Originally published 05-27-16 to The Innerspace Connection by yours truly.
ed. note: While my journal focuses primarily on milestones of music history, today's entry is particularly relevant to TPS, as it highlights a core text of our internet freedoms. As the paper is more relevant now than ever before, I thought it important to share this piece of history to remind us all of the freedoms we must defend. Enjoy!
Over the past several months I’ve taken a considerable interest in Copyright Reform, Fair Use, Free Culture, and the fight for Internet Freedom. I purchased a copy of Prof. Lawrence Lessig’s cornerstone text, Free Culture and have been reading papers on the subject at every opportunity.
This returned my attention to one of the most prophetic and cautionary pieces ever written on our collective freedom – John Perry Barlow’s A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Written during the infancy of the internet in 1996 by the co-founder...
What follows is a short stream-of-consciousness piece I wrote this evening after becoming increasingly frustrated by how candid I have to be when writing/speaking about my media library.
We Are All Criminals
Music is inherently a social system. Music scholars, historians, archivists, and an entire generation of self-made cultural custodians need to share their musical experiences with one another. This sense of community gives substance and shape to an otherwise formless and stagnant medium.
Unfortunately, the copyright industry has crippled that facet of social development with the legal construct of Intellectual Property, effectively criminalizing hundreds of millions of people for the way they consume their media. Avid fans of an artist, composer, or an entire musical movement must reserve their discussions of said works to private and exclusive conversations between trusted parties lest they expose the unsanctioned methods by which their content was...
The title could be misinterpreted, and if so, my apologies. However, the question still stands. Why do you torrent?
What is the major motivator behind your filesharing activity? What is it about torrenting that keeps you engaged? Of all the ways that you could acquire your content, why do you choose this way? Don't freak out, this isn't an attempt to bust anyone, or any kind of suspicious post. It is a genuine question posed to facilitate conversation, and perhaps a deeper understanding of the what, how, and why we participate in this often-criticized practice.
Some people have graduated to using Bittorrent to share files, often coming from a predecessor platform of some kind (filesharing ancestors, if you will). Others have known nothing else. Some use it because they have not found an option that is better or more preferable. However, that is only part of the equation. The other part of this is asking yourself what you get out of it. Is it the thrill of the hunt? Do you...
So in the years that I have been part of TPS, I have made a point to myself to keep away from the public blog. For personal reasons, I believe the Public Blog can be a bit intimidating at times. However I come here often and read more than what I comment or reply to it.
Today I want to make a short exception to that personal rule. Today I want quickly to talk about The Pirate Society, and what it means to me and to some of us that have worked for years to have this massive vessel, where is it at, and what it is today.
We have established relationships across many different communities, and we have been able to make friends that will truly last a life time.
The knowledge that I have been able to acquire here and thru here has been paramount to me. Not to mention the friendships that I have been able to cultivate (no pun intended) out of this community I will take with me for the eternities.
Now having said all of this, and I wish I could have time to say more. I have come across...
There's been talk about our list from time to time, so I just wanted to clarify what it represents, and for that matter, what it doesn't represent. First, a little history (which TPS members know already) . Prior to its creation, there was no such thing at other invite forums. At those forums, you could offer or request any tracker, and at times that offer or request would be against tracker rules and the offerer or recipient would get himself banned from the tracker. Some invite forums then decided to hide their activities, by asking members to use different nicknames as from their trackers, and asking that usernames and stats be blacked out on "ratio proofs," so they wouldn't get caught by trackers. (No matter. These "dodgy forums" would get infiltrated by trackers and people still got banned by using them.)
When N3v3R created TPS in 2008, he created something totally different. Though TPS was basically an "invite forum" back then, he openly encouraged tracker staff to join TPS...