Sunday, January 29, 2012

Moneybags Media Wants You to Do Nothing


Richard O'Dwyer 23, from U.K. Being Extradited to U.S.A. for LINKING to Copyright Content

Richard O'Dwyer is a 23 year old computer student and citizen of the United Kingdom.  He set up and ran the wildly successful TVshack website from his bedroom.  His site provided links to copyrighted material.  It is reported that he did not himself host any of the material on any servers.  His website is not illegal in England.  But he was arrested anyways on November 9, 2010.   The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement folks were apparently the ones to file the charges.  A judge over there last week approved the extradition.  Richard O'Dwyer's lawyer is planning to appeal the decision.

Richard faces extradition via a reciprocal agreement between Britain and the United States which was designed with terrorists in mind.  There is also a rather weird claim that the United States somehow owns or is intimately tied to all domains ending in dot com or dot net (as the original TVshack site did) because they are registered through (I believe is) VeriSign Global Registry Services.

There is also an allegation that CBS through it's very own C/Net website made available downloaders and search tools used for such sites as the BitTorrents, Limewire, and others. And I remember C/Net offering those.  The video below talks about a lawsuit being brought by a bunch of artists against CBS for being the main distributor of these tools.  Basically, an entertainment mogul is accused of popularizing the P2P (Peer to Peer) websites and now the entertainment moguls via Big Hollywood and the RIAA are crying, "Omgz, you bad pirates are cutting into our profit margin."  And thus we have Richard O'Dwyer who is wanted to stand trial for linking to material being offered on the P2P sites that Big Hollywood popularized.
Folks, don't forget Black March 2012.  A battle needs to be fought on all fronts. Boycott buying books, vids, and songs during March 2012.  And don't go to the movies either.

radical sapphoq says: This is so very very wrong.  I am appalled and disgusted that this sort of thing is happening.  Twice now in a few weeks.  First it was Kim DotCom in New Zealand.  And now Richard O'Dwyer.
Folks, we are in serious trouble.  Whether you agree or not, please take the time to copy paste some of the links I used in researching this blog post into your browser.  
I will be watching for further news on Richard O'Dwyer and if he does indeed land on American soil, I will endeavor to attend his trial if at all possible.  <--- scroll down to Jan 20    <--- jan 14 scroll down to

Friday, January 27, 2012

Black March...boycott buying books, music and don't go to the movies either

Hey I was looking for this:
radical sapphoq pledges not to buy any music or books or go to any movies during the month of March.

Brandon Wegner and the School Newspaper

Brandon Wegner wrote an opinion piece for his public school's newspaper which was against same gender couples adopting children.  He was asked to write it and he did.  Brandon Wegner is a Christian.  He used scripture to explain his viewpoint.  If references to scripture were not wanted, that should have been made clear when he was initially asked to write the piece.  A member of the faculty serves as advisor to the school newspaper.  The faculty member could have forbidden the piece to be published, or at the very least consulted with his or her supervisor if there was any question.

A same gender couple with a child who attends the school called the principal to complain.  They were given an apology.  The apology referenced the words "bullying" and "disrespect."

Superintendent Carlson then confronted Brandon Wegner directly.  The superintendent threatened to expel him.

These are some of the facts of the case as reported by Fox News-- and only by Fox News.

radical sapphoq says:
Brandon Wegner was asked to write an argument against same gendered couples adopting kids.  He did so.  That I or anyone else agrees or disagrees with his stance is not the issue.

His opinion was published in the school newspaper.  There is no mention of the faculty advisor trying to censor or otherwise change the words that Brandon Wegner wrote.

A same gendered couple whose child attends the school was offended.  That is the risk that one takes when freedom of speech is allowed to take place, albeit even the limited freedom of speech that is permitted to high school students in the interest of maintaining order in a public school setting.  An apology was issued.  I don't know the reasoning behind the decision to give the couple an apology.  
The apology referenced "bullying" and "disrespect."  I read nothing in Brandon Wegner's article that hinted at either.  Brandon Wegner did not write "All same gendered couples should be shot/ forced to live in gay ghettos/ denied all freedoms..." or anything like that.  He also did not write "Same gendered couples are ignorant and stupid/ smell badly/ suck..." or anything like that.

