Posts Tagged ‘greed’

Trickle down does not work

September 1, 2014
Greed is the religion of the billionaire  class

Greed is the religion of the billionaire class

No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. — Franklin D Roosevelt (1933, Statement on National Industrial Recovery Act)

The first TED talk by venture capitalist and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer was banned by TED. It was claimed to be mediocre. Could it be because he told the truth? It also raises a big question mark against TED.

Forbes published a garbage piece, which I will not even lower myself to address, in which it was claimed, not mediocre, but a display of ignorance.

A couple of weeks ago, the French Economics Minister told the truth on failed French economics policy, austerity, tax breaks for the rich, cuts for the poor. The reaction of the unpopular French President (20% approval rating) was to fire the entire government. Should it not be the President who resigned?

Across southern Europe, austerity is not working.

Pay the rich more and they work harder. Pay the poor less and they work harder. Strange that.

We have seen wages flat line for nearly a decade, ever since the economic crisis hit, wages were not much better before. If we take account of inflation, then wages have gone down.

When productivity goes up, we either need fewer people or we need to consume more.

If we increase productivity year on year, such that after ten years, productivity had doubled, we are either producing twice as much stuff with the same number of people or half the number of people are required to produce the same amount of stuff.

Stuff in general we do not want or need, stuff that has environmental costs of extraction, manufacture, shipping and distribution, stuff that we possess for six months, stuff that then has to be disposed of, incurring yet further environmental costs. These externalised costs, which are not reflected in purchase price, we all pay for.

The rich do not create jobs for the simple reason there is a limit to the amount of money they can spend, how many yachts, mansions, luxury cars.

Quantitative easing has been a massive failure, for the simple reason it has gone to the bankers and the rich.

We need wealth redistribution, but the reason why we do not have wealth redistribution, is because we would be redistributing the wealth of the rich, and they being rich and powerful own the politicians.

Had money been given to the poor, they would have, if only because they are living on the breadline, spent that money in the economy.

We need higher minimum wage, better welfare payments, free health care, free higher education. All of which benefit everyone, but disproportionately benefit the poor.

We also need progressive taxation where the rich pay a higher rate of tax, not as we have at present a regressive taxation system, where the rich pay less tax than the poor, where a banker in the City of London pays less tax than the cleaner who cleans his office.

We need to hit hard, the tax-dodgers.

We need to move away from a tax on personal income, to a tax on corporations, a tax on resource depletion, a tax on waste generation, a tax on pollution.

Too many are currently getting a free ride. When the rich dodge tax, they are getting a free ride. When corporations externalise their costs, pollute our air water, destroy our natural resources, exploit the poor, they are getting a free ride

At a recent meeting at Davos, Bill Gates, one of the richest men on the planet, argued vociferously for not increasing minimum wage.

The prevailing theory is trickle down. The poor sit below the rich man’s table, and if they are lucky, a few crumbs fall off the table.

At times of growth, everyone sees an increase, the rich a lot, the poor a little, but that little, is enough to keep the poor oppressed.

When there is zero growth the rich still get fatter, leaving less of the pie for the rest of us.

During the recession, there has not been the mass layoffs we have seen in the past. That is because productivity has gone down, there is a lowering of demand, the workers still employed are put on short shifts, reduced hours, paid less. One reason why wages are shrinking.

There has been a increase in jobs, but these have been McJobs, mind-numbing de-skilled, low-wages, part time, temporary, zero hours jobs.

The wealth creators, the job creators, are the small companies, the ones who do not have the political clout.

The big companies destroy jobs. Each time they destroy jobs, their share price rises, more for me, less for you.

Wages at Walmart, McDonald’s are so low, they have to be subsidised by the state. Yet another mechanism to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. Companies that argue they cannot remain in businesses without paying low wages, do not deserve to remain in businesses.

There is though a flaw in the argument put forward by Nick Hanauer, that of continued growth.

The society Nick Hanauer describes has been true for some time, certainly the post war period when we saw real growth, car manufactures for example, would pride themselves that they paid their workers a decent wage, such that they could afford the cars they made. This is no longer true.

