Arkiv

Archive for the ‘Piratfrågor’ Category

Vänstern och mångkulturen I


Devrim Mavi skriver på Dagens Arena att vänstern behöver skapa en bild av det mångkulturella samhället men behöver vänstern verkligen det? Fråga godtycklig ungdom om graden coolhet i att aldrig ha haft kontakt med någon från ett annat land. Helt normala kommunikationsmönster bland människor i Sverige innefattar idag dagliga kontakter med människor från världens alla hörn, särskilt på internet. En kommunikationspolitik med inriktning på gränslöshet och informationsfrihet torde utgöra den största förtjänst vänstern för närvarande kan göra mångkulturen.

En lämplig utgångspunkt för diskussionen kan vara den bristfälliga överföringen av nätsamhällenas mångkulturella aspekter till människors geografiskt baserade vardag – vad är det som gör att vi fått ett multikommunitärt samhälle i vår geografiska vardag medan geografin som makt- och intressefaktor nästan helt faller bort från nätsamvaron? Varför sorterar sig människor i olika bostadsområden på basis av framför allt etniskt ursprung när vi alla på internet använder samma mikrobloggsklienter? Hur har etniciteten kommit att få ett sån stor plats i den geografiska vardagen, när den i parallellvärlden på internet spelar i stort sett ingen roll alls?

Idag saknar Europa en politisk debatt om det gränslösa och fria internets förtjänster i geografiskt baserad integration. Fri och gränslös får information gärna uppmuntras i andra länder, till exempel diktaturer, som befinner sig långt utanför Europas gränser. I frågor som handel, kulturutbyte, och sociala nätverk är den politiska förståelsen för internets nya gemenskaper låg. Inom dessa områden verkar den politiska debatten nämligen istället fokusera på hur vi lagtekniskt kan förstärka de privata företagens och geografiska nationalstaternas informationsgränser.

För mig är det alldeles uppenbart att om diskussionen om kommunikation utgörs mestadels av hur kommunikationen ska begränsas, går det inte att samtidigt försöka påtvinga människor uppfattningen att interaktion ska pådyvlas. Kommunikation är en förutsättning för interaktion och i dagsläget är vänsterns största problem, om något, att kommunikationen som sådan är utsatt för angrepp och attacker från både demokratiska stater och privata företag. En bild av kommunikationen som viktig faktor för den samhälleliga gemenskapen behöver vänstern heller knappast utforma. Utan ett uns av fantasi kan man istället låta sig förundras åt den massintegration på gräsrotsnivå som redan pågår. Låt därför hellre den svenska vänstern utarbeta ett program för tillgång till kommunikation och kultur, oberoende av gränser och etniciteter, och lämna efterföljande upplösning av toketnisk dogmatism åt historiens gång.

Pirater världen över, förenen eder (Gregory Engels, lokalpolitisk piratrepresentant i Tyskland)

Re nätneutralitet i Nederländerna

I takt med att rökförbud införs på fler och fler platser blir det viktigare att vi bevarar våra andra möjligheter till distanskommunikation, till exempel med nätneutralitetslagar som den som idag ska röstas igenom nederländska underhuset och således träda i laga kraft.

Vad som händer i Nederländerna idag är ännu inte säkerställt. Det som borde ha hänt igår var en omröstning om ett förslag på nätneutralitet som regeringen med innovationsminister Verhagen i spetsen lade fram för ungefär två veckor sedan. När förslaget presenterades var det en sensation – Verhagen representerar nämligen i regeringen det politiska partiet CDA, eller mainstream-kristdemokraterna (som i Nederländerna har ungefär samma status som moderaterna i Sverige), och regeringen är en koalition mellan CDA, VVD (högerliberaler, har ungefär samma status som moderaterna i Sverige) och PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid, en del av den här konstiga, europeiska populist-xenofob-nationalist-libertarian-socialist-folkhems-rörelsen som i Sverige tar sitt uttryck i Sverigedemokraterna och i Norge som Fremskrittspartiet) varav de två förstnämnda är uttryckliga motståndare till nätneutralitetslagstiftning, i gott sällskap med nederländernas största operatörer och nätverkstillhandahållare.

