Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting Death March Claims KPIG

The list of dead web radio signals now includes the Linux-powered KPIG and too many other victims to count. Meanwhile, Hollywood's anti-Net campaign is winning the fight for hearts and minds of lawmakers and regulators. What's our response?

On July 17, I asked “Why Are So Many Internet Radio Stations Still on the Air?” It was only one week after the Final Determination by the Librarian of Congress had become law--a law that was clearly a death sentence for internet radio in the United States. At the time, few stations had quit broadcasting, and there was little sign that any had plans to cease operations.

That changed the next day when KPIG pulled its live signals off the Web. KPIG was the first commercial radio station to broadcast on the Web. After more than seven years on the air, it had become one of the most popular webcasts in the world (and one that was almost entirely Linux-based). Suddenly it was gone. From there the news got worse. All over the country, webcasts were dropping like bad packets. The casualty list went bubonic, becoming too long and growing too fast to count.

But Bill Goldsmith wasn't ready to throw in the towel—at least not yet. Bill is the hacker-in-chief at KPIG and the proprietor of his own popular internet station, Radio Paradise. He is also the only webcaster whose extensive automated record-keeping system (based entirely on free and open-source software) approaches the level of detail required of webcasters under the new copyright law. Since Bill is also a veteran broadcaster with a highly successful on-air station (KPIG makes money and kicks butt in the ratings), he's in a better position than anybody else on earth to advocate the webcasters' case both to lawmakers and copyright holders.

In news stories about the internet radio kill-off, Bill had been publicly remarking about negotiations with “copyright holders”, without giving any more details. When I contacted him early last week, he said he was optimistic about those negotiations and that we should know something more on Thursday. I wrote a story without an ending on Wednesday, in my SuitWatch newsletter. And the next day, right on schedule, the good news came in: Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA), George Nethercutt (R-WA) and Jay Inslee (D-WA) had just introduced the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA). The bill, H.R. 5285, would “amend title 17, United States Code, with respect to royalty fees for webcasting, and for other purposes.” Those fees were determined by CARP (Copyright Arbitration and Royalty Panel) in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Here's what the three men said in a joint press release published on Inslee's site:

Inslee: “Congress should support creative and innovative uses for new technology, not drive small web radio broadcasters out of business with huge fees. We need to refine the current law on digital technology quickly, before more small web radio broadcasters are forced out of business. Changing the standard for setting royalty rates is crucial to the survival of this innovative sector. We seek a balance between just compensation and internet development. This process must be fair but not free.”

Nethercutt: “No one wins under the current CARP standard—webcasters will close shop, consumers lose access to a wide selection of programming, and copyright holders collect nothing. Our legislation protects small businesses from the onerous CARP ruling, ensuring the continuation of webcasting and, incidentally, creating a long-term revenue stream for copyright holders.”

Boucher: “Unfortunately, both the CARP and the Librarian of Congress were working under a flawed law that has produced a royalty rate that harms not only the hundreds of webcasters that have already shut down operations, but also internet users seeking innovative music programming and artists seeking alternative avenues through which to promote their music.”

Later I learned from Bill Goldsmith that the IRFA introduction was purely coincidental. He had nothing to do with it. His negotiations were with the victors in the CARP battle: the RIAA. I asked him what he thought about IRFA, about the negotiations with the RIAA and whether he would consider taking Radio Paradise offshore if talks failed. Here is his reply:

The most important thing that the Boucher bill would accomplish is an important reform of the CARP process itself: facilitating participation by small businesses and losing the “willing buyer-willing seller” model. That's what led the previous CARP to settle on the wildly atypical Yahoo-RIAA agreement as a model for the compulsory license.

It probably would not protect KPIG as presently worded, because KPIG is owned by a corporation with revenues in excess of $6 million per year.

Personally, I doubt that the bill will pass, and it certainly won't pass in time to solve the present crisis. Radio Paradise is presently involved in negotiations (along with several other independent webcasters) with the RIAA to try to strike a compromise. It looks like that may happen well before any legislative remedy could be applied.