The reason it is no longer true, is that we have hit the limits of growth. Banks have been criticised for not lending to businesses, but when banks are looking for a return of 10% or more, they are not going to lend when the economy is not growing.

We have exhausted what we can loot from the commons then sell back.

Nick Hanauer hints but no more, at the gift economy. He dismisses the rationale actor, out to maximise self interest, more for me is less for you, and says we are irrational, emotional, that we reciprocate.

An economy where we reciprocate is the gift economy, the sharing economy, where we all contribute to the commons, more for me becomes more for you.

He is also compares the economy with an ecosystem, where we have closed loops, feedback. On a finite planet, an economic system, has to be embedded within the planetary ecosystem, a part of Gaia, not apart from Gaia.

We cannot have unlimited growth, unlimited growth is where a cell becomes cancerous.

We are moving increasingly towards a Police State, in a crude attempt to maintain inequality.

Why has the Mayor of London decided he needs water cannon on the streets of London? You do not need water cannon for happy people?

Nick Hanauer was one of the first private investors in Amazon, he co-founded a company which was sold to MicroSoft for $6.4 billions, he together with his friends owns a bank. He has his own yacht, a private plane. He was co-author of The Gardens of Democracy. He was also instrumental in pushing for an increase in the minimum wage in Seattle.

Greedy pubcos are destroying our pubs

March 15, 2013

18 pubs a week are closing. It is not tax, it is not a ban on smoking that is killing ours pubs, it is greedy pubcos who are screwing pub landlords and forcing them out of business, then selling off the site for redevelopment.

The Tumbledown Dick, a c 1720s coaching inn, is one of many pubs facing destruction, destruction by greed.

RBS: Stop defrauding us, manipulating us, lying to us and trashing our climate

February 28, 2013
Oily bankers RBS AGM 2011

Oily bankers RBS AGM 2011

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) reported a £5.2 billion loss as it announced its annual results today The bank’s boss Stephen Hester is four years into his original five-year plan to bring RBS back on track – yet things don’t seem to be getting much better for the publicly owned bank. RBS blames a year of heavy fines. But let’s just remind ourselves of what these fines were:

  • PPI: The bank knowingly mis-sold its customers insurance which they neither needed nor could use, over a period of years. Fine: £2.2 billion
  • Libor: The bank illegally manipulated a crucial interest rate to benefit itself whilst negatively affecting mortgage payers in the UK (and elsewhere). Fine: £391 million

Bankers this year have been rewarded for doing a ‘good job’. Bonus pot: £600,000 million.

Some pretty significant figures that the bank should never have been in a position to pay.

If the RBS was really making headway to being sustainable and acting in the interest of us and its shareholders, we would surely expect a much stronger annual report, and a move towards investments only in sustainable projects.

Hester is quoted on the BBC website this morning as saying “…my job is [to] deliver an RBS that other investors want to own shares in…” This is true, but he must also remember that RBS is still owned by UK taxpayers and it is also his job to ensure that the bank is cleaned up and takes good care of our investment. Stopping defrauding us, manipulating us, lying to us and trashing our climate and environment would certainly be a good place to start. Hester has a lot of ground to cover in the final year of his plan.

– Paul Daly

Originally published by WDM.

Greed

November 26, 2012

In their greed to get into a Wal-Mart store, not panic to get out of a burning building, shoppers trampled to death a Wal-Mart employee.

How debased have human beings become?

In Bangladesh, a sweatshop factory has caught fire killing over 100 workers. It was making clothes for Wal-Mart.

Only a few weeks ago, a sweatshop in Bangladesh or Pakistan caught fire. Who were they producing for?

Fatal fires are commonplace in sweatshops in Bangladesh.

Gap, Wal-Mart they know the conditions of sweatshops, but they choose to turn a blind eye.

Since 2006, more than 500 Bangladeshi workers have died in sweatshop fires.

Tensions have been running high between workers, who have been demanding an increase in minimum wages, and the factory owners and government. A union organizer, Aminul Islam, who campaigned for better working conditions and higher wages, was found tortured and killed outside Dhaka this year.

Barclays speculate on food

November 2, 2012

In a world in which many people go to bed hungry at night it is an absolute disgrace that Barclays make millions out of food speculation and force up the price of food.