Från högerliberala partiet VVD kommer Europakommissionens kommissionär med ansvar för telekommunikationsfrågor Neelie Kroes, aka Steely Neelie (känd från generaldirektoratet för konkurrensfrågor som Microsoftmonopolets fiende número uno under åren 2004-2009), vars inställning till nätneutralitet är att nätneutralitet visst är bra och önskvärt, men att det inte finns några uppenbara problem med frågan för närvarande och att reglering eller lagstiftning vore ”före sin tid”. Hon har kallat det nederländska förslaget ”förhastat”. I Nederländernas underhus (motsvarande svenska riksdagen) sitter också en föredetta KPN-lobbyist, nu VVD-politiker, som hårt motsatt sig nätneutraliteten. Hon har kritiserats hårt för jäv i frågan.

Det som först hände i Nederländerna med förslaget var att regering och tillhörande partiet var emot nätneutralitetsförslaget som stöddes av oppositionen. Plötsligt svängde regeringen, och den parlamentariska grupp som utgörs av PVV ställde sig också bakom förslaget, vilket gav parlamentsgruppen för nätneutralitet en majoritet. I Nederländerna har de dock ett två-kammarsystem. I överkammaren (Eerste kamer) satt en calvinistisk ledamot som representerar, tydligen, en valkrets i södra Nederländerna där många människor sällar sig till ganska strikta calvinistiska kriterier för leverne på och bortom internet. Där har det tydligen uppstått niche-operatörer vars främsta erbjudande till slutkonsumenterna är calvinistiskt-korrekt förcensurerade uppkopplingar.

Denna ledamot tyckte inte att lagstiftningen som föreslogs (ofiltrerade uppkopplingar utan prisdifferentiering på innehåll) var bra och motsatte sig förslaget. Igår berättade någon att denna ledamot inte kan blockera förslaget så länge PVV fortfarande stödjer frågan i underhuset, men det spelar nog ändå en liten roll i den förvånande utveckling som utspelade sig igår:

Den omröstning om ny telekomlag som skulle ha utförts igår sköts upp! Tydligen efter att det framkommit att oppositionspartiet PvdA (Partij voor de Arbeider, socialdemokrater) röstat ja till ett motionsförslag de inte stödde, men som tydligen stöddes istället av SP (Socialistische Partij, socialdemokrater). Enligt @nlsp löd förslagetallows provider to hinder services when subscriber explicitly requests so on ideological grounds, giving no financial advantage”, vilket jag antar på något sätt är kopplat till calvinisten (Calvin, har jag lärt mig, är en av de två katolskkritiska 1500-talspräster vars inflytande spred sig över norra Europa – i Sverige var det Luthers kritik av katolska kyrkan som slog igenom). Tumult utbröt i underhuset. Ingen visste vad som hände. Omröstningen sköts upp till idag.

Lägg märke till att stödet för lagen som sådan inte har dalat. Det här är Europas första nätneutralitetslag och den har för närvarande starkt stöd i nederländska underhuset. Jag frågar mig när Sverige ska våga följa efter.

Nu väntar jag på att eftermiddagen ska inledas. Man kan följa eftermiddagens händelser i Nederländerna via t ex @bitsoffreedom (mest nederländska, lite engelska) eller @samirallioui (mest nederländska, engelska vid request). Jag kommer att twittra på svenska från @teirdes. Kan man nederländska och struntar i EU:s knäppa vidaresändningsregler live-sänds tydligen debatten på Tweede Kamer Live nu i eftermiddag (nederländska, inga undertexter).

Current news about my entering the parliament

Short version: There are transtition protocols that need to be signed before we can be MEPs. France and the UK may have almost signed by now. Belgium and Greece have still not signed. It is uncertain whether there may be additional delays until the French national elections in april 2012.

