“Sunshine Press (WikiLeaks) is an non-profit organization funded by human rights campaigners, investigative journalists, technologists and the general public. Through your support we have exposed significant injustice around the world—successfully fighting off over 100 legal attacks in the process. Although our work produces reforms daily and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the 2008 Economist Freedom of Expression Award as well as the 2009 Amnesty International New Media Award, these accolades do not pay the bills. Nor can we accept government or corporate funding and maintain our absolute integrity. It is your strong support alone that preserves our continued independence and strength.”

WikiLeaks whistleblower site in temporary shutdown / 1 February 2010

WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website that allows people to publish uncensored information anonymously, has suspended operations owing to financial problems. Its running costs including staff payments are $600,000 (£377,000), but so far this year it has raised just $130,000 (£81,000). WikiLeaks has established a reputation for publishing information that traditional media cannot. The website claims to be non-profit and relies on donations. A statement on its front page says it is funded by “human rights campaigners, investigative journalists, technologists and the general public”.

Original documents
WikiLeaks does not accept money from governments or corporations. A list of names and addresses of people said to belong to the British National Party (BNP) was posted on the site in October 2009. WikiLeaks also published e-mail exchanges involving US politician Sarah Palin after her account was hacked. The site claims to have information about corrupt banks, the UN and the Iraq war that it is unable to publish while funds remain low.

While it has won awards for its work from the Economist and Amnesty International, WikiLeaks has also fought more than 100 legal challenges. “WikiLeaks has established a good name for itself and broken some good stories,” Julian Petley, chair of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, told BBC News. “One of the reasons why WikiLeaks is so useful is that it’s able to put original documents up – unfiltered by comment and editorial.” Investigative journalist Paul Lashmar said he had been “startled” by the effectiveness of WikiLeaks in publishing suppressed information.

However he thought that the funding issue would not be easily resolved. “(Web) users aren’t interested in how the people behind sites make their money,” he said. “The problem for the self-funding model is that sites like WikiLeaks will not find it easy to attract funding through advertising. “At some point people who care about free speech will realise that free speech has to be funded, otherwise it’s not free.”

Dig deep for Wikileaks
BY Emily Butselaar / 29 January 2010

Wikileaks, the whistleblowers’ home, has been temporarily shut down while its management tries to raise funds. Its tremendous success has meant the site has often struggled under the volume of users. It has faced down governments, investment banks and the famously litigious Church of Scientology but paying its operating costs (circa $600,000) has proved its undoing. As of today instead of reading government secrets and details of corporate malfeasance all visitors to the site will see is an appeal for cash. Anyone who cares about freedom of expression should dig deep.

Wikileaks, with its simple “keep the bastards honest” ethos, aims to discourage unethical behaviour by airing governments’ and corporations’ dirty laundry in public, putting their secrets out there in the public realm. The site won Index on Censorship’s 2008 freedom of expression award because it’s an invaluable resource for anonymous whistleblowers and investigative journalists.

Among Wikileaks’ recent triumphs are its publication of top-secret internet censorship lists. The blacklists from Australia, Thailand, Denmark and Norway demonstrate exactly how censorship systems are abused to suppress free expression. The Thai list featured sites criticising the country’s royal family and the Australian blacklist turned out to include a school canteen consultancy. Despite its child porn mandate, less than half of the Australian blacklist were linked to paedophilia. Also on the list were satanic and fetish sites, anti-abortion websites, and sites belonging to a kennel operator and a dentist. Publication highlighted the lack of transparency in the process and gave impetus to the “No Clean Feed” campaign which opposes the Australian government’s internet filter proposals.

But Wikileaks is not just a tool for journalists, it allows ordinary Kenyans to read a confidential report detailing the billions their former president allegedly siphoned from the country’s coffers. Its repository includes controversial military documents including the US rules of engagement in Iraq and an operating manual issued to army officers in Guantánamo Bay. It has put corporations on notice that the costs of unethical behaviour are immeasurable in PR terms because it amplifies the Streisand effect, the social media phenomenon that punishes those who use the courts to suppress or censor information, by ensuring it has a much wider reach.

Some have dismissed the site as a snooper’s charter. Many were outraged by its publication of Sarah Palin’s hacked emails which included private email addresses and Palin’s family photographs. These critics tended to overlook that the emails also provided clear evidence that Palin was using private email accounts for state business.

Wikipedia democratises news and information, allowing the public to access secret information that once would have been limited to the chateratti. Had the Trafigura case occurred five years earlier, most journalists would have been able to access the secret report at the heart of the case, but Wikileaks enables everyone to read it. The superinjunction taken out by Trafigura was so comprehensive that of 293 articles about the suppressed report, only 11 dared to link to it or told the public where they could access it. If Wikileaks didn’t exist, it is possible that Trafigura’s management may have clung to their injunction.

For fear of compromising its integrity Wikileaks doesn’t accept funding from corporations or governments. Instead, it relies on the public. If you want to read the exposés of the future, it’s time to chip in.


