— bureaux de vizKult

Archive
Pirate Party

99% Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (still)

“I’m not interested in your creative commons bs (which those of us who actually work in media refers to as amateur licensing)” -99 Percent Films/Audrey Ewell

What’s wrong with this picture? 99 Percent Films calling Creative Commons bullshit and amateurish? And then threatening to sue an Occupy Mash-up Artist for using parts of their trailer in a remix video.  (see email exchange here: Occupy Film Threatens Lawsuit [pastbin])

Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. Since being involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement for the past 365+ days  I’ve noticed two camps, those who practice the change they want to see, and those who brand themselves and act otherwise. I’ve even seen commons focused websites enclosed with Copyright…I’ve seen groups raise over $80,000 and set up top-down companies where they expect free labor at the bottom… I’ve seen non-profits supporting workers labor rights but at the same time hiring unpaid interns.. .I’ve seen protest groups take money from the organizations they are protesting… the list goes on…

Around December of 2012, an Arts & Culture initiative that would hope to prevent these type of content copyright issues was started but very few groups participated. It was a program that would encourage content sharing within for Occupy Wall Street groups called Share OWS. Although it went through several rounds of revisions in working group meetings, very few people signed up or even wanted to help with the project. To this day, what would seem like an obvious thing -that the whole Occupy Wall Street movement is a commons to be shared and maintained by all participants – I still don’t know what people where thinking. Did they think occupy was immune to enclosure?  u at the epicenter of capitalism, Wall Street NYC, commoning is a job, it doesn’t just happen.

Anakata Gottfrid Svartholm in "Steal This Film" (2006)

(via Metahaven, via ioerror)

Pirate Bay co-Founder Gottfrid Svartholm was taken from his room in Cambodia and has been held for almost two weeks. Apparently the Cambodian and Swedish governments are not giving straight stories on why he is being held, according to his good friend Niklas Femerstrand inn this article on Torrent Freaks: Sweden Kidnapped My Frienbd, Pirate bay Co-Founder Anakata:

“[...] The door was already open and there were approximately eight officers present and additional ones lurking in the shadows around the hallway. Kenny went in first and I followed. When Gottfrid saw me he immediately looked from officer to officer in what seemed like an attempt to figure out if there was something special related to my presence. I came in muttering “so this is where the terrorists hold the anti-terrorist.”

Some of you may know Gottfrid aka Anakata from his appearance in Steal This Film (2006), where he and the other founders explain how the US movie industry has been knocking at Pirate Bay’s doors for some time now. A point made in the film was that the torrent trackers like Pirate Bay only hold meta-data, so the real data is elsewhere, on the computers of the people who use it. And now with Magnets, PEX, DHT, this info is no longer even the, and had become something like meta-meta-data. Another ominous warning in the film, was the fact that arrest and threats of prison time don’t solve the problem, both in this case and other cases, it only multiplies the amount of followers’supporters. As the case against wikileaks has shown, the amount of corporate info leaked WILL go up. So for the culture industry it is shouldn’t be a question of how to penalize the public, but rather, how to understand this anti-copyright sentiment. Unless of course, they intend to try to capitalize on culture forever.

Advice from vizKult: use Creative Commons license when ever you can, otherwise pirating is simply the direct-action arm of the Commons, use it to liberate culture & knowledge when necessary.

 

"Get Reay for Changing" German Pirate party. Photo: Clemens Bilan / dapd

"Get Ready for Change" German Pirate Party vote during their party convention in Neumuenster, northern Germany, Saturday, April 28, 2012. Photo: Clemens Bilan / dapd

It’s quite simple, but I never thought of it like that before. The pirate is basically the direct action arm of the Commons. They liberate items in corporate enclosures and share it with the people. They do not profit from it, they just simply ask that you inturn do the same and ‘seed it‘. It is up to the public to manage it and safe guard it from further enclosures. Currently, it should be noted, that in capitalist countries where “intellectual property” is guarded by the law, the pirates practice is still illegal.

So, how to make this legal? How to find a system that will be based on community trust, mutual aid, and reciprocity that would allow the sharing of knowledge and culture within a community? In a recent article Aljazeera’s Michael Bowens suggest the next step is the forming of a new coalition of sorts between commoners, pirates, and others like the green party, citing Germany as the place where this coalition is evolving:

However, a third moment in the evolution of a new social movement and culture is always inevitable. It is the moment when of discovery: in order to ensure their survival and development, political power is vital. It’s not enough to create new institutions on the margins of society; more effective defence mechanisms against the constant attacks of the dominant powers are a vital necessity. - A German Pirate Party could bring a European coalition by Michael Bowens

I guess vying for political power to eventually legalize the releasing of knowledge and cultural commons is one way to get things done, and for a society that sees politics as the center of social organization, this makes sense. But for others it is perhaps the opposite, the withdraw from politics and a move back to the idea of community and individual responsibility. No political proxies. That’s at least the another tactic that isn’t discussed in this article.

Going down the list of organizations that according to Michael Bowen are forming a part of this new ‘coalition of the commons.’ I find it refreshing that he recognizes the thread of the commons within each group: pirates for intellectual & cultural commons, the green party for environmental commons, labor and social justice groups for an freedoms/labor commons. The final and fourth player in this coalition for Bowen is the Social Liberal parties, this again backs up my argument that this politically centric tactic that I’d hope we could do with out, but I guess some people still think we are still dependent on lobbyist,  liberals entrepreneurs, together with a dash of technocrats and bureaucrats to test and check things off.

Read the full article on Aljazeera:
A German Pirate Party could bring a European coalition by Michael Bowens April 19, 2012.
[Last retrieved April 30, 2012]

Image above from:
Pirate party makes a raid on German politics by Juergen Baetz/Associated Press April 28. 2012
[Last retrieved April 30, 2012]