Current situation: Most member states appear to have signed. No clear info on Greece. Belgium is a mess. France is a wild-card but the UK appears to be sorting itself out!

Long version

:

”How does one become a parliamentarian when one is so young?” is a question I receive regularly. ”How does the European Parliament keep you from assuming your role as a publically elected official for so long?” is another.

They’re not keeping only me from assuming my role. There are a total of 18 Lisbon-seats, that is, seats added to the total size of the parliament (currently 736) by the Lisbon treaty, the new status of the Union (more or less), which entered into effect December 1 2009. In almost two years, many changes mandated by the treaty have not been implemented yet, among those the inauguration of the new MEPs. We come from a total of 12 European countries and represent political views from across the political spectrum in our various member states.

In spring 2010 I was contacted by L-MEP Josef Weidenholzer, an Austrian who is in the same precarious situation as myself. He suggested, and I agreed, that it was important that we collaborate to improve our situation and speed up the process of our ascension. Together with Maltese L-MEP Joseph Cuschieri (his webpage is in Maltese! one of the weirdest-looking but coolest languages of the union) we followed the first treatment of the implementation of Lisbon in the European Parliament in the Parliament constitutional committee.

It turned out that a domestic dispute in France, receiver of two additional seats according to the Lisbon treaty, regarding how they would name their extra MEPs (me, Josef and Joseph always ”knew” that when inauguration time came up, we would be representatives – France did not have specified people to fill the seats) created dissent and controversy in, of course, France, but also in the EP and the Council of Ministers – how to write the transition protocols (documents describing how the change from one treaty to the next would take place) in such a way that the French domestic dispute wouldn’t have to be solved at a European level? It took the parliament 6 months to figure this out, upon which a document called protocol 36, specifying the transition rules, started being circulated for signing and ratification by member state parliaments in summer of 2010.

Protocol 36 was signed and ratified by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, and because it constituted a change to the Lisbon Treaty (they had altered the wording of subparagraph c) in article 23, if I’m not mistakenly reminded) it needed re-approval by member state parliaments.

News from France uncertain and confusing. Sometimes contradictory.

This re-ratification was meant to be finished by December 1 2010. For us, it meant gathering forces and getting in touch with member state parliaments to find out when the member state parliaments were planning to treat the issue. Me and L-MEP Jens Nilsson ascertained that Sweden would ratify in October, Josef Weidenholzer and Joseph Cuschieri quickly got notifications of when ratification was to occur in Austria and Malta respectively.

Joseph Cuschieri collaborated intensively with the European Parliament local office in Malta and compiled an estimated time-frame for ratification in all member states – at this point we had some form of reference document to be used for when ”lobbying” efforts were required in which member state to speed up the process as much as possible.

At some point Josef Weidenholzer too the initiative of setting up an e-mailing list!

L-MEP Kārlis Šadurskis from Lithuanian Latvian started writing to the Lithuanian Latvian embassies of all member states to ask when or how things were moving along. (revised Jun 15 2011)

France was at this time a point of constant concern – the news from France were uncertain. What needed to happen in France for protocol 36 to be approved? There were rumours of conflicts between the French socialists and the French conservatives. Inside the European Parliament it appeared that the French socialists, currently the largest national faction inside the European socialist group S&D, were unwilling to have the European Parliament take a strong role for the installation of the new MEPs – it also seemed the Conservatives of the European Parliament (EPP) were unwilling to cross the socialists in this matter. Kārlis Šadurskis figured out that there was a constitutional change under-going and that it would be completed earliest by May 12 2011. After the constitutional change was arranged, the protocols could be treated and signed by the French president and national assembly.

At this time, when there was a more definite time-frame for France (who were always the most uncertain element in this – and still are!) the focus could be shifted again to other member states that didn’t yet sign: in April there was a number of them (Poland, Romania, Greece, UK, France, Belgium, and a few other ones).