“ Wikileaks has probably produced more scoops in its short life than the Washington Post has in the past 30 years ” — The National, November 19. 2009

“To concentrate on raising the funds necessary to keep us alive into 2010, we have reluctantly suspended all other operations, but will be back soon. We have received hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the US detainee system, the Iraq war, China, the UN and many others that we do not currently have the resources to release. You can change that and by doing so, change the world. Even $10 will pay to put one of these reports into another ten thousand hands and $1000, a million. We have raised just over $130,000 for this year but can not meaningfully continue operations until costs are covered. These amount to just under $200,000 PA. If staff are paid, our yearly budget is $600,000.

The Sunshine Press (WikiLeaks) is an non-profit organization funded by human rights campaigners, investigative journalists, technologists and the general public. Through your support we have exposed significant injustice around the world—successfully fighting off over 100 legal attacks in the process. Although our work produces reforms daily and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the 2008 Economist Freedom of Expression Award as well as the 2009 Amnesty International New Media Award, these accolades do not pay the bills. Nor can we accept government or corporate funding and maintain our absolute integrity. It is your strong support alone that preserves our continued independence and strength.

If you are interested in contributing to our mission using another payment method or with a shares, property, bonds, a grant, matched contribution, bequest, interest free loan, or have any other questions, please write to

Wikileaks is currently overloaded by readers. This is a regular difficulty that can only be resolved by deploying additional resources. If you support our mission, you can help us by integrating new hardware into our project infrastructure or developing software for the project. Become patron of a WikiLeaks server or other parts of our technology, adding more pillars to the stability and balance of the WikiLeaks platform. Servers come trouble-free and legally fortified, software is uniquely challenging. If you can provide rackspace, power and an uplink, or a dedicated server or storage space, for at least 12 months, or software development work for WikiLeaks, please write to

Individuals or organizations wishing to donate lawyer time write to We provide unique legal challenges in an ongoing fight for global justice and freedom of speech. If you support our mission, join our legal team to help defend those values.

WikiLeaks would like to thank the following 18 steadfast supporters (unordered):
Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press (RCFP)
The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE)
The Associated Press – world wide news agency, based in New York
Citizen Media Law Project – Harvard university
The E.W Scripps Company – newspapers, TV, cable TV etc.
Gannett Co. Inc – largest publisher of newspapers in US, including USA Today
The Hearst Corporation – conglomerate which publishes the San Francisco Chronicle
The Los Angeles Times
National Newspaper Association (NNA)
Newspaper Association of America (NAA)
The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA)
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
Public Citizen – founded by Ralph Nader together with the California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
Jordan McCorkle, the University of Texas

“ … serves as an uncensorable and untraceable depository for the truth, able to publish documents that the courts may prevent newspapers and broadcasters from being able to touch. ” — In praise of… Wikileaks – The Guardian, October 20, 2009

The Economy of Wikileaks / January 4, 2010

Wikileaks is a global platform for Whistleblowers, in which internal documents can be published. The idea is that arcane knowledge becomes common knowledge and the world a better place. The project could play in the same league as success stories like Wikipedia or Indymedia. After a highly acclaimed lecture at the 26th Congress of the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin, I had the opportunity to interview Julian Assange, the most prominent Wikileaks-character on how to finance such a website. The question seems to be pressing.

Q. At the moment [update Jan 21: and still today] has an unusual appearance. The website is locked down in order to generate money. How did you decide in favor of this tough step?
A. In part, this is a desire for us to to enforce self-discipline. It is for us a way to ensure that everyone who is involved stops normal work and actually spends time raising revenue. That’s hard for us, because we promise our sources that we will do something about their situation.

Q. So, you strike?
A. Yes, it’s similar to what unions do when they go on strike. They remind people that their labour has value by withdrawing supply entirely. We give free and important information to the world every day. But when the supply is infinite in the sense that everyone is able to download what we publish, the perceived value starts to reduce down to zero. So by withdrawing supply and making our supply to zero, people start to once again perceive the value of what we are doing.

Q. Do you urgently need money?
A. We have lots of very significant upcoming releases, significant in terms of bandwidth, but even more significant in terms of amount of labour they will require to process and in terms of legal attacks we will get. So we need to be in a stronger position before we can publish the material.

Q. In mainstream media as well as in non-commercial media there are two important questions. What does it cost? And how is it financed? Would you please first describe the cost side …
A. By far the biggest cost is people. That’s also a cost that scales with operations. The more material we go through, the more the management and labour costs are. People need to write summaries of the material and see whether it’s true or not. In the moment everyone is paying himself, but that can’t last forever.

Q. How big is the core team of WikiLeaks?
A. There are probably five people that do it 24 hours a day. And then there are 800 people who do it occasionally throughout the year. And in between there is a spectrum.

Q. How do you and the other four guys who work full time without salaries finance living costs?
A. I have made money in the Internet. So I have enough money to do that, but also not forever. And the other four guys, in the moment they are also able to self-finance.

