Google to Put Copyright Laws to the Test

Tony Sanfilippo is of two minds when it comes to Google Inc.'s
ambitious program to scan millions of books and make their text fully
searchable on the Internet.

On the one hand, Sanfilippo credits the program for boosting sales of
obscure titles at Penn State University Press, where he works. On the other,
he's worried that Google's plans to create digital copies of books obtained
directly from libraries could hurt his industry's long-term revenues.

With Google's book-scanning program set to resume in earnest this fall,
copyright laws that long preceded the Internet look to be headed for a
digital-age test.

The outcome could determine how easy it will be for people with Internet
access to benefit from knowledge that's now mostly locked up — in books
sitting on dusty library shelves, many of them out of print.

"The Art and Politics of Netporn"

September 30 & October 1 2005

De Badcuyp, Amsterdam

For more information: 020 5951866

Supported by: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and Interactive Media, Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

In the weekend of September 30 and October 1, the ‘Badcuyp’ in
Amsterdam will host the first conference on Internet pornography, entitled ‘The Art & Politcs of Netporn’. This international event, organized by the Institute of Network Cultures, will include
presentations from a broad selection of artists and researchers from all over the world. All of them have been researching the subject of Internet pornography in their own individual ways. The event’s grand finale will be a ‘porn pour porn soiree’, a festive night with
various performances and screenings. The party will kick off with a presentation of Katrien Jacobs’ new book ‘Libidoc’, about her quest for sex artists all around the world.

Even in this modern age, Internet pornography is a subject that makes most people uncomfortable. The common image isn’t pretty, since the subject is mostly related to raunchiness, exploitation, ‘strange people’ with awkward sexual preferences, and dubious networks and practices. The Art and Politics of Netporn wants to draw attention to the other side of this phenomenon by focusing on the political and economical implications of netporn, as well as to the ethical and aesthetic aspects of digital communities (i.e. weblogs, chat groups, mailing lists and webzines). These relatively new forms of
communication enable people to meet up anonymously, form communities, or present themselves while having creative control over the process of communciation.To provide us with an alternative view on netporn, the conference organization has also invited artists whose work
reflects different ideas on sexuality and who have appropriated the language or specific qualities of Internet pornography. The Art and Politics of Netporn challenges the visitors to discuss the current social climate of heightened control over information processes and the power of censorship. Who gets to decide what we are allowed to see, and what are the limits to our freedom?

"Endless, Multilayered, Super-Fast and Infinitely Complex Boredom: Hooray"

Matthew Fuller

What makes software jump? What words, what
styles of thought do we need to understand
running code and the multi-layered compositions
it is part of, and how, if at all, does software
establish relations with what might termed
freedom? Such questions, of how to act in and
understand complex technologies and live
situations are not unique to technology, and for
a figure by which to understand them, it is often
useful to start from the wrong place, not with
software, but with a frog. In his book Lifelines
the biologist Steven Rose describes the way in
which a number of his workmates might, whilst
sitting at the edge of a pond, compete to
describe the leap of a frog. By trade, they are a
physiologist, an ethologist, a developmentalist,
an evolutionist and a molecular biologist. Each
sets their particular disciplinary scale of
perception against those of the others. The
frog, responding not to the nattering of the
knowledge workers but to a snake spotted on a
nearby tree splashes elegantly into the safety of
a pond. The representatives of their disciplines
each in turn ascribe the 'jump event' to: the
interaction of nerves, muscles and bones
containing and releasing structured patterns of
energy and movement; learned or grown behavioural
responses; the result of the particular pattern
of growth of the organism; the action of an
inherited genetic imperative; or the biochemical
properties of its muscles.

As the ripples in the pond spread and interact
with other movements in the water, Rose's
argument is to encourage equally multivalent ways
of thinking a non-reductive biology of
life-patterns. Whilst, in his experiments on the
physiology of memory, there can be few people in
the world who have scissored as many heads off
hatchling chicks, Rose's appetite for a wet,
complex, living biology is something from which,
with all necessary irony, our understanding of
software can learn. The trick for biology as a
whole, he suggests, is to find a way of engaging
both the volition to detail entrained by
disciplinary approaches, which are in turn geared
to particular constituent scales of reality,
those of the gene, the molecule, the organism and
so on, whilst at the same time recognizing the
radical interweaving of such scales.

"Bush Administration To Keep Control
of Internet's Central Computers"

Gary Younge,
The Guardian

The Bush administration has decided to retain control over the principal computers
which control internet traffic in a move likely to prompt global opposition, it was
claimed yesterday. The US had pledged to turn control of the 13 computers known as
root servers — which inform web browsers and email programs how to direct internet
traffic — over to a private, international body. But on Thursday the US reversed
its position, announcing that it will maintain control of the computers because of
growing security threats and the increased reliance on the internet for global

Alternative Servers Attacked:
"Not a Private Question:
A Question of

Indymedia Bristol

Two alternative servers have been attacked by the police: The Italian independent
non-profit server Autistici and the server of Indymedia Bristol, a local
alternative media project.