As for RP going offshore, the CARP rates are only a relatively small factor influencing our decision there. Though the idea of being able to put this entire issue behind me is very attractive.

Bill's betting line on IRFA is substantiated by the fact that two of IRFA's three congressional authors say nothing about the bill on their web sites (Inslee is the only one who appears interested). THOMAS, a web site built to record every piece of legislation in the congressional mill, also appears to know nothing about H.R. 5285.

Is it real? One has to wonder. We've fallen for false hopes before. What turned them false was the tide of pro-Hollywood thinking that began flowing through Congress long before it carried the DMCA into copyright law in 1998. As Larry Lessig said in his keynote at OSCon last week, we—the Free Software, Open Source and pro-Internet communities—are losing the argument. The Internet, which grew almost entirely outside the regulatory environment, is being pulled inside, not only in the US but all over the world. In May 2001 the European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) followed the US lead in extending copyright terms and fair-use restrictions. We like to say the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it, but in what decade? Tell that to the guys on this list here. Many (probably most) of them ran on Linux.

This pro-Hollywood bias in Congress runs so deep that even legislators who think they're being fair still operate like sock puppets for Jack Valenti. Take the case of Senator Harry Reed of Nevada. In response to a helpful suggestion from Tom Poe, who runs Open Studios, a community-based, open-source, free recording studio in Reno, the Senator sent a reply in Jack Valenti's own handwriting (the highlights are mine):

Dear Mr. Poe:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the intellectual property rights and the public domain. I appreciate hearing from you.

I understand your concerns about ensuring that. This issue is very controversial because Congress must protect intellectual property rights while still allowing ordinary Internet users to have access to public domain content. I appreciate hearing your suggestion for a “tag” system. I am carefully reviewing a number of proposals to address this issue, and as I do so, I will keep your views in mind.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. For more information about my work for Nevada, my role in the United States Senate Leadership or to subscribe to regular e-mail updates on the issues that interest you, please visit my web site at http://reid.senate.gov. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

My best wishes to you.Sincerely,HARRY REIDUnited States Senator

Look at the caste system implied by the Senator's wording:

  • What matters most are intellectual property rights.

  • The Internet's only important content is protected property.

  • That property must be excluded from the public domain.

  • The public domain is something that exists only for “ordinary internet users” who only should have “access” to it.

Well, what about our friends in the big technology companies? Don't they have some influence in Congress too? The sad answer is that they're conflicted at best. At worst, they're on Hollywood's side. This became clear last week at OSCon, where Bruce Perens planned to demonstrate the DeCSS software that lets Linux users play DVDs but was developed outside the auspices of the consumer electronics cartel. His Friday session was billed this way:

Digital Rights Management - How Will It Affect Linux and Free Software?

Bruce Perens

Track: Emerging Topics

Date: Friday, July 26

Time: 2:30pm - 3:15pm

Location: Grande

Ballroom B

Bruce Perens demonstrates digital rights management systems and their circumventions, and covers how the underlying technology works. How will we be able to use DRM-protected media? What political and technical problems does it present for Linux and Free Software?

We got the answer to the title question when Martin Fink, Bruce's boss at Hewlett-Packard, stopped the proceedings in their tracks. “I have a thing about my employees going to jail”, Fink told the crowd before Bruce's talk, “and I don't want Bruce to go to jail. Hopefully he'll thank me for that one day.”

“Some of you came here to see me taken away in chains”, Bruce told the session. “But that isn't going to happen.” No, only metaphorically. “Obviously, I could still do it...but that would damage HP's Linux program, which would probably be a bad idea.”

Before Bruce spoke, Fink explained HP's position on the DMCA. On the one hand, he said, “We do understand that there are aspects of the DMCA that are not favorable to the Open Source community.” On the other hand (the one with the chains), he said “the content producers have a right to get paid for their content.”

As if Linux users don't buy DVDs.