L-MEP Anthea McIntyre provided continuous reports from the ratification processes in the UK. The road of protocol 36 in the various member states looks different depending on the parliamentary system in use: in the UK it passes between the Government, House of Commons and House of Lords and possibly someone else, where each step of the way is another cliff-hanger. The last news I’ve had from the UK are no news, which is good news – according to Anthea McIntyre the House of Lords could have objected to the ratification about 1,5 weeks ago but there have been no news of them using this privilege.

When Poland and Romania ratified about 3 weeks ago (mid-May 2011) we started talking again about trying to meet up with President Buzek from the European Parliament (whose role can be described a bit as ”spokesperson” in the Parliament – chairing plenary and representing the Parliament institutionally, not politically). L-MEP Tomasz Makowski assigned himself the Task, by virtue of also being from Poland. President Buzek was contacted on behalf of the Polish L-MEP Arkadiusz Bratkowski. (revised Oct 23 2011).

So where does that leave us?

Belgium has six parliaments. One of them has completed ratification, one of them has announced that they are currently dealing with the issue, and the status of ratification in the remaining four is unknown.

Currently, the UK process is undergoing but probably not entirely finished (to my knowledge). In France, the office of the president must still be signing the Lisbon Protocol 36 and this has yet to happen. The news from Greece are uncertain. In Belgium, all six national parliaments must sign (Brussels parliament, Flemmish parliament, Wallonian parliament, French-speaking Community parliament (apparently Wallonia minus the German-speakers plus the French speakers of Brussels), German-speaking Community (Wallonia minus the French-speakers), federal parlament), and currently we’ve found out only of the German-Speaking Community signing the protocols about 3 weeks ago, the Flemmish parliament starting preparations to sign the protocols about 2 weeks ago and from the remaining parliaments there are no words. Given the precarious political situation of Belgium at the moment, it’s slightly uncertain what will happen when the protocols pass all parliaments – will it still need to be dealt with at the executive (federal government) level and if so how?

One last word of caution: undoubtedly it is very positive that only four member states have still to sign, two of which (UK and France) seem to only have to undertake a pure formality, but I heard in the grapevine that France may possibly want to wait with inaugurating the Lisbon-MEPs until the time that they can fill their additional two seats in the national elections next year, 2012, in April. Whether it’s within the scope of what France can or cannot do to accomplish this I don’t know. Technically, the European Parliament could have made the bureaucratic decision to include the L-MEPs as observers (a special transition-status for MEPs) last year in September (2010) but decided against after opposition from what I understood to be French politicians.

Pommes de t’Eire

"You would not believe it, but we are very protected by various intellectual property rights - geographical indications, plant variety rights and patents can all be used to keep us from proliferating and you from growing or selling potatos."

Yesterday I briefly commented on the differences between conservatism in Sweden and on Ireland (some discussions that are no longer current in Sweden may be in Ireland and vice versa, was my argument). And when talking about Ireland, how can one not be reminded of the tragic potato monoculture incident that led up to the potato famine of 1845? Close to my heart and related to potatos and monocultures are plant breeders’ rights, a type of intellectual property right that is close to patent rights but applicable only to plants varieties (”varieties” like the ones illustrated below). The right entails a 20 or 25 year long protection ”term” within which you are the only plant breeder who are allowed to retail your particular type of plant variety. Just as patents, it protects the rights holder from having other people continue ”breeding” on their particular plant variety for commercial purposes.

The association to the on-going potato war of Belgium and ensuing intellectual property details are also not far from my mind. Dramatic headlines and democratic musings ensue as a field of potatoes outside Gent University Agricultural Department was liberated, or vandalized, by a group of activists disagreeing with the covert cultivation of GMO crops on open fields (no control over where the crops spread) in a privately-funded research project where the proceeds of the research was to fall in into the hands of the funder. The university calls the potato liberation ”a scientific catastrophe and a sign that democracy is not working well” (my translation). I am of the firm belief that the democratic deficit, and the tragedies to science, agriculture and society to be found herein, lie in the circumstance that the crops are destined to fall subject to an intellecual property right that can have an impact on people who’ve mistakenly become associated with aforementioned crop.

