ISP = Internet Sharing Police

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War on music piracy – the heading on SMH glares at defiant downloaders as they scoff at the pipe dream of the MAFIAA. I first saw that acronym, MAFIAA on Whirlpool and I laughed at the similarity to mafia, which is probably not a chance occurrence. Initially I thought the poster who kept throwing this acronym around was taking the piss but then I Googled it and low and behold…Music And Film Industry Association of Americaâ„¢ or mafia…oops MAFIAA. Anyway the gist of this war is that ISP’s may be required to implement a three strikes and you’re out policy if the Rudd Government legislates a sort of Internet Sharing Police based upon a British model that according the SMH article is in the process of being implemented.

Fair enough downloading copyrighted material is bad and illegal and all that but getting Internet Service Providers to police the immorality of its users is going a little too far. First the Government is scheming to have our Internet content filtered and now it has its sights on further transforming ISP’s into the thought police. What next? Newspeak? The whole idea is admirable and noble but has prohibition ever been effective in curbing the flow of illegality? If BitTorrent is tapped and sharers are forced underground to possible encrypted networks, then what? Do ISP’s then data mine and infiltrate the hidden tunnels exposing some teenager to the great evil that s/he is committing. Although there is possibly no fool proof anonymous tunnel at the moment, it’s not to say some geek won’t try and create one, a constant cat and mouse game that will only spiral the cost of telecommunications higher than they already are.

What happens if a truly encrypted network is created, that is anonymous, will it not then be virtually impossible to tap by ISP’s? Will the Governement call upon the equivalent of cyber martial law? The sad part is, if such a network is created then all sorts of immorality will flow into it, music sharing will be the least of its worries.

Perhaps the greatest thing of concern here is not the infringement of intellectual property but how it opens the door to a loss of intellectual freedom. Having the Government intrude upon our thoughts, wishing to control what we hear and see is beginning to resemble the rise of a totalitarian state under the guise of intellectual property management and child safety. It’s of little surprise that the Government and legislative assembly is found bending their knees before the people that control public opinion, the media. A smaller surprise that it has found a way to impose a level of information control with an ISP filter while appealing to the fears of unwary parents. I’m probably being a little paranoid but the internet represents the final frontier of freedom and with the flagrant lies and misinformation that our leaders have feed us in recent years, it may be our only recourse to what is true and the gradual reigning in of this freedom is somewhat alarming.

Category : Rants | Blog

Downloadible rainbow.

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It has to be said that Radiohead’s revolutionary stance to have their new album In Rainbows available for download online is commendable and impressive. To further confound the Music Industry Mediacrats, Radiohead are asking the punter to decide its worth. This is like WTF…here’s a totally progressive mindset that is unheard of in this grab for dosh consumer society. If I was a fan I’d give em a few dollars for an album download, but alas they aren’t my cup of tea.

I’ll see if Trent Reznor can keep to his discourse on having a future Nine Inch Nails album available for purchase online for something like 4 bucks, I’ll be there. In the mean time I’ll take heed of what he said at the Hordern Pavilion gig a couple of weeks ago, “steal” em. It’s not like I’m averse to paying for downloads but my gripe is the price is too high for what I’m getting and the price of Cd’s aren’t reasonable either. I’ve bought a few albums from Telstra BigPond and NineMSN but I’m always paranoid that somehow I’ll lose the license when I upgrade my PC hardware and I have to reinstall Windows, I’d be a lot more secure and have peace of mind if there was no DRM bullshit attached to the files. I’ve burnt most of the music onto CD, which is fine, I have them in some sort of backed up form; however if I want to then rip them back onto some other medium I’ll lose quality out of the music I paid top dollar for. It’s not like they were four dollar downloads that I could just buy some more license’s for without too much drama, they’re not that far removed from what an actual CD costs. I can only hope that I can recover the license from either site when I upgrade and I haven’t been able to get a definitive yay or nay in my email correspondence with them when making inquiries.

So to say Radiohead has their finger on the pulse is an understatement, when it comes to advancing the music industry into the 21st century I believe they are pretty much the fore runners in the abolition of the ghastly DRM media autocracy and the rip-off these executives in the Music Industry are instilling upon the punters. I really love the automatic responses from these executive clowns when they declare that Radiohead have a large and ready fan base and that they can essentially afford to experiment in this way, whereas bands that aren’t in such fortunate positions are still at the mercy of the likes of Sony BMG and Universal, it’s such a load of bollocks and FUD! I have a more optimistic outlook in the capacity of punters to support the music they love and give the artist their due recompense. The bonus of having this method of consumerism is that the the fan base will invariably grow from the added media coverage in the first instance and the possibility to sample the music at a cost which the punter can decide in the second. The real people that lose on this deal are the major labels unless they conform to what the consumer wants, a fair deal. While they scratch their heads wondering how they can extract maximum funds for even more restrictive formats, channel BT and others will continue to vote with the click of a mouse. Having bought online music legitimately I have been less than satisfied with the quality of the tracks, I don’t even get a lousy play list file with them and the playback continuity of some albums on my Creative Zen is jerky, although I’m not sure if that is just a limitation of the mp3 player or having an mp3 of two tracks that blend together on a CD and are two separate mp3’s, but you’d think that it has something to do with not having a corresponding m3u file or the way they ripped the tracks.

Well hopefully this new approach provides inspiration for other bands to accept the independent challenge. It’ll make for some interesting stats regardless.

Category : Rants | Blog