HP's stripes became clearer yesterday, when Declan McCullagh reported that HP invoked the DMCA in its threat to sue researchers who publicized a bug in HP's Tru64 UNIX operating system. In response, Bruce posted this on his web site:

Hot Topic:9:46 P.M. PST, Tuesday July 30:Everyone's after me about the way HP is alleged to have used DMCA to intimidate someone who reported a security flaw in the Tru64 OS. If it's true, obviously I will have some criticism for HP management. When I went to work there, I negotiated for the right to criticize HP publicly, when necessary. This might be one of those times. Give me a little time to investigate.

Credit where due: it takes a certain kind of bravery to labor in the belly of the beast. That goes for congressmen as well as hackers like Bruce. But like geeks in the corporations that employ them, the congressional good guys are in the minority, and they are not matching their opponents move-for-move. On July 19, Sen. Ernest Hollings sent a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell urging the adoption of a “broadcast flag” that would resist copying of digital content intended for broadcast and aid in the prosecution of copying violators. (Here's the EFF's take on the issue.) On the same day, Senators Tauzin and Dingel sent a joint letter of their own making the same request. And on July 25, Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), the representative from the part of Los Angeles where Disney (the top Berman contributor) makes its home, previewed legislation intended to sanction “electronic countermeasures”--what CNET calls “high tech attacks”--against peer-to-peer trafficking in copyrighted “content”.

In the San Jose Mercury News, columnist Dan Gillmor wrote this in “Hacking, hijacking our rights”:

If you or I asked Congress for permission to legally hack other people's computers, we'd be laughed off Capitol Hill. Then we'd be investigated by the FBI and every other agency concerned with criminal violations of privacy and security.

Then again, you and I aren't part of the movie and music business. We aren't as powerful as an industry that knows no bounds in its paranoia and greed, a cartel that boasts enough money and public-relations talent to turn Congress into a marionette.

When I asked a Hollywood-connected friend of mine how the Berman bill was going down with the geeks in the industry, I got back this e-mail:

The entertainment geeks think “Berman is a complete money-grubbing, technically illiterate idiot.” (A direct quote from an undisclosed source.) Other reliable inside sources said the reason Berman sponsored the bill was because he “wanted the money” (not needed it) and was running unopposed. He thought the bill would endear him to the big money-donating, studio types in the neighborhood. However, he was clueless about how it would divide the voters in the district. Remember the San Fernando Valley has as many technical people as creative types. Talk about the Hatfields and the McCoy's!

The best comment came from a close friend of mine who said, “The talent-types in entertainment community are completely stupid about the effects of all these laws. Talent is normally pretty brainless about how things really work. However, because they are the pretty faces who can get the camera time on-air, they get heard before we techies get the time of day. It will be a pretty damn big wake-up call if these laws go through—and they can't get their cheap indie-productions done on a shoestring for an f'in tax big write-off during their next summer hiatus!”

Many are saying if the law goes through—they are leaving the business.

Publicly, we are hearing almost nothing from our allies in Hollywood. One welcome exception is Ken Layne, who wrote this:

Here's the fun part from this AP story:

Records show [Howard L.] Berman received at least $186,891 from the entertainment industry during the 2001-02 election cycle, including $31,000 from the Walt Disney Co. and $28,050 from AOL-Time Warner Inc.

Howie wants to “secretly hack into consumers' computers or knock them off-line entirely if they are caught downloading copyrighted material”, says the AP. Help this LA Valley whore by writing to his DC office. He's an ugly hooker but that doesn't keep him from taking the money. After all, he knows how to turn a trick.

Here's the e-mail: howard.berman@mail.house.gov. Let Howie know how you feel about his lips being wrapped around the Disney/AOL Time-Warner teat.

We still live in a democracy. That means we—the ones who know what it means to live and work in freedom and know why the Internet was built to serve those same purposes—have many more strings to our elected representatives than any company, or any interest group, no matter how well-connected they may be. Are we going to pull them?

The other side's purpose is plain. They want to turn the entire world into an extension of Hollywood, where nothing happens until leagues of lawyers “clear rights” to every imaginable piece of intellectual property that might show up in a movie, a musical recording or some other “content” that will flow from a few huge producers to millions of “consumers” through government-regulated and industry-controlled distribution pipes. They want to tear up the Internet's commons and replace it with the same cartelized piping system that controls television, movie distribution and commercial radio.

