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Comment Re:Newsflash: The companies don't give a damn... (Score 5, Interesting) 332

Several years back I had built up quite a large following on a Yahoo group. At one point the group had over 600 members, not bad. I did some posts on other groups on related subjects. Maybe one of them complained. Anyway, one fine day Yahoo refused to let me login. All attempts to contact the company were fruitless. I found that not only my account but also the entire group was nuked. Fortunately I had a backup of the registration emails. I shelled out some bucks for a server, emailed all my group members with the new group address, and never looked back.

Comment The only computer in my vehicle is ME (Score 1) 423

Near where I live in South India, there is a town with a population of 200,000 with exactly zero traffic lights. You have to drive two hours to a bigger town to even find a traffic light. Sometimes they even work; and then, some people even consider obeying them. That is, if it's not too inconvenient. My goodness, how uncivilized! But it's way cheaper and works much better than the zombified control-freak nonsense of a light and camera and computer and radio control on every frickin' corner. What kind of idiots would put up with that?

Comment Re:Come to India (Score 2, Interesting) 1359

Absolutely right! I am American by birth but have spent over 10 years of my life in India at various times from the 70s through the 90s. Now I am retiring and getting ready to move to South India. Of course it helps that I am a high initiate in a Vedic esoteric school, study Sanskrit and speak tolerable Hindi. But I would agree with the parent, you can find pretty much whatever you want there.

The cultural diversity in India is inconceivable to a Westerner. The Western educational gulag trains up everyone to be a conformist. In India you have at least 13 major cultural/linguistic/ethnic/religious groups, and countless minor and regional variations. Going to India from the West feels like getting out of jail. The biggest shock on coming back to the West is how boringly the same everyone is.

In India you can find everything from aborigines and hill tribes to the most sophisticated intellectuals in the world. I know, I have debated with some of them and come away with deep respect for the cultural traditions. And there is nothing to compare with the Indian cultural tradition of hospitality. Just don't forget your micropore water filter...

Comment Re:All servers!!!!! (Score 5, Interesting) 629

This is exactly why we relocated to Chile six months ago. We had already moved to the end of a dirt road in the mountains of Mexico, but that wasn't far enough away. Now we're at the end of a much, much nicer dirt road in a country that is not ruled by mad-dog copyright censors. (And where you can rent a furnished, 5-bedroom house with cedar paneling on 2 acres of land for US$400.)

Not that we are into downloading copyrighted material; far from it, we generate our own material and publish it under a Creative Commons license. But there are such things as principles...

Comment Re:Three strikes plan? (Score 1) 81

We issue all our text, music and video under a Non-commercial/Attribution/Share-alike CC license as a loss-leader on additional non-free, personalized goods and services. Our actual product is membership in an international online community based on certain values, and now we are starting a physical community as well. All this is going very nicely.

No one needs to make money on music or media if their creativity serves some higher purpose with real value. If they are just empty entertainers or pretentious aesthetes, then their useless 'art' is their only product. But then from our view it is also just a waste of time and a distraction from the real purpose of life. So we see no problem and indeed only good results from the meltdown of the obsolete music business model.

Comment Re:Shouldn't this be a Civil matter? (Score 1) 590

Just as we do not want a big greedy corporation in between us and our audience, we do not want them between us and our food, our housing, transportation, water etc. So-called third-world countries are mercifully behind the US and Europe in terms of the big corporate ripoff tactics. Since as long as we have a fat pipe we can live and work anywhere, then why not go someplace where you can live like a country gentleman for 1/10 the expense?

Comment Re:Shouldn't this be a Civil matter? (Score 1) 590

Actually, we make about as much as I used to make doing IT tech writing consulting. We collect donations and sell courses and consultation services based on our source material. Where we live now, we rent a very nice 6 BR house on 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) of fertile land for about what it would cost to rent a room in a house where I used to live in the SF Bay area.

The point is, the open-source distribution model does work for other than software. I suppose you could consider that what we provide is software for the human mind, but still. In today's world there is absolutely no need for big greedy corporations to intermediate between artists and consumers. Feed the commons, and it will feed you.

Comment Re:Shouldn't this be a Civil matter? (Score 5, Interesting) 590

Exactly. And that is why we have moved out of the US to a more civilized country. We release all of our material--audio, video and written--under a Creative Commons license, and urge both artists and consumers to boycott the mainstream content providers. They are simply trying to maintain a business model that has been obsolete since Napster. Just let them die.

Comment Re:"Criminal Matter" (Score 2, Insightful) 149

This is just another symptom supporting the diagnosis that the media business has become toxic waste. The best antidote is a broad movement to convince artists to release their work under the Creative Commons licenses. The big recording and media companies are exploitive rascals; drive them out of business by voting with your money and simply not doing business with them.

For example, on our site we have tons of original music, videos and text. Similar to many open-source software companies, we get paid when people buy training or counseling services related to the material.

The Information Economy does not work by legislation, but by taking advantage of the inherent nature of networks to copy stuff. *Please* copy our stuff! Put it on all the P2P hosts and download it all day and night. We love it!

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