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African Holocaust | African Race | The appreciation or relevance of Africaness is located in the face of a multi-racial world and the primary function of defining African identity is first and foremost an exercise in political self-interest and African agency. The power of definition must remain with the majority and today African is a term used to super-umbrella all the indigenous ethnicities of the African continent and their modern-day descendents in the Diaspora

 

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AFRICAN HOLOCAUST ARTICLES

Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter

African Proverb

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will

– Frederick Douglass

The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave

– Malcolm X

Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.

– Ancient Egypt

Intellectual property is property; just like a house or a diamond ring—and just like physical items taking it without permission is a crime. There is no way around this fact, there are no loop holes or easy escapes from this argument. No matter how you define work and property, intellectual property satisfies both categories.

– 'Alik Shahadah

What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?

– 'Alik Shahadah

We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.

– Chester Higgins Jr.

Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.

– Harriet Tubman

If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.

African Proverb

If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.

– ' Alik Shahadah

If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it

Zulu Proverb

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

New Economies and New Industries

Alik Shahadah
'Alik Shahadah 02-2013

   
The Negro is ignored today simply because he has kept himself backward; but if he were to try to raise himself to a higher state in the civilized cosmos, all the other races would be glad to meet him on the plane of equality and comradeship
 
Marcus Garvey (Martin, 1976)

See Also | Garvey Economics | Media and Africans

Intellectual property is property; just like a house or a diamond ring—and just like physical items taking it without permission is a crime. There is no way around this fact, there are no loop holes or easy escapes from this argument. No matter how you define work and property, intellectual property satisfies both categories.

And the same way people do a 9-5 and expect to get paid, there is no difference with regard to intellectual work. And the only time people perform work in a non-voluntary way, and not get paid, is if they are enslaved. In other words, not able to derive equitable remunerative benefit from their sweat and toll. Films, which are the epitome of intellectual property, are an investment of money and time.

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They are the livelihood of the filmmakers and the entire industry, which supports musicians, writers, insurance brokers, TV stations, lawyers, film equipment companies, and as far wide as the travel industry. Intellectual property is an integral part of modern property rights.And independent of the various economic systems people may subscribe to; may it be capitalism, socialism, Islamic sharia , or Jewish Halaka law, every single one of them recognizes the merit of intellectual property to the new economies of our era.[1]

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Stealing Intellectual Propert is theif There is no serious counter-argument that the intellectual property of its creators should not first and foremost profit them; unless we are advocating slavery. It is unethical to originate an exceptional film, or software and then sit down and watch it be exploited by everyone that had no genius to create it. This was exactly what slavery was; a person who was enslaved could invent a geo-stationary satellite but they had no legal ownership of any aspect of their invention. In chattel slavery the entire genius was the property of the slave master; being the legal “owner” of the enslaved person, and thus the owner of all derived works.

In our specialized society creating intellectual property is a full time profession. People specialize in scriptwriting, producing and directing. It is not only their trade, which took years of investment, but also their primary source of income to feed their families. Specialization has allowed for a complex economic web of interdependence away from the traditional modes of trade and commerce. And today, hard tangible products are on the same platform as soft products, because the intrinsic value, whether it be tomatoes or software, requires skills and work that must be remunerated for. There is zero stimulus if after creating software that profits millions, or a film watched by thousands, there is no equitable compensation to the intellectual owners.


RIGHTS OF THE GIFTED

Stealing IP People have an inalienable right to profit, as much as they can from the fruit of their skills, knowledge and experience. Filmmaking is a profession; just like a surgeon, a teacher, or a pilot! Making films is a professional discipline, which requires training and investment. Unfortunately, many filmmakers treat it as a hobby—it is not a recreational activity—but a career choice. Filmmaking is an industry, it creates jobs, opportunities, for those involved in it: It is a trade, a business. And if we want an African voice represented in media, filmmaking must put food on the table for those who take up this craft.

Purchasing films (and not copying or illegally screening/downloading them) builds the industry and insures the future of a further film production.

There are no "good excuses" to copy films, or screen films (free or paid). The self-justification of "doing a greater good" is a joke: 100% it has never helped the work; only hurts the work. You will also always notice those that do it claim not to profit from these activities. Yet they selfishly build their name and organizations around the talent of others, and rarely take any action to promote or sustain the industry they exploit.


CONSEQUENCES TO INDUSTRY

Now when someone wants to make a film they have to approach investors (not donations as that is not sustainable) no business investor invest in something that cannot make back (at least) their investment. (Business 1:1). If investors suspect that via copyright violation, illegal uploads, free screenings, the film portfolio cannot recover that investment they will be no film made.


   
All art is propaganda....I do not care a damn, for any art that is not used for propaganda
 
W. E. B. Du Bois

When filmmakers have to depend on funding structures for the production of content, we do not have a film industry, we have a charity; an art system of begging. And the politics of the funders ends up in the script and on the screen. And as often happens when funding dries up—so too does the industry. And no industry is an industry if it is unsustainable.