There's lots we can do. Here are a few links to help get us started:

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Free Software Foundation

Open Source Initiative

American Open Technology Consortium


Creative Commons

Save Our Streams

Save Internet Radio.org

You can also fax your legislator, expressing your support for the Internet Radio Fairness Act.

Doc Searls (doc@ssc.com) is senior editor of Linux Journal. His opinions are his own.


Doc Searls is the Editor in Chief of Linux Journal


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

Call me an old fogey (35!) but I like to hear the sounds of yesteryear rather than the rivers of drivel that is necessarily generated these days (all ages produce drivel from which something good is distilled of course, but I don't want to do the sifting myself!).

A naive question:

Is there such a thing as music collections in the public domain and outside the control of the various regulatory bodies?

I would make a special effort to listen to a station whose policy was to only put out such material. For instance, I would love to retire to the BBC sound archive and dig out the weird and wonderful that often escapes onto BBC radio.

I do not think the world desperately needs Hollywood's output - let the passage of time distill what it will and in the meantime enjoy what has gone before...

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

Why don't you come out and say something against DRM in principle? Your comments on the website seem vague on this.

Where you are clear is on law. Most people are not surprised that stupid politicians and lobbyists will produce flawed DRM-related legislation. Legislation is an easy target. If you are not opposed to DRM in principle, then the task really becomes one of: "here's how we can help legislators come up with better DRM law that won't unreasonably constrain "freedom of speech".

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

hp guy: "the content producers have a right to get paid for their content."

doc: "As if Linux users don't buy DVDs"

me: "as if that makes it okay for some other Linux users and other people to copy DVDs from friends."

we--the ones who know what it means to live and work in freedom and know why the Internet was built to serve those same purposes--So what, times change, so will the internet.

The other side's purpose is plain.- to make a profit. Just don't buy music that you don't want to. Enough said about that. They want to ..."clear rights" to ... intellectual property... that will flow from ... producers to ... "consumers" through ...regulated ...controlled distribution pipes.Sounds reasonable if you delete your rhetoric. Why won't people simply produce their own movies and give them a DRM flag set to "totally unfettered" and distribute them over the internet. Are you trying to suggest that this kind of use of the internet "commons" is threatened? It would be good if you would write something arguing against applying DRM in principle, rather than DRM as it may be applied given politics and self-interested companies. We can always go back and fix bad laws. I tried to read your article carefully but I just don't see why you are so worried. Perhaps you could make it more plain.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

OK, much as I hate them they must have some effect because they keep showing up, so maybe it's time to enlist them on our side. "They" are political ads that go something like this (insert appropriate music):

This country was built on the idea of freedom and security. Sadly, US Representative Howard Berman wants to legislate away the freedom of his constituents, and everyone else in America, to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Representative Berman has introduced a bill that would allow corporations to invade, disable and steal files from your personal computers.

Call Howard Berman at (xxx) xxx-xxxx and tell him you don't want him legislating away your Fourth Amendment rights.

Paid for by www.(insert URL here).org, John Q. Whatever, treasurer.

This is the short version. The real version would of course be 30 seconds long, much more fleshed out and properly produced, meaning it would cost some money to do so (and to run the ad, of course).

An ad like this does several things:

1. It paints a positive picture -- Mom and Pop Voter and the kids happily sitting at their computer going about their private business.

2. It then paints a negative one -- evil forces disrupting the positive picture by breaking into this Rockwellesque picture of domestic tranquility. You don't even necessarily have to say who the evil forces are, so long as they're out there. (Focus on the legislation, not some Hollywood Is Bad mantra. To Mom and Pop Voter, Hollywood is not bad, it should be the legislation that is bad. They can learn about Hollywood later.)

3. It paints Howard Berman as the bad guy for proposing legislation that allows the evil forces to do this and puts that meme into the viewer's mind.