It is yet another reason why the banks must be broken up and tighter regulation brought in.

This brilliant video by WDM, has been listed by Radio Times as one of the Top Five viral videos of the week.

It is time to stop greedy bankers like Barclays betting on hunger, gambling with people’s lives.

Please sign the WDM food speculation petition.

Please pass to all your friends and colleagues.

Good for business

January 31, 2012

Good for business. A meaningless expression.

We were told doubling the capacity of Farnborough Airport was good for business. We were told it was good for the surrounding area. Not the views of those who live in the surrounding area, who value their quality of life. Not good for the nearby towns of Farnborough and Aldershot, both of which lie semi-derelict, though that owes as much to greedy developers and bad planning. Expansion of Farnborough Airport is good for Saudi-owned TAG Aviation, owners and operators of Farnborough. [see Farnborough Airport News]

Farnborough Airport was never going to be good for the local economy, as it is not a major employer. It lacks shops, customs, baggage handling, immigration control. At an average occupancy rate of 2.5 passengers per flight it is extremely bad for the environment.

HS2 we are told is good for business. There are even figures to show, it will shave 25 minutes off the journey time for businessmen travelling between London and Birmingham, as they will be the only ones using HS2. Not sure why anyone would wish to visit Birmingham, let alone get there 25 minutes sooner. Though I guess it may be an advantage to get away 25 minutes quicker.

High Speed trains are not good for the environment, major polluters. The scheme is simply an opportunity for the construction industry to make money. If there is money for investment in rail, then invest it in the rail network in order that we may all benefit.

- Farce of rail price hikes

Crossrail will link east and west London. An excellent idea, but that is not why it is being built. It is being built to provide the City of London with a fast connection to Heathrow. Once again the taxpayer is being asked to subsidise the City of London. If the City of London wants a fast link to Heathrow, then the City of London should pay for it.

Thames Estuary Airport is the latest White Elephant. Again we are told good for businessmen, expanding airport capacity is good for business. We are told Heathrow lacks the capacity, lacks the destinations of other airports. Not true, but when has the truth ever got in the way when fast bucks are to be made?

- Boris Island airport versus Thames estuary wildlife

London airports have 1113 departure flights to key business destinations compared with Paris 499, Frankfurt 443, and Amsterdam 282. Heathrow has 990 departure flights each week to the world’s key business centres – Charles de Gaulle 484 and Frankfurt 450.

Will aviation expand at the projected rate? Highly unlikely as flights will become too expensive as airlines are forced to pay their true environmental costs and the cost of fuel rockets.

Airports are not only a cost to private developers, it is the public purse that pays for the surrounding infrastructure.

Thames Estuary Airport would mean the closure of Heathrow, possibly Gatwick too. Massive loss of capital investment, not just Heathrow, but all the surrounding businesses. Massive unemployment west London.

Quality of life is a major determinant when people decide where they wish to live. London fails miserably. Expanding aviation would only make the quality of life worse.

- London too dirty for business?

London ranks 25 on a table of air pollution for European cities. Mercer’s Worldwide Quality of Living Survey 2011 placed London in 38th place (out of 221 cities), behind Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

- New report claims poor environment, not lack of airport capacity, threatens London’s status as top city to do business
London Claims Most Traffic Congested City in Europe Prize
Boris Johnson and the ‘invisible crisis’ of air pollution
London ranks among worst European cities for air pollution
Climate Rush Soho roadblock

London 2012 Olympics another mega disaster. Good for tourism, we were told. Greedy hoteliers jacked up their rates tenfold.

- Slow Start For Olympic Biz Jet Bookings
Operators claim UK tourism affected by reserved Olympic rooms

I warned people to avoid London during the Olympics, avoid London end of July, all of August and early September. It will be hell in London. The transport system cannot cope now. Roads are to be hijacked for exclusive Olympic use. I am pleased to say people heeded my advice. London will be a no-go area for tourists, hotels will sit half empty.

Across the country town and city centres have been destroyed by developers out to make a fast buck and corrupt planners in their pockets. Good for business we are told. Good for greedy developers, good for High Street retailers, but not good for communities who see their towns laid waste, not good for local communities who see the wealth of the community leached out, not good for those who lose their livelihood and jobs when local businesses close.

