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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

[Filesharing] The Cost Of An Idea

Posted by Lex Fear on June 22, 2009

David Dunham at CaPC poses the question “So is the judge making an example out of her or does this seem like a reasonable price to pay?”

I started commenting but realised it was too long and so I’ve moved my response here.

Let’s start by saying that these fines are supposed to be representative of lost sales.

Forget the fact that many people who download music tracks wouldn’t buy them anyway (and – shockingly – might even delete the crap ones).

What I think the lawmakers have glossed over is the fact that if you fine one person for *every* *lost* *sale*, then there should be no-one left to pursue for the downloading of those tracks she shared. Ie. if I had downloaded those 24 tracks from Jamie Thomas, it’s OK because she is already paying for *my* lost sale – as well as – literally – millions of others.

I’m pro-filesharing and I file-share.

I look forward to the day that these media companies grovel in the dirt – I’ll make no bones about that fact. Increasingly I’m ‘coming out’ to many friends and people I wouldn’t have before, because I see it as a revolution, a cold war, where as many people need to be recruited as possible.

I look forward to the day that we look back on these events in history and marvel at the ignorance of the politicians and industry that supported this 21st Century ‘House of Un-American Activities’.

I see filesharing as the future – setting knowledge, information and arts free – like they used to be before the 20th Century. Perhaps it’s not ‘the future’, perhaps it’s simply restoring values of the past.

Did any of those black slaves or their families who worked in the cotton fields see a ‘dime’ for their musical contribution to the blues? Intellectual Property is about as anti-creativity as I can imagine.

How do you prevent new ideas and human progress? Introduce ownership of ideas by long lasting corporate bodies to buy up and own *ideas*, then sue anyone who independently thinks up, tries to share or improve that idea for an arm and a leg.

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Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Corporate Irresponsibility, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Resistance, Takeback, Technology, Terrorist State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Linux] How Xandros Shot Linux In The Foot

Posted by Lex Fear on April 6, 2009

It was an open goal. M$ decommissioning  XP, Linux being the only capable OS of running on this tight new ultra-portable sub-notebook. Dare we say it… “The year…” had finally arrived?!

So how could it go wrong?

El Reg has just published a new article on the competition between Windows and Linux on the Netbook, and by outward appearances, it looks like Micro$haft is has caught up and overtaken Linux in popularity… but I haven’t seen anyone yet analyse WHY:

Microsoft cries netbook victory against Linux

Rubbing in the salt, LeBlanc added: “Not only are people overwhelmingly buying Windows, but those that try Linux are often returning it,” he said.

Why, you might ask? LeBlanc: “Because users simply expect the Windows experience. When they realize their Linux-based netbook PC doesn’t deliver that same quality of experience, they get frustrated and take it back.”

Aah, the Windows experience, but what is this elusive ‘Windows Experience’ that Linux lacks? Is it the need to purchase an external DVD drive in order to install software? Is it the slow-down and need to defrag every couple of months in order to return to a usable speed? Is it the comfort of knowing you will get no vendor support from M$ and have to rely on techy friends to spend 30 hours ridding your system of that pesky “mywebsearch” trojan that you got from accepting some preloaded-with-malware stupid free game download that you installed last week which is now bringing your system to a halt?

No, let me attempt to define the “Windows Experience”… It’s the comfort of having a logical bottom of screen taskbar, showing the time/date, running programs, background programs and a start/logo to click on which gives you instant access to all your programs.

Sure Windows XP is old, it’s vulnerable to every security risk going, it randomly does things in the background and must be constantly purged of bloat. But the thing about Windows XP is that it feels professional. It feels like a grown up operating system.

Don’t tell me about familiarity, plenty of boomers have managed to get their heads around Firefox, Google, Skype, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook and the rest of Web 2.0 not to mention the myriad of operating systems installed with their mobile phones. Last time I checked Web 2.0 was not bundled with Windows XP. No, it’s not familiarity that’s an issue here, it’s the GUI.

Just contrast this child-friendly looking interface:

To this more grown up one:

If something looks like it’s made for children, adults won’t use it for themselves. I mean, couldn’t Asus/Xandros just package the Easy Mode GUI as an option rather than the default GUI?

It doesn’t matter that the Easy Mode is more intuitive and ‘easy’ for a smaller screen. Mainstream people don’t mind the small text, the small buttons, the little graphical issues that a full blown OS like XP presents when it tries to open a 1100×600 window on a 1024 x 600 screen. They accept that as part of the package, just like they accept they’ve got to run several different internet security solutions in tandem just to be able to surf and write email.

