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Archive for the ‘Copyright’ Category

Local DNS to work around censorship

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I live in Denmark and unfortunately that’s a country where courts don’t know the laws they judge by. Which means IFPI got through with a nationwide block of the site thepiratebay.org. The Pirate Bay is basically just a huge public torrent tracker, which means many Open Source projects are using it to distribute files (fx. the game Urban Terror) and even the Danish national television were distributing some files through it. I personally used it to distribute the Creative-Commons BBC documentary The Codebreakers for IOSN (a UN Development Programme).

At first I used /etc/hosts and manually entered the IPs, because I didn’t want to use an external DNS service. I don’t trust any outsiders with all my DNS lookups, I want all lookups except the blocked domains to go to my ISP. Unfortunately a static hosts file is just not the same as doing a DNS lookup for this kind of site. Fx. tracker.thepiratebay.org does not point to one single IP, but 8 different IPs. CNAME records like vip.tracker.thepiratebay.org points to tracker.thepiratebay.org. Another problem is when TPB decides to start a new site like trial.thepiratebay.org, then I have to manually add that domain to /etc/hosts after looking it up at TPBs own nameservers.

Today I decided to try a different approach than the static hosts file. I wanted to set up at DNS proxy. I went with pdnsd, which was very easy to set up. All I had to do was to install the packages pdnsd and resolvconf (on Ubuntu 8.04) and add the two entries below to the pdnsd.conf file. The router entry redirects any lookup not pointing at thepiratebay.org and its subdomains to my router. If you’re not using a router you could enter the IPs of your ISPs DNS servers instead of the IP of your router. The tpb entry is simply an entry that looks up any request for thepiratebay.org and its subdomains and nothing else. The servers used are TPBs own name servers.

server {
    label = "router";
    ip =;
    exclude = ".thepiratebay.org";
    policy = included;
server {
    label = "tpb";
    ip =
    include = ".thepiratebay.org";
    policy = excluded;

Written by gaffa

2009-02-15 at 19:41

Posted in Copyright, Linux, Politics, Software, Ubuntu

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Garfield minus Garfield

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Today I stumpled upon a site called Garfield Minus Garfield. Here is what it says about the Garfield comic strip without Garfield.

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

What is even cooler is a blog post on what Jim Davis thinks about this remix art.

Instead of reacting over-zealously and hitting me with a Cease & Desist order, Jim is down to earth enough to admit that there’s a laugh to be had from Garfield Minus Garfield and in fact he even thanks me for putting it together!

Garfield Minus Garfield, 2008-08-01

Garfield Minus Garfield, 2008-08-01

Written by gaffa

2008-08-02 at 15:11

Posted in Art, Copyright, Humour

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IFPI – ten inconvenient truths

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In response to IFPIs ten inconvenient truths about piracy I have made my own list.

1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment “free music” rhetoric.

1. IFPI, one of the flagships of the copyright movement, makes millions of euros by selling music with DRM twice, because they lobbied a law package called the DMCA (or INFOSOC) which forbid you to copy your music for personal purposes.

2. Allofmp3.com, the well-known Russian website, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.

2. IFPI, the well-known organisation, has refused to recieve money from ROMS for a single artist in their stall whose fees they are paid to collect by its members (Read: Starving artists.. bu-hu). AllOfMP3.com is not illegal in Russia.

3. Organised criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.

3. Organised rights holders use the sale of CDs to raise revenue for advertising, lobbying and suing kids.

4. Illegal file-sharers don’t care whether the copyright infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.

4. Record companies don’t care whether the work they distribute is from a major or independent label – as long as they can rip them off.

5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on “underground” artists and more inclination to invest in “bankers” like American Idol stars.

5. High CEO salaries and useless suits mean less money to the artists “at risk”. The internet will eliminate the need for record companies and greedy CEOs.

6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.

6. ISPs facilitate data traffic between A and B. They do not filter your content. They do not sue you. They guard your privacy. Which is what IFPI would like to take away from you.

7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth – it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.

7. Immaterial rights creates wealth in – rich countries. Who cares about the commercial world? Since when did it care about you or music? Reality is that music is immaterial. Nature and physics does not facilitate a commercial world where you can own or sell immaterial things. I care about the music not about money, does IFPI

8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle or higher income earners.

8. Suing file-sharers is not done by poor record labels and independent artists. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University neglected to tell that poor people in China has better things to do than listen to music, like provide food for their family – maybe?

9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won’t stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.

9. What constitutes wrong? Taking away peoples privacy? Their rights? Their freedom? – Their music?

10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.

10. P2P networks are hotbeds for discovering new music. It is naturally popular music that is file-shared most frequently – that is what the word popular means, right?

Written by gaffa

2007-06-09 at 12:34

Posted in Copyright

Good Copy Bad Copy

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Is copyright really empowering music?

