Eyes, Stupidity & Greed

*TV*
Anyone seen the new show “Eyes”:http://www.tvtome.com/Eyes by
John McNamara who prevously created the all-too-fast put down show
“Fastlane”:http://www.tvtome.com/Fastlane ? No? It’s awesome and needs
to be peeked at. The lead sometimes borders on overacting/being silly but
pulls it off.. he could use to be more serious and less Mr Clever.

*Piracy*
If you’re swedish and don’t want to read something stupid, then don’t read this article at IDG where
this fellow talks about how the big loosers in the era of filesharing is.. drumroll.. the software giants!
Now if he had a clue.. but haha come on.. now I’m just being silly.. but anyway..if he did,
then he could atleast have talked about companies who creates games, not software..
that would have been sliiightly more “correct” but still way off since owning games/sofware
without a proper licence has been illegal for..well quite some time.

There is something distburbing about the recent patent wars, one thing is the controversy
about AIDS drug patents which “Brazil might break”:http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050316/brazil_aids_drugs_1.html
to be able to handle it financially. Then we have the “whole software patent thing in the EU”:
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/intro/index.html .
Also really worth mentioning is the “patents of life”:
http://www.actionbioscience.org/genomic/crg.html .. and
somwhat related to that one we have the latest news,
that the European Patent Office decided not to revoke the
patent that “Monsanto”:http://www.monsanto.com/
has on genetically engineerd soy beans. This should not happen
since the EU does not allow patents on life. Read more on this at “Greenpeace”:
http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en/press/release?item_id=821176&campaign_id=&print=1

Note: Hugh Grant is President of Monsanto.. I’m not talking about the actor..

Isn’t it all very disturbing? I’m not the tree-hugger type, I don’t really care for enviromental
activists or activists in general (yes that is you bitches with signs in the streets shouting,
yelling and sometimes grabbing a nice stone to throw). But it’s just…agh.. downright
concerning how much greed there is and it’s ridiculous to what extent that greed rules
big organisations. Our goverments, our courts and laws are supposed to keep us from
turning into the greedy selfish bastards we are all.. it’s really not working all that well.
But in general people need to read more about this and get
informed so they even know what’s going on.

On a related note, Monsanto “just reported that their second-quarter profit more than
doubled on higher sales of corn and soybean seeds and Roundup weed killer
“:
Isn’t that sweet?

Anyway. You need to see “The Corporation”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379225/ if you haven’t.

Song of the day, the amazing “EasyLuckyFree”:
http://www.songmeanings.net/lyric.php?lid=3530822107858517917

The APB & Bahnhof

*Piracy. Yarr!*
A deal has been struck between the ISP Bahnhof and the Anti-Piracy Bureau of Sweden (APB in short).

This, somewhat peculiar newsitem on the swedish evening news magazine “Aftonbladet”:http://www.aftonbladet.se caught my eye today. It seems that the various posts I’ve read hypothesizing that APB will make the “claims”:http://www.lasseman.se/?id=52 by “Bahnhof”:http://www.bahnhof.se dimish and disappear were right on target.

What started as a huge raid against the Swedish ISP resulting in the seizing of computers acting as FTP servers, various flaming, blame and claims being made today all came to an abrubt and silent stop.

Today a deal was made between the two parties which immideatly was sealed in strict confidentiality. All parties involved agrees on the fact that no less than four servers with copyright protected material was found at Bahnhof. The ISP made claims that parts of the servers, hardware, was placed by the APB infiltrator “Rouge” and that the illegal activities was carried out by employees behind the back and without the knowledge of their employer.

Furthermore both Bahnhof and APB agrees that this whole ordeal has resulted in immense bad PR for both parties and that the burial of the war-axe is in their joint interest.

– _We can’t keep on fighting about this. We’re a small ISP and we have got the entire Hollywood against us_, sais Jon Karlung, vice president for Bahnhof.
– _I think we both feel like winners now._

The lawyer of APB, Henrik Pontén agrees.
– _Last week we were both loosers in how we were portrayed in the media. Today we’re both winners – the servers are seized and we now know in the future how to deal with these cases._
– _The pirates are the loosers._

APB denies all claims that they had infiltrated Bahnhof and planted material of any kind (_what a shock.._). For the ISP, Bahnhof, starting a war concerning this issue was never a plan of action.
– _No matter the circumstances it’s compromising that these machines have been located in the halls of Bahnhof_ , sais Jon Karlung.

The persons involved have been laid off. The servers have been seized. For Bahnhof that’s it, what might happen later on is that the persons involved will be dragged into the civil cour by APB, but that’s not currently a topic since the investigation of the Police is on-going.