Q. Was Wikileaks your idea as many assumed?
A. I don’t call myself a founder.

Q. Nobody really knows about the founders, says Wikipedia …
A. Yes. This is simply because some of the people in the initial founding group are refugees, refugees from China and other places. And they still have family back in their home countries.

Q. So at the moment the labour costs are still hypothetical, but the big costs that you really have to pay bills for are servers, office, etc.?
A. On the bandwidth side, the backing is costly as well when we get big spikes. Then there are registrations, bureaucracy, dealing with bank accounts and this sort of stuff. Because we are not in one location, it doesn’t make sense for us to have headquarters. People have their own offices across the world.

Q. What about cost for lawsuits?
A. We don’t have to pay for our lawyer’s time. Hundred of thousands or millions dollars’ worth of lawyer time are being donated. But we still have to pay things like photocopying and court filing. And so far we have never lost a case, there were no penalties or compensations to pay.

Q. So all in all, can you give figures about how much money Wikileaks needs in one year?
A. Propably 200 000, that’s with everyone paying themselves. But there are people who can’t afford to continue being involved fulltime unless they are paid. For that I would say maybe it’s 600 000 a year.

Q. Now let’s talk about revenues, your only visible revenue stream is donations …
A. Private donations. We refuse government and corporate donations. In the moment most of the money comes from the journalists, the lawyers or the technologists who are personally involved. Only about ten percent are from online donations. But that might increase.

Q. At the bottom of the site is a list of your “steadfast supporters”, media organisations and companies like AP, Los Angeles Times or The National Newspaper Association. What do they do for you?
A. They give their lawyers, not cash.

Q. Why do the they help you? Probably not out of selflessness.
A. Two things: They see us as an organisation that makes it easier for them to do what they do. But they also see us as the thin end of the wedge. We tackle the hardest publishing cases. And if we are defeated, maybe they will be next in line. In other words: If goes down as a result of a legal action, the same precedence can be used to take down the next day or the German Spiegelonline.

Q. My explanation was that maybe they do it because they know that what you do is actually their job, but they don’t have the money to do it.
A. Maybe. The cost per word in investigative journalism is high. We make it a little bit cheaper for them. If you can bring these costs per word down you can get more words of investigative journalism and publish even in a company that wants to maximize profit, because we do some of the expensive sourcing. And there is another really big cost, namely the threat of legal action. We take the most legally difficult part, which is not the story, but usually the backing documents. As a result there is less chance of legal action against the publisher. So we help them to bring their costs per word in investigative journalism down.

Q. You need to motivate two groups of people, in order to make the site run, the whistleblowers and the journalists. What are the motivations for whistleblowers?
A. Usually they are incenced morally by something. Very rarely actually they want revenge or just to embarrass some organisation. So that’s their incentive, to satisfy this feeling. Actually we would have no problem giving sources cash. We don’t do that, but for me there is no reason why only the lawyers and the journalists should be compensated for their effort. Somebody is taking the risk to do something and this will end up benefiting the public.

Q. But then the legal problem would become much bigger.
A. Yes, but we’re not concerned about that. We could do these transfer payments to a jurisdiction like Belgium which says, that the authorities are not to use any means to determine the connection between the journalist and their source. And this would include the banking system.

Q. On the other hand, you experiment with incentives for journalists. This sounds weird at first. Why do you have to give them additional incentives so they use material you offer them for free?
A. It’s not that easy. Information has value, generally in proportion to the supply of this information being restricted. Once everyone has the information, another copy of the information has no value.

Q. But nearly every journalist in the U.S. has daily access to the material of a news agency like AP.
A. The material of AP is ready to go straight into the newspaper. Our material requires additional investment. So when we release an important leak, it requires an important, intelligent journalist who is politically well connected. Those journalists have significant opportunity costs. Okay, they want to spend their time on 200 pages. In order for that to be profitable they need to make sure that they will come out with an exclusive at the end. But if it is perceived to be something of interest, it is probable that also other people will be working on it at that moment. And when they publish is unpredictable. That produces the counter-intuitive outcome that the more evidence there is of some scandal and the more important the scandal, the less likely it is that the press will write about it. If there is no exclusivity.

Q. In Germany you made an exclusivity deal with two media companies, with Stern and Heise. Are you satisfied with these kind of deals?
A. We have done this in other countries before. Generally we have been satisfied. The problem is that it takes too much time to manage. To make a contract, and to determine who should have the exclusivity. Someone can say, oh, we will do a good story. We are going to maximize the political impact. And then they won’t do it. How do we measure this?

Q. You want to make sure that if you give them the exclusivity that they really do what they promise to do …
A. Yes. One thing that can’t be faked is how much money they pay. If you have an auction and a media organisation pays the most, then they are predicting, that they will benefit the most from publishing the story. That is, they will have the maximum number of readers. So this is a very good way to measure who should have the exclusivity. We tried to do it as an experiment in Venezuela .

Q. Why Venezuela?
A. Because of the character of the document. We had 7 000 e-mails from Freddy Balzan, he was Hugo Chavez’s former speech writer and also the former ambassador to Argentinia. We knew that this document would have this problem, that it was big and political important, therefore probably no one would write anything about it for the reason I just said.

