The parasites of copyright (real copy wrong)


Some sense has to come under light in the ridiculous debate about Internet “piracy” and copyright (copy wrong). Yesterday, December 22nd 2010, the Spanish Parliament has rejected a sneaky law which would give the “creators” the right to shut down the websites which allow users to reach the URL’s of copyright protected materials. The Spanish cultural establishment woke up today with a terrible hangover. They wanted to be judges of something that is not even a misdemeanor under Spanish law and granted, decide what is allowed or not into the web. No, sorry but no.
The classic model of copyright is dead. It is based on absurd rights (70 years of benefits after the death of the author) and the cherry on the top of the pie is the fact that the financing of the absolutely majority of it is done with public money: directly or indirectly. In Europe in general and in Spain in particular, there is no right to point fingers and accuse of crime an internet user who downloads a work that was funded with taxes of the very same users. Directly subsidized or indirectly is the same. The structure of the collecting agencies which use real mafia type of pressure and benefit the well-off artists and almost never the small fishes of the ocean is rotten and must be wiped out completely to start to have a serious conversation.

Demonstrators in front of Spanish Congress

I accept the right to not have somebody’s work abused and used but thieves (plagiarism for instance which there are plenty of accusations in the industry and nobody dares to confront it) but once I write something, get a fee for it, it is not mine but public. Yet, I wish millions will read it, watch it, etc. etc. The struggle is to get people to watch good work. That is the real profit. There are plenty of possibilities to monetize content creation and audiovisual work done with subsidies or TV stations antenna rights are not eligible to complain in any instance for further compensation. The absurd argument that it represents more than 4 percent of the GNP forgets to mention that in the fallacious account it includes: newspapers, radio, TV stations, film, gossip magazines, etc. etc. Sorry but no, not with public money: get your salary and go out singing your guts out or dancing or stepping in a theatre stage (which in Spain is doing great by the way) and collect more benefits. Otherwise, Mr. and Mrs. “Divas”: strike! Will the government intervene as strong as you represent 4 percent of the GDP? I guess not. The establishment lives in five stars hotels, travels first class, first not business (some with their private jets), eat in Michelin 3 stars restaurants and charge it all to their own private LLC. I dare anyone of them to open their personal and business Income Taxes to the public. Basically nobody pays taxes and much the opposite, many collect taxes returns. Of course, the general public seeing the lavish lifestyle have no sympathy for such poor people.
As Freddy Mercury sang in “We’re the champions”: ‘you brought me fame, fortune and everything that goes with it and we thank you all’. And yes, it has been no bed of roses but you or me are no better to the world than a doctor, a scientist, the butcher or the garbage men who don’t have privileges for 70 years after our death day. Let’s ring the bells, it is Christmas and another sort of rights most be defined instead of parasites eating our turkey. Poor starving stars, the Red Cross could be of some help may your fans turn their backs to you.

Anything goes: now the financial system secrets will be rocked


As we all are seen, transparency is not the only effect that the leaks have had until now. Much the opposite who felt affected by it fought back with every single available weapon. Assange is only still alive because he is savvy enough to have established an insurance policy with much more heavy duty information. For instance the hint (the real threat of revealing Bank of America’s and other financial institutions real state-of-affairs) is not an empty threat but something that will come along… perhaps bit by bit but is in the making.

The truth of the matter is there is not a single government on the face of the planet that is not dirty and smeared with plenty of sh*t under their shoes and sometimes in their faces. Zapatero (Spain Prime Minister) in spite of his “independent and transparent” discourse has offered a gigantic military base for military operations to the U.S.A. to control North Africa from Spain; Lula brave’s anti-imperialist discourse “went to Washington for Bush’s blessing before taking office”; Berlusconi… well, why bother with him?

Governments are dirty by essence and cannot be another way. The oligarchies and the politicians are the real patriots, they love the countries in which they are powerful, above the laws (although not publicly) and hold the economic fictitious system. The middle class is oblivious to the real world we live in. The lower classes have a better sense of the real world given the dispossession of basics make real consciousnesses arise.