4. It gives a phone number to call to try to change Berman's mind. While this would be a worthwhile goal, my take on these commercials is that it probably seldom happens -- #3 is the more important goal. Even so I'm sure it would be a Good Thing(tm) for Berman to hear of his constituents' displeasure.

5. It supplies a URL for the viewer to contact for further information. Usually the support messages are along the lines of "Paid for by Citizens for Fair use, John Q. Whatever, treasurer," but I don't know of any law that says you can't name a political action group www.fourthamendment.org or something similar.

We geeks can scream and holler until we're blue in the face, but until we start getting the public on our side, or at least that 31% of the public that votes (or whatever the number is), nothing will happen.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

(From Tom Matrullo): Just a modest footnote to this whole mess. The roots of the caste system go deeper than Hollywood or the pockets of folks like Howie Berman. The publishing industry is very much involved - like an animal eating its own tail, it's preventing the free and creative use of published material, thus stupifying us while undermining the power to refer which is basic to new creation. More on this here.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Doc's picture

Thanks, Tom.

Let me second your pointer to the story you put up here.

If publishers were half as organized and connected (and gaga-inducing to lawmakers) as Hollywood, the Net would have been deeply fucked years ago. As it stands, the Web' commons is merely strewn with gopher holes like the one you mention involving quotations of Yeats (which you can put freely on the Web, while the author in question can't do the same in a book). What's happening with radio is like what happened in England with the enclosure acts, when the common lands were appropriated to serve the purposes of powerful and well-connected interests. As of today, broadcasting on the Net for all but the well-connected (the few who worked sweetheart deals outside the CARP process) is on its way to becoming an enclosed and empty space.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

No question but that the laws of caste are powerfully at work within Hollywood and broadcast, Doc. I think the varied efforts of publishers to put their stuff on the net, and then to protect us from it via subscription models, pay-thru-nose-per-view, 4,762 pop-ups, etc., offers a pretty clear indication of how far this foolishness of trying to turn a web into a collection of tupperware containers will succeed. Instead of attempting to put the lid back on Pandora's box, why not let whatever is trying to develop do so? There will always be smart folks to create a healthy revenue model from it.- tom.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

And as a follow-up to saying "no" to Hollywood, maybe the techies that help them make all these flashy movies will be able to walk away (slowly at first) from the industry that is attacking them at their basic freedoms.

Or at least they could start raising their rates to help fund the victims of their lobbying in Congress.

say no to hollyweird

Anonymous's picture

A lot of talk going on about how Hollywood and big corporate are assaulting i-net freedoms. I've turned off the cable, turned off the tuner, don't buy any new music or movies, and simply stopped feeding those who are trying to do me harm. I make almost no difference whatsoever, but I feel a little better.
If you watched the elections and forgot for a while about political parties, you saw how it's all just a money grab backed by legislation. Still, we support the very groups that are doing us the most harm. Why? I suspect because Hollywood is so good at telling a story in an entertaining and compelling way - regardless or often in spite of reality - and we're so dumb we climb into the pot and wait until we're cooked.
While an old capitalist pig like me supports the idea of a fair profit, I don't buy into the idea that unlimited profits, unfettered by ethics and enforced not by the market but by paid politicians courts, is what I know as a free market.
At the bottom, though, is that those who have their hands on the levers will only act when the money is right. That being the case, the only real solution is to find a way to get into their pockets. Any other solution is merely daydreaming and ineffective. So how does that happen?

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

Just say "no" to Hollywood. If they are so concerned about their trashy content (and most of it is), then let them have it, and we will try to pretend their offensive material doesn't exist.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

Doc says we still live in a democracy. This has never been a democracy. We have a representative form of government. The fundamental flaw in a representative form of government is the concentration of power into the hands of too few people, and the ease with which that power can be corrupted.

The technology is pretty much in place. What we need now is the awareness that we can and should re-constitute ourselves as a direct democracy.

Don't Trust Industry to Help

Anonymous's picture

These are civil rights issues and it FOOLISH to expect corperations to help in these property rights matters.

The burden to protect property rights in the digital age lays at the feet of you, the Free Citizen

DRM is THEFT, and We are the Stakeholders.



