Archive : Category

MasterCard Now Teams with RIAA and MPAA

POSTED ON December 27th  - POSTED IN news, Opinion
Mastercard

Image via Wikipedia

This is one of those stories that really, really makes me want to get up on my soapbox.  This type of thing has been going on too often and too long.  The United States Government is simply letting it and, more often than not, condoning it.

According to this article at MYCE, MasterCard is in favor of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).  That is not surprising.  While I understand that MasterCard has the right to deny service to anyone for any reason, I wonder if they know that consumers can choose which credit card companies to use?
I am sorry but a court of law and only a court of law should be used to rule on copyright infringement.  Given the state of intellectual property law in our country, it unfortunately seems that even the courts do not grasp the new media order.
The reason the the MPAA and the RIAA need to form “partnerships” is because they have been less than successful with the “sue em all” method.  They spent 16 million in 2008 to be awarded 391,000 dollars.  Another source adds up several years worth of legal fees and recovery to conclude that they are getting about 2 dollars for every 98 spent.
The logic of these two organizations defies logic.  Here are just a few of their brilliant ideas;
To let private entities act as law enforcement is just wrong.  The recent rash of take downs at Thanksgiving is an example of Homeland Security rashly acting without any due process.  What do you think is going to happen when corporations start to form “partnerships” and decide who get service or not?  What are you going to do when these racketeering organizations “partner” with your ISP?
There are many legal download sites.  There is a whole movement of fan supported films that are legal and “pay what you wish”.  Trust me, the RIAA and the MPAA are not going to check and see whether your activity is legal or not.  They would just ask you to be disconnected and it would be up to you to vindicate yourself.
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Look Mommy Bullets – Loaded Pistol Magazine found on Passenger Flight – Go TSA!

POSTED ON November 24th  - POSTED IN Holiday, news, Opinion, Things that make you go hmmm
Transportation Security Administration officer...
Image via Wikipedia

Over at Lumpy’s Corner, I actually have a category “Hmmm” and another “Things that make you go Hmmm”

Seems the TSA is everywhere in the news these days and it just keeps getting better. According to an article at gawker some child found a loaded pistol magazine on a flight. The airline was quick with an announcement stating that they thought it belonged to a federal law enforcement agent and would try and get it back to him.

Hmmm. Makes you feel so much safer doesn’t. They did, however, make ALL the passengers go through and extra screening… Maybe that was just in case the fed forgot his gun too. I am sure he would want that back as well.

I hope they try just as hard to get your luggage to you.  So remember, as you grope, er travel about the country this holiday season, if you happen to see a federal law officer, be nice, ask him if he remembered his bullets.

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Federal Reserve Bank Hacked by Lin Mun Poo

POSTED ON November 22nd  - POSTED IN news, Opinion
Federal Reserve Bank Cleveland
Image by Craig Hatfield via Flickr

A Malaysian man, Lin Mun Poo, has quite a nice “black hat” resume going for him. I don’t know how well that will work out for him though.  His name may be fitting for I do believe he is in deep shit.  Then again, considering what he, apparently single handedly, pulled off so are all of us.

I originally got wind of this via Slashdot which described it as scary, the MSNBC article is even scarier…

Poo was arrested by Secret Service agents last month shortly after flying into New York’s John F. Kennedy airport with a “heavily encrypted” laptop computer containing a “massive quantity of stolen financial account data,” including more than 400,000 credit card, debit card and bank account numbers, according to a letter filed by federal prosecutors last week laying out a “factual proffer” of their evidence against Poo.

Lin Mun Poo allegedly hacked a network of 10 computers at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland and the network of a major defense department contractor. Another question raised by the MSNBC article is if this Malaysian guy can do it what to you think China could do? I am not so sure that any particular country produces better hackers than others. However, if he did this alone, what can a team of hackers, sponsored and trained by an opposing government?

This is just a sign of things to come. I think we need to focus less on genitalia at the airports and more on cyber attacks. Seriously, why hijack a plane to take out a single building when one can hack a network and take down a whole power grid, nuclear facility or, even better, insert launch codes.

Related articles

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A Very Kewl Video Song

POSTED ON November 16th  - POSTED IN Comedy, music, news, Opinion, videos
Screening Checkpoint at Boston Logan Internati...
Image via Wikipedia

Don’t Grope Me.  Least not at an airport.

Found this one at a post over at Boing! Boing!

It is an opinion on the TSA, the Transportation Security Administration, (maybe better put Touch, Stroke All?).

I don’t know why but this one reminds me of that old tune, well not that old, “Right Place Wrong Time”.  Just be honest, who wouldn’t enjoy a good grope in the right place at the right time… Maybe we should also add with the right person.

I have heard of sensitivity training.. maybe the TSA employees should have to randomly “search” each other and pass through radiation, would they grasp it better then?  Is it not a reasonable request?  Don’t grope me dude, or dudette!

