspiraloons is those that try to link it to something like a Zion movement, the return of Jesus or numerology.

Bloggers that have discussed 9/11 that I read and communicate with include, but are not all related to, conspiracy movements: The Antagonist, Stef, lwtc247 and Josh. There is also the 9/11 Truth Movement but I don’t really get involved to that extent…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Absolute Power, Opinion, Profiteering, Propaganda, Realpolitik | 8 Comments »

More UK Libel and Blogging

Posted by Lex Fear on September 8, 2007

Blogger Lord Matt has received 2 take-down letters from a Dr M G Notley, who he exposed for using bad SEO practices. Readers will remember LM from a previous post highlighting a legal battle with his council (which he successfully defended I can now add).

“Dr M G Notley really does not know a lost cause when he sees one.  He emailed me a while back and quite rudely accused me of not telling the truth in my article while at the same time proving firm evidence of what I was saying.  Not content with that he then has paid for solicitors to harass me for blogging about this man who (in my own opinion) is a charlton.

It is my opinion that he is a fool, a black hat SEO of the worst and stupidest kind and his folly is (also in my opinion) only compounded by the fact that he makes a loss carrying out business activities that I believe were only set up to promote his own books.  Activities that he claims cost his company money.

It is my intention to fight this take down notice as it is not only true but a warning to people that might be taken in but such (in my opinion) villainy.  I am going to request my fellow SEO experts of all skill levels to write a declaration post that states clearly and precisely that in your official opinion as SEOs if I was right or wrong and if right how so and if wrong but what degree. I am asking for this not because I want links particularly (use rel nofollow if it makes you feel better) but because it will be needed to protect the freedom of speech on the internet by bloggers.”

LM blogged his concern because the domain writerspromote.com is apparently “stuffed with keywords” and “begging to become black-listed”. It seems the keywords are gone, but the horrible table layout and huge scroll down gap between the content and the copyright notice at the bottom show evidence that there may have been something there.

It’s yet another example of a company that would rather sue to protect their presence on the internet, than change business practices, work for their reputation and therefore discredit any critics.


Posted in Bad Company, Little Hitlers, Pharisees, Profiteering, The Love of Libel | 3 Comments »