And I know what you’re going to say – “But Xandros can be configured to look just like XP, they even changed the name of the applications…” Well that just turns it into a cheaper imitation of XP, something that will turn mainstream users off faster than a childish GUI.

Average net-heads see installing Windows XP on their netbooks as a kind of technological feat, as though it somehow demonstrates their technical prowess and smarts despite the fact it’s more a demonstration of their fear or stepping outside their comfort zone.

What netbook manufacturers and Linux advocates need to do if they want to keep flogging a free OS on their netbooks- Is to offer a professional, decent looking OS which has the same functionality as Windows, the same comforting feel, yet is not, and is not trying to be, Windows. They need to embrace the alternative OS. Don’t try to make it easy and don’t try to make it like XP. Just make it good.

I got a Samsung NC10 for Christmas from my wonderful wife. It came Windows XP Home ULPC.. do you know how shitty that version is? And yet, for a larger hdd and Intel Atom processor this is the OS of choice over something like Ubuntu or Fedora!

Needless to say I set about formatting the Windows Virus off my nc10 and installing Ubuntu from a pendrive (yeah – did you know some Linux distros have options to create pendrives now?), later moving to Ubuntu Ultimate.. which wipes the floor with both XP and Vista.

Check this out:

My Atom processor handles Ultimate Edition quite well, starts to balk if I enable desktop Sphere, but handles Cylinder no problem.

Sure, there are always going to be people who are stuck in their comfort zone, and die-hard Windows fanboys, but distro makers have to stop trying to emulate the ‘Windows Experience’, and cheating newbies out of the ‘Linux Experience’ like Xandros has with the Eee PC.

It was an open goal for Linux which somehow become an own goal, but the match is not over. They seriously need to rethink and regroup if they want to prevent what is becoming the year of  Windows 7 on the Netbook.

Posted in Buyer Beware, Duh!, Open Source, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Scammy] How Defraud eBay Users – Courtesy Of Paypal

Posted by Lex Fear on March 17, 2009

I have been meaning to discuss this one for a while, but it only just popped back into memory recently whilst I was looking through some old emails.

I’m writing this to warn you of the systematic failure of Paypal customer service and how this creates potential for easy, undetected scamming and profiteering opportunities for eBay power-sellers by abusing low-usage eBay users.

Last year I gave up eBay for good. I gave it up after I received 1 negative feedback having achieved in 2 years over 50 positive. The negative feedback was not warranted – it was retaliatory, from an eBay power-seller going by the trader name of notebookspares, offline company name: Rolta Limited, email address: hanspals@hotmail.com. I found a bunch of linked websites too, from googling their phone number: 0208 561 3960 – I wonder how many scams they are running?

I put up this power seller’s details as a warning to other potential buyers – particularly to buyers who do not do hundreds of trades a day and have a large feedback cache. I have copies of all correspondence and other details regarding this transaction, if requested.

Last year I received retaliatory feedback for posting negative feedback after not receiving an item from notebookspares (Rolta Limited). I posted the negative feedback after I’d exhausted all possibilities with Paypal resolutions.

You see, one day early in 2008 I had ordered an item from notebookspares, but on failing to receive it or any communication within 2 weeks I tried eBay’s contact form, then I tried emailing direct and finally a phone call leaving a message – all to no avail.

Since it was now outside of the time limit for escalating no item/no response, I went through eBay to get to Paypals “Item Not Recieved Dispute Resolution Centre”. Despite the power-seller, notebookspares , not being arsed to return my messages or calls, a day later he responded to confirm that the item had been posted and signed as recieved. News to me.

So I took the Proof Of Delivery he provided, plugged it into Royal Mail website and found that it referred to a delivery to a completely different name and address. No other details were provided unfortunately. Sounds like an honest mistake right, either notebookspares had provided the wrong POD, or they posted to a wrong address. Anyone would be able to detect this and make amends – Paypal however didn’t check the POD provided and now wanted to close the dispute.

Therefore, I escalated it, I complained that notebookspares had not bothered with any correspondence and had now provided an incorrect POD. It took 3 weeks for Paypal to respond, in that time, they still had not checked the POD with Royal Mail online, instead informing me that since the power-seller, notebookspares, had provided a POD, the resolution was now closed. I was livid.