I am one who might like my genitals fondled by the right person in the right place, does not care to go through the process at an airport.  While I may not be opposed to a good groping and some kink, the airport is not on my list of “where to do its”.  I am also TOTALLY not into being photographed nude.

Let’s not even get into the fact that it is a radiation photo.  Point 02, or whatever, shouldn’t you need my permission to dose me?

Sorry, folks… this is just total BS.   What the <insert your own word here> happened to “Innocent until proven guilty”?

Kudos to Jonathan Mann for this video on the topic of getting groped, scanned and/or detained at the airport.  You can listen to it and download it for a buck at his site.

Greyhound and Amtrak are looking good to this yank.

RockMelt Browser, is it for You?

POSTED ON November 10th  - POSTED IN news, Opinion
Image representing RockMelt as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Yesterday, I got something I was eagerly waiting for… a RockMelt invite. I was pretty excited. Thank You, Chris Pirillo, it was as if you read my mind. I got the invite in less than 48 of my request via FaceBook.
I was also rather excited when I first heard of Flock. I tried the beta, have tried several newer versions since and Flock, in my opinion, flopped. Then I was excited when I heard Parakey was in the works, then I was disappointed when FaceBook bought it. Then, I got wind of another rumor. In short, I have been looking for a browser more oriented to social media for a long while.
I agree with the man who sent me the invite, browsers are a personal choice, and I also accept that it might not be your personal choice. Chris seems to like it but, as he points out, Scoble seems to have reservations. Boing Boing likened it to an explosion.
While I was pressed for time last night due to a meeting obligation, immediately after the meeting, I downloaded and installed this new browser. The first thing I did was message Chris via FaceBook and thank him. (He message back within seconds. I would say that integration works.) Then I stayed up, online, surfing way later than I should have, toying with the new browser.

Creative Commons License Respected in Belgium Court

POSTED ON November 9th  - POSTED IN music, news, Opinion
A vector-based version of CC_SomeRightsReserve...
Image via Wikipedia

I caught this one off of my TechDirt feed.  It seems that a band had licensed a work under a Creative Commons License. While there are several types of Creative Commons Licenses, they are all pretty much self descriptive.    More specifically, in this court case, it was  a non-commercial, non-derivative, attribution type of license.  So it is okay to use such a piece, unaltered, non-commercially and attribution must be given.  According to the TechDirt Article and and article it references at Technollama, a movie theater not only used it in a commercial but gave no attribution and altered it slightly!

The band opted not to accept a settlement and sued for copyright infringement.  The Belgium Court agreed, from Technollama;

The court acknowledged the licensing under the CC license and the fact that the theater did not respect any of the license features:

  • no attribution was made
  • the music was slightly modified for the ad
  • the advertisement, even for a theater was a commercial use prohibited by the license.

The actual documents are available but they are in French. From what I see, the theater violated every term of the license. The band was awarded 4500€, 1500 Euros for each attribution of the license not respected.

I find this to be most interesting in terms of appropriate intellectual property rights. First, it shows that, at least in Belgium, the courts have respected the CC license.  There was a violation of how the artists wished their material distributed, the theater, although claiming good will and ignorance, violated the license.

Second, the case was directly between the right holder and the violator (and, unlike the RIAA cases the accused knew they were being sued).  I don’t know how much or how little the settlement actually adds up to.  Doing a quick Google search, I am told it is just over 6,250 US Dollars.

I reckon the RIAA would think that figure low.  I also have to wonder how many “infringed” RIAA artists have seen that much money in a settlement?

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Your Gonna Sue Me but what if I Sue You First?

POSTED ON November 5th  - POSTED IN news, Opinion

This one is too funny.  Seems the parody site Lamebook, after receiving a cease and dessist, beat old BookFace to the punchline  punch.  They sued first!

Facebook will sue practically anyone who has a website with “book” in the title, so it was only a matter of time before it set upon Lamebook, what with the entire site premised on profiting from free content provided by Facebook users. (Only Facebook can do that, duh.) After Facebook sent Lamebook a cease and desist letter a few months ago, Lamebook decided to file a preemptive lawsuit on First Amendment grounds, claiming the site is obviously a parody, and they’re not copying Facebook in order to literally launch a lame version of Facebook. (Because it already exists: It’s called Facebook. HA.) They’re seeking a judgment that would prevent Facebook from suing them in the future.

Source

Good to know that parodies are still protected.  It is an ugly intellectual property world out there and, yes, one should protect the brand they create.  However, to whomever is counsel over at BookFace, are you not intelligent enough to see that it is clearly not a bad copy of your site?  It is a parody of your bad site.  The best thing is, you got beat and now are the butt of the joke.   Seriously,  sometimes it is all about the delivery.  I hope you, at least, sued the right company.