FREE IS FOR SLAVES

From Art of Revolution

Slaves and children expect things for free. Nothing in this world is free, and most people over the age of 7 know that things cost money, and that mommy and daddy have to go to work to pay for stuff. YouTube is not free; Facebook is not free. But during slavery you thought the food was free—it was not. We have this strange expectation that consciousness should be free. Especially when collective public work (like this free site) suffers because every nascent contributor, even for proofing the text on a DVD, wants (thinks they deserve) executive salaries. These same people who would not switch on a light for free, themselves demand a free world.

This site you found this article on is not FREE, if people stop buying the products, you will see how "Not free it is” when Godaddy® shuts it down. Take that money you got for all that junk and spend on liberation. Do not ask that the African author, who gets 10% of the Amazon price, give his wisdom away for free. Do not ask for Karenga to speak without some form of remuneration, he did not get the wisdom for cheap. This writer did not make 500 Years Later for free; it’s my job, my trade, how I feed my family, how I pay my bills. It is that wealth that allows me to write this article without worrying about dinner. Independent wealth is also protection, it allows one to speak one’s mind without fear of being fired when walking into work on Monday morning. And still, like John Singleton, I could have done something far more profitable; if profit was my primary concern. But Burger King, Disney World, Cable TV, IPad, Nike, Virgin Active, Sony, BMW,  et al, are worthy of our hard earned cash but the Pan-African economic web is not.

Free products and services is certainly not the tradition of Marcus Garvey or Elijah Muhammad for rebuilding Africa. But the tradition of those ignorant of the economics of liberation. And such ignorance is slavery, because slavery was economic. And part of its inequity was it created wealth for one group at the expense of the other group. That group—the African group—legacy is to continue to inherit the bottom graph of every positive static and the top graph of everything terrible and wrong. Therefore it would be safe to posit economics is one of the most critical aspects of the legacy of the African Holocaust. Ignorance of economic is mental slavery. Those who fail to engage in a revolution with a capital E for economics are recycling oppression on themselves—not liberation. And who introduced this ridiculous myth of the pious pauper? Which nation used the model and entered the globalized world? Who took the African struggle from do for self, to depend on the other? Who profits from this?


WHO SHOULD OWN WHAT


Alik Shahadah Quote     Alik Shahadah Quote
Although America has accounted for a sizable share of all technological innovations that have shaped our modern world, the wider historical evidence is disappointing for anyone who thinks political freedom is a fundamental precondition for innovation Alik Shahadah Quote
  Alik Shahadah Quote
Alik Shahadah Quote Alik Shahadah Quote
Holocaust Eamonn Fingleton
Alik Shahadah Quote


Knowledge acquisition involve financial cost, often beyond the scope of the masses of people. This fiscal restriction means there is never going to be a free market, a laissez faire, or some notion of equal opportunity in a level world. Just to be a scholar or even a filmmaker requires schooling, online payments, and subscription fees for journals or membership fees for book clubs or professional organizations make it impossible for some people to have access to knowledge. (Asante) Also to be a top quality professional you need to be in the world of your profession, that means conferences with high fees, plus the cost of airline tickets and hotel all are part of the journey to gain knowledge of trade and stay competitive. Therefore intellectual property is not the domain of the average individual, whose bourgeois status give them greater access to information.

The dilemma is that knowledge necessary to change the conditions of people's lives is mystified by those who control it. Knowledge is a commodity to sell and it's value is greater than diamonds, platinum or gold, because the Knowledge to exploit these materials is greater than the actual material. With trillions of dollars worth of wealth below the feet of hunter gathering people they could not create a cell phone or put a satellite in orbit, in most cases they could not even escape the stone age. An we must not become archo primitivist and lose sight of the harsh and ugly world of zero technologies. And there is also no point defining these things as "white man concepts or Western ways", If those arguments are so critical let us see how is going to abandon it all and return to nomadic life with cooking eggs in the sand and spending 80% life looking for food in the burning sun. So these issues are Issues of modernity and should be engaged as a part of human progress, it ts the reality which creates the highest quality of life for the greatest number of people since Adam. And sometimes we allow the horrors of our day, the poverty, the violence to cause us to despair, but try living in BC times, or on the fringes of the Roman Empire, or in the path of the army of the mighty Mongol Khans. A large percentage of the population lives without fear of simple diseases that would destroy villages in times of old.