Q. What happened?
A. This auction proved to be a logistical nightmare. Media organisations wanted access to the material before they went to auction. Consequently we would get them to sign non-disclosure agreements, chop up the material and release just every second page or every second sentence.That proved to distracting to all the normal work we were doing, so that we said, forget it, we can’t do that. We just released the material as normal. And that’s precisely what happened: no one wrote anything at all about those 7 000 Emails. Even though 15 stories had appeared about the fact that we were holding the auction.

Q. The experiment failed.
A. The experiment didn’t fail; the experiment taught us about what the burdens were. We would actually need a team of five or six people whose job was just to arrange these auctions.

Q. You plan to continue the auction idea in the future …
A. We plan to continue it, but we know it will take more resources. But if we pursue that we will not do that for single documents. We will instead offer a subscription. This would be much simpler. We would only have the overhead of doing the auction stuff every three months or six months, and not for every document.

Q. So the exclusivity of the story will run out after three months?
A. No, there will be exclusivity in terms of different time windows in access to the material. As an example: there will be an auction for North America. And you will be ranked in the auction. The media organisation which bids most in the auction would get access to it first, the one who bids second will get access to it second and so on. Media organisations would have a subscription to Wikileaks.

Q. They would have timely privileged access to all Wikileaks documents that are relevant for North America …
A. Yes. Let’s imagine there are only two companies in the auction. And one pays double what the other one pays. And let’s say the source says they want the document to be published in one month’s time. So there is a one month window where the journalists have time to investigate and write about the material. The organisation that pays the most for it gets it immediately, so therefore they would be able to do a more comprehensive story. Then the organisation that pays half as much gets it half the time later, they get the documents two weeks later. And then after one month they both publish.

Q. That sounds promising. Wouldn’t then the financial problem be solved?
A. It depends on how many resources the auction itself takes. And media themselves don’t have so much money at all. But all in all I think we only would have to have a few bid cases per year, that would be enough to finance it.


YOU Submit a document for us to publish and, inorder to maximize its impact, distribute amongst our network of investigative journalists, human rights workers, lawyers and other partners.

WE will publish and keep published the document you submitted, provided it meets the submission criteria. Your data is stored decentralized, encrypted and as a preserved historic record, accessible in full by the public. The information you submit will be cleaned by us to not be technically traceable to your PDF printing program, your word installation, scanner, printer. We also anonymize any information on you at a very early stage of the WikiLeaks network, and our services neither know who you are nor do they keep any information about your visit. We will never cooperate with anyone trying to identify you as our source. In fact we are legally bound not to do so, and any investigation into you as our source is a crime in various countries and will be prosecuted.

Wikileaks plans to make the Web a leakier place
BY Dan Nystedt / October 9, 2009, the online clearinghouse for leaked documents, is working on a plan to make the Web leakier by enabling newspapers, human rights organizations, criminal investigators and others to embed an “upload a disclosure to me via Wikileaks” form onto their Web sites. The upload system will give potential whistleblowers around the world the ability to leak sensitive documents to an organization or journalist they trust over a secure connection, while giving the receiver legal protection they might not otherwise enjoy. “We will take the burden of protecting the source and the legal risks associated with publishing the document,” said Julien Assange, an advisory board member at Wikileaks, in an interview at the Hack In The Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Once Wikileaks confirms the uploaded material is real, it will be handed over to the Web site that encouraged the submission for a period of time. This embargo period gives the journalist or rights group time to write a news story or report based on the material.

The embargo period is a key part of the plan, Assange said. When Wikileaks releases material without writing its own story or finding people who will, it gains little attention. “It’s counterintuitive,” he said. “You’d think the bigger and more important the document is, the more likely it will be reported on but that’s absolutely not true. It’s about supply and demand. Zero supply equals high demand, it has value. As soon as we release the material, the supply goes to infinity, so the perceived value goes to zero.” The final act will be for Wikileaks to publish the material on its Web site after the story has been written and the embargo period lapsed. “We want to get as much substantive information as possible into the historical record, keep it accessible and provide incentives for people to turn it into something that will achieve political reform,” said Assange.

Wikileaks is also working on ways to make the material it receives easier to search through. The problem Wikileaks often runs into is how to present the material it’s been given and how to make it easier to sift through for vital information, said Assange. “At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drives,” he said. “Now how do we present that? It’s a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it.” In three years on the Web, Wikileaks has published over 1.2 million sensitive documents.

