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Cake day: June 25th, 2023

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  • We Americans commit (more or less) three felonies a day. It used to be at least three felonies a day when violation of a website’s TOS was a violation of the CFAA (which can land you 25 years). If you’re a little girl, the DA is probably not going to prosecute, even if you were naughty and downloaded a song illegally.

    But here’s the thing: Officials (especially sheriffs lately, and their deputies) are big in coveting your land and your wife and your other liquidatable assets. Heck, if you have some loose cash lying around, all of US law enforcement is already looking to find it, locate it and confiscate it via asset forfeiture and if you get in the way of their prize, well they’re sheepdogs, and you’re now a designated wolf.

    And so anything you do that might be even slightly illegal is useful to make a case before a judge why you should spend the next 10 / 25 / 75 years locked up in Rikers or Sing Sing. Even if it’s a petty violation of the CFAA, or is so vague they have to invoke conspiracy or espionage laws, which are so intentionally broad and vague that everyone is already guilty of them.

    Typically, these kinds of laws are used when a company or industry wants to disappear someone into the justice system. The go to example is the Kim Dotcom raid, which happened January 18, 2012, conspicuously on the same day as the Wikipedia Blackout protesting against SOPA / PIPA (PS: They’re still wanting to lock down the internet, which is why they want to kill Section 230).

    Kim Dotcom was hanging in his stately manor in New Zealand when US ICE agents raided his home with representatives of the MPAA and RIAA standing by. He was accused of a shotgun of US law violations, including conspiracy and CFAA violations. The gist of the volley of accusations was that he was enabling mass piracy of assets by big media companies, hence the dudes in suits from the trade orgs. His company MEGAupload hosted a lot of copyrighted content.

    Curiously – and this informs why Dotcom is still in New Zealand – MEGAupload had been cooperating with US law enforcement in their own efforts to stop pirates, and piracy rates actually climbed after the shutdown. Similarly, when Backpage was shut down for human trafficking charges (resulting in acquittal, later), human trafficking rates would climb as the victims were forced back to the streets.

    (But Then – and this does get into speculation because we don’t have docs, just a lot of evidence – Dotcom had just secured a bunch of deals with hip hop artists and was going to use MEGAupload as a music distribution service that would get singles out for free and promote tours, and the RIAA really did not like this one bit which may be the actual cause of the Dotcom raid, but we can’t absolutely say. The media industry really hates pirates even though they know they’re not that much of a threat, but legitimate competition might be actual cause to send mercenaries in the color of US law enforcement to a foreign nation to raid the home of a rich dude.)

    What we can say is US law enforcement will make shit up to lock you away if someone with power thinks you have something it wants, and you might object to them taking it, and they have a long history of just searching people’s histories (online and off) to find something for which to disappear them into the federal and state penal systems. After all, the US has more people (per capita or total) in prison than any other nation in the world, and so it’s easy to get lost in there.

    So yeah, you absolutely have secrets to hide.



  • uriel238@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    4 hours ago

    I spent a lot of time in the boywife kitchen, but the abortion pantry just has snacks. I guess we sleep in the Sex Before Marriage Lounge? I’d swap the Gay Room and the Estrogen Lab. I surf Lemmy and do more science in the Gay Room, and my sweetheart hangs out in the Estrogen Lab.

    The bathroom is trans, yes. There’s a second (cis) bathroom.






  • on one hand, it’s really hard to get the attention of the folks responsible for relief in Gaza / giving massacre weapons to the IDF, and so egging Van Goghs (protected from eggs) and spray-painting Stonehenge (with cornflour) helps when it makes news.

    But yes, some people will not consider destruction as a negative. Since Libraries in the US are a public service already in jeopardy from right-wing officials, I would lower it on my potential target list.

    I’m also a terrible cynic. I suspect the same apathy and inaction by our policymakers informs the apathy and inaction being taken regarding imminent great filters. As a species, were just not prepared to organize for international humanitarian crises even when they affect nations we like, and certainly won’t when they start overwhelming responding forces.

    Your library got 12-Monkied.



  • Not in the US or the EU. If you make music in the States, then RCA or Sony owns your content, not you, and when they decide they’ve paid you enough (which is much less than they’re getting) then they still own your stuff. Also, if you make an amazing film or TV series ( examples: Inception, Firefly ) and the moguls don’t like it, they’ll make sure it tanks or at least doesn’t get aftermarket support, which is why Inception doesn’t have any video games tie-ins, despite being a perfect setting for video games.

    Artists are empowered in their ability to produce art. If they have to worry about hunger and shelter, then they make less art, and art narrowly constrained to the whims of their masters. Artists are not empowered by the art they’ve already made, as that has to be sold to a patron or a marketing institution.

    No, we’d get more and better art by feeding and housing everyone (so no one has to earn a living ) and then making all works public domain in the first place.

    Intellectual property is a construct, and it’s corruption even before it was embedded in the Constitution of the United States has only assured that old art does not get archived.

    I think yes, an artist needs to eat, which is why most artists (by far) have to wait tables and drive taxicabs and during all that time on the clock, not make art. The artists not making art far outnumber the artists that get to make art. And a small, minority subset of those are the ones who profit from art or even make a living from their art, a circumstance that is perpetually precarious.

    But I also think the public needs a body of culture, and as the Game of Thrones era showed us, culture and profit run at odds. The more expensive art is, the more it’s confined to the wealthy, and the less it actually influences culture. Hence we should just feed, clothe and home artists along with everyone else, whether or not they produce good or bad art. And we’ll get culture out of it.

    You can argue that a world of guaranteed meals and homes is not the world we live in, but then I can argue that piracy (and other renegade action) absolutely is part of the world we live in and will continue to thrive so long as global IP racketeering continues. Thieves and beggars, never shall we die.





  • When it comes to capitalist macroeconomics, as I understand it, wealth disparity is one of the big decay factors the government is supposed to monitor and correct for. Mind you, I learned MacEc in the mid 1980s but even after theory shifted from national economies to globalist economics (the free(-er) trade movement of the 1990s) wealth distribution, and the bow of that graph was supposed to be kept shallow.

    There are a lot of ways to restore some balance, such as taxing rich people and investing in welfare programs and social safety nets. In the case of freelance musicians (and freelance investments, which allowed people of lower income classes to invest sooner) these are just paradigm changes that allowed more people to participate, with the expectation that more people would be moderately successful rather than a few people being ostentatiously successful. Fewer Bruce Springsteens, more John Coultons. This wasn’t contrived by government though, so it’s more of a happy accident.

    And yes, Marx in Das Kapital notes that the ownership class invariably captures government and regulation which ends efforts to keep wealth more evenly distributed so we have situations like now (or like the Great Depression, a century ago) where a few people own almost everything and aren’t willing to let it go, even though the only thing they can do by hoarding their wealth is accumulate more wealth. And history has continued to bear this out, and to show that a well-regulated capitalist system is only temporary at best, which has driven me to believe we have to figure out something better.

    Post-scarcity communism would be ideal, but we haven’t yet worked out how to get there from here, and really I’d be happy for anything that doesn’t turn into a one-party plutocrat-controlled autocracy held together by fascism and a nationalist war effort.

    And sure, economics is a soft science so this is all just someone’s opinion, though the someones in this case are multiple smart historical figures who actually thought about it a bit. I’m not an economist, so I rely on experts who are.

    PS: This is my attempt to either find common ground, or to lay plain what my position is and where it comes from. I’m not invested in you adopting it, but if you want me to consider a different one, I’ll need cause to do so.