So this is seemingly what a lot of the “fuss”:http://www.lasseman.se/?id=53 boils down to. Appearantly nothing but a few (more) civilians being dragged into court. Personally I don’t think this helps the image of APB much since it’s already pretty much ruined by what’s been going on. Not that I think they’re holding a popularity contest..

Everybody concerned about the issue of piracy/copyright in Sweden are currently keeping their eyes peeled on the one case where a person in the south of Sweden has been indicted for sharing music/movies. If the person is judged to pay a fine, this will mean that future cases will have a hard time going to court since the punishment will be deemed to low to justify breaking the privacy of the person in question by doing a lookup on his IP-adress. If the person gets jail time however.. who knows.

Now I don’t think he will get jailtime since we’re quite the pussies in this country and sending some teenager to jail while giving rapists and pshycos and hug and a pat on the cheek seems, well, fubar.. Did you know that Swedish prisoners eat better than a lot of our kids in school (our taxes covers the fees for school lunches)?

Another current topic in the world of copyright issues in Sweden is the proposed boycott concerning buying music & movies, an initiative of PiratbyrÃ¥n (the supposed counter-part of APB..) and some sort of group of people behind a great majority of swedish Direct-Connect Hubs calling themselves Networks United. Now isn’t this just genious? Like the people who’ll perform this boycott actually bought anything anyway? I mean c’mon. Oh and the grammar & language on “Bojkott (swe)”:http://www.bojkott.nu is embarrassing, atleast have someone who grows hair on their balls or IQ > 35 make your case. Update:Someone with hairy balls seems to have fixed the content a tad.

*Boring personal everyday stuff*
Got an interview this wednesday about a job as telephone support guy. Might not sound like much I know but I’m all for getting a regular schedule, cash and working experience. I find it somewhat stressful not to have a regular activity during the day, whether that’s school or work.

I’m also applying for some educations for this autumn, my primary choice is a one year journalist education which will render me a bachelor in journalism. My previous bachelor in media & communication should work well with this one for future endeavours. But.. we’ll see what happens with work & school as time goes along..

The issue of Piracy

As previously mentioned political parties in Sweden have started taking interest in the currently very active debate about piracy and the new law that will legally prohibit the citizens of sweden to download copyright protected music and movies off the net.

The latest party to join in the discussion is the “Green Party”:http://www.mp.se/templates/template_78.asp_Q_avdnr_E_12131_A_number_E_34325_A_avdelning_E_12146 of Sweden. They recently “issued a statement (swe)”:http://www.mp.se/templates/template_78.asp_Q_avdnr_E_5_A_number_E_71144 where they not only stated they did not want this new law to pass, but they also want to make it legal to not only download copyright protected music & movies, but to upload / share them with other people on the internet.

They also went on calling the 2001 directive from the European Union based upon the 1996 “Wipo-treaty”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIPO_Copyright_Treaty outdated and stated that the swedish goverment, instead of adjusting the swedish laws to this old treaty, should start new discussions and find new, modern soloutions to the issue of copyright.

“The Left-Wing Party of Sweden”:http://www.vansterpartiet.se/PUB_Material/5641.cs then went out and calling the recent statements from the Green Party and the Center Party “opportunistic” and that this was just attempts to win votes. I find the fact that the Left are the ones stating this when they usually whine the most about corporations and their rising global power.. Furthermore I find the Left-Wing Party more opportunistic than perhaps any other since they boast about ‘power to the workers’, constantly bitch about feminism and fool every naive punkass kid who ever read Marx and thinks ‘gee, why can’t we all just get along’ “over to their side”:view.php?image=vp.jpg

Of course the statements of the two parties are opportunistic sine not one of them has raised their voice about this issue previously. But that’s just politics and should come as a shock to no man.. the Left can shuve their hypocritical criticism where the sun don’t shine.

Personally I find the statement of the Greens somewhat confusing. Why make it legal to upload? And if so they should at least have made some addendum about the fact that you can’t make a dime out of doing it. It’s a stupid statement that opens up questions about where they stand on royalties on songs, “STIM”:http://www.stim.se/stim/prod/stimeng.nsf and broadcasting copyright protected material in general.

Anyway, I don’t have the time to write anymore. Gotta pack up my shit and get going.