In Lincoln, Sincil Street all that is left of character in the market area is due for destruction.

- Destruction of Sincil Street

There are exceptions. Communities are saying enough is enough. We are no longer going to be walked all over by Big Business and corrupt politicians.

The Victorian Queen’s Market at Upton Park in London, one of the few remaining traditional East End London markets, was due for destruction. It has been saved, the developer St Modwen driven out of town.

Across the country traditional markets are being destroyed, bastardised and yuppified. Queen’s Market is one of the few remaining London east end markets. It was under threat when the mayor got into bed with property developer St Modwen who have track record of trashing town town centres (eg Farnborough and Hatfield), it was to be destroyed for a supermarket, but after a six year fight, Friends of Queen’s Market have sent St Modwen’s packing with their corporate tail between their legs. Remaining is to be answered is how much taxpayers money has the mayor wasted on this ill-thought-out scheme? He and the councillors who backed him should be surcharged and made personally bankrupt to recover ever last penny.

- Queens Market
Asda v Queens Market
Victory for Queens Market!!

The irony is that those towns that have retained their traditional markets are thriving, the markets major tourist attractions. But that does not provide development opportunities, enable fast bucks to be made.

Bury Market in Lancashire – 300 stalls, a quarter of a million visitors every day! The success of Bury Market is down to two factors, quality stalls selling quality products and that the market worked with the local council to a common ethos, a common agenda.

- BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2008

Communities are starting to take control of their own destinies. Often it is from small beginnings. In Alton, Greening Alton plants up small patches of land for vegetables, Transition Heathrow and Incredible Edible Todmorden has taken this much further.

- We are in charge now

We can have development, but it has to be sustainable development, development that is good for people and planet. Good for businesses had to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Anyone remember, one for the road, an extra pint before driving off from the pub?

- Put planet and its people at the core of sustainable development

Bonus to RBS boss obscene

January 27, 2012

At a time when everyone is suffereing, when public services are being cut, salaries cut, jobs lost, the almost £1 million bonus to Stephen Hester, chief of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is obscene.

The almost £1 million bonus to head of Royal Bank of Scotland is obscene and offensive. We should not be relying on him to refuse the bonus, these people have no shame.

Prime Minister David Cameron on behalf of UK taxpayers who are the majority shareholders should block the bonus.

Cameron says shareholders in public companies should block excessive executive pay rises. He should therefore act, set an example.

It is rumoured the board will resign if the bonus is blocked. Call their bluff, let them resign. Where will they go? They would not even have a job if we had not bailed them out.

It is offensive and obscene when the FTSE 100 executives see 49% increase, when many people are seeing a decrease in salary or are losing their jobs.

These people do not take risks. They are salaried employees. The only risks they take is with other people’s money.

RBS customers should complain.

RBS finance dodgy projects, eg tar sands.

- Raising a Ruckus
Climate Camp vs RBS – We’ve arrived

Why has RBS spent millions lobbying in Washington?

It may now be owned by the taxpayer but RBS has not cleaned up its act. It is still the same grubby company, the same greed-driven mindset. A comparison with the revolution in Tahrir Square, the players have changed but nothing has changed.

An on-line poll in the Telegraph, and note Telegraph not Sun or Mirror or Daily Mail, the overwheling majority said the bonus should not be paid.

Time for UK Uncut to occupy RBS?

Please sign the on-line petition calling for Stephen Hester, chief of Royal Bank of Scotland, to forego his bonus.

- Bailed-out RBS spends millions on Washington lobbyists
Boris Johnson brands RBS chief’s bonus ‘absolutely bewildering’
RBS chief Stephen Hester’s £963,000 bonus criticised
Treasury feared Hester and board would quit

Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)

January 21, 2012

The content on the net does not come from Hollywood studios or from the music business. It comes from you and I, we like to create, we like to share with others. It is part of story telling, of being creative.

I do not watch TV, I do not even possess a TV. I do not watch TV because it is complete and total crap.

I find it very depressing passing down the street as it is getting dark, passing by people’s houses, and seeing all those people sat like zombies watching the same moronic rubbish.

