MediaFilter on Sun, 16 Feb 97 10:37 MET

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

"say you want a revolution....." was Re: nettime: [Fwd: rewired Zeit-]


to the tune of "REVOLUTION" by the Beatles:

        "you say you want a revolution
        well, you know,
        somebody's got to pay..."

The foundations for the existance of free art and free media
are threatened by the disappearance of funding and resources
which have until now been the blood of existance of the
culture scene as we _knew_ it.

Many within this scene have converged to discuss the concepts
of "Tactical Media" and other progressive, democratic approaches
of creating and distributing media which emphasize cultural
diversity and respect for human rights.

Most, if not all these cultural gatherings, i.e. Next 5 Minutes,
and others were funded by a variety of public and foundation money.
There is no guarantee that this will be the case in the future.

The 1998 funding for MuuMediaBase in Helsinki is in doubt, for example.
They are unsure if they can maintain their current level of operations
in the future.

The question is, if there is the motivation to create an open space
on the net for free art and media, how will it be achieved?  How will
it be funded?

During the early phases of, known as "panet" (permanent
autonomous net), it was stated that the only way to assure the uncensored
presence of our media in the future,is to buy the bandwidth and
server resources.  In a sense, to make our own channel.

In order to create a place on the internet dedicated
to the furtherance of free thought, free art and free media, an
economic infrastructure must exist, or we must forever be at the mercy of
whatever interests control the network you are on.  The radikal
search engine at was cut off because of the nature
of its contents (Time Warner??--pulled the plug??).

The "Disneyfication of Media" threatens to censor or at least
marginalize independent artistic content and free media.

(look back to "The Disappearance of Public Space on the Net"
<a href="">

The idea of establishing an expanded domain name space seemed to
be the perfect way of putting into practice many of the ideals
often discussed around the topic of "Tactical Media".  The idea
of decentralization--of anonymity and privacy--the assertion of
independence from the government legacy of the net--and, the
establishment of decentralized, localized economy.

It is clear that the initiative has enormous economic
potential.  This was known from the beginning and should be clear
to anyone who even thought about the scale of the project.  The
question was, how to develop this economic potential?

******HOW TO:

Setting up dns is technically a relatively simple operation.
Creating new names in the toplevel namespace is as easy
as typing in the name and address in the proper format in
a classical BIND style file.  Nothing special.  A new tld
is created.  Getting people to recognize it is the next step.

Given that in order to be universally resolved, the new tld
must be in the database of the current hosts recognized as root--
10 machines run by military, government, university and private
operators.  The process for gaining inclusion into the current
root database ranges from applying for a new toplevel via internic
(you have to be a country, or prove why you should have it through
a lenghty and tedious application procedure).  Or, create a service
that people can use on a "closed circuit" until such demand proves
its viability (where is today).

Under US Law, the current rootserver hosts must provide access
to their facility by their competitors on a non discriminitory basis.
(We just need to ask them for it!)
The U.S. Department of Justice, Anti-trust division has confirmed this
to the legal counsel.
"Your case is a carbon copy of MCI vs. ATT" they said.
If the Rootservers refuse, they are in violation of the law and subject to
Anti-Trust violations.  According to the USDOJ representative,
There is no argument in this case.  The law is clear in their opinion.
(the case begins this month).

What must prove is that it can provide a reliable service.
At this stage, with only several thousand users, there have been no failures
and users have been praising the service.  The number of
servers is increasing, and the levels of connectivity are improving.
By the time the service is recognized by the current rootservers,
it will have the capacity to handle the dns traffic of the net to its
new toplevel names.

The size of a dns request is quite trivial compared to loading an
average web page.  1 web page may equal 1000 (or more) dns lookups.
Don't be deceived by visions of millions of dns requests.
The specs for nameservers set out in RFC 2010 establish that a
rootserver handle 1200 requests per second. Most of our servers
can do that already.  The ones which don't will be upgraded so they do.
The load will not reach that level immediately.  Most of the demand
will come in the next year as the number of users in the new toplevel
namespace increases.

Until then the current rootservers would handle most of the load.
This time period should yield cash flow to pay for the network
overhead, operations and upgrades.