Note: The POWER-SELLER had provided POD, so there was NO DISPUTE! It doesn’t matter that the POD was to a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT NAME AND ADDRESS, the POD had been provided, so PAYPAL concluded there was NO DISPUTE.

Despite escalating this again, stating the facts of the matter again (POD was wrong name/address, power-seller notebookspares, had not responded to any hails), 4 weeks later Paypal concluded once again there was NO DISPUTE – they didn’t even bother to gather facts from the interested parties.

I should mention at this point, I did contact Royal Mail, and attempt to find out where the parcel got delivered and obtain a refund this way, but Royal Mail requested more details about the delivery than I had to give. Which left me with the same problem, notebookspares would not respond to messages or requests for information which Royal Mail needed, and Paypal would do sweet FA about it.

The only thing I had left was the power of democracy, which, like real democracy, is weak. I left a negative feedback on notebookspares. 1 negative feedback against 1000’s of positives, which affected his feedback score NIL. Not satisfied with being an asshat, notebookspares immediately left retaliatory feedback that wasn’t even anything to do with the service or item, which of course brought me down to about 95% positive. I complained to eBay directly – but guess what – they couldn’t give a shit.

Finally, receiving no further correspondence or recourse from Paypal, notebookspares or eBay, I refused to settle my eBay fees which were around the £10 mark- which got my account suspended. The item itself was worth £25, so I made a loss of £15. eBay tried to recover the fees by threatening court action, but I dealt with them like I dealt with my gym recently (for another post, another day) and they chickened out.

Since it was such a small amount, I didn’t bother reporting the fraud to the police (apart from reporting it to the press, what else would they do?), but I did write to eBay and threaten to call in the police. I got no reply from eBay so why bother reply to their emails asking for their fees?

So, hopefully you can now see the potential pitfall?

Here’s how the scam works – Paypal practically endorses it by design!

If you are a power seller, like notebookspares (Rolta Limited) was, and you have built up a large number of positive feedbacks, here is your chance to make a bit of extra profit on the side!

Every now and then, take an order from a low-level user (50 feedbacks or less) for a small item (£50 or less), when you have recieved payment through Paypal, deliver the item to another address you use and get you POD from Royal Mail.

When the buyer inevitably complains using Paypals resolutions, provide the POD – it doesn’t matter what NAME, ADDRESS or SIGNATURE is on the POD, as long as a POD exists, Paypal will close the case and you have made yourself a tidy little profit on the side.

When the little buyer leaves negative feedback, you can devastate his score by RETALIATORY FEEDBACK. eBay will do nothing about retaliatory feedback so you are SAFE!

Paypal and eBay will turn a blind eye to this as long as you are generating a big revenue for them, so this is not for the little guy – power sellers only.

Just make sure that you don’t do this too often as it will eventually effect your feedback score, but if you do it once or twice for every 100 buyers you have yourself a nice little racket!

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Posted in Anecdotes, Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Holding Actions, Justice & Mercy, Profiteering, Technology, Untouchables, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Cyburbia] Religion 2.0

Posted by Lex Fear on February 24, 2009

Interesting interview of James Harkin on the media obsession with Web 2.0 and failure to criticise the medium. Well worth a read of the whole article, even Neo-Darwinism gets a mention. Here’s a couple of excerpts:

Now I’m not arguing people are stupid or lazy if they do that – but there’s an electronic peer pressure online. Academic studies that have been done by people who are very sympathetic to Web 2.0 and networks, people like Clay Shirky and Duncan Watts, show that the whole decision making process tends to become a robotic routine. One person makes a decision, and everyone else falls in line.

It’s a refreshing perspective and nice to read a contrarian view, enough to make me want to buy the book.

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[Copyleft] Obama And The Copyright Act

Posted by Lex Fear on February 20, 2009

From Wired:

In a few weeks, we’ll likely know the Obama administration’s position on whether it supports hefty monetary awards in file sharing litigation brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The Bush administration’s position was clear. It supported the Copyright Act‘s penalties of up to $150,000 per infringed song.

“Congress acted reasonably in crafting the current incarnation by ensuring that it serves both a compensatory and deterrent purpose. Congress established a damages range that provides compensation for copyright owners in a regime in which actual damages are hard to quantify,” the Bush administration wrote in 2007.

Now it’s President Barack Obama’s turn, and we’ll see how tight he is with Hollywood.

One thing I’ve thought about that I don’t see mentioned anywhere by bloggers and media, is a challenge to how the MAFIAA justify their 9-to-1 ratio cost of a single music track.