Financial System

Nevertheless, it is from the illustrated ranges of the middle class where the leaks and the hackers come from and with the rage which only the youth have they are shouting from the depth of the Internet world: “we are up to you and we are going to get you”. Can the U.S. or anyone as a matter of fact win the battle against an army of well educated, tech-savvy and the majority digital natives? I doubt it. As I have said some days ago, the depression started with smart asses and it is just beginning, not ending. The leaks and the tremendous outrages the government counter-actions have taken are provoking the unthinkable: hackers are up with their tools to bring down the banking system, the credit card companies and Internet fortunes that are willing to obey the central intelligence services (because they already belong to the oligarchy themselves) and try to shut the leaks out of the map. These realities are here to stay: leaks shall leaks, liars shall try to shut down the leaks (present and futures) and hackers (middle class upper echelon, never too much to remark) are going to fight back, from anywhere to everywhere.

DONATION PLEASE!

Laura Flanders speaks out


Here goes a short video with plenty of good perspectives about what will come next in the whole ordeal of Assange and Wikileaks:

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/gdElgpLOIwI%5D<

 

And Previously:

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/gdElgpGISgI%5D

Assange, Wikileaks and Freedom of Speech


It was bound to happen and I am afraid it is just the start of it. Obama has decided to take stakes of the Assange’s Wikileaks matters in his own hands in a supposedly “treason” act committed by Mr. Assange. You can change colors but you cannot change essences. Julian Assange owes no allegiance to the United States of America because he is not subject to their laws neither bears the U.S. nationality. Neither do me nor 96% of the World population. Therefore he cannot be accused of treason.

What is the price of his head?

Assange’s determined to expose documents that were available according to US own accounts to more than 3 million American citizens (many of them who hate their country’s policies) and may have received the information from a myriad range of sources. Why don’t the US government start to look into their own back yard instead of looking for scape-goats abroad who did not harm, spied, killed, blackmailed neither pressured judges, politicians, human rights advocates as their diplomats have done along the whole of last century promoting “coup d’état’s” (Pinochet for instance); boycotting legitimate governments; setting up torture camps in shadowy dictatorships, etc. etc. etc. The king is naked and will have to bear with the shadow and shame of its own ineptitude. As I said before, spying is an old game, very old and we all have done it with somebody in some point of our lives: spying the girlfriend, a neighbor, your business competitor, your son or daughter. It’s all about invading private matters. The U.S. do its game so do other countries and we all know. Why to respect the U.S. as a God’s Commandment of the Universe? For the U.S. freedom is relative to the “others” and absolute for themselves. As Erich Holder Jr., U.S. Attorney General had the chutzpah to declare: “To the extent there are gaps in our laws, we will move to close those gaps, which is not to say that anybody at this point, because of their citizenship or their residence, is not a target or a subject of an investigation,” he said. Mr. Assange is an Australian citizen. Still, Mr. Holder said Monday that he did not believe that Mr. Assange’s citizenship or location was a barrier to prosecution.

Eric Holder Jr. U.S. Inquisitor


Assange probably will disappear from the face of the planet without leaving a trace behind but he will have left written his name in history as the “crazy” guy who dared to show his face and expose the ridiculous and inefficient acts of the U.S. government: a country which wasn’t able to oversee their own financial system and threw the world in chaos deserve little respect and only can impose itself by force as it’s showing now. The “open-minded” Obama, the “guy” who used openness and crowdsourcing to be elected, promising a new “world” to his people and to the rest of the world is up for Assange’s head. The eagle is hurt in its self-esteem and claims for blood as if Julian Assange was a Bin-Laden of the Internet up to blow the towers of the U.S. secret services and bring down the U.S.!!! Bad news? No, good news! Many Assanges will sprout along many countries in the world. The solution? Why not shut down the whole of the Internet? It may solve the problem.

Technological Advances and the Great Recession


A big deal of fixes has being tried and many have failed until now in order to restore the global economy to its previous growth, or at least to prevent further downslide. Nevertheless, few people stop to wonder and figure out what may be the causes of the current mess the global economy is facing. Causes, it’s basic to diagnosis and possible remedies. That happens in medicine but also in economics. Politicians work for corporations one way or the other and we (all of us) are inclined to think in a very tiny small scale: from local to regional, to national and the latest priority is to think globally about any sort of problems we face. And here I believe starts the problems: local politicians will not think globally while this crisis is global and the causes are not only a bunch of smart asses in Wall Street or the City of London who brought it about. No, it was the near light speed technological advances that produced the means to such a crisis reach these proportions.