The Superintendent was wrong in his actions in my opinion.  There is no indication in the report that Brandon Wegner had been asked to keep his beliefs out of his writing.  There is also no evidence of Brandon Wegner making a ruckus or otherwise acting in a way that indicated that he hated the child of the same gendered couple or intending to do anything like firebomb the child's parents' car or litter his school's football field with Chick Tracts referencing homosexuality as against the beliefs of Christians who take the Bible literally.  If Brandon Wegner had threatened violence or acted in a violent manner, then suspension or expulsion would have been warranted.  

All reports I found on the internet listed their source as being Fox News.  This sort of thing should have been reported by many other news teams who could have sent out their own reporters to cover the story.

This story is about one student who wrote an opinion that he was asked to write.  The school newspaper published the opinion.  Sorry, but I don't see how Brandon Wegner could be judged as being wrong for doing as he was asked to do.

I don't know what the beliefs of the principal, faculty advisor, or superintendent are in respect to same gender partners adopting a child and I don't care.  What happened to Brandon Wegner was wrong.  The superintendent, based on the reports that I read, had no reason to threaten Brandon Wegner with suspension.

Disclosure:  I have been involved with g.l.b.t.i.q. issues for a number of years.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Anonymous Retaliates for Shutdown of MegaUpload

                                Anonymous, I salute you.  Anonymous, I feel that I love you.
In shutting down government and movie industry websites, you have won my heart and soul.  PIPA, SOPA, and their ilk are designed to benefit the Corporations and Big Industry.  Any "savings" obtained from shutting down the "Evil Pirate Sites" /smirk aren't going to be passed along to the creators and artists nor to us the consumers of various forms of eye candy and ear candy anyways.  Of that I am sure.

Meanwhile, politicians and uber christians will continue to shout about how bad hactivism and the web and pr0n and anything they don't understand are.  Why the Untied States feels it is the duty of the government to police the internet's vast electronic borders escapes me.  Hey people, lighten up.  If you don't like what is on the channel or where the url takes you-- change it or hit your back button.  Duh.

Alternative uncensored internet via satellites and stuff that is already being talked about and tested-- I'm ready for you.  And kudos to 2600.  Anywhere that two or hackactivists gather, there shall Innovation and Great Wisdom also be.

radical sapphoq

Anonymous in the news-- a sampling:

Friday, January 20, 2012

And the Madness Continues

            Digital art sample based on photographs taken by the blogger d.b.a. radical sapphoq.

I woke up this morning to some news coverage on the television being watched by S.O.  So the Kiwis have rolled over without so much as a bad word and given up Kim Dotcom to almost certain extradition.  Looks like he will getting an unwelcome trip to the land of the free and home of the brave in order to answer charges.  Various news articles suppose that there is a store of porn, kiddie porn, illegally uploaded movies, music, and other subversive items on at least one leased server in Virginia.  Some of the media are reporting that the founder of Megaupload can face around twenty years in a fed pen for violation of U.S. copyright laws.  Anyone scared yet?

I don't give a rat's ass about how much money Kim Dotcom has made, what kind of salary he draws, what cars he drives, the art hanging in his hallway, or what he eats for breakfast.  The man had an idea and it was a success.  Love or hate the man and his vision, the fact remains that Megaupload was wildly popular and made money.  That some percentage of folks used his site to share movies or vids or music does not concern me.    Big Hollywood-- along with its' cast of rich performers-- is in no danger of starvation.  What is frightening to me is that the country I live in can reach across the miles to touch at least four people living in other places that have different copyright laws.  That's OVERREACH as far as I'm concerned.  Whether or not this particular raid was planned on the heels of Black Out Day and just before January 24th in order to demonstrate how "bad the pirate companies are, boys and girls" is up for speculation.  I can only hope that this bit of heavy-handed showery on the part of the good ol' FBI backfires for the supporters of SOPA and PIPA.

