Guest post by OXBLOOD RUFFIN
If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.
— Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Whitney v. California
Any discussion of Anonymous is problematic. One is never sure which Anonymous is being referenced: the meme, the group as a whole, or an individual operation. And the press doesn’t appear to know or care. It has gone into a rapturous fap over the loose knit collective, declaring them, inter alia, the most influential group in the world, terrorists, and – wait for it – very dangerous hackers. This last descriptor is particularly amusing. There are, in fact, so few real hackers within Anonymous that they could petition the U.N. as an endangered species.
Continue reading Anonymous, India and the Blackhat Spectacle: Oxblood Ruffin
The internet has been abuzz with news of all the major ISPs in India blocking popular websites including piratebay, vimeo, dailymotion and pastebin etc. This is pursuant to a Chennai high court order available here and there are a number of unanswered questions about the validity of the blocking of the websites including whether the DOT were entitled to ask for a blocking of the site on the basis of the orders, how the ISPs chose these particular websites since the order itself does not mention any particular website. This is not to mention the larger question of how the last ten years has seen the dubious rise of John Doe orders as preemptive measure against copyright infringement.
For those unfamiliar with John Doe orders, they are ex parte injunctions ordered against unknown persons. Just to put this in context, ex parte injunctions are not the easiest things to obtain since they are based on the denial of another person’s right to be heard. So even for cases of violence against women getting an ex parte restraining order is not easy. In contrast the last ten years we have seen the ease with which one can obtain these orders for copyright infringement cases. Continue reading Meet Ashok Kumar the John Doe of India; or The Pirate Autobiography of an Unknown Indian
Guest post by AS AJITH KUMAR
YouTube’s search results for the `Kolaveri di ’ song are amazing. It is hard to pick the `original’ from the plethora of `kolaveri di ’ songs -the `reply cover version’, kids version by Naveen Nigam, the damn version, and many more. I was very excited to find this possibility-a song has initiated a dialogue, and that too a musical engagement. This I think are the new possibilities that the new media has brought into the field of music. Here is not the two- way process that we are familiar with, between the music and the listener, but a number of activities in multiple tracks.
The ‘listener’ is more visible now, and has more powers. He/she shares, likes, comments, makes his/her own videos and broadcasts them by herself/himself. I am not trying to jump into a sort of technological determinism, but approaching the shifts in the music field – in the making, listening, broadcasting and sharing of music. I would say that it is within this context that we have to reflect on the popularity of the `kolaveri di ’ song.
Continue reading High theory, Low ‘Kolaveri Di’: Why I am a Fan of this Flop Song: AS Ajith Kumar
As somebody recently said about the Mumbai flash mob video, if you haven’t seen it, you probably don’t have internet. I’m speaking of the recent ‘Tamil’ hit song of course, ‘starring’ Dhanush.
The one with the catchy tune and simple ‘lyrics’? See, this is what worries me, the fact that I have already used so many quotation marks – for ‘Tamil’, ‘starring’ and ‘lyrics’. Which is why I titled this piece “why this kavala-worry kavala-worry di”. “Kavala” means worry in Tamil (without quotes). So kavala-worry really means worry-worry, which should be nonsense, but it isn’t, given the massive ‘success’ (can’t keep away from the quote marks sorry) of the original ‘Kolaveri’ song, full of double-double words, because this is how we speak in soudh indiya. “Kolaveri”, for those suddenly-uncool nordh indiyans who don’t understand ‘Tamil’ or even plain old Tamil, means ‘murderous rage’ – kolla (murder) + verri (rage).
Continue reading Why This Kavala-Worry Kavala-Worry Di?