15 Jan 2003

The dotCommunist Manifesto

A Spectre is haunting multinational capitalism—the spectre of free information. All the powers of “globalism” have entered into an unholy alliance to exorcize this spectre: Microsoft and Disney, the World Trade Organization, the United States Congress and the European Commission.

Where are the advocates of freedom in the new digital society who have not been decried as pirates, anarchists, communists? Have we not seen that many of those hurling the epithets were merely thieves in power, whose talk of “intellectual property” was nothing more than an attempt to retain unjustifiable privileges in a society irrevocably changing? But it is acknowledged by all the Powers of Globalism that the movement for freedom is itself a Power, and it is high time that we should publish our views in the face of the whole world, to meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Free Information with a Manifesto of our own.

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permalink | manifestos | 2003.01.15-12:46.00

10 Jan 2003

Free Software and the Broadcast Media, II

In my last column I discussed the pending proceeding of the US Federal Communications Commission to consider copy-protection for broadcast digital television. I described the significance of the GNU Radio program, which allows general-purpose computers to process waveform data received from wireless receivers and thus to interpret digital TV signals. Because GNU Radio is free software that any user has the right to understand and to modify, when GNU Radio is configured to receive broadcast digital TV, a user could modify the program to ignore the copy-protection—in the form of the so-called “broadcast flag”—under consideration by the FCC.

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permalink | columns/lu | 2003.01.10-00:00.00