Wall Street

Wall Mean Street


Big deeds transformed in catastrophic changes. The U.S. ignorant elite and its artificial system of values have broken the balance that was their own source of power: created money out of thin air and sold to themselves, the whole world and to the Chinese. The A.I.G. failure had to be solved otherwise would be a real “meltdown of the system” simply because the Chinese could see it as a declaration of war on their trust in the American values, read it as the “Dollar” itself and dump it in favor of its own currency sinking the U.S. and Europe in a depression that 1929 would appear a nice time. It would be real time selling orders to obedient servers instead of human brokers. Selling “values” that only exist in the book, better said, in bits and bytes.

Beside the fact of the fraudulent behavior of the big financial markets all over the place, technology and digital production has shifted the balance in values, production of values and reproduction of wealth. Globally without exceptions. Banking and brokerage are now I.T. programs and are widespread used to the mid to upper classes.

Silicon Valley

The map of the gold mine

The Western countries produce high-end technology innovation but at such a high price that the rest of the world is not willing to pay for it but is applying the oldest rule of humanity since the discovery of fire: to steal what you do not have and use it for your own benefit. India started being a Call Center depository for the Anglo-Saxon world and today has a huge technological park in development. Silicon Valley is full of Indians who “work” there. But when the big money in India calls them back usually they do go back. How come that? In order to earn pennies instead of dollars per hour for highly skilled work? My guess is that the causes are more profound them that. And then we have to deal with a phenomenal brain power called Russia and the old Soviet satellites. What about them? Armies of engineers and math scientists formed and updated continuously on the top of the line of digital production, theft and piracy (considering the still valid rules of copyright). There are assessments of Western secret services that rank the number of industrial spies from Russia, India and China in the West today above any number ever during the cold war. Because those are the hot processors, high speed connections re-routing the center of gravity of the production of wealth in the making. Nobody is willing to lose a minute in the fast paced new world of the digital replication.

The rest of the world will infringe copyright in every single way it can. China copies absolutely everything its commanders decide is strategic to their country and contaminates the environment without a single flaw in its consciousness simply because they have to reach where the West reached too many years before. Brazil offers raw material to the Chinese who use it to produce goods for the whole world. It also feeds them even if for that the Amazon basin will have to disappear. In the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other peripheral countries few, very few people care about copyright laws, environment destruction and climate change. They want the “good life” Hollywood served them in the screens for a whole century (copyright protected) and they could only dream of it. Now, they can grab a piece for themselves and as humans, will steal and kill for that torch of fire that will cook the hunted veal as in the pre-history.
When Wall Street greedy men defrauded the trust in the financial system, they did it out of greed of course, but also out of ignorance without seeing far enough, not so far really, that their system is never ever again to be trusted. People talk about the destruction of the Euro and the end of the Dollar as reference currency. But have you heard anyone talking about the end of the Rubble, the Yuan or the Brazilian Real lately? Let me know where if you did, please!

Karl Marx was wrong in too many things but so was Thomas Jefferson (slaves’ owner for example) but he has said something irrefutable: “change the means of production and you change the ways of relationships.” And that is what happened: the high-end technology and the Information Society liberated forces that permeated the whole human society, from Patagonia to Bhutan, passing by England, Bombay and Jakarta. Mass media is strong still but the great infusion of free information brought about thru digital connections has made an impact that is still early to predict but certainly inevitable to occur. Washington D.C. cannot order the bombardment of Beijing because it infringes copyright materials, neither with Russia or India. A boycott against Brazil would meet an ex-guerrilla woman president that would not doubt to halt the exports exploding commodities prices and to search protection with China and Russia if need be. The “empire” is deadly sick and under internal convulsions. The silly right-wingers in the U.S. believe that the crisis will go away, somehow, when they grab the power again. I’m afraid it won’t and the world as we knew before this crisis will never return to be what it was.

