Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew


tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

More DMCA Crap

Following up, and making sure you’ve written to your MP.

Because this isn’t over.

  • Canadian Industry Minister lies about his Canadian DMCA on national radio, then hangs up: CBC Radio’s Search Engine just posted/aired its interview with Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice about his Canadian version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Before hanging up on interviewer (and my cousin) Jesse Brown, Prentice “lies, dodges, weaves and ducks around plain, simple questions like, “If the guy at my corner shop unlocks my phone, is he breaking the law?” and “If my grandfather breaks the DRM on his jazz CDs to put them on his iPod, does that break the law?” and the biggie, “All the ‘freedoms’ your law guarantees us can be overriden by DRM, right?” (Prentice’s answer to this last one, “The market will take care of it,” is absolutely priceless.)” [This link includes the MP3 to Search Engine, in case you’re not already listening to the podcast.]
  • Canadian DMCA will criminalize emailing your kids’ class photos to their grandparents: “Did you email your grandmother a photo of your kids’ kindergarten photos? Call her up and tell her that you won’t be able to do it again with the grade one pics next year unless she calls up her MP and puts him on notice that he’d better oppose the CDMCA or lose her vote. Did your brother back up his DVDs to his laptop when he went away to university? Call him now and let him know that he’ll be a criminal next year unless he calls and writes to his MP and lets her know what he thinks of Bill C-61.”
  • Canadian Parliament shoutfest over the Canadian DMCA:

To borrow a term/pronunciation from a friend, this is total bullshis. Stop Prentice!


Filed under: canada, music, politics, teevee/movies

Canada Needs Your Help NOW!

Meanwhile, in Canada, there’s a storm brewing, and it’s going to get ugly. I urge all Canadians who read this to contact their MPs regarding changes to the Canadian DMCA, Industry Minister Jim Prentice’s no-consultation copyright law.

  • Canadian DMCA is worse than the American one: The Canadian DMCA allows every single exception to copyright to be eliminated by adding DRM: whatever the law allows you to do, a corporation can take away, just by using DRM to prevent you from doing it. Breaking DRM is illegal, unless you fit into a tiny, narrow, useless exception for security research. It used to be that Parliament got to write copyright law. Now, it’s Hollywood companies, who get to overrule Parliamentary law with whatever “business rules” they put in their DRM.
  • PSA Video on Canada’s new copyright bill, C-61
  • Comic book explains the fight over the Canadian DMCA: Canadian copyfightin’ law prof Michael Geist sez, “Gordon Duggan of Appropriation Art has created a remarkable comic book [PDF – 2.8 MB] chronicling the recent battle over Canadian copyright reform. The book includes over 100 links to websites, articles, and other resources as every quote or reference is hyperlinked. It concludes with references to groups actively involved in copyright issues and suggestions for how to get active. This left me absolutely speechless.”
  • How Canada’s DMCA will criminalize everyday Canadians: I’ve been hearing from Boing Boing readers who’ve written to the government to protest the bill, and the government line is “We’re not taking away rights, we’re giving them to the public! We’re making it legal to rip CDs and make other personal copies!” (Indeed, Prentice sent a letter to the Toronto Star that says just this). This isn’t mere disingenuousness: it’s a flat-out lie. Yes, the bill will legalize ripping your CDs, so long as there’s no DRM on them, and so long as the EULA doesn’t forbid it. The Canadian DMCA says to rightsholders, “There are no exceptions to copyright law, except the ones you permit. If you want to prohibit a use that Parliament has protected, go right ahead! Just add some DRM or stick it in the EULA, and whatever you say will become the law of the land.”
  • Talking points for Canadians speaking to their MPs about the Canadian DMCA: This bill is bad for Canadians for a number of reasons…

Please write/call/email your MP NOW! If the bill passes, our copyright laws will go from decent to worse-than-America’s, with the goal being to strip Canadians of rights will empowering Hollywood. Let’s do something about it. Now.

[Much thanks to BoingBoing, from whom I blatantly copied for this post.]

Filed under: canada, music, politics, teevee/movies, wtf?

Photo time!

A whole whack of photos from my last few days in Jerusalem. There’s some street art; happy people, music, poetry, and dancing at Def Adar Jam; and a boogie.

Filed under: friends, graffiti, israel, music, parties, photos, travels

Ringing in the New Year

This afternoon, I joined visiting friends at the International YMCA in Jerusalem. There, we climbed the bell tower to take in the panoramic view and listen as our friend amazed us with his incredible carillon playing abilities. If anyone was near King David street/the YMCA or the surrounding areas, I’m sure you could have heard those bells singing from about 16:15-17:00.