As much as I respect research, since the mid-1990s there have been worrying tendencies at the European Patent Office to include plants within what’s considered patentable matter. The plant variety rights are somewhat ”adapted” for agriculture in so far as you’re allowed to save seeds, basically (a patent right would require you to renew your license/buy new seeds for each year you want to continue industrial application of the crop). There is not really any good way of telling which type of right the private investor in the Gentsian potato field was planning to go for at the end of the research project.

But say the university and their sponsors opt for getting the ”weaker” right (which is the plant breeders’ right in this case).In the origins of plant variety rights I seem to recall potato farmers in the UK protested loudly their fears that the sudden emergence of an intellecual property right in the field would cause a big ownership concentration in the seed providers. Their fears turned out to be entirely justified – the market for providing original seeds is currently very centralized and intellectual property rights encourage further centralization of originators. Certainly there are reasons to criticize the university of Gent for this project, even if they label it research?

Plant breeders’ rights are typically pushed by large seed enterprises (Monsanto springs to mind, but they’re by no means the only actor on this market) in regions of the world where patent offices feel disinclined to include plants in the patentable subject matter, namely Latin America (who appear to be having quite a lot of unique potatos per country/region). Thus it is that most Latin American countries seem to have updated or strengthened their plant variety protection laws in the last five years. Particularly in Chile, these actions were criticized for benefiting primarily foreign investors. I would hate it for my university to be able to avoid responsibility for participating in the perpetuation of such market strategies by vague alusions to democracy and science.

Below is a sign naming various forms of potatos and the characteristic looks of each sort (list of older varieties here, pre-1960s). The rumour goes that Asterix is slowly disappearing from the market after it was discovered to be weak against a particular type of pest or mould. I like Columbo and Ostara, eat Blue Congo because it looks cool (it’s dark blue!) and would like to try ”Matilda”. The most common sorts of potatos found in Swedish supermarkets are King Edward and Asterix.
On a side-note, it appears Spain is leading the development for climate-change-resistant potatoes.

World is flat II

”If the public wants public culture, the public must be prepared to invest in public culture,” said James Love,

Jamie Love, KEI

as we were walking down a small street in central Barcelona after having evening tapas. It was October 2009 and we had just had a brief conversation about flatrates and blank media taxes.

Our conversation was held at a time when I was just trying to evaluate the voluntary collective licenses proposed by EFF, and supported by among others the Canadian Association of Songwriters and James Love’s association Knowledge Ecology International. It goes as follows: an internet subscriber chooses of his or her own free will to pay a fee to rights holder associations so as to be allowed to download, upload, remix and mix all the music they find like to online without being subjected to the threat of a lawsuit.

Jamie Love was the first person who in very direct terms confronted me with shared culture and information being, yes, socially important and valuable, but also having an economic value. In the sense that culture needs an economic influx.

Piratpartiet

Incidentally, my viewpoint at the time was that collective licenses in general were an evil to be avoided, much in line with the then and current policies of Piratpartiet.

Who should be paid what, why and how?” being the catchy, and quite sensible, lead motif of Piratpartiet had led me to believe that there was reason whatsoever to distribute any money in any way which wasn’t entirely fair, and that all such efforts should therefore be abandoned. As I grow older (I love saying that, I’m 23 years old so technically I’m only barely half-way middle-age) I realize that the concept of ”fairness” is quite subjective – just because an action risks being unfair, does not mean that the lack of that action automatically becomes more so – and the question (or four questions) is wrongly stated: obviously the relevant questions for a society to ask itself are ”What do we want from whom, why and how?” Public sponsorship of culture needs to put the benefits to society first, not the receiver of the sponsorship.