***The operative is cash flow.  Where does it go?

There are several networks and individuals who are
directly involved with the implementation of
Everyone so far has been working on a volunteer basis.
As soon as the database is universally resolvable,
an annual fee of $25 will be charged per name for registrations.
Those charges will be waived for educational nets and discounts will
be offered to non-profit organizatons.  Income will pay
for the servers and connectivity and development
of the network: has agreed to pay operating expenses to each of these
networks, and also issue to each of them shares in the company.

Individuals who have contributed programming and development skills
to the project will be paid for their work and/or issued
shares of the company.

[We still need someone with unix/perl/c and networking expertise
to support the development of the dynamic dns updater that
Andreas Troeger and Paul Garrin are currently developing on the
ppc platform].

Technical personnel will be paid to operate the various facilities,
as necessary.

The surplus network and server facilities are dedicated to
keeping free media free--non commercial space of uncensored
free content.  The entire infrastructure of
is oriented toward cultural support at its foundation.

Should the revenue reach an appropriate level, it would
sponsor full scale conferences, lectures, workshops, and other
international cultural exchanges: (Next 5 Minutes in NYC 1998).

***On the question of registries sharing the toplevel namespace:

The dynamic update system now under development is a helper
application to dns software which allows the dns registries to
act as a travel agent would in booking an airline seat.
This allows any registry, including internic and
alternic, to register under all new and old tld's without

This registry package is being offered to the other nets in who are interested in running registries in their
area.  The website is a fully functional, fully
automated name registry system.  This system, together with
the dynamic update system will enable the sharing of the
toplevel namespace by the independent registries, thus creating
opportunities for our affiliates to handle registrations,
and therefore generate revenue for their nets. is dedicated to keeping the toplevel namespace public.
The decentralized registry model will allow for many local name
registries to share all the toplevel names without conflict.
It also includes multi layered authentication to prevent spoofing
the database (today's dns doesn't have this feature).

This dynamically updated enhancement to dns brings us closer to
the functionality of the future X.500 protocol which has a much
larger database capacity than dns.  By the time the dns database
grows to 15,000-20,000 toplevel names, (the speculated upper limit
of the current version of the BIND software), X.500 may already be
in wide use.

(X.500 is a large scale sophisticated dynamically updated database
with authentication and supports multiple encryption types--security
is not available with dns).

Then there will be no issue as to the size or scale of the
"directory of the net" in X.500 land.

Forget the concept of "DOMAIN".


Abandon the nationalist/militarist paradigm of dns.


The names used in dns are simple aliases to numbers.

Using a new mnemonic in the namespace to address content,
or what has been discussed as "CONTENT ROUTING"
(<virtual host> config in Apache server,
Welcome PlugIn for webstar 2.0)
and eventually "DYNAMIC IP ADDRESSES" the idea of
Heath Bunting's "WANDERING WEBSITES" or
for "STEALTH NETS" become possible.

***The Question of the Business Model of

In order to function legally in accordance with the
laws of the State of New York, and the US Federal Laws, has chosen to register as an S-corporation,
privately owned, for profit entity.

This is not extraordiary or unusual.  Many other nets
surrounding us are also companies in accordance with their
local laws:,,, internationale stadt,, Waag, and others exist as businesses.  Some may receive
support from corporate, foundation or state sponsors, but
the future of that support is not guaranteed.

The question of wheather or not to operate as a non-profit
was simple to answer.  No.  Profit is ok if it is applied to
good cause.  The bureaucracy of non-profit is too stifling in the USA. was started with private investment, from money earned
by me from exhibiting my artworks, lectures, and other jobs including
producing video for Nam June Paik.  Others have volunteered their
time on a limited basis, and contributed their server resources.
Andreas Troeger has spent the past 6 months, full time,
programming the registry and update system.

Many of us highly respect George Soros and his generous and vital
support of culture and "open society"....all funded by profits made
by one of the most dispicable acts of capitalism (next to real estate)
- --currency speculation.

But his money is eagerly sought after for arts and media in Europe...
which is excellent.  One capitalist has great ideas onm how to use his
money to better society...or at least to enable others to try and
make society more humane. may never reach the scale of the Soros Foundation,
but its agenda is the same.  How can we use capitalism to fund our
future existance in the face of growing abandonment of the public



for more information, go to:


Coming next:

Part 2--Public Relations, Perception Management, and InfoWar...
        Tactical Media in Practice.

- --Paul Garrin

don't abandon hope or succumb to cynicism....

Version: 2.6ui


*  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
*  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
*  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
*  more info: and "info nettime" in the msg body
*  URL:  contact: