ACTA2

Hi everyone, I haven’t posted anything here for a really long time now and am coming back because I just wrote this post on Facebook and realized that it’s more of a blog thing really… OK, there we go.

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The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was a proposed multinational treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement.

When first introduced in 2012 it met a lot of critisicm. As of yesterday, ‘ACTA2’ is a thing for of Europe’s Member States (and people are panicking) so I thought I’d share my opinion and a little bit of information. Please note, I’m not a lawyer. And I don’t think I know it all. It’s just my opinion.

You should always obtain someone’s agreement for sharing their works before you do so. Online piracy is not a standard, it’s theft. And how offended we are with ACTA2 shows how much used to it we got. And yeah, sure, I streamed movies before, I used books found online for writing my uni papers. Not saying I’m any better; I’m just not going to expect the law to protect that kind of behaviour.

Very important part of the document is this: ‘These rights shall not apply to private or non-commercial uses of press publications carried out by individual users’. So yeah, Internet will work like books or CDs: it’s OK to lend someone your book and talk about it with them. It’s OK to quote and show exerpts. It’s not OK to reprint half of the book for the purpose of your own book and make money off the sales without first purchasing the rights to do so.

Another important bit of the legislation: ‘Member States shall ensure that users in all Member States are able to rely on the following existing exceptions and limitations when uploading and making available content generated by users on online content sharing services:
a) quotation, criticism, review,
b) use for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche.’

Also, regarding spreading cultural/scientific heritage, ‘Periodicals which are published for scientific or academic purposes, such as scientific journals, shall not be considered as press publications for the purposes of this Directive.’ So you are still allowed to share scientific knowledge and use periodicals found online to write your thesis (example: yours truly these days, sad long days).

Another one: ‘Member States shall provide for an exception or limitation to the rights (…) in order to allow the digital use of works and other subject-matter for the sole purpose of illustration for teaching [here are lots of points about it’s extent… just read the document. And if you don’t have time or will to get uber bored, read what EU’s website says about the document HERE]’

So I think that this document makes a lot of sense and it rather reasonable. It should be read first, before panicking and supporting all the websites claiming it’s ‘the censorship directive’ because they’re also the same websites that copy over most of their content and then make money off the ads on their page.
I hear someone say it’ll stop memes from existing… nothing will stop the memes. Not even nuclear war. Also someone would have to first complain and ask for taking their meme down. Will you, Jenna, or do you want your silly cat pic with a description to go all over the globe?! ­čśë

A valid argument is that text and data mining (crucial for modern research an AI development) will be confusing. ACTA allows for text and data mining to be a thing in some cases, but not others. Rightholders could opt out of having their data datamined by anyone who isn’t a research organization (is it this bad?).
There is no easy answer to this one and I’m not 100% how I feel about it. I think the real question we need to ask ourselves is: do we value artificial intelligence and its works more than human intelligence and its works?

I also heard someone saying that this will kill music and musicians’ online activity. That if you can’t use samples you’re not free. Really? Cause I feel like if you’re already not allowed to just take someone’s work. And sure, you can register and pay royalties… but have you heard about Geoff Barrow of Massive Attack? His Invada Records in based in the office building where we work and just the other day he posted on Twitter complaining about Lil Pump using his and Ben Salisbury’s track for ‘his deeply fucking sexist song [‘Racks on Racks’]. He said that they didn’t give clearance. I also love how he added, ‘As 2 fathers of daughters this shit needs to seriously fuck off.’ He also started his Tweet with ‘who is Lil Pump’ which made me very happy.

So the question is: do we value people’s freedom to take for free whatever they want and use for whatever they want more than we value copyright and creator’s rights to keep the message spreading only in the right context? Afterall if they want it to be available for all to use, they just have to state it and ‘is coooooool man’.

Coming back to the ‘protect musicians’ argument that’s used by some (including stopacta2.org) I believe that if you’re a musician, you either play standards and royalties for them are being played, or you create your own tracks. Sampling someone’s music and then adding a beat and some urban lyrics isn’t creating, it’s basically talking on top of someone else’s music. And if you’re making money off it or making it public, if you call it your own song, if you add to it a message that the original piece did not carry – that’s artistic abuse, not freedom. That’s abusing the rights of the musician; you know, the person who actually wrote and played music, who knows how to play an instrument (or, I guess, who knows how to use music harmony + a computer) and who doesn’t claim that if they’re song is 50% Amazing Grace it’s title should be ‘lick me nips’.

Back to notslamming shitty rappers.
I haven’t finished reading the document yet (spent a lot of my working day today on it tho!) and there may be some dark surprises… but I wanted to share this post when I still remember what I was thinking as I was reading the directive.

Please let me know what you think about it. Are there any disturbing points that the directive makes that you’d like to share and discuss?

PS ah, the irony of this post ­čśë

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ACTA2

Quick update from Bristol

Hey all,

it’s nice to be back. Let’s get straight to the point.

I moved to Bristol in October… well, really in December, as before I stayed in Hanham at Mark’s place and haven’t actually worked in Bristol until the last week of November.

That is when I got a job at this super hipster bakery that tries to be a restaurant as well called Pinkmans. It seemed like a place that’d be very on time with what’s going on in the world of coffee so although I’ve got a better position offered somewhere else, I decided to take on Pinkmans – as I really loved my coffee stuff.

I became a regular visitor of a few open mics in town, trying to find musicians interested in forming a band.

Then it turned out that Pinkies┬ádon’t actually care about the quality of their coffee and serve their beverages in cups smelling like a dirty dishwasher so I figured out I need to save money asap to get a battery-powered amplifier and get far away from there.