Philippe Aigrain

The EFF proposal is meant to be a ”peaceful” solution to the conflicts around copyrighted music online. Philippe Aigrain from French NGO LQDN objects, rightfully and I agree with him, that a voluntary flatrate can never amend this situation. For how do you legally then handle all the people who didn’t subscribe? Presumably by precisely that type of legislation we want to avoid.

Philippe Aigrain advocates a different form of collective license, a politically governed flatrate on broadband connections, that is mandatory for all citizens inside the jurisidiction of those politicians and that would end to all legal complications around the up- and downloading as well as the remixing and mixing. Since all people inside the territory of this law, by virtue of being inside the jurisidiction, would pay the flatrate, there wouldn’t be a need for a law of enforcement at all – the idea of the flatrate is to remove the need for enforcement. The idea of Aigrain is, much like what Love said to me, that the public has an interest and a responsibility to invest in its own cultural heritage and future.

Eva Lichtenberger

In the Green Group in the European Parliament, Piratpartiet has long stood up against collective licenses as a solution to any kind of copyright plight. Austrian parliamentarian Eva Lichtenberger though, once told me she believes it is a politically feasible solution.

If the Piratpartiet modus operandi is that ”the revolution is just around the corner so if we only wait for another few years surely the entire system will collapse”, I’m guessing Eva Lichtenberger means that it might be possible to act sooner. And since we know for a fact that we have a problem with a dwindling public domain and that methods for distributing knowledge and culture (like the bittorrent protocol) are being pushed back because of copyright (actually not only copyright, but for a part) issues

Amelia and Volker

(in favour of filehosting pages nonetheless – they are incredibly inconvenient and this trend should be stopped now or preferably yesterday! away with ye, http!) and that these are problems now, waiting for the revolution seems to me a very bad option.

Confirming the suspicions of Eva Lichtenberger, at least partly, is the Brazilian proposal for a flatrate on internet connections advocated by among others Volker Grassmuck. The Brazilian Ministry of Culture, and by extension former president Lula, supported the general idea of a low-cost flatrate on internet connections in Brazil, the revenues from which would go to remuneration of artistic efforts. Other people that supported the Brazilian proposal included Brazilian artists, including free culture artists. At the mature age of 23, I’ve realized that the flatrates appear to have some support with artists in, say, Canada and Brazil, whereas waiting for the revolution appears to be torturing, say, librarians. A public, collective license needs to solve two things: the situation for librarians and archivers with respect to contemporary and historical information; the enablement of continued advances in information spreading technologies. We have an interest and a responsibility to invest in our freedom and present, and with investment I mean here some form of monetary transaction – I did not make the economic system, I do not run it, but I acknowledge its general existence.

As it were, the new Brazilian president Dilma Roussef appointed a Minister of Culture not as keen on flatrates, meaning not that the new minister is waiting for the revolution, but that the new minister is more eager to follow the stricter enforcement model. Why? Well, presumably because the (political) flatrate solution as proposed in Brazil would have put a potentially huge amount of power of financiation of culture in the hands of the public, rather than in the hands of private interests.

For what we want, as a public, is most likely something along the lines of public culture. We want it from the artists and seeing as many (mind you not all) cultural activities require some form of money spending, we presumably want there to be money to be spend on such activities. And we want it because we value culture, we value the public domain, we value knowledge, information, music, films and collaboration, interaction, sociability, etc.

I suggested to Aigrain and Grassmuck at the conference that the collective license, or flatrate, on internet connections to end the onslaught of repressive legislation be modelled on the Swedish rules for library remuneration. This public fund is governed by the state (law) and replenished with public money through indirect taxes (money does not go from the reader to the fund, but from the tax payer to the state and then to the fund) when books (by Swedish authors) are loaned from the library. Money goes out from the fund in the form of direct remuneration to authors if their books have been read by a large audience (remuneration level based on number of loans) and stipends. The clever part about the fund, though, is that it restricts the amount of payout to an individual author after the total amount of pay that author receives in a year is approaching something that can be considered ”an average annual income”. Oh me.

