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<nettime> Happy GrayDay.org
RTMark Announcements on Sat, 2 Oct 1999 20:46:46 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Happy GrayDay.org


October 1, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (contact mailto:copyright {AT} rtmark.com)

WHICH IS WHICH? ON THE INTERNET, YOU NEVER CAN TELL

Every day, thousands of people looking for the Internet sites of the ultra-
right party in Austria (http://www.fpo.at), a Liberal candidate in Australia 
(http://www.realjeff.com), the Mayor of New York (http://yesrudy.com), and a 
copyright lobbying group (http://www.grayday.org) end up very confused.

Each of the sites listed above is a "rogue"--a nearly identical version of a 
"real" site (http://www.fpoe.at, http://www.jeff.com.au, 
http://www.rudyyes.com, and http://www.greyday.org, respectively), altered to 
make a political point. The trend may have begun with the http://yesrudy.com 
site, which resembles http://rudyes.com so closely that an aide with the 
opposing campaign admitted in the New York Times to being misled 
(see http://rtmark.com/pressyrd.html and http://rtmark.com/bush.html).

WWW.FPO.AT or www.fpoe.at? (contact unknown / mailto:joerg.haider {AT} fpoe.at)

Earlier this week, Austria's third-largest party, which was formed from the 
leftovers of the Nazi party, was shocked and distressed to find itself 
extensively and subtly mocked.

The official website of the Freiheitlichen Partei Oesterreichs, which is 
considered very likely to become part of Austria's government after this 
Sunday's closely-watched elections, is http://www.fpoe.at/. http://www.fpo.at 
takes advantage of the fact that in German, the letter "o" with an umlaut can 
be written either as "o" or "oe"; the "FPO" site looks identical to the 
official FPOe site, but links directly to more overtly Nazi sites, replaces 
words like "information" with "propaganda," and makes use of many other 
instructive replacements.

Like George W. Bush with GWBush.com (see http://rtmark.com/bush.html), the 
FPOe is using every legal tactic to shut down the rogue site, including a U.S. 
copyright suit (the "FPO"'s service provider is American) and appeals to the 
Austrian Minister of the Interior. But like Bush with the original GWBush.com 
site, the FPOe has so far been unable to stop this attack on its ideas and 
intentions.

German-language press about the "FPO" site, from earlier this week, is at
http://futurezone.orf.at/futurezone.orf?read=detail&id=4737&tmp=61046 and 
http://www.politik-digital.de/europa/laender/oesterreich/innenpolitik/fake.shtml.

WWW.REALJEFF.COM or www.jeff.com.au? (contact mailto:realjeff99 {AT} yahoo.com / 
      http://www.liberal.org.au/cgi-bin/mail.cgi)

Australian Liberal candidate Jeff Kennett joins the FPOe and Presidential 
hopeful George W. Bush in attempting to shut down Internet opposition--in 
Kennett's case, http://www.realjeff.com, which mocks Kennett's 
http://www.jeff.com.au.

But Kennett's tactics are quieter than those of the FPOe and Bush. Addr.com 
(mailto:info {AT} addr.com), until three weeks ago the Internet provider of 
http://www.realjeff.com, suddenly suspended its hosting without explanation, 
and has ignored repeated inquiries regarding the matter. Also, Kennett's 
http://www.jeff.com.au now merely defaults to the Liberal Party website, as 
if to avoid comparison.

WWW.GRAYDAY.ORG or www.greyday.org? (contact mailto:press {AT} grayday.org /
      mailto:press {AT} greyday.org)

Today, many Internet visitors will visit http://www.grayday.org hoping to 
learn more about "GreyDay," an annual call for stricter copyright laws for 
the Web. Last year, the October 1 event was written about in the New York 
Times, Wired News and the Village Voice.

But whereas http://www.greyday.org calls for more copyright protection, 
http://www.grayday.org urges visitors to keep the Internet "free from phony 
copyright laws." Its authors, a team of Silicon Valley software programmers 
and graphic designers who call themselves Tell-all Computer Programmers & 
Internet Professionals (TCP/IP), claim to represent "the millions of people 
who have benefited and will continue to benefit from the free exchange of 
ideas, the hallmark of the Internet."

There are many other subtle differences between the two sites. Whereas 
GreyDay.org urges Internet users to imagine "what if" copyright infringement 
leads to a lack of creativity on the Web, the spoof site implores visitors to 
imagine "what if there was no WWW... no Internet." 

According to TCP/IP spokesperson Cecil Park, "The call for more copyright laws 
on the Web is especially absurd considering the Web itself was made possible 
by the copyright-free distribution of the first Web browser [Mosaic] and the 
most popular Web server software [Apache]."

(The name TCP/IP is a pointed insiders' joke. It stands not only for "Tell-all 
Computer Programmers & Internet Professionals," but for "Transmission Control 
Protocol / Internet Protocol," the software at the heart of the Internet that 
was given away without copyright in 1981 by programmers at the U.S. 
Government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.)


RTMark (http://rtmark.com) uses its limited liability as a corporation 
to sponsor the sabotage of mass-produced products, and to discuss corporate
abuses of the political process. One of RTMark's ultimate aims is to 
eliminate the principle of limited liability. 


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