That is what Big Business wants, moronic consumers who do not question, do not think.

As a poor student, I used to go to a photocopy repair workshop and copy off whole books, though more often articles and academic papers. I was not depriving anyone of an income, as I could not afford to buy, but I was helping in the dissemination of information.

I often make use of other people’s work. It is called fair use. But I do not pass it off as my own or claim the credit. The originator is always credited, with a link back to their work.

Sopa and Pipa will end all that. Greedy Hollywood and the music industry wish to end all that. They wish to control what we watch, how we think, as they were able to do in the 1950s when there was only a couple of TV channels, no internet (though there has always been books and the radio).

The US policy-makers who were pushing Sopa and Pipa have accepted millions from Hollywood and the music industry.

What Hollywood does not seem to understand is we do not have to buy their rubbish, we do not have to go to the cinema.

I am suggesting we now go on the offensive. A world-wide boycott of Hollywood. Let’s see what they think of us then as so far we have been treated with contempt.

The Megaupload closure and seizure of assets and equipment, US Imperial Storm troopers trampling on the world in their jackboots, is a taste of what is to come. Many people used Megaupload to store valuable documents, all now lost, or maybe recoverable after years of litigation. If nothing else, a warning not to store valuable documents in the cloud. How can we be sure they are safe, accessible? The Megaupload closure demonstrates we cannot.

- Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
Stop SOPA
The Megaupload Mega-Mess: When Innocents Are Crushed‏

Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa

January 20, 2012
piracy

piracy

IN THE former Soviet Union, in the late 1950s and 60s, many books that questioned the political system began to be circulated privately in mimeographed form. Their authors never earned a penny in royalties. On the contrary, they were persecuted, denounced in the official press, and sent into exile in the notorious Siberian gulags. Yet they continued to write.

Why? Because they needed to share what they were feeling. From the Gospels to political manifestos, literature has allowed ideas to travel and even to change the world.

I have nothing against people earning money from their books; that’s how I make my living. But look at what’s happening now. Stop Online Piracy Act (S.O.P.A) may disrupt internet. This is a REAL DANGER, not only for Americans, but for all of us, as the law – if approved – will affect the whole planet.

And how do I feel about this? As an author, I should be defending ‘intellectual property’, but I’m not.

Pirates of the world, unite and pirate everything I’ve ever written!

The good old days, when each idea had an owner, are gone forever. First, because all anyone ever does is recycle the same four themes: a love story between two people, a love triangle, the struggle for power, and the story of a journey. Second, because all writers want what they write to be read, whether in a newspaper, blog, pamphlet, or on a wall.

The more often we hear a song on the radio, the keener we are to buy the CD. It’s the same with literature.

The more people ‘pirate’ a book, the better. If they like the beginning, they’ll buy the whole book the next day, because there’s nothing more tiring than reading long screeds of text on a computer screen.

1. Some people will say: You’re rich enough to allow your books to be distributed for free.

That’s true. I am rich. But was it the desire to make money that drove me to write? No. My family and my teachers all said that there was no future in writing.

I started writing and I continue to write because it gives me pleasure and gives meaning to my existence. If money were the motive, I could have stopped writing ages ago and saved myself having to put up with invariably negative reviews.

2. The publishing industry will say: Artists can’t survive if they’re not paid.

In 1999, when I was first published in Russia ( with a print- run of 3,000), the country was suffering a severe paper shortage. By chance, I discovered a ‘ pirate’ edition of The Alchemist and posted it on my web page.

A year later, when the crisis was resolved, I sold 10,000 copies of the print edition. By 2002, I had sold a million copies in Russia, and I have now sold 12 million.

When I traveled across Russia by train, I met several people who told me that they had first discovered my work through the ‘ pirated’ edition I posted on my website. Nowadays, I run a ‘Pirate Coelho’ website, giving links to any books of mine that are available on file- sharing sites. And my sales continue to grow — nearly 140 million copies world wide.

When you’ve eaten an orange, you have to go back to the shop to buy another. In that case, it makes sense to pay on the spot. With an object of art, you’re not buying paper, ink, paintbrush, canvas or musical notes, but the idea born out of a combination of those products.

‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection.

