Friday, 19 November 2010

Day 324, on which John mourns for the internet [19.11.10]

Dag tre hundrede fireogtyve. Well lookie here, it's my birthday plus one month. I can't believe I've been 16 for a whole month, it hasn't really sunk in yet to say the least. I also can't believe it's not butter, but that's a totally different matter. Well, I know what you want to hear about. You want to hear how my design presentation went. Yeah, you do. 'Cause you care about me and all. Nah, I know you don't give a flying fuck but that's all I have to write in this intro aside from something about butter so lemme talk.

It went really well, the presentation bit, but they sure tore into us in the Q&A afterwards. "Is is sustainable?" they ask. Well shut up you judges, it's kinda sustainable but - this may be a new concept to you - being a sustainable product should not be the product's USP (unique selling point). Bit of freedom of design there for you. And, Mr. Headteacher, the inner mechanisms of the clock do work, you just can't get your brain around them. That is all.

Please please please watch the following video. Though it may be six minutes long a bit slow and flabby at times, it's essential watching for every user of the internet. Why? Because it explains ACTA. What's ACTA? ACTA is a policy currently being discussed in secret which will soon be presented to the US and EU courts and may well be put into place. But how does it influence us? Well, it basically means anything you download from the internet will be monitored and if that download is someone else's creative property, your ISP will shut down your internet connection and you might get sued or put in jail if the owner of the file follows you up. The idea is to stop people pirating movies and music, but in fact this will ruin the entire internet as we know it. Just watch:

One of my friends put this on his Facebook and added the comment: "This policy will destroy the internet", and he is more right than he could ever imagine. If, by some freak chance, ACTA gets put through and will be enforced, the internet is fucked. No other way of saying it, sorry lads. The point of the internet is to share, but if we can't even share anything, what's the point? The video mentions that if you email a news article to a friend, that's an ACTA offense. Two problems here: a) you're not using the news article to pass it off as your own, simply linking to it, no downloading and b) it is a human rights offense to read people's emails. The ISPs should be taken down if they even try to look at people's private emails. Sure, it's not on the list of human rights, but it is practically a human right.

But there are several reasons why ACTA may not be put through:

  • The courts and governments may not accept it. The US is more likely to, but considering the number of people in the EU parliament, it's near impossible for it to get accepted.
  • The ISPs would be under enormous pressure to uphold the policy
  • The entire world would be a legal nightmare with people suing other people for every little thing
  • Creatives, who ACTA should really help, will in fact not be helped as they lose the right to take existing songs/movies and adapt them or download them as research or remake them with credit.
  • It's a human rights offense, as aforementioned
  • It's very similar to 1984, and we all know how that ended.
So even though it will probably not be put through, I think it's important to note that there are still assholes out there having very powerful meetings, seriously considering doing this to us. It's not a concept, it's something which is being talked about and negotiated as we speak. If they do implement it, I will be one of the 1.5 billion internet users who is now at the mercy of the music and film industry (who are backing ACTA). But we can fight back. My friend suggested DOS'ing government websites. If we all upload 10 viruses or useless files to a government website, that's potentially 15 billion DOSs to the site, thus it will crash and burn. If blamming the government 'til they give in doesn't work, we can always just create a new internet. It sounds crazy, but if one guy did it before, 1.5 billion people sure as hell can do it again. The cleverest people in the world use the internet, even Tim Berners-Lee does, and we can just set up a new internet and get people to download a program which will browse it and start all over again. Because we are the internet, we are one, and we will never let anyone take away our right to share. Never.


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