Column: The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed

Today, I have a column on TorrentFreak titled “The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed“. If you like it, please Digg it! That’s really important to me.

It is about how piracy and guarantee free speech are inseparatably linked.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Piratpartiet Live! (@piratbloggar) (@piratbloggar)

    Falkvinge on Infopolicy: Column: The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed:
    Today, I have a column on …

  2. RT @falkvinge Column: The Revolution Will Not Be Proper.. #copyright #egypt #infopolicy #torrentfreak

  3. Dope Stars Inc. (@dopestarsinc)

    RT @Falkvinge: on #infopolicy: Column: The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed

  4. John Joerg (@JohnJoerg)

    RT @Falkvinge: on #infopolicy: Column: The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed

  5. mrjboo (@mrjboo)

    RT @Falkvinge on #infopolicy: Column: The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed

  6. David Boss

    It is interesting that after I read your article and then followed your link to this site for the first time, the first thing I had to do was tell my browser to not accept the cookie your site was trying to put on my machine.

  7. Michael Willson

    There is another piece to copyright/censorship that is rarely, if ever discussed: legitimate use of your own material.

    The first time I encountered this was when I composed a song and was trying to convert it from WAV to MP3. The conversion program said it didn’t recognize the artist and would not do the conversion. I contacted the authors of the software and basically they said too bad. If I didn’t like it, sue them.

    Being a small time artist, I had no money to do anything about it.

    A few years later I developed an on-line backup service for attorneys. After business hours and while everyone was safely asleep, the machines would boot and send documents to a backup server. Due to the sensitive nature of the communications, everything was encrypted.

    The ISP went nuts. They couldn’t tell what I was transmitting and they shut off my account. I had letters from attorneys confirming my business model, nothing made any difference. It was at a critical time for the on-line backup business and my getting shut off meant the attorneys started looking somewhere else and in a few months I was out of business.

    Fast forward a few years.

    I am working with other professional clients, recording phone calls. A completely legitimate business and my clients have good reasons to record the calls.

    Hopefully being a bit smarter, I still do the encryption, but I added a TXT extension to the filename. It doesn’t mean or do anything, and in fact is the first thing removed on receiving the file. I have doctor’s letters on file and a web page explaining what we do. Why? Because the first ISP saw the MP3 extension and automatically assumed we were doing something very illegal. Nothing I said would make a difference.

    Did it make any difference with the second ISP? At first, but ultimately no. The ISP said since they couldn’t see what we were doing, they were going to shut me down. But they didn’t terminate the service. They just made it run slower and slower until it would stop. Reboot the gateway and everything would be good for another hour or two.

    Our operations put together a process that would automatically reboot the gateway every hour, giving us time to get another ISP.

    The second ISP would never tell me what I needed to do to keep the service going with them, they would just claim the problem was on my end. This in spite of the fact I had documents and records refuting any allegation of theirs it was on my end.

    Third ISP, I informed them about what we are doing up front, brought client records and documents, even the IP addresses we were in communication with to support what I was telling them.

    Has it worked? So far, but I am starting to see it won’t much longer.

    Three weeks ago they sent a person out to our operations and demanded immediate access to the systems area, “To determine what the problem is with the internet connection.” No phone call in advance and we didn’t have any idea who the person was. And we weren’t experiencing any internet issues, at least up until then.

    This is a secure area they were asking to enter and the only people that are allowed in there must have a reason to be there. Remember, we are storing medical information that is private and sensitive.

    And the ISP has no equipment in that area. Their equipment is in another part of the building.

    It didn’t make any difference he said, he had to have access to that particular part of the building.

    We tossed him out. Now our service is starting to “experience difficulties.” First we lost our static address, now we are having bandwidth issues and for some reason the connection keeps getting reset.

    I have been scrambling to move to another ISP, but there are only so many in one region and then nothing.

    Because of my experiences with copyrighted software, everything we use is open source, and there are not any exceptions. From the basic OS, the firewalls and storage systems, all are completely copyright free. Our desktop systems have all open source software, again all free from copyright.

    We recently wanted to include a text-to-speech process and the best process available is copyright. Instead of purchasing it we went with a process that isn’t as easy to understand, but I have a couple of programmers that tripped all over themselves for a chance to tune it. When they finish, they will give back to the community so all may benefit.

    Go to court? Sure, good luck with that. By the time I am able to get a court appearance the market has moved on and there is no business model to pursue. Besides, who wants to do business with an organization that has to be sued to deliver what they contracted to do in the first place?

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