Already, talented folks are fiddling with ways to circumvent the D.N.S. blocking of any sites that may materialize if these draconian laws pass.  I encourage folks to download their own copies of one or more anti-SOPA tools now and save them in a secure location for use if needed.  There are two urls below my Fungus Among Us picture that I've included which you can copy into your web browser and visit if you so desire.  Or you can web search "anti-SOPA tool" for yourself if you prefer to.  "Forewarned is forearmed" is the caveat that I was taught in my youth.  It is not that I want to download a ton of movies or songs or videos on the sly.  It is more that I rebel against my government or other governing body blocking my access to wherever I wish to go on the internet.  I don't need to be protected from my own self.

The world has changed and the internet is part of that change.  I feel a bit of nostalgia for the days when we recorded songs off of the radio for our own personal use and yes, sharing with friends.  To be sure the quality wasn't very good.  And certainly we were not claiming that we wrote or sang the songs we had stored on our cassette tapes.  It used to be that one was allowed to make one copy of an album as personal backup.  It used to be that reviewers who used their blogs to criticize large institutional organizations or write a review of a restaurant were not faced with lawsuits.  It used to be that one could quote from a book for use in a critical essay without having to deal with subsequent court action.  In a society where folks are arrested for pointing out holes in security rather than thanked for the information, it is scarcely any wonder that hackers became a secretive lot and the need for an organization such as Anonymous has arisen.

The battle for free expression needs to be fought on all fronts.  There is a place for the folks shutting down websites with Denial of Service attacks just as there is a place for the folks who sign Google's on-line petitions.  Although the rads and the suits are frequently and publicly at odds with each other, we should be joining arms as brothers and sisters in this war and all others that speak up for the commoner.  I learned years ago during my days in Act Up and as a founding member of Queer Nation Albany the necessity of an approach which involved the rads burning an effigy of a xenophobic politician and the suits showing up the next day in order to talk with politicians about the issues in a calm fashion.

I lack the skills to join Anonymous and am at most a script kiddie-- and barely that.  So I am doing what I can-- signing petitions and contacting my Senator and Congressperson.  As of right now, I am boycotting Big Hollywood.  What are you doing?

radical sapphoq

urls of some of the many many articles that I read via Google News:,0,31035.story

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So Fair Use is Dead

This example of my digital artwork was created from a photograph that I took of some snow after my dog pissed on it.  I don't like the DMCA.  I don't like SOPA.  I don't like PIPA.  Find another way to protect your pocketbooks oh big Hollywood.  You politicians who support this latest broadly worded madness, your laws do not protect me.  I support Google and Wikipedia and all other sites on the internet that observed black out day in protest of our American politicians who are endeavoring to create laws about something that they do not really understand.  And I think not going to movies for awhile sounds pretty good to me.

                                              radical sapphoq

Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Open Letter to Jessica Ahlquist

Dear Jessica Ahlquist,

     Thank you for standing up for our Constitution-- and the Separation of Church and State.  I read about your case on Daylight Atheism.  I also found the Rhode Island Supreme Court Decision at
     I salute your bravery.  In my opinion, it is far easier to be an activist away from one's own community than it is in one's own "backyard."  I have found that out through my own experiences with participating in Queer Nation actions in other cities vs. writing a letter to the editor of my hometown newspaper.

     I've searched the Internet and have read through all of the responses that I found generated by the court's decision.  Sadly, I am not amazed by hatred and verbal abuse contained in some number of those responses.  As you well know, bullying is not confined to high school students.  The enthusiastic expression of a sincerely held religious belief is easily distinguishable from threats to "mess you up."

     I wish you the very best in your future endeavors,

     radical sapphoq