Yarr! Swe Pirates | Slashdot

“Back to start..”:http://www.lasseman.se

*Yarr! Swedish Pirates – what’s the fuss?*

To clarify and to shed some light on why the issue of piracy has become so big lately in swedish media it is mainly because of the recent raids made by an organisation who calls themselves “The Anti-Piracy Bureau”. Now this is an organisation that has nothing to do with the Swedish goverment or has any special legal privileges. They’re simply a lobby organisation representing big entertainment labels. This makes it even more strange when they seemingly get the swedish police to follow their lead.. APB have even appeared on-site when a raid has gone down. There was also supposedly (never saw it myself) a link from the homepage of the police, telling people to report piracy to APB instead of them.

You need to know that it is currently _not_ illegal for swedish citizens to download media such as mp3s or xvid/divx movies. It _is_ however illegal to distribute them. We also have the “cassette law” which means you are allowed to make copies of your bought movies or music and share it with a limited circle of friends, non-profit of course. In order to make up for the loss of profit for movie and music makers Sweden (as well as other countries?) have a special tax on recordable media such as DVDR/CDR. Yes. We swedes love em taxes..

*Sweden* has very solid laws protecting the individual from the eyes of big brother. For instance it is currently _not_ legal to monitor an IP-adress for the sole reason there “might” be some piracy going on. And the ISP certainly doesn’t have to turn in any records. The police could, with substantial evidence backing them up, get the permission to do this – but it is quite rare and it’s quite low on their long list of priorities (child pornography for instance is more of an important subject).

The Anti-Piracy Bureau, let’s just call them APB from now on have however monitored users IP adresses and their actions online and even, in true cowboy style, sent out letters telling people to stop their illegal downloading. Now this has led to nothing but.. oh well.. around 5000 complaints to swedish authorities whom are now looking into exactly what APB are up to. Legal charges have also been drawn up against APB, but none have been issued so far to my knowledge.

*The raids* have been against induvidual filesharers as well as the ISP Bahnhof. Recently two filesharers from Malmo in the south of Sweden were released since the punishment for their.. crimes.. would have been to low.

The hunt of filesharers and what started out as a seemlingy atleast semi-effective scare from APB is now, in my humble opinion, backfiring. And backfiring good. The swedish political party “Centern”:http://www.centerpartiet.se today followed the line which “Piratbyran”:http://www.piratbyran.org (a small organisation claiming to be the counter-part to APB) presented to them in a hearing where “IFPI”:http://www.ifpi.org/ , representatives from the record industry also took part in. More of this can be found “in swedish right here”:http://www.piratbyran.org/index.php?view=forum&a=thread&id=24408

The hearing was about whether or not the Center party would vote yes or no regarding to the new delegalization of downloading copyright protected music & movies. In short, the Center parties representatives got buck naked and gave IFPI the finger while in joy exclaiming _downloads for all biatches!_.

Ok so that’s not what happened but they agreed that they could not make millions of swedes criminals (which would happen if these new laws passed, since we are quite the active leechers) and for that reason decided to vote no to the new law. “Want to know about how the goverment in Sweden works?”:http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2856

Many popular evening newspapers such as “Expressen”:http://www.expressen.se are also behind the people ( = our population – greedy bitches) who does not want the new “no-download-law” to pass. “Today their editorial (swe)”:http://www.expressen.se/index.jsp?a=256482 had the title “Download!” calling out people to keep doing just that. Furthermore it’s worth to mention that it’s not exactly unusual to find guides in our big newspapers describing how to download shit off the net. For instance I read a funny editorial from the guy in charge of the entertainment section of “Sundsvalls Tidning”:http://www.st.nu where he went on and on about how sweet it was that Sopranos would get back on air in the US again so he could finally go home and download some new episodes. Not being shy there are we Johnny boy..

We have also seen In recent swedish media both Jens of Sweden, the maker of popular MP3 players and Jonas Birgersson, vice president of broadband company Bredband 2, delivering “hard criticism towards APB”:http://www.jensofsweden.com/media/company/press_jo_20040315_eng.pdf
Something new seems to slip out almost every day about where all of this is going. It will be interesting to see if the new laws, making downloading mp3s and movies illegal in Sweden, will pass and as planned come into action in july this year.

Personally I don’t care because music and movies are just distractions from polishing my weaponry for the easter coming up. Tradition in sweden is for kids to dress up as witches and go out begging for candy. “I got some candy for em alright”:view.php?image=witch.jpg

*Slashdotted*

Weow. MySQL crashed in like 2 seconds once someone posted my site to “Slashdot”:http://www.slashdot.org .. seems the mysql_max_connections hit the roof pretty much instantly :] Anways it seems to have cooled down now and I threw away (moved actually..) the temporary page I had to put up. I’m still getting a good 5-600 hits / hour.