The rest is either greed or ignorance

– Paulo Coelho

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

No one suggests musicians and other creative artists should not be rewarded. Be it buskers on the streets or mega stars. What we all object to is the greed of the music industry and Hollywood, often the same mega corporations.

I often buy CDs off guys who I hear play on the street. I know the money is going straight into their pocket not to a corporation. One female singer was amazed when I bought more than one copy. I can run off copies, if you prefer, I told her.

The music business does not nurture creative talent, we do not see the relationship we saw between George Martin and The Beatles. It is the next clone me-too act, the next mega deal, to then be dropped when the next talentless hyped act comes along.

With Hollywood, it is the blockbuster movie.

Sadly we are now seeing the same in the book industry, the next blockbuster, the next me too copycat book jumping on the bandwagon. These are heavily discounted to supermarkets and High Street book chains, leaving independents who know their trade, to die a slow death.

We used to have the music business equate the sales of blank cassettes to lost record sales. They even tried to force through a sales tax on blank cassettes to compensate them for lost sales. They then tried the same with sales of blank CDs,and no doubt Hollywood does the same for sales of blank DVDs.

I have always recorded music. As kids we used to stick a microphone in front of the speakers. Then we learnt to attach wires to the speaker wires with crocodile clips. Look at all the bootleg Dylan albums. They achieved cult status.

That a CD or DVD is copied does not equate to lost sales. It may never have been bought. But it does expose the artist to a wider audience. I may have a copy, think that is great, when I would not have otherwise have heard of.

I have a love of early music from copies from a friend, music I may not otherwise have heard of. Certainly not the music of Hildergard von Bingen. Would I have gone to Guildford Cathedral to hear The Sixteen, bought one of their CDs, be going to one of their concerts in February and hopefully Winchester cathedral in April?

- Hail, Mother of the Redeemer
On-line tickets for British Museum exhibition

I have seen most of the leading musicians from Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Santana, The Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Vangelis, because I have shared their music with friends. I have also bought their albums and DVDs.

As Paulo Coelho notes, pirate copies of his books has brought him to a wider audience. With over 130 million books sold, he does not appear to have suffered lost sales.

During the summer, I spoke to a couple who had the books of Paulo Coelho stored on their laptop. Because of that they were familiar with his works. When I told of his latest book Aleph (word of which spreads by word-of-mouth because Waterstone’s perversely did not put on display) they thanked me and said they would pick up a copy.

Sopa and Pipa is about satisfying the greed of Hollywood. It was cooked up behind closed doors by politicians for sale to the highest bidder. No one gets their snouts in the trough as deep as US politicians.

What these corrupt politicians did not expect was the reaction from the public. Over 7 million people signed a petition on google.

We are not prepared to tolerate control of the internet.

In what was then Czechoslovakia, a group of dissidents were put on trial in what was known as The Prague Trial. They fought to stop abuses by the Soviet-controlled state. A schoolboy had been sentenced to 21 months in prison for copying a text by Vaclav Havel and showing it to his class mates. In the 1950s show trials led to executions.

Megaupload has been shut down by the Feds. The Hong Kong-based site had around 150 million users and 50 million daily hits. The site was supported by Alicia Keys and Kanye West. Four Megaupload employees were arrested in Auckland, New Zealand, at the request of US Feds! Anonymous retaliated by shutting down several sites in the US.

Megaupload was also used for legitimate file sharing. It is already back up and running with the address (no domain name to circumvent the Feds):

- http://109.236.83.66

US Congress has backed down over Sopa and Pipa. But the bills have only been suspended, not killed. They need to be killed.

We have appalling hypocrisy. The US applauds use of the net by dissidents, attacks control by China, yet seeks to control the net, supplies weapons to the Fascist states the dissidents are fighting.

You cannot kill an idea. You cannot control the flow of information. The Soviets tried and they failed.