No, I don’t mean how constitutional or fair it is, I mean challenging it on the basis of lost profits. Surely, after winning* their lawsuit against Jammie Thomas, all lawsuits should have stopped right there. You see they didn’t just sue Jammie Thomas for the tracks that she had downloaded or owned (worth approximately $1 a piece) they sued her for all the other people who otherwise would have bought the shared track too**.

Therefore if the MAFIAA recovered all that lost profit from Jammie Thomas (and someone can’t own one downloaded file twice over), then the score is even and there are no further profit losses i.e. no further lawsuits needed!

Am I just stating the obvious that no-one has thought up yet, or am I missing something?

*I say ‘won’, but it’s been public knowledge for a while now that the original judge has dismissed the original trial as a mistrial and it will be heard again.
**I’m obviously ignoring the fact that ( a ) many filesharers will buy an album anyway and ( b ) many other fileshares would not even buy if it was not available for download – so no profit to be had in the first place.

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Posted in Bad Company, Bollotics, Buyer Beware, Copywrong, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Takeback, Technology, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Your Data] How Often Have They Lost Your Data

Posted by Lex Fear on February 17, 2009

Open Rights Group have a questionnaire which should tell you!

via: Ideal Government

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Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Copywrong, Databases, Financial Terrorism, Free as in Speech, Minitruth, Pharisees, Predatory Systems, Realpolitik, Technology, Uncircumcised Philistines, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Detux] 2 Years of Ubuntu

Posted by Lex Fear on January 30, 2009

It’s almost 2 years since I freed myself of Microsoft’s propriety OS and I’ve even converted my wife (though she occasionally falls back onto MS Office when OpenOffice just doesn’t quite do it the way she wants).

I’m still using Ubuntu, despite playing with other distros, I’ve found myself coming back just because of the great support forums and hardware support. I use Red Hat Linux at work and on a VM, but with my home PCs I just want it to work out of the box as much as possible, I don’t want to spend time installing wireless drivers or tweaking xorg.conf – I think this is the success of Ubuntu.

My desktop PC is now running Ubuntu Ultimate Edition, after running Linux Mint for a few months. My Ubuntu installation was crashing every time I plugged in an external drive, Mint performed better but even after upgrading my PSU I had the ocassional crash. Ultimate Edition seems to have cured it and had no problems when I added a 500gb internal drive.
Ultimate Edition also has some wicked themes and pretty much all the software you’ll need pre-installed. So the lesson is, if you distro isn’t quite working, try out a derivative or another one entirely. Some are more stable due to later upgrades.

Anytime I have to log into a Windows machine I am reminded of why I switched and no matter how bad problems can get with Linux, all I need is to boot into my Windows partition to remember how bad things really could be!

The lastest Ubuntu distro now comes with a handy USB Live Disc creator which came in handy when I wanted to replace the old, outdated default Windows XP Home Edition on my new Samsung NC10. For anyone that has an NC10 and wants to put freedom on it, this blog was a lifesaver – read before you start, there are a few customisations needed after install.

The NC10 has an 89% full size keyboard which I’m using right now, so it’s not difficult to type on. It has 1gb ram, Atom processor and 160gb hard drive, the spec is so good I’m using it instead of my work laptop – even running VMware player.

It’s light weight and 6 hours battery life means I can use it on the tube or long car journeys. I occasionally download and read graphic novels with Comix or Okular, it’s just the right size to rotate the book 90º and hold the netbook lengthways like the way books are supposed to be read. I even found a neat little script to rotate pages of pdf files automatically using pdftk.

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Posted in Free as in Speech, Open Source, Opinion, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Housing Market] Don’t Get Fooled Again…

Posted by Lex Fear on October 18, 2008

So far I’ve resisted the urge to do an “I told you so…” post when it comes to the property market but I still get the distinct feeling that the general populace still hasn’t ‘got it’ when it comes to booms and busts – despite the fact there is now more information in the public domain than ever before – so much so that we should never be screwed over by an estate agent or indeed any salesman ever again!