The what in the case of the library fund was quite clear: we wanted books for our libraries. Why? So that people could read and learn. The who was not unclear: authors. The how was also quite defined: through something similar to a wage that would allow those authors to work full-time with their endeavours.

Returning to the political viability of collective licenses as assessed by Eva Lichtenberger – I’m not sure that the very sensible approach to public remunerations of artistic efforts a la Swedish library remuneration is part of what is ”politically feasible” but the idea of keeping the political solution political (as in, keeping such a flatrate politcally governed) certainly is. Both the Philippe Aigrain and Volker Grassmuck proposals included preliminary caps on remuneration levels to ensure maximum spread and benefit of the public funding. Public sponsorship of culture, needless to say, must put the benefits to the public first rather than the receiver of the sponsorship.

But if it were politically feasible, what would be the time scope for such a political action?

In Europe it is, as always, hinging on the European Commission and ultimately on the European Council. Activist groups and political groups (like, say, the Greens) in Europe are relatively fractured when it comes to the issue of flatrates – country of origin seems to play a large part in the activist or politician relation to flatrates and blank media taxes. One of my primary concerns with collective licenses in Europe is the installment of extended collective licenses such that libraries and archives can digitize and make publically available online their collections without risking lawsuits. One way of financing such a license could be a flatrate. Another, also primary, concern, is to get any kind of copyright issue out of the political debate – there are many aspects of information management that are very fundamentally wrong, most of them completely unrelated to copyright, but having that kind of copyright menace hanging over our heads is an obstacle to finding solutions for a general information accessibility.

I wrote about non-rights based distribution models before: 2010-11-12

And I’ve written about flatrates before as well: 2011-03-11

One might say it’s an ongoing endeavour to define potential public problems and adjacent potential public solutions.

Kipkipkupkupkapkapkappade uppkopplingar

AT&T har nedladdningsbegränsningar! Det har också Belgacom, Telenet och alla dominerande belgiska aktörer på den belgiska bredbandsmarknaden för i Belgien bryr man sig om hur kunderna upplever tjänsterna. Ilska, frustration och raseri är bara några exempel på typiska kundupplevelser belgiska operatörer bryr sig om på daglig basis.

I Sverige har vi begränsningar på våra mobila uppkopplingar (trafikbegränsningar) liksom i större delen av Europa. I Storbritannien har Telefónicas vänliga dotterbolag O2 till och med frälst användarna med en opt-out porr-blockering så att de inte av misstag ska förledas se så mycket naket att någon ska bli tvungen att ta ansvar för höga/dyra telefonräkningar (det här är en referens till en komedishow av Magnus Betnér om Aftonbladet, telefonräkningar och ansvar).

Ett lågt, men kanske inte oförväntat, drag från Telia här om månaden var att plötsligt börja skjuta in små referenser till att ta extra betalt för ”innehåll” som ”VoIP-tjänster”.

Nu nämnde en vän för mig här om dagen att om man redan har infrastruktur, som t ex Belgacom (äger 100% av all belgisk koppar), Telenet (äger 100% av all belgisk kabel) eller Telia (äger 53% av all svensk fiber, vill jag minnas) så finns det ju bara en begränsad mängd saker man kan göra med den infrastrukturen: man kan sälja uppkopplingar till fler personer, och man kan underhålla infrastrukturen. Eftersom alla företag måste få konkurrera på infrastrukturen (Tele2 måste beredas plats även på Telias kablar), och det bara finns ett begränsat antal medborgare på ytan inom vilken man äger infrastruktur kan man bara expandera antalet uppkopplingskontrakt så långt, och underhåll är givetvis bara löpande uppgifter. Så vad gör man när företaget, i sann marknadsanda, ändå måste växa? Någonstans tar förmågan att växa ekonomiskt via infrastruktur- och uppkopplingstillhandahållande slut. Man kan då vidga verksamheten till webbhosting (vilket jag tror Bahnhof gör, förmodligen andra också), eller skapa en modell där den befintliga verksamheten kan ge ännu mer pengar. Som att ha trafikbegränsningar eller att ta extra betalt för olika typer av ”innehåll”.