Re: Don't Trust Industry to Help

Anonymous's picture

Thanks, Ruben. I was remiss in not putting NYLXS on that bottom list.

Great work in D.C. on 7/17 too, by the way. Sounds like it rocked.

And keep us posted on what you guys are up to.

Power from the people!

Re: Don't Trust Industry to Help

Anonymous's picture

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

Doc makes some valid points, but if we loose this battle, it's our own fault. We refuse to do what's neessary to raise the issue. In fact, half our community fights against efforts to raise these issues.

Every lug needs to start today to put preasure on their local congressman to be proactive in this matter.

NY Fairuse http://www.nyfairuse.org , is the example which others must emulate.

Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

Although I think this is a very important concern, I think its time to think in other issues. The main concern should be "what kind of society are we building?". The copyrights laws your "democratic" government want to make, are no different than other positions you have taken regarding other world problems. Just look at the Kyoto agreement or International Criminal Court. Hollywood companies are no different than your (as a country) own view of the rest of the world. If the rest of the world start acting as you do then we all are in trouble. Hopefully Europe will stop following your steps (wich I really don't believe..) and start to give a better example.


Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

Anonymous's picture

I totally agree. Hopefully our new (if it ever comes through) 'European Army' will give the European countries the guts to say no to 'big bad USA'


Re: Hollywood Steps Up Its Assault on the Net While Webcasting D

tompoe's picture

Hi: What a marvelous capture of our present situation. So much has been left out, yet the piece is complete, concise and leaves the impression that something has to be done.

HP has committed virtual treason with its' actions. Nothing less, to censor with the threat of loss of job to Bruce, should he speak up. Our country is not built on censorship. It's built on the freedom to speak our minds. Research is censored effectively, throughout academia with this most recent act. The pattern is repeating itself, and there's no denial that corporate greed will censor without hesitation, and our universities are "de facto" silenced at this point.

Yet, for all that's happened, I find that our brethren, our clued in Bloggers are beside themselves with joy over being able to do the work of the RIAA, Hillary, Hollings, Berman, by excitedly offering free RIAA artist CD's for download. Why? Why is there still support from those who should understand the problems and issues surrounding the Internet and our freedom to engage in a Civil Society?

In a matter of weeks, Open Studios expects the Creative Commons Project to be open for business. At that time, recording artists, bands, authors, research scientists, technical engineers, academia throughout the world, will have a place to register their works in the Public Domain. They will be able to place restrictions on those works, and to pursue careers in the Arts & Sciences without reliance on Copyright as Hollywood depicts it, Disney depicts it. They will use the Public Domain as it was intended, and replenish our precious Public Domain, revitalize our precious FAIR USE Doctrine.

This event will mark the Battle Cry! Take Back The Internet! We will hear the Battle Cry, and will then have to decide, do we pay the price for freedom for our Internet? Or, do we buckle.

The Internet is free to all who choose to use it. Some have to pay a monthly fee to have access. Others pay by the bit. Still others pay by the minute. The Internet, however, is capable of being free to those who use it. How?

Each work that is registered with the Creative Commons Project will be given a corresponding "Tag", along with a recorded "Deed" to clearly identify it as a Public Domain registered work. Open Content Network is working to make these machine-readable tags capable of being displayed and used by a browser. This enables each one of us to search and find those tags. In essence, to restrict our Internet usage to those sites who are displaying the Creative Commons "tags" for works in the Public Domain.

The Battle Cry! says, don't give the enemy any slack. If you can't find what you need on the Public Domain Internet, you don't need it!

Bloggers can serve the world's army of free Internet users, by assisting them in locating information they need. By coordinating and making available a world of Public Domain supported sites, not the sites sponsored and paid-for by corporate greed and tyranny.

My suggestion for moving this war forward, is to enlist the world community in a boycott to end all boycotts. When the technology companies want to market their products, they'll have to place public domain tags on their sites, or lose their market place. When they abuse the privilege of the public domain tag, the world community will blast them off the Internet! It's a necessary step, and it will be fun, too!


Tom Poe

Reno, NV

Open Studios