I’m annoyed by the fact that a Google with the language setting set to swedish (for text & messages) will rank my site way much lower than a Google with english text and messages set. This shouldn’t matter unless you set Google to search for a specific lang. Gragh.

*I’ve been reading various articles* on “IDG Sweden”:http://www.idg.se where they talk about the problem of Piracy. “One guy”:http://www.idg.se/ArticlePages/200503/17/20050317160805_IDG.se036/20050317160805_IDG.se036.dbp.asp thought that our minister of justice should make an example and bust some filesharers and put his foot down. That’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. Look how well it’s working out around the world. Oh what it isn’t? No shit. You need laws that support the individuals as well as the organisations – but no fucking examples need to be made. Scare tactics ain’t the way to go but better buissnes models from the music and movie industry is. But this is hardly news and should be quite obvious by now.

Pop stars will sooner or later have to find themselves without their ridiculous wages and as everything digital leaps forward, so will the movie industry and effects, virtual sets, etc that today cost millions will drop to a couple of thousand and become more or less streamlined.

*In other awesome news*
“Trekunited”:http://trekunited.com/ is reporting that they are making progress and are still calling for arms. Well I feel obliged to mention them since I do enjoy the show. However I’m holding off on watching the latest episodes until I know if it’s gonna stay on or not.

Planted Evidence?

Update: The parties invovled in this reached a settlement
I’ve been having some Slashdot effects. Should work better now. On a sidenote, I personally think PiratbyrÃ¥n (freely translated “the piracy bureau” the Swedish so-called counter part of APB) blows just about as bad as the swedish bureau of anti-piracy. Downloading copyright protected material off BitTorrent isn’t cool, hip or trendy.. unless you’re 12 and revolting against the big bad world and your folks. Might be practical for some.. but no..it won’t make you cool, part of “the scene” or an awesome outlaw admired by the ladies or your fellow nerds (which might just be the same thing). Having an awesome hat like mine will however.

More details on the bust at the Swedish ISP Bahnhof on the 10th of March are emerging as the details of the internal report (swe) by Bahnhof and it’s Vice President, Jon Karlung, was released today. And with that the “pro-filesharing community” of Sweden is once again in great turmoil.

In the report an interview with a former employee (just left the company..) at Bahnhof admits being responsible for supervising the hardware of the FTP server. What is really curious however is the fact that the supposed infiltrator of the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau (their web is currently down because of the “intense hacking attacks” that have occured lately) the man who goes by the nick name “Rouge” has appearantly supplied the FTP with extensive hardware for costs up and around 20.000 SEK (roughly 2900 USD) and has been one of, if not the most, active member of the group of people who had access to the FTP nicknamed “Enigma”.

If you are interested in why there is such a fuss in Sweden about piracy lately, read more

Here follows the interesting part from the report, please excuse errors in spelling and grammar as I did this quite rapidly. Also please note that when refering to APB they are talking about the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau.

Interview with person 1, march 18, 2005

  • The interview with person 1 was conducted at his or hers apartment by Jon Karlung with Anders Haglund present. Person 1 is one of the companies UNIX-technicians and works with the installation of servers. Person 1 is an employee at Bahnof Internet since the end of January 2004.

Are you the man responsible?

I have been responsible for the hardware together with three other sysops. But to clarify, I was just responsible for maintaining and supervising the hardware and nothing else.

Who are the others

One of them is “Rouge” who is that infiltrator. I won’t tell you who the others are but I guarantee that they are not employees of Bahnhof.

Have you been doing this on scheduled working hours?

No. This is an entirely private thing that I’ve been doing.

How long have you been doing this?

This has been around since 2002 but at another ISP.

Which one?

*Name of an ISP*

Why the move?

In february or march 2004 when I began work at Bahnof I brought the server there since the bandwidth was better.

Where have the servers been located?

In the “lab” that we had access to.

When was the “lab” built?

It was spring 2004

How has this been kept a secret?

The “lab” was exactly that.. a lab. There we put together and took a part all kinds of machines. New servers that were to be installed were also rigged in the lab. This was done to no have to sit in your usual office space and work with a loud server. With all the servers that were running in there that were related to normal, legal tasks nobody noticed this one.

What material was available on the server?

All sorts. Movies, music and games.. sort of.

Who has been the sysop for this whole thing?

That’s Rouge.

Have you known him for long?

Yes, for four years. It’s a friend. I can’t believe he is doing this. It’s fucked up when a friend does this.

Does he work with computers and if so, where?

He has up until 2003 worked at a IT-consulting firm where he apparently was laid off. After that he has been running a company which sells motorcycles but it seems to have gone bankrupt. Maybe he has been low on cash. I don’t know.