The famous whistle-blower site just blew its own whistle, leaking the e-mail addresses of dozens of its financial supporters.
By Robert X. Cringely / February 23, 2009

Live by the leak, die by the leak. Apparently that’s the motto at, the whistle-blowing site that provides one-stop shopping for stuff other folks really don’t want you to see. Wikileaks made headlines last year when it published documents accusing Swiss bank Julius Baer of money laundering and other activities not-entirely-on-the-up-and-up. The bank sued, inspiring some laughably lame attempts to shut the site down and generating even more bad PR. About a month later the site published various “secret documents” for the Church of Scientology. The site has also been instrumental in documenting torture at Abu Ghraib, human rights protests in Tibet, and civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

But Wikileaks is now dangling by its own petard, after someone in its fundraising arm sent out an e-mail shilling for donations but put the addresses of its 58 recipients on the “To:” field instead of “Bcc:”. Someone quickly submitted the e-mail to the Wikileaks foundation as a “leaked” document, presumably to test just how devoted Wikileaks is to its own mission. Egg meet face. To its credit (and probably to some donors’ horror) the site posted the document in full, including all 58 email addresses. Many of them feature aliases like “eekameeka” and “phantom 7266,” while other less fortunate folks included what appear to be their real names and work email addresses. But even a pseudonymous address can yield a lot of information about someone if they use it to sign onto multiple sites across the Web.

Nothing wrong with giving money to a site that exists to promote freedom of the press. But now one question becomes whether organizations that got pwned by Wikileaks will start harassing the site’s donors, if only to shut off the money spigot. The bigger question is, how can you trust Wikileaks to protect whistle-blowers’ identities when it can’t protect its own donors? Wikileaks claims it’s better at protecting the sources of its information, even if it’s not so hot at protecting the sources of its funding. In a comment posted on Wired’s Threat Level blog, organization spokesdude Jay Lim says:

“…while definitely not good form, the mistake was a missed shortcut made by one of our admin people and is not related to the efforts or systems involved in source protection.”
If I’m someone who could lose my job because I posted secret information to Wikileaks, I would find this statement cold comfort.

Really, Wikileaks was hosed regardless of what it decided to do; if your whole schtick is exposing the unvarnished unredacted truth, you can’t suddenly start making exceptions for yourself. But this dumb mistake is likely to cost it contributions, both monetary and otherwise.

Will Wikileaks Drown in Its Own Red Ink?
Robert Cringely / Feb 4, 2010

We have interrupted our nonstop coverage of Apple iPad mania to bring you this important word about the freedom of information — more specifically, I’ve written about Wikileaks several times over the last few years, in part because it’s a classic example of why the Internet is such an extraordinary telecommunications tool. Wikileaks is usually described as a “whistleblower” site, but it’s really more of a safe haven for secrets that need to be exposed — kind of like a Swiss bank, only in reverse, so it’s kind of fitting that a Swiss bank is one of its most famous targets. But instead of shielding people who are trying to hide their assets, it exposes them. Thanks to the nature of the Net, confidential sources can make those secrets public without putting their own necks on the chopping block. (Admittedly, these sources sometimes break the law or their legal agreements by doing so. And Wikileaks sometimes exposes information — like personal email addresses — of people who’ve done nothing wrong. It’s far from perfect.)

Through its work, Wikileaks has exposed money-laundering banks, brainwashing cults, repressive governments, corporate scofflaws, butter-fingered politicos, and all other manner of bad actors. Not surprisingly, the org has been sued by its deep-pocketed targets, harassed by the authorities, and attacked by DDoSers. Now it faces the biggest obstacle of all: money — or, rather, a lack thereof.

Today Wikileaks announced it has been forced to suspend its operations due to a lack of funds. That sound you hear is champagne glasses clinking in the boardrooms at Bank Julius Baer, at the Scientology HQ in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the government halls of Beijing, and in other elite locations around the globe.  I can understand why the wiki’s donor pool dried up. About a year ago, Wikileaks sprung a leak itself and accidentally emailed a list of its financial patrons, some of whom probably would have preferred to remain anonymous. That email was then submitted to Wikileaks, which dutifully posted it like any other document it receives from anonymous sources.  Now it’s seeking donations from the public to stay afloat, as well as technical resources (like servers and storage space) and legal expertise. Its supporters have started a Facebook group (numbering about 1,200 members at press time), and other journos besides yours truly are spreading the good word.

Why support Wikileaks?
Because investigative journalism is on a respirator, and the prognosis isn’t good. For one thing, this kind of reporting is expensive. You need publications that can afford to pay a professional reporter, or a team of them, to dig into a story for months or even years without any promise that they’ll end up with something worth publishing. Those stories might involve the use of a private detective, and they will almost always require the services of a team of attorneys to vet the copy carefully and defend the story later in court, if required. None of that stuff comes cheap.

Still, investigative reporting was how major news dailies and dozens of glossy mags made their bones back in the day. Now the number of publications that can continue to fund this kind of reporting have been whittled down to a handful, and most of those are teetering on the brink. These days it’s all about how fast you can publish a story online — even when it bears little resemblance to reality as defined by most people — and how much Google loves you as a result. There aren’t a lot of rewards for reporting and reflection there. Sure, the blogosphere can occasionally step in and break a story, just like a blind pig occasionally stumbles across an acorn. But only for the most brain-dead simple stuff — like the wrong font used in a typewritten letter. Most investigative breakthroughs involve detailed painstaking work, deep understanding of a topic, and the ability to earn the trust of a wide range of confidential sources who are willing to put their jobs and possibly their lives at risk just by talking to you.