Amazingly, playing the bells does not require crazy running around, hitting the bells. Nor does it require pulling long ropes to swing the clappers. A story below the bells was a room with a device that looked similar to a piano or organ. Instead of tickling the ivory, you pound the wood: when you press the wooden keys (like dowels), it pulls a wire that runs up through the ceiling and pulls the clapper, ringing the bell. So there’s a second’s delay between playing a note and hearing the bell. The higher notes equal smaller bells equal easier to press keys. The bigger, heavier bells result in lower notes; some of these keys were actually foot pedals. [Full photo set here. If I get permission, I’ll post some clips of on youtube.]

I was incredibly impressed. The set concluded with Auld Lang Syne, of course.

And let’s not forget about the view! Two stories above the keyboard, there was an open floor with four small balconies, one facing each direction. Before sunset, I captured a great view looking east: over the Old City, into East Jerusalem. And during sunset, another looking northwest, past the construction site of the King David Residence.

Filed under: friends, israel, music, photos

It had so much potential

Tonight was the annual Carlebach memorial concert (tomorrow’s the yartzeit of rabbi Shlomo Carlebach). The concert was huge: big venue, big name musicians, big honouree who happened to be the songwriter the big name musicians were paying homage to… And yet, it wasn’t any good. The sound tech needed to up the microphones for all of the singers, but never did; the bass player spent most of the 2.5 hours for which we stayed (we left before it ended) gesturing wildly, through mime, that the [insert instrument/singer here] needed their mic turned up. The spotlight usually stayed on one guy, even if he wasn’t the one singing. The smoke machine (also, smoke machine, wtf?) was going full blast before the concert even started, and didn’t give up at all. The musicians sounded unrehearsed. And the one time that 4 guys from 4 different groups came out to sing together, they attempted 4-part harmony which, unfortunately, included the long lost flat note of Babylon (my ears still hurt).

There was no reason for this concert to be a let down. (The sole highlight: the crazy dancing dude on stage for 4 songs. Specifically, the crouch-down/jump-and-spin/kick move he did twice.)

On a slightly related note, I wonder what part of the yeshiva culture instills in the bochurs the concept that they have the right to resume a song, at a concert, after the musicians on stage have finished (and are trying to talk, or the emcee is now trying to introduce the next group). It happened tonight, and I’ve seen it before, where a bunch of guys from the yeshiva (I’m assuming, based on their dress, style of dancing, etc) keep on fervently singing the same one-line of the song, ignoring what’s happening on stage, and, possibly, intentionally doing so. Why do they think that’s appropriate?

Filed under: israel, music, wtf?

Purim for the Cool Cats and Groovy Gals

With Purim rapidly approaching, it’s time to bust out the best of the Megilla readings. The Big Megilla [mp3], originally recorded by Bill Averbach for his Austin Klezmorim, is probably the hippest telling of the Megilla.

Hey, Man, I highly recommend listening to it.

Filed under: judaism, music

Avenue Jew

So this YouTube video of “Avenue Jew” is a mashup of Fiddler on the Roof and Avenue Q. It has the casts of Avenue Q and Fiddler in it….

Really well done, funny, and smart.

[edit: turns out this is a little old – from 2004, the casts teamed up to at the 18th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition. (Playbill story, lyrics to revised tunes.)]

Filed under: judaism, music, random

1000 words?

I’ve posted some photos from the ‘tute on flickr.

A few more from Talya & Josh’s wedding.

And some great dorks.

Filed under: friends, music, nhc 'tute, photos, queers, random, seasons, travels


I finally have some photos to share…

The trip out West, June’s Scrabble meet-up, and my weekend with Y-Love.

Sadly, I don’t have many photos from my trip as I couldn’t find my battery charger for most of the trip, and drained the battery early on.

Filed under: friends, music, photos, scrabble, travels

Procrastinating – bocher style

The post in which I can finally appropriately use my Justin usericon.

So, in the spirit of great procrastinators, I decided to fire up the ol’ newsreader, a lonely application that I have been ignoring since the paper-writing panic set in a week or two back.

Buried in the links of a blog I read, I found out about The Chevra, a yeshiva bocher boy band. (No, I’m not kidding.) Their sound is reminiscent of The Party Posse. (The boy band formed on the Simpsons, in a parody of N Sync, whose members included Bart, Milhouse, Nelson, and Ralph. In other words, overly synthesised, harmonised, and produced.)

Then, to add to the joy, I find that some bored yeshiva bochers on vacation made a fake music video for the Chevra’s song “Lecha” (complete with lip-syncing, cheerleading, and breakdancing).

If your thoughts are on par with mine, you will watch and listen, then decide that yeshivas are the gayest places on earth. And, as such, you should become bal tshuva, join a yeshiva, and find a husband. Or at least have a good time. *nudge nudge wink wink* (And, failing that, at least you can have a satisfying platonic love life, as this video demonstrates.)

Filed under: judaism, music, random, school, wtf?