Chinese Dragon after US bombardment

Parallel worlds (virtual and real) have emerged alongside governments and corporations that can be challenged by rivals in order to gain weight in the economical shift and are bound to do so. The new division is more likely to be: “I will take what I need and you cannot stop me at all”. The original “owners” surrendering under the evidence of fatality. First World unemployment is to remain high because a huge mass of laborers are not necessary anymore: machinery is highly efficient, automated and don’t complain. Emerging countries will continue to grow in spite of threat of the IMF that it is another “bubble”. It’s not! They have people, billions to serve and work cheap under inhuman conditions. As far their commanders and bosses allow some circus at the end of the day (entertainment “pirated” from the U.S. for instance); some days a year of vacation and meat, vitamins and everyday starch ration for basic energy they will continue to move on. The poor don’t care for the environment neither for international agreements on whatever subject, they care for food and expect the little pleasures that sort of development is making available to them. The rest is still to be written…

What is the price of his head?

And it is being written as I write: Wikileaks from Assange is wracking the American diplomatic world… That would not be possible without the new technologies in place. And by the way, everybody spies everybody; it’s a game from pre-historical roots. What is the big deal then?

But now WikiLeaks plans to release a U.S. bank’s documents
and that will be really dangerous trend to set. Too many disaffection and plenty of “vendetta’s” will start and nothing will be the same again.

The Tricks of Spanish Film (Part I)


Before we put down the old structures we need to know how they operate. Spain’s film production is based on public money. No discussion about it. The law established an AUTOMATIC subsidy of 33% of the “producer’s investment”. Not bad! No, especially if the concept is so elastic to include the money the television stations are obliged to invest in Spanish/European movies (5% of their total income).

But first, some concepts clear:
a) AUTOMATIC SUBSIDY means that even if the film makes a ridiculous box office, let’s say 100,000 Euros it may receive 1,200,000 Euros in subsidies about 2 years from the commercial release. It’s really automatic!

b) European norms, extremely enforced in Spain, demands that all channels buy Antenna Rights from local producers summing up 5% of their gross income. That is a tonne of money and the producers’ line up for that. The antenna right means they will exhibit free 2 years after commercial release as many times they wish. It can be prime time (rarely) or 2 a.m. (most common).

c) The public televisions (strong everywhere in Europe) pay between 200,000 Euros to 2,000,000 Euros per film. Sometimes, when the product is “hot” the price can go higher than that.

So, the 33% is advanced in the banks because it bears the State of Spain as guarantor and the money of the television, payable only when the film is delivered is also acceptable collateral for the banks. BUDGET COVERED. Nobody ever invest 1 Euro out of their pockets. Got that? Once this is understood, we can move further and look at official results in the page of the Ministry of Culture of Spain at the following address.

Spanish Film Festival

We can see the results in it, the number of spectators in the movie theatres, who distributed it, the public and private TV channels who bought the antenna rights. All this information is public for anyone. The hidden information is the budget of each film. Only available if a judge authorizes! All the producers alliance want to avoid in order to close any web page they dislike.

 

But let’s consider that every one of the films I picked here as examples had an average budget of 1 million Euros. That’s low as you can get and the results a national shame.

Film: A RAS DE SUELO (2005)

* Spectators: 76
Gross Box Office Results in Spain: 392,10 €
* Distributor by: FAUSTO PRODUCCIONES, SL

With the support of: TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA, S.A.
TVV TELEVISIÓ VALENCIANA

Film: MARIPOSA NEGRA

Producer: FAUSTO PRODUCCIONES, SL
Distributor: SHERLOCK FILMS SL
Spectators: 5.062
Gross Box Office Results in Spain: 23.512,95 €

Film: Faltas Leves

• Producers:
DACSA PRODUCCIONS, S.L.
STEINWEG EMOTION PICTURES, S.L.
• Con la participación de: RTVV;CANAL SUR; EITB; TV CANARIA; TELEMADRID
Distributor: COMPAÑIA PREMIUM DE VIDEO Y TV,S.L.

