New Yorkers For Fair Use

© Copyright for the Digital Millennium

Internet Commons Congress 2004

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Sustaining and expanding the Internet as a global commons requires a cohesive international unity movement analogous to environmentalist efforts protecting natural resources. The Internet Commons Congress provides an opportunity for education, networking, and cross-fertilization between efforts like those supporting peer-to-peer file sharing, VoIP, free software, open access, digital divide, and tax moratoriums.

Daniel Berninger, host, Internet Commons Congress 2004

New Yorkers for Fair Use Call to General Assembly

Please register for the Congress and join in the fight to preserve the Internet commons.
Visit the Internet Commons Congress home page at

Today our commons is under attack.

The attack is wide and pervasive. Even our right to own and use computers inside our homes and offices, is under attack.

The time has come to assemble and declare our rights. We call upon advocates and organizers, authors and cow-orkers, readers and singers, politicians and students, grandmothers and children of all ages, and all who support the right of free human beings to the free dissemination and use of information rendered to the commons for the benefit of the public, to join us at the Internet Commons Congress outside Washington DC on March 24 and 25, 2004.

We live in a time of vibrant prospects and shameful travesties, brought on as we confront the implications of a new and broader and greater empowerment in furtherance of our common wealth and in engagement in our common governance.

Today we possess:

  • The Internet: the means to disseminate and make use of published information flexibly and powerfully, on a worldwide scale
  • Computers: tools to process, select, combine, analyze and synthesize information at the digital and logical level, and
  • Logical Freedom: the power to devise means of applying these tools through the free use and expression of logic in code

But today we also confront:

  • attempts to create irrational and wildly artificial legal and regulatory trammels on new conventions, such as VoIP, in order to keep control of the world's communication channels in the hands of old oligopolies, monopolies, and tyrannical governments
  • an intransigent U.S. Federal Communications Commission, arrogating to itself an unprecedented authority to declare exclusive rights policy and to regulate the design of digital devices on that basis
  • consolidated mass media and entrenched communications monopolies that subvert principles of the public interest with the willing concurrence of complaisant regulators and legislators
  • elected representatives who have made plain their intention to enact a new exclusive right to factual information in databases
  • forceful attempts in Europe to subvert the law banning patents on software, by patent establishment professionals and the large companies they serve
  • specious arguments by public servants and privileged contractors for the supposed reliability of "new voting technology"
  • attempts by the Bio-Medical Cartel and others to seize the fruits of logical, biological, medical, and pharmaceutical researches carried out at publically financed institutions of science and learning
  • an already well advanced and well funded plan to impose a redesign of home computer hardware so that running software that you choose would be made impractical, and analyzing and processing information in the manner you choose would be made impossible; the new design, backed by laws such as the DMCA, would result in the emplacement of wiretap and remote control hardware and supporting software in every new low cost home computer sold in 2006
  • massive ongoing and systematic violations of contract law and antitrust law and consumer protection law by Microsoft and its partners, by means of which most home users are left with no choice but to run Microsoft operating systems: most people are not offered any choice of operating system at point of sale of the hardware, and are therefore induced to employ systems that are difficult to use and easily parasitized, systems that are indeed so bad because Microsoft need not compete
  • a hundred million dollar campaign of barratry and red-baiting conducted by SCO, acting as agent for the convicted monopolist Microsoft, to induce businesses and individuals to steer away from exercising free control of their logic devices, away in particular from GNU/Linux operating systems; the assault led by SCO is only one of many of similar scale

All these issues and more are part of a broad struggle by all the people, we who treasure our freedom and who wish to remain free to use our Net and our computers in all the ways that are both fit and just.

We call all ready advocates and concerned constituencies to assemble at the Internet Commons Congress this March 24 and 25, 2004. Here we will forge a bond in our common cause of information freedom, detail our missions and callings and summon each other to join in common cause.

Please click here for details regarding venue, schedule, logistics:
Registration for attendance is free:

Those in attendance will issue calls for action, as shall we. We call all free citizens to join the struggle against englobulation of our Commons and our computers by the loose association and alliance of cartels, oligopolies, monopolies, and parts of governments, that seek to keep or take control of all the communications systems of the world.

At the moment New Yorkers for Fair Use knows of a few efforts which we will forward at the Congress:

  1. Continued Actions for Refunds: We hope to prepare materials to move the FTC, Congress of the USA folk, the Federal antitrust team, and the judge in the Microsoft case to consider effective action on the basis of gross violations of both the 1994/1995 consent decree, and the recent conviction of Microsoft. This effort needs several score affidavits dealing with anti-competitive practices at point of sale of low cost computer hardware.
  2. Education of Regulators and Legislators and Attorneys about Home Computer Hardware: We will explain and demonstrate the boot process today on untrammeled hardware and what the boot process would be like on Palladiated hardware, that is, hardware with hard DRM.
  3. Procurement Policy Education and Action: We seek to collect and analyze the grossly inequitable policies and procedures by which vendors of source secret softwares keep their special privileged position in the machine rooms and desktops of government agencies.
  4. Education of Regulators and Legislators and Judges about the Net: We will explain the fundamental principles which, for more than thirty years, have supported the psychic and moral and legal and engineering foundations of our Net. A popularly reported on issue directly connected with these principles is the "issue of Voice Over Internet Protocol".

These four actions have been mentioned because organizations, tribes, and individuals from New York City have recently been working on these four efforts. We know that other efforts will also be carried forward at the Internet Commons Congress. Come and help!

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