I know that the past has always shown a trend of cycles, booms and busts, whatever you want to call them, it’s called the market – some win (those that do their research) some lose (everyone else). What the future holds, I don’t know. If enough people get hold of the information which is free and out there, I know it can change significantly, if enough people would only accept reasonably prices for housing, for example, there would be no booms. Imagine if people simply logged onto HPC or Property Snake, whilst having a gander at Our Property and the land registry prices for a street before bidding on a house… then maybe we could have a real truthful stable economy.. or at least stable housing market. Might even get fairer council taxes too…

For those of you that like a bit of schadenfreude (since no-one can get a mortgage or in their right mind would be buying now) I found a new tool the other day, Property Bee, which works as an extension to Firefox. What Property Bee does is collect data from users browsing a number of different property sites (eg. Rightmove) then inject it into the webpage as you surf to show you changes to the advertised details including prices. It also works for rentals.

What Property Bee does well is expose the dodgy underhand practices, reduction in asking prices and length of time a property has lay stagnant on the market. Property Bee gives power to the buyer and if enough people adopt this tool then it could really make difference for the future.

Check out this advertisement for example. £99,975 shared ownership, £199,950 original price… really? Install Property Bee and check out the history.

The tools are there, for free, when property passes the despair/blow off stage and begins to climb (and we have a few years yet) the there will ben no reasons left to fall for an estate agents claptrap again, ever.

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Posted in Buyer Beware, Financial Terrorism, Housing Market Myths, Profiteering, Property Market, Technology, Wealth Creation, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Leave a Comment »

[Paradigms] Profits… Follow Up to the Last Post

Posted by Lex Fear on September 25, 2008

This is a follow up to my last post (Hearts and Minds).

“But how will anyone make a profit if intellectual property is made free?” I hear you cry.

Simple.

Outside of the BBC, advertising seems to suit most TV and radio networks, even as they move more of their media onto the internet, there is still room for product placements and advertising between shows/performances. Merchandising and hard-copy materials work well too. After all, where do radio stations get all their songs from? Do you think the record industry makes them purchase every single song individually*? No they get free samplers sent to them – would you believe it – to promote the artist?

The MAFIAA missed a trick with P2P, it could have been a huge profit making machine, instead they reacted like Luddites confronted with a mobile phone – they tried to smash it. The problem is they didn’t realise that what they were dealing with was effectively an Uber-Hydra – each time the MAFIAA close down a p2p outfit – they spawn so many more new ones.

The recent release of Heroes Season 3: Villains has broken records on BitTorrent downloads (yup, I have seen it 😀 ) – 92% downloaded from outside the US. The reason for this is obviously the delayed release of most good things that come out of the US.

But is there any need for the delay? I suspect, without researching, it has something to do with other countries networks gaging reception of a show in the States before deciding to bid and purchase it for their network – but is there any reason to do this for tried and tested shows like Heroes? Is there any need for it in the digital age where the rest of the world can access US websites and sneak peek info before it’s even released in the States?

It’s a tired old cliche but it must be said again and again until The Power(less) That Be sit up and take notice. The media industry is still trying to make an old business model fit into a new mould that just wont take it – like putting old wine into new wineskins, a square peg into a round hole.

I noticed the BBC is advertising Heroes Season 3 now. Bravo! Was it that Season 2 was so short, or is it fear of losing the market to filesharers? After all, if the show is available over BitTorrent, ad free and released just a few hours after it airs in the States, what is the point of even running the series on TV anymore?

As the world increasingly turns to the net, and as filesharing gains more followers and more social acceptance, media companies based not-in-the States are going to find it harder and harder to drive a profit. And sod it if I’m going to purchase Sky just so I can watch Lost.

So what can media companies do? Well, the BBC is OK for now, no-one should give a rats-ass about the BBC because they basically tax the British public and will suffer no loss from advertising revenue. For every other network on the planet, here’s a few ideas:

  • Release US shows as soon as possible, don’t wait for scheduling, get them on air
  • Embrace the web. Enable people to log on and catch up or download online (that means us Freetards too)! Link to US network counterparts and create more content.
  • Stop releasing Season Box Sets as Part 1 (12 episodes) and Part 2 (12 episodes). The British public are not that gullible (are they?)!
  • Embrace P2P. There is a reason leaked pilots find their way onto BitTorrent.

Ask yourself this. What if your network was to sell advertising on their own BitTorrent tracker? What if TV networks were to ‘leak’ the episodes about to air on BitTorrent, wrapped in and advertisement bundle? One ad at the beginning of the recording, one in the middle, one at the end? Sure people might repackage it without the ads, but if you get that episode onto a BitTorrent tracker first, it will already have the largest download and seeding! Most people are not going to bother repackaging it, or trying to find one that doesn’t have advertising, since all they want to do is watch the show- they would put up with one or two ads.