Those things are not generally available to obsessive-compulsive pajama-wearing typists who may or may not be using their real names. And they certainly won’t be without resources like Wikileaks, which levels the information playing field for everyone, professional and amateur journos alike. So it’s your choice. You can spend $10 on a couple of lattes and a kruller, or you can spend it on keeping information flowing just a little more freely around the world. I know which one I’d pick. If Wikileaks goes down, will something new rise to take its place?

Wikileaks Meets Its Minimum Cash Goal
BY Kim Zetter / February 4, 2010

The whistleblowing site Wikileaks has apparently raised the money it needs to continue operating for the time being, according to a message the organization sent out Wednesday night on Twitter. “Achieved min. funraising [sic] goal. ($200k/600k); we’re back fighting for another year, even if we have to eat rice to do it,” read the tweet, without specifying whether it had raised the full $600,000 or just $200,000.

The site announced last December that it was ceasing day-to-day operations to focus on raising money. It said contributors could still send documents and tips through its anonymous submission tool. Last week, it was ceasing operations indefinitely because it had raised only $130,000 of the $200,000 it needed to maintain base operations annually. The site says it requires $600,000 to operate if it pays its staff of technologists and curators who sift through submissions to provide context for documents and other information valuable to its users. The announcement page, beginning with: “We protect the world — but will you protect us?” has not changed, except to add that Wikileaks “will be back soon.”

“We have received hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the U.S. detainee system, the Iraq war, China, the UN and many others that we do not currently have the resources to release,” the pages reads. “You can change that and by doing so, change the world. Even $10 will pay to put one of these reports into another 10,000 hands and $1,000, a million.”

The site takes donations through PayPal, Moneybookers and TipiT, as well as checks and bank transfers. Its online TipiT tipjar indicates it has raised $31,000 using that method. Donors to its tipjar leave such messages as: “Keep scooping us — we’re very grateful for your persistence.” “Keep up the good work, shining light in dark places.” “You may be the most important resource on the net in the long term.”

The site was formally launched in 2007 as an online clearinghouse for anonymous submissions of documents, images and other data. It has received awards from Amnesty International and has been praised by media groups and others for giving whistleblowers and political dissidents a forum to expose corruption and suppression and foster transparency.

It’s run by the Sunshine Press, said to be supported by anonymous human rights activists, investigative journalists, technologists and members of the general public around the world. The site has scooped mainstream media outlets a number of times in obtaining documents and information on controversial topics that have then become the source of mainstream media stories.

In 2007, the site published a 238-page U.S. military manual detailing operations of the Defense Department’s Guantánamo Bay detention facility. It also posted a manual for operating the CIA’s rendition flights, which involved undocumented detainees who were kidnapped in various locations and flown to countries outside the United States for interrogation and torture.

Wikileaks was among the first to publish data from Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo e-mail account after a Tennessee judge tried to shutter Wikileaks by ordering its U.S. host to take it offline after a Cayman Islands bank complained that the site was publishing proprietary documents. The judge reversed his decision a week later following criticism of numerous groups that said the judge’s decision constituted prior restraint, a violation of the First Amendment.


Apps for Democracy: 2 Days Left to Compete
BY Ellen Miller

“The District has been getting major kudos for its IT projects and
which are well-deserved. DC’s data catalog, for instance, has tons of
open data feeds (more than its share about crime, alas), and provides
real-time data from multiple agencies. The District puts it online to
act as a catalyst to encourage agencies to operate more responsively
and timely.

Vivek Kundra, Washington, D.C.’s chief technology officer, launched a
contest (with substantial financial prizes!) titled Apps for
Democracy. DC is looking for useful Web applications using the
District government’s data catalog. The winning designers who create
the best widgets, Google Maps mash-ups, iPhone apps, Facebook apps,
and other digital utilities will split $20,000 in $2,000 to $100
allotments. If interested, you’ll have to work fast. The deadline for
submissions is tomorrow (Wednesday November 12th).”

Vivek Kundra
email :

District of Columbia Launches Open Innovation Challenge
October 15, 2008

Today the District of Columbia Chief Technology Office of the Officer
(OCTO) announced “Apps for Democracy,” an initiative to develop new
software applications to make the DC government’s data more accessible
and useful for the general public and the government. Register for the
contest at

The District collects and maintains vast stores of data on every
aspect of government operations, from government contracts to crime
statistics to economic development and much more. The District has
already organized and published this data in a real-time data catalog
at The new initiative will solicit the best
and most cost-effective ways to package and present this data for easy
viewing, analysis, and repurposing by the public.

