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A Bill declaring war on media-giant exploitation

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Letters I read your article earlier today about the push in the US to legalize DoS attacks by corporations against peer-to-peer networking. Now there's a shining example of democracy in action, no?

Since the public is probably getting really bored and cynical with all of the one-sidedness in politics lately, here's a little bill I threw together for the hell of it.

If they want to declare war on the customer, why not do it to them? :) I really hope you will publish this; I think a lot of people might like it.
--Harley Aulance

Citizens' Open Declaration Against Corporate Injustice

25 July 2002

Whereas the House of Representatives, the Congress, and the Senate of the United States of America have repeatedly put forth an effort to pass pieces of legislation which are clearly designed to assist wealthy industries in the oppression and usurpation of the common citizen, both domestic and foreign;

Whereas it has been proven that the cost of the Compact Disc (CD) and other media of content distribution have in fact risen as a result of corporate profit-minded planning, even in spite of reduced manufacturing costs arising from the ubiquity of newer and ever more advanced technology;

Whereas the Artists who create and distribute their Content through RIAA channels are not properly compensated for their personal efforts, since only a small minority of the funds earned this way actually profit the artist;

Whereas the Recording Industry of America (RIAA), under the guise of "anti-piracy" efforts, and in an effort to maximize profit at the expense of Fair Use and consumer friendliness, have in fact conspired to release nonstandard copy-protected media such as the "copy protected CD", with the express intention of hindering, damaging, or otherwise disrupting an electronic device such as a personal computer;

Whereas the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), in cooperation with other entities, including at least one compromised legislator, has in fact conspired to legislate a condition of immunity for itself with regard to the committing of numerous, serious federal offenses via the directing of Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks at Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks;

Whereas the above mentioned DoS attacks and other vigilante procedures would likely cause serious harm to individual computer users and Internet Service Providers (ISPs);

Whereas the passing and continued existence of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), without further and serious examination, is expected to erode both the legitimacy of Fair Use provisions by the State under previous copyright laws, and erode the onus being on the State to establish the presence and existence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or in a balance of probabilities, in the event that an offense is believed to have been committed;

Whereas the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is believed to have engaged in actions on behalf of its members that are harmful to the citizens' freedoms and interests in terms of enforcing fair copyright legislation, particularly with respect to the intolerable conditions provided by the DMCA;

Whereas the agenda of Digital Rights Management (DRM) is being forced on citizens without due process or reasonable grounds;

Whereas DRM and all of its derivatives are dangerous to innovation, copyright, and technological advance on the grounds that they remove functionality from electronic devices and further erode Fair Use provisions;

Whereas no form of DRM has been conceived, or even constructed, with the intent of compensating copyright holders and content creators for alleged acts of "piracy";

Whereas great injustices have been perpetrated by the RIAA and MPAA against citizens, ISPs, and other entities without proof beyond a reasonable doubt or on the balance of probabilities that an act of "piracy" or "copyright infringement" has in fact been committed;

Whereas the BSA, its members, and a number of other commercial software entities have been continually abusing the U.S. patent system by establishing circumstances in the development community which hinder, stagnate, or degrade innovation and the spread of new ideas;

Be it resolved that we, the people, both US citizens and citizens from abroad, hereby declare the following:

(1.) That an unconditional boycott must be made against key firms, particularly the BSA, RIAA, and MPAA, in an effort to encourage the establishment of fair and honest business practices, and to promote nondiscriminatory relations with regard to customers and end-users;

(2.) We demand the retraction or striking down of all counterproductive legislation such as the DMCA, and reserve the right to demand such for any similar article or document from the present, past, or future;

(3.) We refuse to recognize any media or content distribution or creation entity as a legitimate law enforcement agency;

(3[i].)-- no entity besides the rightful government of a state will be granted law enforcement powers by the State, as the establishment of such would forseeably undermine citizens' freedoms and democratic rights;

(3[ii])-- no entity shall be granted any form of vigilante powers under any circumstance, by any other entity or the State, as this is strongly contrary to what a legitimate and free democracy should stand for.

(4.) We reserve the right to enjoy the provisions of "First Sale" and "Fair Use" protected under existing national and international copyright conventions;

(5.) We find the passing of legislation which allows crime to be legitimized for any agency for the purpose of personal gain to be utterly intolerable.

(6.) In the event that any entity, corporate or otherwise, is granted any piece of blatantly oppressive legislation or vigilante rights, such as the right to commit a federal computer crime with impunity, the citizens of all nations reserve the right to:

(6[i])-- declare a state of war against that entity and any parties that share responsibility, whereby "war" is defined as the right to assume equal rights as those which the oppressor has enacted, and in doing so, the citizens are entitled to commit at least one retaliatory act in return for every act made by the "oppressing" entity;

(6[i][a])--- any such state of war will remain in full force until the legislation or grant of power in question has been reversed or struck down and is completely eliminated. Proof of such elimination will be required in all instances.

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