Aldrig har det verkar så vettigt för mig som just nu att totalt och obönhörligt dela upp marknaderna för infrastruktur och tjänstetillhandahållande inom telekommunikationsbranschen. De ska över huvud taget inte ha med varandra att göra.

Därför vill jag slå ett slag för den sydostasiatiska operatörslicenseringsmodell som innebär att marknaden för tjänstetillhandahållande blir en de facto virtuell marknad. En operatör som samtidigt innehar infrastruktur tvingas nämligen, för att få agera på marknaden som operatör, hålla sin roll som infrastrukturägare och sin roll som operatör strikt isär. Med ett sådant system undviker man peering-kostnader, roaming-kostnader och praktiskt applicerbart på Sverige skulle det innebära att Tele2, Telia och 3 inte skulle ha olika mycket täckning på olika ställen, utan solidariskt behöva dela på samtliga, goda, fullständiga täckning överallt och därigenom också kunna fokusera på sin kärnverksamhet vilket då, enligt mig, inte är att tillhandahålla tre separata infrastrukturer för basstationer.

I Hongkong har de en infrastruktur och ett otal virtuella operatörer. Ge oss, konkurrensverket!

Om man inte hajjar referensen i rubriken bör man kolla upp ”Skiffel i skafferi” av Grodan Boll.

A right not to be offended

You do not have the right not to be offended. — Flemming Rose

We had a dinner table conversation about the freedom of press and the special Swedish construction of responsible editors yesterday at my house. A responsible editor basically takes the fall (juridically speaking) in the case that the newspaper (as a whole) has published something that was false, slandered someone or otherwise upset the harmony of the world at large. An individual journalist (or cartoonist) is not held accountable in Sweden. On the whole, it’s not entirely insane, but is under review for two reasons: a) it’s not a very common way of allocating responsibility inside a news corporation in Europe, and b) the way our law protecting press is currently written, it’s not technology neutral. But anyway.

We touched upon the subject of insulting police officers. In Germany and Belgium this is apparently very illegal and fineable, in Sweden it’s not. Swedish blogger Viktualiebrodern comments that when European police operations become harmonised this is bound to lead to conflicts. ”Ihr habt ja nichts im Koppe” (Your heads are empty) = €500 fine (DE); ”Era jävla as, jag hatar er, era jävla fascistjävlar” (Fucking cadavers, I hate you, fucking fascist bastards) = cased dismissed (SE). A Swedish court reasons that in the heat of the moment, people say stupid things and while people should not say stupid things it is not news worthy or punishable that people nevertheless do, and unfortunately even quite often.

Swedish politician Fredrick Federley was exposed to harsh, spontaneous words and felt subsequently offended in 2008 when disconcerted voters protested his positions on surveillance and copyright. Similarly, Enrique Cereza at the Spanish association for maintaining audiovisual producers’ rights, feels that Spanish minister of culture Ángelez González-Sinde has been persecuted for what is essentially a decent copyright law protecting hardworking people (see series of previous posts on Ley Sinde which, for the reference, is all but decent).

In a Swedish state investigative report from 2006 (SOU 2006:46 Jakten på makten) the investigators reach the conclusion that elected officials often feel subjected to threats and insensitive comments from (usually) dissatisfied voters and that there often are no ways for politicians to protect themselves against this.

To my knowledge you still can’t be punished for having insulted or even threatened a politician in Sweden. What the situation is in other member states I do not know.

Personally, the best insult that I have ever received, and still receive on a regular basis in a calm, sometimes cold and calculative, presentation on behaf of the offending party, is ”You will make a good politician”, even if that probably has more to do with me knowing exactly what people mean to insinuate by saying just that.

If the top quote is slightly cryptic, a Flemming Rose editorial in Washington Post may cast further light on offensive language, imagery or the feeling of violation.

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