Spectators: 2.785
Gross Box Office Results in Spain: 9.907,40 €

Film: Mucha Sangre

# Producer: MASSA D’OR PRODUCCIONS, S.L. (www.massador.com)
# Con la participación de: TVE, S.A. and VÍA DIGITAL

Spectators: 6.595
Gross Box Office Results in Spain: 27.238,75 €

Film: De niños
Producer:
MASSA D’OR PRODUCCIONS, S.L. (www.massador.com)

# With the support of: TV3 TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA
LA SEPT ARTE (Francia) and TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA (TVE)

Distributor: ALTA FILMS S.A.
Spectators: 17.885
Gross Box Office Results in Spain: 66.490,20 €

But aren’t there minimums to achieve in order to get the subsidies? Yes, on paper there are many rules. The last producing company here above listed has never, ever made its goals but always got it all it needed. To complete, the head of the company, a radical Catalonian separatist is preparing a film which roughly can be translated to” Catalonia against Spain = Spain against Catalonia”. Famous for her hatred and xenophobic discourse we can wait for a “wonderful” piece of inflammatory and disgraceful “patriotic” film. Paid with public money. For who is not acquainted with Spanish history, Catalonia is an autonomous region of Spain but part of Spain. There is a small minority of racists who preach intolerance and separation of the rest of the country. This person, strangely enough, was in the grace of the right-wing Government in Madrid from 1996 to 2003, and then she moved her political ideals elsewhere.
By the rules, these and the absolute majority of film companies would be shut down by now but depending of the governments and sympathies they always re-float. All with public money. And observing their madness over the new medias (read here INTERNET) the issue for them is not to be “pirated”, nobody wants their movies anyway. The issue is that facts as related here come to light.
Sorry guys from the legacy times! I didn’t die and I this will still go on. ( to be continued)

Civil Rights X Copyright: Non Negotiable!


Traitor, ungrateful, miserable, bastard, etc. Those were a few names I was called since I decided to make public my positions regarding the on going “battle” between copyright warriors and digital libertarians. I guess many people got it very wrong from the start. The “libertarians” have written a Manifest and I support it without reserves.

What is being played here is something much deeper than a “cat chasing the mouse” fight in a small country like Spain that I guess more than half of humanity ignores where it is and a much larger percentage the history it carries back for more than 2,000 years. Yeah, two millenniums but cutting to the chase: back in 1936 a coup d’etat started a civil war in the country and Europe and the rest of the world turned their backs. It was Spain and it was not their problems. Thirty nine years of bloody dictatorship followed those events. Currently, Spain can and probably will be played as a “game-scenario” for the worst case scenario again. In 1936, Germany and Italy supported the fascists and bombarded the civil population in such bloodshed until then unknown by humankind. When in 1939, Hitler spread the fire through Europe and the world, the main powers already knew what to expect.

Guernica

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

After working many years in the entertainment industry, in many different positions, and also selling my blood for small (independent) companies in an idealistic stupid way, I gathered enough knowledge of all the tricks that can be played by every single player of the game in film and music productions: from the writer to the distributor, passing thru the producer and directors reaching down the secretary of production. I never saw a positive liquidation (final accounts where the remaining “profits” should hypothetically be paid to the producer), never at all! Even if there were cents left, the producing company would still “owe” the distributors. If there were profits, they would fall into expenses accounts and future developments. No profit, no income taxes to be paid. Reset to zero and everybody continued to be friends as always. That’s how the game is played. Producers feed writers and directors with bread crumbs, paying their mortgages, buying groceries and so they are on the leash and “grateful”. Buyers of TV stations are invited by producers to banquets, vacations in the Riviera and receive generous incentives such as loads of champagne boxes as Christmas gifts (totally legal) to allocate their resources to those friendly producers in their circle. The so acclaimed high level employment that the entertainment industry, specially film bring to the economy in general averages 4 to 5 employees (sometimes including the owner of the joint) earning 1,200 Euros per month without legal hours respected (40 hours/week in Spain) They should be “happy” because they are in their way to the glory. That’s their due to be paid to the industry before gaining the right to “really do something”. All the rest, when the subsidies fall in place, and when the TV purchases also combine, out they go hiring. There is literally an army of desperate people out there to get two months salaries (average production time). And they all fly in as mosquitoes in the jungle. It is marvellous to see and sad to realize that they also live out of dreams. That is to be respected, to live by a dream and side line with starvation the remaining half of the year.

