Re: [-empyre-] Encounters with the right

Yes, great call Henry. This is related to Henry's post, and to posing as a tactic.

"How much effort does it take to get an ISP to pull public domain material using unsubstantiated legal threats? Distressingly little, according to a recent study by Dutch group Bits of Freedom.

Bits of Freedom signed up with 10 Dutch ISPs and used the websites to host text by Dutch author Multatuli, dating from 1871. Multatuli died in 1887 and his works are now in the public domain. A notice to that effect was attached to the published content.

The organisation then posed as the copyright holders of the work. A "legal representative" of the fake E.D. Dekkers society sent a "complaint" demanding that "copyright infringing" content be pulled forthwith to the 10 ISPs. The complaint - sent via a Hotmail account - cited notice and takedown provisions in the recent European E-commerce Directive.

Under the Directive, ISPs risk liability for hosting apparently illegal content on behalf on their customers. Once they are notified, they are obliged to render content inaccessible. Bits of Freedom wondered what would happen if complaints lacked legal validity. Its research is alarming for anyone concerned about online freedom of speech.

Seven of the ten providers (ISPs Tiscali, Wanadoo, Demon Internet and Planet Internet; hosting firms Yourhosting, iFast and Active24) pulled the content without either scrutinising the "offending" website or demonstrating a basic understanding of copyright law. In three cases the content was pulled within 24 hours - giving insufficient opportunity to question the basis of the complaint."

[more... see url above...]

Henry Warwick wrote:
I'm surprised that there's been no notice or discussion of the fiasco at

for those who don't know, this is the scoop in a greatly abbreviated form.

Two servers of Indymedia's, hosted by Rackspace in London UK, had images
that the Italian and Swiss police found less than optimal. Because Rackspace
is an American ISP, the FBI were called in, and using an MLA (Multi Lateral
Agreement) went into the Rackspace server farm PDQ and pulled the server,
giving Rackspace *no reasons* (or even feeble excuses) for their actions.
They simply handed over this international warrant and pulled the drives.

In so doing, they knocked out the hosting for the following indymedia

ambazonia, uruguay, andorra, pl, western massachussetts, indymedia,
antwerpen, nice, nantes, lilles, euskalherria, liege, oost-vlaanderen,
belgrade, wvl, portugal, prague, brasil, italy, germany.

Basically, most of western Europe was down.

Several days later, the drives were returned, but must now be considered
compromised, and it will take some time to get all the sites back on line.

What the FBI did (with the Swiss and the Italians) was pure and simple

You can chit chat about Deleuze and Derrida until you're blue in the face,
but these monsters don't care. They are out to destroy and intimidate voices
of resistance. This episode with indymedia ( and all the info being
unearthed by Russ Kick over at ) only goes to
show that the actual situation is far more dire than many care to consider.

That Mr Gate's Kerry signs would be uprooted by his neighbour in (let me
guess - you're in Takoma Park? I lived there in 85-86 and my ex-GF still
lives there) a liberal suburb of the belly of the beast, the Heart of the
Empire, only serves to show just how far it has all gone. When nutty
paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul are voices of reason in
the Republican Party, things are very very bad.

There was a gallery owner here in SF, who had paintings displayed that were
extremely critical of the war in Iraq. Some right wing jerk came to the
gallery and beat her severely in the face. She quickly closed the gallery.

We are dealing with fascists. Bush even said "a dictatorship would be so
much easier..."

I am quite convinced that this election is going to be pivotal for the
future of the United States. If Bush is re-elected, I believe that there is
a greater than even chance that 2004 will be the last meaningful national
election for quite some time. I would also put a Civil War (or a level of
unrest that will make the 1960s look like kindergarten) by 2008 at better
than even odds.

I do not consider Kerry any great shakes, but Kerry is a man capable of
reasoning and higher mental functioning. He is not completely devoid of
perspective. He is every bit the imperialist that Bush is, but: he (like
Clinton before him) has enough sense to know that the Empire is temporary,
and that the only sustainable situation is one of a multipolar geopolitic -
the unipolar demands of Empire will bankrupt and destroy the country, and
cause much needless suffering and destruction.

The Bush Junta is a dangerous bunch, and must be defeated.

If the United States of America expects to survive into the second half of
the 21st century, it must renounce and walk away from its Empire. Not
through defeat, but through conscious public display and action.

To paraphrase John Cage, the United States of America must become 6% of the
world's population, no more, no less.

Sorry if this has very little to do with Art, but after the indymedia
fiasco, and reading Mr Gates's story and blog and dealing with my own little
nightmares, I felt compelled to comment.

I wish you all the very best.


empyre forum

-- Brett Stalbaum Lecturer, psoe Coordinator, ICAM Department of Visual Arts, mail code 0084 University of California, San Diego 9500 Gillman La Jolla CA 92093

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