On Monday, June 27th, Indymedia Bristol's server was seized by the police. Last
week, police demanded access to the server to gain the IP details of a posting. The
alternative media outlet is receiving advice from civil liberties organisations and
the NUJ. Before being legally forced to hand over the server, Indymedia Bristol
stated: "We do not intend to voluntarily hand over information to the police as
they have requested".

Italy-based server Autistici found out that the authorities have copied the keys
necessary for the decryption of their webmail a year ago. Since
then, the authorities potentially had access to all the data on the disks.
Autistici's provider did not inform them about this. Apparently, this is connected
to the same investigation as the one that caused an international law enforcement
operation in London last October: A few days before the European Social Forum,
Indymedia servers in London were seized, prompting a wave of solidarity statements.

Note: Indymedia UK is preparing to provide grass-roots non-corporate coverage for
the forthcoming G8 protests and events. Additional http mirrors would help with
increased traffic and external disruptions. If you can offer a mirror, mail Donations can be sent here.

This has been given yesterday to the EU embassies
in Sofia. The initiative is of the
(Free Software Society)

The "Bulgarian Declaration" of IT

We, Bulgarian IT companies, declare:

In the near future, The European Parliament will vote on a
directive that will, in fact, legalize the patents in the

As citizens of a state that soon will be an EU member, we are very embarrassed by this development. It contradicts directly with the interests of EU and the European IT business. And, since these interests are ours, too, we are concerned.

Surveillance Camera Players writes

"Surveillance Cameras in Harlem"

Not Bored

"[In the 1930s and '40s] after-hours clubs thrived on white celebrities and society folks and those slummers weren't mistreated — the ex-slaves stood off to the side in awe, watching the wealthy visitors like they was gods arriving for inspection. Crimes were ten to one in Brooklyn and the Bronx compared to Harlem — man, we policed the district ourself for muggers 'cause we knew it would kill business. But the white press ran night-life business out of Harlem with propaganda that still lasts today — that in every shadow there's a big black nigger with a knife or gun ready to rape or stick up white folks." — Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog, 1971.

In June 2001, members of the New York Surveillance Camera Players (SCP–New York) scouted and mapped out the locations of public surveillance cameras in a portion of Harlem, a large and very famous neighborhood in Manhattan. Once called Spanish Harlem, this Upper East Side neighborhood in New York City is defined to the south and north by 125th and 135th Streets, and to the east and west by Lexington Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The SCP–New York chose this area for mapping because, as recently as 1998, it was still pocked by large numbers of abandoned buildings and empty lots where burnt-out buildings used to stand, and so could be used as a starting point for documenting the connections between public surveillance and capitalist reclamation ("gentrification").

Surveillance Camera Players writes:

1,400 Percent Growth in Surveillance Cameras
Manhattan's Lower East Side

Formerly a completely immigrant (mostly Jewish and Latino) neighborhood, the Lower East Side (LES) fell prey to speculation and gentrification in the mid-1990s, when it came to be called "the East Village." (Note: there is no "West Village," there's only Greenwich Village, of which the LES has never been a part.) Since the mid-1990s, rents in the LES have increased dramatically, squatters have been illegally evicted and their buildings have been demolished, community gardens have been auctioned off and then destroyed, and gleaming homes, restaurants and "hip" shops for yuppies have been constructed in their places. And yet (fortunately!) the place remains a gritty and relatively undesirable place for yuppies to breed. There is little subway service and the immense Con Edison power-plant on 14th Street and Avenue D — which has been closed off to the public since 11 September 2001 — regularly spews poisons into the air.

"Loading Error...:

Tenth Anniversary of the First Netstrike"

Alessandro Ludovico, Springerin

You won't find many references to Tommaso Tozzi in international media art
sources. You won't find him in Wikipedia (yet), nor in MIT Press books or
Ars Electronica catalogues. Nevertheless, this Italian artist and theorist
is the inventor of one of the key online protest tools. Ten years ago he
conceived and realized the first "netstrike" (network strike) on the
Internet. It took place during the international protest against the French
atomic test at the Mururoa Atoll in Polynesia.

"Sharing Music: Property Gone Wild"
Michael Neumann, Counterpunch

No one is so naive as to think there's something intellectual or creative about 'intellectual property rights'. They protect even the worst Britney Spears wannabe from Britney-Spears-wannabe wannabes. Music company lawyers may talk about protecting an 'artist's works' against debasement or corruption, but the 'protection' of intellectual property is also a licence to debase and corrupt. For those who don't posses them, intellectual property rights do indeed protect the 'works' against debasement, or for that matter ennoblement. Those that do possess the rights to a work - not necessarily the artists themselves - can debase and corrupt it as much as they like. I'm pretty sure I've heard a composition by Little Walter, one of the three or four true giants of the blues, used to advertise tampons. Whoever came up with that had no doubt intellectual property in the music. On the other hand, the composition techniques central to classic blues, which involve extensive borrowing from others, now count as piratical. Today, Robert Johnson or Blind Lemon Jefferson would be looking at fines or lawsuits for their work.

Syndicate content