Where this modern notion of owning everything needs a warning flag is when it comes to owning things that really should not be owned - live living organisms. It is true that if a lab spends 20 years mapping the cancer genome, they should have some rights to exploit derived benefits. Up until In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Diamond v. Chakrabarty. Prior to this the US patent office did not allow patenting of anything living. But the business incentives are too profound in a trillion dollar industry. So these are areas which need greater nuanced debate because in a world so out of balanced socially and economically those who have access will increase the disparity between those who do not have. As the cliché goes the rich become richer and the poor poorer, exploit edit because the seed which use to feed them now has a tm sign genetically branded onto it. I own a certain knowledge and can patented it for l9 years or copyright it for 75. New forms of ownership are being explored right now because of the proliferation of computer software programs. But all of this is rooted in the historical encounter with nature and with other people.


YOUTUBE COPYRIGHT LOOP HOLE

Even though YouTube users are instructed to only upload content that belongs to them and that they have the right to use, copyrighted content is still uploaded thousands of times a day. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), YouTube isn't responsible for the copyright violations of its users, provided the company removes that content when notified by the rights holders. So every time someone uploads the entire film, we must police your private website and go through some lengthy procedure to have the exact same film removed every time? Who profits, YouTube. Because they set up an unnecessarily difficult process to deliberately dissuade reporting of copyright violation. This is good for their admin, it allows them to profit from millions of dollars of advertising revenue off of illegally uploaded material. The system of laws is never created to favor anyone but the exploiters. They are written to protect big business (like Hulu), and if the smaller person profits from them then that is accidental. This is why record companies operate modern day slave factories with artist rights; protected by law.


GOOD CAUSE CON

If they so interested in "the struggle" then go and spend 2 million on your own production and show that for free. Take your own sweat and peddle it as you wish—why do so with someone else’s?

It is clear that not-for-for profit is an accounting term, it is not a declaration of good will or labor of love. Other compensation modalities are often explicit in not-for-profit. And when they say “we are promoting your film” you will struggle to track any sales coming in after these events. You do not even get new hits to the websites. So if a screening happens in Chicago, and it is properly promoted you will see a spike in hits from Chicago, and sales from Chicago flying in. But rarely do these screenings bring these results because they are exploitive and self-serving. They offer no support to the filmmakers, they do not assist with future production (they would probably request you pay them for their expertise), and they would not even volunteer accommodation if the filmmaker wanted to tour the film in their area. And if anyone trampled on their revenue stream and pays them a day late, they are the loudest voices screaming "Where is my money."


SOLUTIONS FOR ALL

Begging and charity helps no one. It is far better that we engage sustainable economics so our products, causes and services sustain each other. The charity mentality was deliberately implanted to destroy our potential: The expectancy of free, in a world where nothing is free. But money is not the only currency of trade, and we need to explore ALL our options in creating African industries.

With all the possibilities for trade and reciprocal exchanges we have no excuse. So from a capitalist, socialist, Islamic, or even African traditional barter system there are no shortages of modes of reciprocal exchange. Someone without funds can prior agree to screen the film and contractually sale or return the artist DVDs, someone could agree to get them on the Oprah, and they might be able to get them a review in the New York Times, or a plug on a Facebook page with 2 million likers. The argument here is there are 1000s of non-monetary combination for sustainable exchanges between all parties. It then roots out—with vulgarity the excuses hurdled at institutional prices or public performance fees.

Most intellectual owner’s greatest concern is the equitable right to exploit their genius. They are not threatened by someone using their 5 minute trailer, or showing a sample of the film (15 minutes) if there is a prior agreement to plug the full sale of the title. Selfish people do not care about this, they take what is not theirs and publically publish it often without any reference to the creator, and worse without permission. Under the banner of their Facebook page, their organization, their YouTube channel they claim the notability and the fan base. They do not share this fan base with the person whose work they are exploiting. The key word in all of this is agreement. Only by mutual equitable agreement do we have the foundations for civilization.


CONCLUSION

Ethiopia set up a special department in the government to deal with this issue many years ago. Mr. Getachew Megestu, who is passionate about intellectual property stated that intellectual property is vital to the emergence of the creative potential of Africa. It must be harness and protected via education and government law. The consequences of neglect means no viable generation of creativity in any field and therefore the death of the modern nation.

In Africa’s attempt to build a sustainable economy with its own African owned industries that stand on par with those of the broader international community means protecting the intellectual property of Africans. Protecting it, nurturing it and encouraging it is a vital to our African future as the blood flowing through our veins.


REFERENCES

1 - In Islam the issue of copyright has been exhaustively debated. The majority shows a strong indication that the author of works has the right to derive benefits from their intellectual property. If they so choose not to derive benefits then it is classified as Sadaqah, ( صدقة )but that is only a decision the author of the work can make. http://www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php?articleID=1351

2- Jewish Law and Copyright| Rabbi Israel Schneider Halachic literature is rich in detailing the rights - and limitations - of an author to his original work. Not surprisingly, the People of the Book were constantly involved in determining what type of protection could be granted to an author or publisher. http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/copyright1.html

 


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You can not measure an African success with a European ruler
 
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