Featuring, in order of appearance:
DR LAWRENCE FERRARA, Director of Music Department NYU
PAUL V LICALSI, Attorney Sonnenschein
JANE PETERER, Bridgeport Music
ANAKATA, The Pirate Bay
TIAMO, The Pirate Bay
RICK FALKVINGE, The Pirate Party
LAWRENCE LESSIG, Creative Commons
RONALDO LEMOS, Professor of Law FGV Brazil
CHARLES IGWE, Film Producer Lagos Nigeria
MAYO AYILARAN, Copyright Society of Nigeria
SHIRA PERLMUTTER, Head of Global Legal Policy IFPI
PETER JENNER, Sincere Management
JOHN BUCKMAN, Magnatune Records
BETO METRALHA, Producer Belém do Pará Brazil
DJ DINHO, Tupinambá Belém do Pará Brazil

Download it here:

It is licensed under Creative-Commons so you are allowed to copy and “remix” it for non-commercial use.

Written by gaffa

2007-06-01 at 23:29

The truth about IFPI vs. Tele2

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This case is about whether Tele2 (a danish ISP) is violating copyright rules when they copy data in the act of transferring it from Alice to Bob.

To me it is OK for an ISP to keep logs which can be used as evidence if a case ever comes up, but it’s also absolutely crucial to me that ISPs are absolutely free of censorship.

In this particular case it evolved around the infamous AllOfMP3.com. This site is now blocked in Denmark and in effect we have blocked their side of the story. They could create another blog to try to get their story out, but just the fact that we made it harder for them and me, is an obstruction of my right to be free of censorship and of their freedom of speech. They have an established name which is able to attract people, if they had to go elsewhere with their story they would loose the power behind their words.

If I break a danish law in the way I use a website, I am the one who should be punished, not those who use the website for other purposes.

If you build fences honest people will be isolated and dishonest people will learn how to climb.

Well, screw my views on freedom and justice, but listen to these facts about the case.

  1. Tele2 and IFPI agreed that AllOfMP3 was illegal in Russia. There was no court ruling about that issue. It was something they “agreed on”.
  2. Your music has to be a certain length before you can claim copyright on it. You can for example not have copyright on a single tone. How big are the packets an ISP transfer from A to B? Not big enough to contain anything that can be copyrighted (in this case atleast).
  3. The danish copyright law says:

    § 11 a. Det er tilladt at fremstille midlertidige eksemplarer, som

    1) er flygtige eller tilfældige,

    2) udgør en integreret og væsentlig del af en teknisk proces,

    3) udelukkende har til formål at muliggøre enten en mellemmands transmission af et værk i et netværk mellem tredjemænd eller en lovlig brug af et værk og

    4) ikke har selvstændig økonomisk værdi.

    Stk. 2. Bestemmelsen i stk. 1 gælder ikke for edb-programmer og databaser.

I highlighted the important words in bold. “Enten” is “either” and “eller” is “or”. If you say “It is either this or that”. Can you have both? No.

This is a translation where I try to be as close to the danish as possible.

§ 11 a. It is permitted to make temporary copies, which

1) is momentary or random,

2) is an integrated and important part of a technical process,

3) only purpose is to allow either a middleman’s transmission of a work in a network between third parties or legal use of a work possible and

4) does not have an independent economical value.

It is pretty clearly stated in the law that an ISP can make momentary copies.

1. It IS momentary. [..and the small amount of data in a packet is not enough to be protected by copyright rules (in this case atleast)]

2. It IS an integrated and important part of a technical process.

3. The only purpose IS to make a transfer possible between third parties.

4. It does NOT have an independent economical value to the ISP.

It IS legal for an ISP to transfer copyrighted works whether they are legal or not.

The case was only brought to a civil court, but Tele2 decided not to appeal and all the other major ISPs chose to block the site without a fight. Either they are complete idiots or they have a hidden agenda.

You thought this was the worst part? Not really. The worst part is that AllOfMP3 is not illegal at all. Denmark has the exact same law as Russia in that area.

I’m not going to translate that paragraph, but if you’re interested you can find it in danish here (it is §50): http://www.retsinfo.dk/DELFIN/HTML/A2006/0076329.htm

There is an organization that represents all rights holders. ROMS in Russia and Koda in Denmark. An organization like this is defined as an organization which represents a significant part of rights holders within that area (music) and it also represents those who are not members. It is the rights holders own responsibility to apply for compensation through that organization.

Legally there is nothing wrong with AllOfMP3 and though it is amusing to read The Register ridiculing AllOfMP3 (as they do everyone else) someone has to tell the truth.

AllOfMP3 pays 15% in royalties to ROMS. IFPI could collect that huge sum and distribute it to their members if they didn’t have a hidden agenda. That hidden agenda is called DRM. It’s the only difference between Koda’s rules and ROMS’ rules.

In Denmark sites have to pay 12% and minimum 0.13 USD per track with no regard to quality.

If your ISP has blocked AllOfMP3 you can put these IPs into your hosts file (C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts) if you are on Windows. If you need instructions for Linux, Mac or a third system please post a comment. allofmp3.com http://www.allofmp3.com ssl.allofmp3.com img.allofmp3.com css.allofmp3.com account.allofmp3.com music.allofmp3.com covers.allofmp3.com blogs.allofmp3.com

Written by gaffa

2006-12-04 at 01:54

Posted in Copyright

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