That’s when trouble at my flat begun but there’ll be a separate post for it cause it’s a long and interesting story, beautiful and disgusting depending on its moments. Anyway, I won, as always, and moved on. I still hang out at the flat all the time.

And then, after I bought my amp and asked Steven, the owner of Pinkmans to go part-time, I’ve got fired through an email, while on my holidays, with not a day notice for┬ásome bullshit about being sick/willing to go home early after I asked them for one day sick (first since three months) after working the whole day in fever and not being able to talk.

So if you’re planning on getting your chai latte from Pinkmans (note it’s not actually real chai tea latte, it’s┬ájust milk with spices), be aware that your money goes to such person. And that the stuff gets paid minimum for working 10 hours with 20 minutes break. In athmosphere in which general manager doesn’t speak to one of the employees (not even hi) for almost two months long. Where KP with a degree got fired for ‘lack of interest’ and where multiple people are getting fired through an email without earlier notice about the reasons. You’d support the place that exploits amazing amazing people – because the team that I had chance to work with was absolutely amazing. The girls on the counter, my colleagues on the bar and the beautiful bakers and kitchen staff…

If you’re vegan, don’t buy H&M, hate Nestle or work for Amnesty International or just care about hungry children in Africa – don’t be selective about changing the reality┬áthat surrounds you. Don’t support Pinkmans.

*****

Getting fired was the best thing that happened to me – ever since I’ve been busking/getting gigs for the summertime. Earning way more money, wasting no time and not having to eat/drink from smelly dishes.

I’ve been meeting so many people and my perspective has changed a lot.

Not being opressed on every day and put in a situation where someone judges all of my actions while not having any competitions in the field (coffee) and burning their milk every time, I’ve relaxed my muscles, my throat, my soul. New songs are being composed, new opportunities are coming my way, I get a lot of sunshine, have time for vocal practice and finally get to see my friends. I’m also playing my first-ever-in-the-UK festival! … but that’s material for another post, a pure musical update with no bullshit low-class evil in it ­čśë

Here’s me (and my third eye, hence the enlightment!)┬áwith a friend that I made while busking:

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Quick update from Bristol

Quick update from the road – Italy

I’m alive!

I have been traveling for three weeks now and just now got a chance of sharing some of my stories with you.

First of all – I knew it’d be a chalenge to travel Italy, France and Spain without knowing the language, yet sometimes it was just too much. On the other hand it gives you so much crazy satisfaction once you get across the language barrier!

My first ride from Milano to somewhere 1/3-way to Sanremo was a truck driver Tony who in English knew only ‘hello’. Yet we spend a whole hour talking, playing the music together and sharing our stories; somehow. We WANTED to communicate and so we did. If I try describing Italy in one phrase it will be: Italy is very humid, the people don’t know English, yet want to tell you a lot so they try, the women are loud and tabacchi bars are┬ámuch better than pizzerias.

My first host, Alex, was a … special person. This time CouchSurfing didn’t go crazy. Yet I have met somebody else (in a way through CS, really – just by an accident), a very special person I believe. Hoomam.

He decided to leave Siria after a bomb had exploded next to him. He’d escaped to Sweden where he’s spent half a year living in a refugee camp and learning Swedish;┬áhe’s been doing so well that not only after being given residency he became a Swedish teacher, but also speaking English he had Swedish accent. Very lingo-talented, whatever I told him in Polish, he’d repeat with a perfect pronaunciation. Apart of that a very very very amazing person. I had so much fun with him. Serious, so much fun!

Here is us and some canals of Milano:

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And then we met in a Craft Beer Pub Michele – a guy who were supposed to be my CS host but I never requested him. But yeah, the universe brought us together so we could sing ‘Feeling Good’ in the rain of Milano and then take separate ways.

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What else happened in Milano.. I went to the Sforza Castle and found that amazing spot I was not allowed to enter.

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And I climbed (yoged!) that monument in order to take a picture of the Duomo. Faces of the guys having food downstairs, as I pull myself up in my┬ámini dress and of course nearly show my butt – priceless.

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*****

Next step was Sanremo. Apart of my first amazing Tony ride, I drove with an English teacher who just did not know English. I’m being super serious here. Very sad.

Sanremo… very nice. I stayed with Paolo, had a little chill, rode around on his Vespa and checked out the nearby cities and beaches (including the beautiful Busana Vecchia, a true reason for me to come to Liguria), crossed some other language barriers… pretty satisfying. Apart of two things.

  1. my Nice (not so nice) host, Bryce, decided to just disappear two days before I was supposed to stay with him. That story will return in the France part.
  2. Paolo did me some fixing as a physiotherapist and osteopath and something very weird happened to my salivary glands. That’ll will return in the Monaco story, for which I need separate post.

Sanremo had amazing visual side. I mean… just check it out.

 

And so Busana Vecchia. One day in Cracow, years ago, out of nowwhere Jimi jumps on me and Pawel and he starts telling us we have to┬ávisit Busana. That amazing place, which was deserted after an earthquake in the end of XIXth century and then, almost a hundret year ago populated again by artists and hippies moving into the ruins and taking care of them. When I found out it was on my way from Milano to France, I had to go there. The reason I went to Sanremo was there was no CouchSurfing in Busana. I felt like there would be a few places to stay there, yet wanted to have the comfort of knowing I wouldn’t be homeless ­čśë

And so from there I hitch to Monaco. To be continued…

 

 

Quick update from the road – Italy