- Har Paulo Coelho blitt en pervers gammel gris?
Stop SOPA
The Day the Internet Roared
We are the lobbyists now
Senate and House slow PIPA/SOPA votes, but promise it’s just a delay
SOPA: Anti-Piracy or Censorship?
Feds Shutter Megaupload, Arrest Executives
Anonymous Retaliates Against MegaUpload Takedown, Knocks MPAA, RIAA Sites Offline [plus DOJ]
Sopa and Pipa bills postponed in US Congress
Hackers retaliate over Megaupload
Megaupload wasn’t just for pirates: angry users out of luck for now
Megaupload Is Back in High Tech Whack-a-Mole
SOPA Defeat Is Not the End Of Hollywood’s Ramped-Up Fight Against Piracy

Stop SOPA

January 19, 2012
Lamar Smith a real scumbag

Lamar Smith a real scumbag

sopa/pipa blackout

sopa/pipa blackout

Members of Congress still in shock over yesterday’s massive internet protest. I’ve never seen a demonstration have an impact this quickly. — Michael Moore

Greed-driven Hollywood must be a rare example of an industry that treats its customers and potential customers as criminals.

I find it offensive to buy a DVD and then be forced to watch a video that tells me I am a criminal.

No, snatching a purse or handbag or a smash and grab raid, is not the same as copying a DVD. In the first case is is clearly theft, someone has been deprived of their property, in the latter, no one had been deprived of their property.

The irony is that if I had a pirate DVD, it would not have at the beginning the compulsive video that implies that I am a criminal for possessing a legitimate copy.

I find it offensive, have laptop will travel, but Hollywood puts regional encoding on its DVDs to stop them being played outside the region.

The irony is that it is simple enough to bypass, simply download AnyDVD or DVDFab Passkey and it sits in the background and removes the regional encoding, I can then watch at my leisure wherever I happen to be, any DVD from anywhere in the world.

If I borrow a DVD, I copy it so I can watch it when I get around to it.

I find it offensive when a student in the UK is facing extradition to the USA at the behest of Hollywood for having a website which directed visitors to where they might find free downloads. He himself was not supplying free downloads. What he did is not even a criminal offence in the UK! He faces 10 years in prison if extradited to the USA.

- UK student faces extradition to US after piracy case ruling
British Student Faces Extradition to U.S. in Copyright Infringement Case
Student loses extradition hearing
‘Piracy’ student Richard O’Dwyer loses extradition case
TVShack’s student founder can be extradited to US, court rules
Abandoned by British justice: Student faces 10 years in U.S. jail for setting up ‘illegal’ website

Now Hollywood is wanting to control the internet.

Hollywood is not losing massive amounts of money from piracy. We have all noticed it is an industry on its knees, though it deserves to be.

Hollywood makes its money from bums on seats in cinemas, TV rights for those endless repeats on TV. Money made from DVD and Blu-ray sales is cream on the cake.

You cannot equate blank DVD sales with loss of business. Sony has its fingers in both sales, likes to have its cake and eat it.

We hear a lot of bleating about loss of creative talent, artists in garrets working for a pittance. If they are only getting a pittance it is because Hollywood keeps for itself too large a slice of the cake.

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho found he sold more books when pirate copies were made available for free download.

- Pirate Coelho/ help your community

Hollywood, in dark corners with corrupt politicians up for sale, thought they could control the Internet through SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). Users thought otherwise, as did many of the big internet players.

Yesterday many internet sites went black. Many internet junkies like Paulo Coelho, refused to use internet for 24 hours.

The result has been almost instantaneous. US politicians are reeling from the public backlash. many, who supported SOPA, who were even sponsors, have suddenly found it is not a hot potato they wish to be caught holding.

We do not have to jump to corporate lobbyists. We can bring Hollywood to its knees. How about a worldwide boycott of Hollywood, no going to the cinema to watch their rubbish films, no buying their DVDs?

- The Day the Internet Roared
We are the lobbyists now
SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?
Battling Internet Censorship: The Long War
Why Hollywood Is Losing the Public Relations War on Piracy
Supreme Court Bashes Public Domain
It’s time to place the Internet in Safer Hands
Senate Democrats hold fast to anti-piracy bill
Senate and House slow PIPA/SOPA votes, but promise it’s just a delay
SOPA: Anti-Piracy or Censorship?
Feds Shutter Megaupload, Arrest Executives
Anonymous Retaliates Against MegaUpload Takedown, Knocks MPAA, RIAA Sites Offline [plus DOJ]
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa


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