Europe

This is Spanish, French, Italian and almost all Europe’s reality, let alone the US where I have friends earning the same since 1991, yes, correct, 18 years ago and the same weekly pay. This is only possible in Europe because there are special “social cushions” where the mass, the people who really make the film, can fall back in the work insurances and not turn into homelessness. This is the truth and I dare anyone to proof me the opposite hiring an independent research firm without conflicting interests in these industries.

So you should be guessing why am I “betraying” my people. What is my interest in that? My answer is: I want to see different people, new talent, new ideas springing and new ways of doing business. The mediocrity is produced by a system which was profitable until the means of reproduction were scarce. I loved to see what Arin Crumley did with “Four Eyed Monster” and hated when 10 days before principal photography my film had to be cancelled because one co-producer decided she was making me a favour co-signing the deal (allowing with that to advance the subsidies) and ordered me to relinquish all my rights to her. It was a brutal, it was stealing and it was a rape but I was strong enough to resist it and send her to hell. My film was not done but I look forward to the future and she looks to the gifts she must to give the local TV station managers these Holidays. I guess I’m better of than she is. Ever and forever! I play for the future and the rest struggle to retain petty privileges.

I guess talent is to be nurtured, embraced, and cared for. Italy had one of the most vibrant filmmaking scenes of the entire world and is reduced to rubble. One Italian actor told me once: “The old ones, as brilliant as they were, didn’t allow space for a new generation and now we have mediocrity or rare exceptions”. That is not the future I want for Spain, for Europe and as a matter of fact for nowhere.

Digital have changed the scenario forever and there is no coming back. They, “artists” have the social cushion where to fall (and some have multimillions in banks and property); let them lay in peace there. It’s not acceptable to even discuss neither negotiate civil rights giving in to the defence of copyright. Let alone when the copyrighted material was paid with public money. The architect charges the project of a bridge, he is paid by the government or whoever, but he doesn’t retain the right to charge everybody who crosses that bridge. Point Period. It’s also a given that nobody can copy the project, construct the same bridge design elsewhere and say it is their own creation. The right to have your credits in the making of a film, music or theatre play are not in discussion. Your merit was to create them and you were paid for it. You screenwriters and directors: how many of you begged producers to give you a chance? How many of you waived salaries? Give me a break! If anyone copy the authorship of my writing and publish it without even naming me, I will sue in the courts of law. If my name is mentioned, please go ahead! You are welcome to reproduce anywhere! Creative Commons, some rights reserved, namely authorship is reserved. Reproduction? Do it yourself with some clicks!

What about music then? Music Companies paid dearly radio stations, TV programmers, etc. to play your music in order to have your music reaching the public. That was also the reality. Just a few years ago. So, let’s drop the masks! Kids would win a luxury car; the multinational would make tonnes of money.

And in the most physical side of the matter: it is not possible to control what you are doing thru your broadband. Simply as that! The USA has developed and distributed sophisticated software which scrambles outgoing and incoming IP address to give away to Iranian people surpass the censorship of the Ayatollah’s. The only way around, and even so, it would be hard as hell, would be a Chinese cyber patrol model.

Civil Rights Movement

NON NEGOTIABLE CIVIL RIGHTS

So, my friends, Sarkozy did whatever he pleased (except place the “Prince” in the EPAD) and people talked but didn’t care too much about the Hadopi. Anyway there is a way around. Good and dearly respected French friends of mine have written that response to me these last days and made me reflect why the Spaniards are so different: because the mere idea of the government censoring our acts is beyond any acceptance. The memoir of the dictatorship is in the DNA perhaps and we cannot trade the civil rights for an obsolete copyright law, flawed from the beginning to the end. Again, Spain is a laboratory of freedom in Europe. Hopefully this time, people will join us and take this task as if it was the defeat of the National Socialism 70 years ago and not turn their backs in indifference. What happens here, if successful, will spread. At least in Europe and Latin America; such a proposal in the USA, well… that is for another book.

  • Calendar

    • July 2017
      M T W T F S S
      « Dec    
       12
      3456789
      10111213141516
      17181920212223
      24252627282930
      31  
  • Search