FC: John Gilmore on Ukraine doing the right thing, fighting RIAA

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 07:31:54 PST

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    Previous message:
    U.S. says Ukraine turns blind eye to piracy, levies tariffs
    To: declanat_private, gnuat_private
    Subject: Re: FC: U.S. penalizes Ukraine for refusing draconian media controls
    In-reply-to: <20020103023512.A5896at_private>
    Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 02:21:52 -0800
    From: John Gilmore <gnuat_private>
    The "optical media licensing regime" that the US is trying to stuff
    down the throats of the Ukramians (and many other countries) is one
    that puts tracking numbers on every CD blank and on every CD master.
    These permit examining any retail CD to answer "which plant made this
    blank?" and "which mastering machine made this CD?".  You can see
    these marks on your own CDs, if you look in the center of the shiny
    side.  E.g. one CD I have is embossed "IFPI 2F82" on one part, "CMCA"
    on another, and in the silver is burned "CMCA" and a whole bunch of ID
    numbers and bar codes.
    This scheme does not 'preclud[e] piracy of such products'.  There's
    that deliberately misleading "P-word" again.  It's like calling
    someone a terrorist; if they're a "pirate" then we can do anything to
    'em, and it's not only legal but fun too.  Let's double the price of
    ordinary non-CD products made in the Ukraine and sold in the US,
    cutting off their foreign trade.  Whee!
    There is a similar tracking requirement imposed on CD recorders (by
    the patent licenses issued by Philips).  It requires that each CD
    burner record on the CD the serial number of the recorder, so that
    every burned CD-R can be traced back to which individual CD-burner
    recorded it.
    These schemes are described here:
    The schemes were invented by IFPI, the International Federation of the
    Phonographic Industry, the international version of the RIAA.  The
    same companies run it, it's just another smokescreen for the music
    mafia.  Here's their web site, and their comment on the Ukraine trade
    The Philips licensing site reports (in a PDF paper written by IFPI)
    that "While the SID Code programme is voluntary in most parts of the
    world it is now mandatory that all CDs replicated in Bulgaria, China
    and Hong Kong carry a Mould SID Code.  Mandatory use of SID Code(s) is
    in prospect in several other countries which are presently considering
    the introduction of CD Plant Regulations."  (i.e. IFPI and the US are
    actively pressuring them now with threats like these trade sanctions.)
    The equipment and blanks for pressing CD's are the musical equivalent
    of printing presses and blank paper for written works.  In order to
    'prevent' the 'piracy' of musical 'books', here's the direct
    translation of what the IFPI demanded of the Ukraine, and what the US
    Government spent years trying to force down the Ukranians' throats:
         * close down and prosecute printing plants that have been involved in
           high volume printing
         * seize and destroy all private property accused of copyright violation
         * carry out regular and unannounced inspections of printers
         * introduce and enforce strict paper production control
       regulations, includling the compulsory use of identification
       watermarks in the printing machinery, and control of trade in
       printers and blank paper
         * introduce new 'protection' laws for foreign record companies,
       and appropriate criminal penalties for copyright "and related
       rights" infringement
    Most of that is pretty straightforward censorship of the press, the
    kind that our own Constitution would not tolerate, we hope.  Let me
    guess what that last sentence means: If they didn't also pass a
    DMCA-equivalent law in the Ukraine, then they would still have been
    Happily, a formerly Communist government had the sense to reject this
    proposed law, while the actively authoritarian government of the US is
    trying to force it on them (and us).
    Here's some more background against which to understand this.
    Reader, in case you didn't know, every color Xerox machine and color
    laser printer prints the serial number of the machine on every page
    they produce, covertly hidden in the output, under a long-standing
    private "arrangement" with the US Treasury Department.  I have been
    unable to confirm whether this is also true of black-and-white xerox
    Next thing we'll have telephone answering machines recording what
    phone numbers people are calling from....video libraries recording who
    borrowed each book and when.....Internet ads that track and record who
    saw them...hotel room doors that record every time each person goes
    in or out...cellphones that report every move we make to the
    authorities...tollbooths that record every car that goes through them...
    guards in every airport demanding to see 'our papers' before we are
    permitted to travel in our own country...
    ...in short, we'll be living in a POLICE STATE.
    The US just imposed 100% duties on the Ukraine because their
    legislature voted NOT to impose a piece of the US police state on the
    Ukranian citizens.
    I say bravo to the Ukranians!  And maybe they can lend us a few
    freedom fighters, with experience in throwing off centralized control
    of markets by the oligarchy, and authoritarian control of the media and
    the citizens.  We need 'em.
    	John Gilmore
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