EFF to Sue FBI, DEA and DOJ – Not Your Typical Alphabet War

POSTED ON November 3rd  - POSTED IN EFF, news, Opinion
EFF_logo_notype_black
Image by ElectronicFrontierFoundation via Flickr

Whole lotta letters it dat thur title eh?  Kinda fancy smancy make me look smart kinda talk.   Actually, it is much, much simpler than that.  First off, what do all of those letters really mean?

  • EFF – TheElectronic Frontier Foundation – These are the good guys, they beat up the RIAA (Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity), defend your privacy rights and even argue against DRM (that anti-piracy stuff that means you need a virgin sacrifice to transfer stuff from your iPod to your Zune.  Since pirates don’t care and hack it regardless, it now stands for Don’t Really Matter).  They are kind of old fashioned in the sense that they still believe in probable cause and due process, personal privacy and such.  This is one major difference between them and those that follow… on to the rest of the “alphabet boys”
  • FBI – That one, I reckon, many of you know as the Federal Bureau of  Investigation, historically and supposedly one of the good guys who are supposed to protect and serve but, lately, they are seeking Gestapo-like authority
  • DEADrug Enforcement Agency – Also, according to what I was taught in school, one of the good guys
  • DOJ – Department of Justice – Pretty self descriptive, so much so that we even use the “o” in the acronym.  Hate to confuse them with a DJ.  Personally they seem mighty confused at the moment.   How did this department ever get involved in spying?  Shouldn’t they be more about due process and such?

Have you noticed that all of the letters above are supposed to be the good guys?  Well, as my Uncle Fictitious used to always say “there is often a fine grey line between deception and total evil”.   The issue has to do with encryption and privacy.  For those of you who may not know it, encryption is a method of scrambling your data so that some needs a “key” to interpret it.  If you don’t have the key, you get gibberish.  Now any encryption can be hacked but, if the encryption is any good, it is a long, difficult and time-consuming process.

The iPogo?

POSTED ON November 2nd  - POSTED IN Opinion, videos

I originally saw this over at Mashable.  It is just too funny.  I wonder if Apple is going to get salty over the use of “there’s an app for that”.  I understand they trademarked it.

I have a question. In this new media order and digital age, are there anythings left that “there isn’t an app for that”? and can anyone point me to the “Get Nicole Kidman to call me app”?

Counting Votes

POSTED ON August 24th  - POSTED IN news, Opinion, Podcasts
Play
Honest Abe's ELECTRONIC Voting Machine

Image by damaradeaella via Flickr

Indie Nation listeners, Lumpy logging into the Indie Nation Newsroom on Tuesday, 24 August, 2010… Today is primary election day in Florida, the state where your vote counts and counts and counts.  In honor of that fact, this news segment is about voting machines.

From Techdirt.com, Indian authorities have arrested Haral Prasad.  Mr. Prasad released a research report recently which stated that the electronic voting machines were not secure.  So why was he arrested and taken to Mumbai some 14 hours from his home?  Because the authorities need to know where he got the machine from that he used for his research.  Hey, Indian authorities, is it not a bit more pressing that there are LOTS of those machines used in your elections?

Moving on to something that is just as disturbing but done in a lighter manner.  No arrest involved here, also no broken “tamper resistant” seals on the electronic voting machine.  Check out the video post over at Boing! Boing! Yes you can cast your vote on the Sequoia Edge touch screen DRE voting machine and, then!  Play Pac Man!  The only thing that concerns me is are they going to be playing games with elections as well?

Remember listeners you can check news links and source links out at indienation.fm All news posts are tagged with “news”. This particular post will be tagged voting machine, vote, and Pac Man.  It will be titled “Counting Votes”.

Indie Nation listeners, the views expressed in this news cast are my own and/or the many voices that dwell inside my head and are not to be construed as those of the station and/or any of the other staff.  They may well be nothing more than a delusion.  Also, of note, 6 of the voices wish to note that they are not their view either.

Re-Post “Why I have a Problem with the RIAA”

POSTED ON August 12th  - POSTED IN music, Opinion, RIAA

This post goes back a few years, it was first published by me back in 2003. I didn’t realize I had been on this crusade that long, but I have. Unfortunately, little has changed… Personally, my biggest change is that I now only seek indie music and don’t really miss the same dozen or so songs on the radio.

The RIAA’s “About Us” page reads as follows;

“The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade group that represents the U.S.recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members’ creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies that comprise the most vibrant national music industry in the world. RIAA members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conduct consumer industry and technical research; and monitor and review – – state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™, and Diamond® sales awards, and recently launched Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, a new award celebrating Latin music sales.”1

The statement just doesn’t sit right with me. My intent here is to analyze it line by line. I believe that actions and logic speak louder than words. I intend to take a look the words, their actions and logically analyze them. This is my opinion. I do not intend to litter this work with numerous citations and facts. This is a human being expressing his right to free speech. His ability to remember things accurately and his ability to free think.

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