Night of the Network #NotteRete + transcription of Stallman

Tonight there was a manifestation in Italy called “Notte della rete” (Night of the Network). This manifestation protested against the ‘internet-killing act’ that will be discussed tomorrow by AGCOM (the regulator and competition authority for the communication industries in Italy). This proposed regulation would provide automatic deletion of content protected by copyright that is shared on the web.

no web censure notte della rete

The proposal threatens to censor the free flow of ideas and information over the net. It would slow down innovation and creativity, the opposite of why copyright was created in the past. A censorship that threatens to silence the web as a meeting place, “to reduce in silence those who express themselves on the Internet.”

People have rallied around defending the freedom of the net. Bloggers, politicians, artists and activists have gathered together. It is a time for confronting the present and the future of democracy and participation in their country. A petition against this has been on and already gathered more than 210.000 signatures. The live stream was sent a few hours ago and collected many well know persons holding their small speeches. The only one speaking in English was Richard Stallman, founder of the the Free Software Foundation, who was holding a speech over distance.

To follow the progress of this you can follow the twitter hashtags: #notterete and #nowebcensure
You can see a recorded copy of the stream for the night. Here’s a transcription I did of Richard Stallman’s part (starts at 2h 13min until 2hr 18mins). My favorite parts is where he describes one of his solutions for dealing with the “piracy” problem: “if each player has a button you can push, and it sends one euro anonymously to the artist” <- Sounds like Flattr to me :D

I’m very happy, that people have come to protest this unjust regulation
this means that they can no longer impose injustice on internet users quietly
of course you are here because you understand why this law is unjust
it’s censorship, censorship is always evil
but even worse, it’s censorship without trial

the people doing this are prepared to attack the most basic idea of justice to get their way
but why are they doing this, what’s their purpose?
they are doing something evil because their purpose is evil
they want to stop people from sharing
the reason is, they and the state, do not work for the people, do not work for the citizens
they work for companies
they are governments of occupation in the empire of the mega-corporations
you can see this in every area of life
in this area the corporations that have the power are the movie companies, the record companies, the publishers
and they want to stop you from sharing
that’s why they use propaganda terms like ‘pirates’
what does it mean when they call the people who share pirates?
it means they are trying to equate helping other people with attacking ships
this is absurd and morally it’s as wrong as anything could be
because sharing is good
but attacking ships is very bad
so we shouldn’t call them by the same word

when they say there is a big problem of piracy we should say yes but it’s in Somalia
when people ask me, my opinion of piracy. I say: attacking ships is very bad.
when they ask what I think of music piracy
I say: from what I’ve read when pirates attack they don’t do it by playing instruments loud and badly
rather than use arms
so it’s not music piracy
that is, their piracy is not music piracy it’s just piracy
the point is, when they say there’s a big problem of piracy and if we don’t solve it with this injustice how else should we solve it
we should respond, there is no such problem, it’s not a problem, it’s good that people are sharing
but I didn’t say contents I don’t… [note: the speech was translated line-by-line to Italian. The translator used the Italian word  contenuti and Stallman didn’t like this translation]we’re talking about works here not contenuti [Italian for ‘contents’]
because contenuti are important things that we admire. we shouldn’t pretend they are just there to fill up a box
the publishing companies don’t care about these works they only care about the money they are going to get from the works
so they call these things contents
they don’t care what’s in the box as long as the box is full
but if we care about music, if we care about books, if we care about these works of authorship then we shouldn’t call them continuity

and we should look for ways to support the artists
the existing copyright system does a very bad job of supporting artists
the publishers they say: we have to stop people from sharing because they are taking money from the artists
but really it’s the publishers that are taking the money from the artists
the existing system supports stars well, supports other artists very badly, but is really great for supporting publishers
so I’ve proposed other methods to support artists better

for instance, we could collect a fee from every internet subscriber and divide this money among artists
only artists
not the companies
and we could divide it based on the cube root of the popularity of each artist
why the cube root, because this way we shift the money from the stars to the many artists of middle-level popularity
this system would support artists much better using less money
and it’s compatible with sharing, with this system we can legalize sharing
another suggestion of mine is if each player has a button you can push
and it sends one euro anonymously to the artist
either of these systems would work better to support the artists than the current system which is mainly for support the publishers who impose unjust laws upon us

now the same companies that commanded this injustice will and have done other injustices
for instance they design software to restrict the user
they put in digital hand-cuffs
these are features designed to restrict the user
how can they do this, it’s because the software is not ‘libero’
with software either the users control the program, or the program controls the users
with free software, software libero, the users control the program
with proprietary software, software soggiogante [Italian for “subduing/subjugating/enslaving”], the software controls the users
so if we want our software not to be turned into our jailer we must insist on free software only
Windows has digital hand-cuffs
Macintosh has digital hand-cuffs
the iPhone and the iPad have digital hand-cuffs
Flash player has digital hand-cuffs
the Amazon Kindle has digital hand-cuffs
so you can see how widespread this form of evil has become, we must escape from non-free software
for more information look at
and also Free Software Foundation Europe, that is
thank you very much

-Richard Stallman


Help with Errata in transcription: Francesco ORLANDO – ASSOPROVIDER
Sorry about the missed spaces between some punctuations, WordPress is not working with me right now…

Pic: CC-BY-NC-SA, isotype75

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Josef Ohlsson Collentine

A transparent and kind American/Swede who likes cultural patterns and Social Media. A creative early-adopter who sports, discusses and explores. More about me
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