Selling advertising content on TV Shows released through BitTorrent would be simple, effective and easy to track. Simply calculate revenues by the number of downloads and you have your profit, as well as subsidising revenues lost from the traditional TV presentation.

I can’t actually believe that no mainstream content provider has actually worked this out yet! When they do, the MAFIAA will be all but dead in the water, and the friendship between media companies and consumers will once again be restored.

As it happens I use BitTorrent but when a show is a good as Lost or Heroes I buy the box sets, especially for the extras. It’s nice to own a hardcopy of something, and I like to get my monies worth. So here’s to the creators of these fine TV shows, let’s hope they see the light and a way to make both money and friends through filesharing!

*I’m well aware that radio stations need to purchase a license to play but this is something rather different to individual copyright enforcement.

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[Acts of God] Hearts and Minds

Posted by Lex Fear on September 25, 2008

Two pieces of good news today which gives me pause for thought… Filesharer Jammie Thomas has been granted a retrial by the judge who sentenced her last year.

“Minnesota Federal beak Michael Davis said he had given an incorrect instruction to the jury on the level of proof required by the Recording Industry Ass. of America. He had told jurors last year that the act of “making [music files] available” via a peer to peer network was sufficient to prove unauthorised distribution of copyright material without evidence that others had downloaded the files.”

<snip>

Although he wasn’t considering the fine levied against Thomas in the original trial, in his judgment Davis said Congress should re-examine the law on copyright infringement, calling it “wholly disproportionate”. “Her alleged acts were illegal, but common. Her status as a consumer who was not seeking to harm her competitors or make a profit does not excuse her behavior. But it does make the award of hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages unprecedented and oppressive,” he wrote.” – RIAA filesharing target Jammie Thomas wins retrial – El Reg

The second bit of good news, however it comes with a twist, is the European Parliament have wisely thrown out the “Three-Strikes” law when it comes to copyright infringement.

“The amendment, drafted by Guy Bono and other members of the European Parliament, was adopted by an overwhelming majority. 573 parliament members voted in favor while only 74 rejected. Satisfied with this outcome, Bono stated in a response to the vote: “You do not play with individual freedoms like that,” and said that the French government should review its three-strikes law.” – European Parliament Says No to Three-Strikes Law – TorrentFreak

Could this be a possible turning point in history, are our leaders finally coming round to the 21st Century and understanding of technology and innovation?

I’ve always believed in a God that is involved with life on earth in both a grand and intimate scale. I don’t believe God sends earthquakes and tornadoes in order to bring punishment to any region, I don’t believe he speaks and commands suicide bombers or terrorists to fly into buildings, but I do believe he is intimately involved in human affairs to bring about creativity and invention, justice and mercy.

I believe in a creative God, a God who fashioned humans in his image – that means we got his characteristic creativity as well. It is on display everywhere we look; invention, design, industry and the arts. Creation is in us and is a part of our human identity. I also believe, in a broader sense, that Jesus was and is a file sharer.

Jesus’ primary goal was to get the good news out. He didn’t care much for any authority that stood in the way, and he certainly didn’t issue copyright disclaimers on his stories or words. If he had, we might never had heard of the carpenter from Galilee. If Jesus was physically walking the earth today, I believe that he would be utilizing p2p networks to share all sorts of Christian media – words, songs and movies. The RIAA would probably play the part of the Romans (on behalf of copyright owners such as Hillsong) and do their bit to crucify him for this, of course.

The point is, BitTorrent is a creative invention. It is a great invention for spreading information more quickly and efficiently than any other source on the tubes. I believe God has had a hand in human invention from the beginning, gifting us with ideas and intellect, and I believe he has his hand in technology even today.

They burned the first man to translate the Bible into English in an attempt to supress the free sharing of this valuable information with the common people. How quickly they forgot that sharing of information and communion is at the core of the Christian message, and how lost are we now that the church employs the very same techniques as the world to ‘protect’ it’s ‘intellectual property’? The church has forgotten the words of the psalmist in Psalm 24:1.

So although many on both sides may disagree with me for different reasons, I believe that God has had his hand on proceedings in both of these cases today. I believe God wants us to have an open and free society more than anyone can realise or imagine. He doesn’t have to place the literal ideas in our head, or force our hands to work, he has already created the desire, the passion and the spirit, this is all that is needed for justice and creativity to prevail.

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Posted in Apologetics, Copywrong, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Opinion, Technology, The Purpose Missing Church | 1 Comment »