Monthly archive: February 2012
We sent the following testimony on H.2842, a bill before the Massachusetts Legislature. We believe that H.2842 would hurt Massachusetts businesses, harm open source software and reduce competition in Massachusetts. Please tell the Joint Committee on the Judiciary that you oppose H.2842 by contacting the chairs of the committee listed below. If your Representative or Senator is on the committee, please contact them as well. Senator Cynthia Stone Creem Phone: 617-722-1639 Fax: 617-722-1266 Email: Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov Representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty 617-722-2396 Fax: 617-722-2819 Email: Gene.O’Flaherty@mahouse.gov We formatted the text of the bill for easier reading here. From: James O’Keefe on behalf of the Massachusetts Pirate Party To: Senator Cynthia Stone Creem Chair, Joint Committee on the Judiciary State House Room 405 Boston, MA 02133 Dear Chair Creem, Thank you and the members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary for providing us with the opportunity to provide testimony opposing H.2842: An Act relative to unfair competition. H.2842 would hold liable any company which has a supplier that uses unlicensed software. Such a company would then face penalties including: monetary damages; restrictions on the sale of its products; and potential seizure of its products. We believe that this bill would place an enormous burden on Massachusetts companies as it would force them to audit all of their suppliers or face huge penalties and endless litigation. During an already difficult time in our economy, H.2842 would make it even harder for Massachusetts companies to create jobs in Massachusetts. The bill includes many provisions that are broad and undefined and we believe it will lead to unintended consequences and will discourage competition in Massachusetts. Additionally, H.2842 will favor closed source software over open source software. The bill explicitly states that it cannot be used to defend against infringement of open source licenses. This provision … Read morepublished under Economy | Comments Off on Stop H.2842!
February 25, 2012
You can preregister for the conference by making a contribution of $5 or more. We have finished the conference schedule: Time Event 9:00am-9:45am Breakfast & Opening Session – Are you a Pirate? 9:45am-10:00am Fair Use for Activists (Chris Walsh) 10:00am-11:00am How to Run for Office (James O’Keefe) 11:00am-11:30am Stranger Danger: Don’t Click that Link Even If They Offer Puppies and Candy (Conor Sherman) 11:30am-noon Exploring Kopimism (Lauren Pespisa) noon-1:00pm Lunch & Building the Pirate Party Discussion 1:00pm-2:00pm Fight Ridiculous With Ridiculous: The Guerrilla Tactics of Fair Use (Michael Anderson) 2:00pm-3:00pm Bringing sunlight to government data (Shauna Gordon-McKeon) 3:00pm-4:00pm Going toe-to-toe with the state: navigating the challenges of a digital activist (David House) 4:00pm-4:30pm Patents Upending (Erik Zoltan) 4:30pm-5:00pm Your Face is a Saxophone Showing (Zacqary Adam Green) 5:00pm-6:00pm Tales from the Net: Making a living at being creative (Cecilia Tan, Shane Bugbee and Matthew Davidson) 6pm+ We’ll find some place for dinner for those who want to go There is a possibility that it might change a bit, but this schedule is close to the final version. Don’t forget, you can preregister by making a contribution of $5 or more.published under Out And About | Comments Off on Conference Schedule Available
February 24, 2012
Due to an unexpected scheduling conflict, we will have to end our March 10th conference at 6pm. As such, we will not be able to show the open/public domain movies we had planned, unfortunately. We will still have a showing of Your Face is a Saxophone, an open-source CC0 animated series at the March 10th conference. To make up for that change, on Saturday, May 12th, we will hold a longer open/public domain movie festival at the Democracy Center in Cambridge. At the festival, Professor Jared Ball, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, will talk about his book I Mix What I Like: A Mixtape Manifesto. We are organizing other book signing opportunities for Professor Ball that weekend, so if you can help with a venue, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org under Freedom of Speech, Fun and Games, Net Neutrality, Organizing, Out And About | Comments Off on Conference Movie Festival Moved to May 12th, Jared Ball to Speak
February 16, 2012
You can register by making a contribution of $5 or more. We are putting the finishing touches on the schedule for our March 10th Pirate Party conference, and we wanted to share what the talks will be. David House, a researcher at MIT who helped set up the Bradley Manning Support Network, will be giving a talk entitled: Going toe-to-toe with the state: navigating the challenges of a digital activist. Shauna Gordon-McKeon, organizer for the Boston Sunlight Foundation, will talk about some of the programming projects transparency activists are using to open up government data. Writer and publisher Cecilia Tan, Shane Bugbee and composer Matthew Davidson will be on the Tales from the Net: Making a living at being creative panel. Michael Anderson will give a talk called Fight Ridiculous With Ridiculous: The Guerrilla Tactics of Fair Use. Also, Conor Sherman will give a talk on maintaining your security on the internet called Stranger Danger: Don’t Click that Link Even If They Offer Puppies and Candy. Finally, we will have a number of talks by Pirate Party members, including: Exploring Kopimism by Lauren Pespisa Patents Upending by Erik Zoltan Fair Use for Activists by Chris Walsh How to Run for Office by James O’Keefe We will also have time for open discussion of where the Pirate Party should go and what issues we should focus on. We hope you will join us on March 10th. Please register by making a contribution of $5 or more.published under Fun and Games, Organizing, Out And About | Comments Off on March 10th Conference Talk Lineup – Register Today
February 10, 2012
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a treaty that the US government worked on in secret with other countries to bring the US’ draconian copyright laws to other countries. It will: lock us into obsolete copyright and patent laws; criminalize harmless remixes by ordinary users if they achieve ‘a commercial scale’ (art 2.14.1) which many amateur videos do on sites like Youtube; criminalize legitimate websites by making them responsible for user behavior (‘aiding and abetting’ art 2.14.4). permanently bypass the democratic process by empowering the ‘ACTA Committee’ to ‘propose amendments to [ACTA]‘ without your approval. (art 6.4) The ACTA was developed virtually in secret with access provided to the entertainment industry, but not citizens. The United States (without Senate approval), Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea all signed the ACTA on October 1st, 2011. Thankfully, a number of European nations who were part of the negotiations have not signed it, and some, including Germany, are backing away from it. Tomorrow, Saturday, February 11th, citizens all over Europe will demonstrate their opposition to this treaty. Fight for the Future has a form you can use to tell European Parliamentarians that you oppose this treaty. Additionally, over two million people have filled out AVAAZ’s form urging European Parliamentarians to reject the ACTA. It takes only a minute to do both! While you are at it, please sign up for our email list at the form on the right. Thanks!published under ACTA, Censorship, Copyright, Economy | Comments Off on Help Stop the ACTA!
February 3, 2012
It may be the Superbowl on Sunday, February 5th, but well before kick off, we will be holding our (generally) monthly in-person meeting. It will be at 25 Moore St. in Somerville and will run from 2-4pm. We have posted the agenda. We hope you can make it.published under Organizing | Comments Off on In-person meeting this Sunday, 2pm-4pm