The Means to Inform

egyptian-internet-revolution-through-pictures

The crucial opposing factor in informing the general populace of “the truth” has always been the ownership and control of the means of dissemination by a very limited class with very different interests and motives than the bulk of the population in any given country. And this means that it would be universally extremely unlikely to be allowed access via any form of Mass Media (to socialists in a capitalist society for example). And, in the same way the bureaucracies in the so-called ‘socialist countries’ such as the Soviet Union and China, were in a similar position, and thus determined exactly what was allowed to be delivered to their populations at large.

Read more on the SHAPE Blog

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Black March is coming…

black march

I’m a musician and DJ, I help to run a record label and have been involved in running live music events, promoting independent music and writing about it online for many years – I love music and the people that make it, but I don’t have much love for the music ‘industry’. Like most big business entertainment, the music biz leeches off the hard working and the talented, makes huge profits and routinely fucks over both the artist and the consumer.

Have a look at this link if you are still in any doubt about who this parasitic behemoth really benefits. It aint the musician.

These are the people that are lobbying governments worldwide to monitor online content, censor and remove websites they don’t like, and they support the introduction of draconian litigation such as the now infamous SOPA, PIPA and PCIPA bills, to defend their industry.

While I completely support the musician’s right to earn a living from their craft, clamping down on internet freedom is not the way to defend it. A free internet is vital for a free world. If governments and corporations have increased powers over internet content that freedom is threatened. The web is the most powerful tool we have for self-expression, inducing social change and for the dissemination of great art and music. We cannot allow these people to take that away from us.

This is why I support the Black March campaign.

Content Blocked

From the 1st of March 2012 to the 31st, we ask you not to buy any music, DVDs, computer games or books – don’t even torrent a song! Wait till the 1st of April and buy it then. No one will actually lose any money, but the visible dent in their profit margins for the first quarter will send a powerful message to the corporations and organisations that wish to push these online censorship measures. We can stop this going through. Wikipedia and others going dark last month, and the attacks by Anonymous have already made policy makers hesitate. If music consumers join the fray, they will have another powerful enemy. Vote with your wallet and support Black March – boycott the music industry next month.

Some of my friends have expressed concerns that this campaign will somehow hurt small labels and record stores, who of course have nothing to do with lobbying for increased control of internet content. My answer to this dilemma is very straightforward. Buy the music you would have bought in March now. And spend more again in April. Of course you should support the small businesses and record labels you respect. This isn’t about them. This about sending a message to the industry as a whole, the big distributors, the fat cats and to governments around the world. We will not tolerate internet censorship in any form.

If you care about online freedom, please get involved in this campaign. If you wish to see a fairer music industry, buy music directly from the artists and from small record shops. Fuck Universal. Fuck Disney. Fuck News Corporation. Fuck Sony Music Entertainment. Support freedom and creativity.

Sorry for the rant peeps! If you’ve read this far I salute you. Peace out.

Save the Internet!

save internet
The internet is the most powerful tool for true democracy humankind has ever possessed. It allows people to communicate, collaborate, mobilise, express themselves, publish their own work and undermine “the construct” in myriad unforeseen ways. The Internet has changed our planet and how we perceive it and it has changed what we believe is possible. International borders and social boundaries are rendered permeable. Information is now free. The floodgates are wide open! Would the Arab Spring Revolutions have happened so quickly (if at all) without social networks? Would the global Occupy Movement ever have got off the ground without Twitter and Livestream?

Corporations and governments see this as a threat to their system, as capitalism teeters in the balance, such “digital anarchy” can no longer be tolerated. Their fightback begins as the worst bill in internet history is about to become law.

More information

PROTECT IP (S. 968)/SOPA (HR. 3261) creates the first system for Internet censorship – this bill has sweeping provisions that give the government and corporations leeway and legal cover for taking down sites “by accident,” mistakenly, or for NOT doing “enough” to protect the interests of Hollywood. These bills that are moving very quickly through Congress and can pass before Christmas aim to give the US government and corporations the ability to block sites over infringing links posted by their users and give ISPs the release to take any means to block peoples’ sites, including slowing down your connection. That’s right, some say this bill is a workaround to net neutrality and is bigger than net neutrality.

We need to fight to keep the internet free from top-down control. Fight for our right to freedom of speech. Fight for YouTube and WordPress and for WikiLeaks. Fight for Red Eye! 😉

If you wish to express your dismay at these draconian plans, the US congress is currently debating this bill… let them know we aint happy. Sign the Avaaz petition below

“As concerned global citizens, we call on on you to stand for a free and open Internet and vote both against the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. The Internet is a crucial tool for people around the world to exchange ideas and work collectively to build the world we all want. We urge you to show true global leadership and do all you can to protect this basic pillar of our democracies worldwide.”

SIGN