Technology developers are invited to compete in creating applications
for popular consumer technologies like iPhones, Facebook, Map Mashups
and others. Developers must use open source programming. The contest
is open to the general public and will run for a month from October 14
through November 14, 2008. The District will host a kick-off on
October 16 and will conduct five open “Innovation Labs” each weekend
to help contestants find collaborators. The contest will conclude on
November 13 with an awards ceremony to unveil the winning
applications. Additional contest details and guidelines for entries
can be found at

The contest will serve as a catalyst to visualize the District’s data
so it will be useful to the citizens of DC, improving their quality of
life; foster innovation in the DC technology community resulting in
startup formation and growth; solve the technology challenges of OCTO
through more cost effective open collaboration; and work towards a new
model for government/private sector cross collaboration that can be
utilized repeatedly to solve our challenges and serve as an example
for other governments.

“The Apps for Democracy contest is part of our drive toward digital
democracy in the nation’s capital,” said District CTO Vivek Kundra.
“Especially in these difficult economic times, it’s crucial to the
government’s mission to find more efficient and impactful methods for
delivering an even higher level of service for a fraction of the cost.
We are ushering in a new age of participatory democracy, one in which
technology is developed by the people for the people.”

DC’s Apps for Democracy: Helping Coders Help the Man (with one small complaint)
BY Matthew Burton / October 24, 2008

“Because this is timely, I reserve the right to say some presumptuous/
incorrect things that I never would have said had I had time to think
it over, as I usually do when I post things here. The Washington, DC
Chief Technology Officer just launched a project called Apps for
Democracy, a contest to create apps with DC’s data catalog.

I love this project. DC doesn’t get much revenue to work with, so this
project makes a lot of economic sense–the tools they will get out of
this contest would, through the standard contracting route, cost about
40 times the $20,000 in prize money they’re giving away. But the
economics, I’m guessing, is what sold the mayor on the project. I bet
the initial motivation was much different: the CTO’s office
understands that the public will create better tools, and more
quickly, than government contractors can. They know that the benefits
of opening their data far outweigh the speculated, yet unproven,

Also, I can tell the CTO likes to experiment. That’s really gutsy,
because an inevitable byproduct of experimentation is failure. This is
why most bureaucrats hate experimentation and would prefer to coast:
sure, you won’t make progress by doing things the same way, but at
least you can’t screw up!

This CTO (Vivek Kundra is his name) gets it. This is exactly the kind
of stuff a CTO should be doing. There are rumblings of such a position
being created under a presumptive President Obama. If it happens, I
hope they use Apps for Democracy as a model for this title: more
technology, less chief officer. Technology is about experimentation,
not red tape. A new bureaucratic position should have an eye for
counteracting the increased bureaucracy it will inevitably engender.
Projects that delegate power to the public are a great way to do that.

I’m excited about Apps for Democracy, but I have some reservations,
which I voice below. As a segue, here are a few possibilities for app
* Use the Speed Detector GIS data to build an iPhone app that
alerts drivers to their presence (though that won’t go over well with
the mayor’s budget office)
* Use the Bicycle Lane and Bike Routes GIS data to build a Google
or Yahoo! Maps mashup that creates cycling-friendly directions
* Use the Trails, Trails NPS, and Crime Incidents data to create
safe jogging routes
* Mash any public safety data–Crime Incidents, Juvenile Arrests,
etc–with a SIMILE timeline to spot trends
* Use that same public safety data to spot correlations between
incidents and the proximity of other facilities; for example, maybe
juvenile arrests near banks spike in June, while arrests near current
construction projects spike in December. (Whether the revelations
would be valuable, we cannot say. But I’m sure sociologists and
criminologists would find it interesting.)
* Use any number of the tourism- and transportation-oriented data
files to make the ultimate online day planner for

I guess some of those ideas are decent. The problem is, I’m just a
citizen. So most of my ideas are for public-facing tools. Only one or
two would improve District operations. Public-facing tools are great,
and the project is accepting them, but is that really the spirit of
this project? I see it differently. The goal here is to help
government, and I imagine Kundra is hoping people will create tools
that do that. As the CTO, his job is to “develop and implement the
District’s IT infrastructure” and provide “technology solutions to
improve services.” What he really wants are tools that help the DC
Government do its job better. This project can yield a slew of neat-o
iPhone apps, but remember: projects like Apps for Democracy ultimately
happen because of the possible budget savings, and if the project
doesn’t deliver on that front by cutting internal IT costs, there may
not be an Apps for Democracy ‘09. So he has to deliver at least one
great new tool for the inside.

What to build, what to build…there are surely countless opportunities
for improving DC’s systems and data management. The problem is,
people like me don’t have the good ideas, because we don’t experience
the day-to-day frustrations of the problems we’d be fixing. We don’t
understand the environment. We don’t know what’s lacking.

The most beneficial tools will probably never be thought of by the
general public. People with no understanding of municipal water
systems can’t (or don’t) ponder ways to revolutionize the DC Water
Authority. Even more important, even if I did have the idea, I would
have little incentive to build it on my own. Unless I understand the
good that will come from creating that tool, I’m not going to spend
time on it. Someone at the Water Authority needs to say, “We need a
tool that will do X, Y, and Z, and it would help us because _____.”
The _____ is the most important part. I’d love to help DC, but only if
I know I’m helping. That’s why there needs to be a way for DC
employees to share ideas with developers. Has this project been
promoted to District employees? The project site is not targeted at
them: it grabs the attention of tech firms and indy developers, but
there’s no mention of the end user. Do they have a forum for voicing
ideas? Whip up a way for those developers to team with District
employees so we can put together something that really changes your
business. What do you say, Mr. Kundra?