How long has “Rouge” been doing this?

Several years. According to the logs I’ve looked at he has been an infiltrator for two years.

What is his part in this?

He has bough the hardware for around 20.000 SEK (approx 2900 USD). In march he wanted to submit another 800 gigabyte with a new hard drive. I told him that “Enigma” would probably not be up anymore. He was quite persistent about it. Just before the raid he kept nagging to me about it, that he would send more hardware if I wanted to. He said he wanted to know since he had bought all the stuff for it before. I never answered him. Now I understand why he was in such a rush. I think it’s also important to tell you that a lot of what has been in the newspapers is incorrect. It’s been talks about 27 Terabyte worth of data. Can you comprehend how much that is? It’s practically impossible to get that amount of discs in a server that would not stand out from the others. I’ve also seen it mentioned that there were several TB’s worth of data send/received every day. That’s also completely false, that would have noticed in our network. The whole thing was about NOT being detected, it should be quite evidently so.. The fact is that only a small group of people could access this server, not thousands which some articles have stated, the amount of data was not that huge.

But this pseudonym “Rouge”, what has he done really?

He has been running the main channel – the Enigma server that is. He himself has been adding new users and been an active sysop.

What do you mean by “active”?

He has been the administrator of the server and he himself has been downloading and uploading data. He has been shuffling a lot of data on this machine.

But if he is an “infiltrator” then maybe he got the permission by the copyright holders to send and receive these files?

I wouldn’t know. But he has among other things sent stuff by Microsoft for the game console X-box and also for the Playstation 2. I can’t believe he has been granted the right by APB to spread that. Besides he has been running a lot of stuff over the Bahnhof net that he has not had permission to do.

So you’re saying that it’s really APB themselves who is behind this?

All I know is that Rouge has been one of the most active persons behind this. He has been buying the hardware and carrying them himself to Bahnhof and me. He has also for a long time been taking care of everything. He has been shuffling a lot of data via the Bahnhof net. My role primarily involved taking care of the hardware for the machine. But Rouge has been involved in recruiting new members. The absurd thing about all of this is to switch the topic.. Imagine IOGT-NTO (a swedish association against alcohol & drugs) paid someone to map the illegal distribution of alcohol to minors by, for a period of two years, themselves paying a person to conduct this illegal distribution of alcohol while reporting information back to IOGT-NTO.

Has anyone else in the personal at Bahnhof been involved in this?

No, but there might of course be people who themselves have downloaded material. I don’t know anything about that though.

Have you anything to add about “Rouge”?

I last met him in february 2005 when he was at the Bahnhof Bar (a bar connected to the office). He later joined my for a beer downtown. A couple of other employees were there with us. He is simply a friend who sold me out.

But how can you be so naive that you do this stuff? Don’t you realize that you have caused the company great costs and also put us in harms way?

I don’t have an answer for that one.. This is a “scene” – it’s like a contest in a limited circle. We’re perhaps a couple of hundred persons doing this in total. It’s a couple of technicians from other ISP’s and it’s ordinary people. On the server there has been a max of about 100 active users. It’s just between them the material have been circulated. Nowhere else. We haven’t made any money of this at all, it’s all just about a private thing we’ve been running. It’s hard to describe it but it’s basically not about the movies or the material itself that’s interesting. Its a race that’s about sending large files in the shortest amount of time possible. The contest is about shuffling huge amounts of data between us quickly. By doing this you get scores depending on how good you are.

Finally – have you got anything actually proving what you are telling us is the truth – is there any evidence or documents? Why should I believe you?

Yes, I have saved the log files with “Rouge”. As recent as the 8th of march he wrote that he had already sent new hardware and that I should be a pal and help him out since he had bought so much stuff already for the machine. I also have log files where you can see that he has been doing the activities I’ve mentioned from Chello and his home. You’ll get the log files from me so you can for yourselves see. In there there are IP-numbers and comments that prove that he is deeply involved in these activities.

The interview with person 1 is concluded. He has after the interview sent us log files as evidence of what he is saying concerning the infiltrator from the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau.
From http://isp.bahnhof.se/nyheter/Utredningsrapport.pdf
Translated by moi, Lars

A very complete list of logfiles have been publicly available, showing the activites of the supposed infiltrator’s Rouge: http://isp.bahnhof.se/nyheter/Loggfiler.zip

For Swedes the swedish blog Kommenterat has interesting things to say about this.. the most being which crimes APB has commited if what’s stated in the report is true. Fraud, producing evidence, etc are among the plausible charges.