UPDATE 10/25 : After posting this, I sent an email to Apps for
Democracy project manager Peter Corbett to tell him about it. He wrote
back in less than an hour saying he’d already read it:

I just read that, Matt and it’s a really good post. I just sent it
to Vivek. We have up for collaboration purposes
and I suggested to Vivek that he broadcast to that we need
ideas from them about what they need built!

I often complain that although the federal government is finally
abandoning clunky enterprise software for more modern Web tools, their
procurement model has not changed: they still rely on the slow,
expensive, clunky contracting route instead of trying the more agile,
release early-release often approach that makes Web tools great in the
first place. But the speed and content of Peter’s response, and his
allowing me to post it here, are all signs that this is a much
different DC software project. I like it.”

Related: Why I Help “The Man,” and Why You Should Too

Mayor Fenty Announces Three National Awards for the Office of the
Chief Technology Officer
NASCIO honors bring OCTO award count to 10 in 2008
September 29, 2008

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced today the National Association of
State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has honored the Office of
the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) with three national information
technology (IT) awards. The new honors bring the District’s total IT
awards to 10 in 2008.

NASCIO named OCTO the winner of its Recognition Award in the IT
Project and Portfolio Management Category, an award for state
initiatives that develop governance processes, policies and systems
for the efficient management of IT investments from concept, funding,
implementation and operation to retirement.

The award-winning project was the “stock market model” developed by
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Vivek Kundra for managing the
District’s IT investments. Kundra’s innovative idea was to manage IT
projects as a portfolio of stocks, with each project as a company, its
team as the management, its schedule and financial status captured in
market reports and customer satisfaction as the market reaction. By
applying these stock-market practices to government technology, Kundra
was able to identify problem projects early and either switch managers
or kill the projects, freeing resources for more promising
initiatives. Earlier this year Kundra was honored for his ground-
breaking stock market model by both the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium,
which recognized Kundra among outstanding IT innovators, and by
InfoWorld Magazine, which named Kundra among the nation’s top
25 CTOs.

NASCIO also awarded OCTO its Recognition Award in the Government to
Business Category. This award recognizes innovative applications that
reduce business costs for regulatory compliance, help companies
establish and grow a business, or improve day-to-day government-to-
business interactions.

OCTO’s winning project was its Certified Business Enterprise (CBE)
online Resource Center. District CBEs are businesses certified by the
District’s Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)
to participate in the District’s contracting program. The program
directs spending to District-based businesses to create local jobs,
strengthen the local economy, and increase the District’s tax base. To
maximize participation and benefits from the program, DSLBD needed a
user-friendly, comprehensive online certification and contract
compliance application. OCTO developed the application in consultation
with DSLBD, the District’s Office of Contracts and Procurement (OCP)
and the Office of the City Administrator (OCA). The result was a
application that:
* Allows qualified business owners to submit online applications
for CBE certification;
* Enables DSLBD to process the applications via the District’s
* Provides a transparent and efficient process to verify agency
compliance with CBE participation requirements;
* Tracks prime contractor payments to subcontractors to verify
compliance with CBE participation plans; and
* Provides outreach tools to inform the CBE community about
upcoming business opportunities, training classes and DSLBD/District
business events.

The site has enhanced agency and prime contractor compliance with
District CBE requirements, it has dramatically increased the accuracy
of DSLBD data and it has improved the efficiency of certification
processing and compliance tracking.

The third NASCIO award OCTO won was the Recognition Award in the
Government to Citizens category for governmental applications that
provide innovative and/or more efficient services to citizens. OCTO
won the award with its CapStat “Building A City That Works” website.
The site supports CapStat, a cross-agency accountability program
launched by District Mayor Fenty. The Mayor and City Administrator
hold regular meetings with agency directors to review agency
performance data, assign action items, and hold the managers

The CapStat website is central to the program. CapStat meetings are
recorded by video and broadcast on the site. The site offers
performance data from CapStat sessions as well as agency performance
reports. It is updated after each session to provide links to full-
length session videos, resulting action items, and a revised schedule
of upcoming topics. The site offers data catalogs and live feeds on a
wide variety of District performance measures, such as violent crimes,
service requests, permits, and many more. An interactive map
illustrates the reports and shows, for example, where each crime
occurred or which buildings received permits. By providing the
detailed data District leaders need to assess agency performance and
hold managers accountable, and by creating a vehicle for the District
to share all of this data with the public, the CapStat website has
played a vital role in delivering on Mayor Fenty’s commitment to
transparency and accountability in District government.

“For my administration, improving services for citizens and ensuring
accountability and transparency in government are paramount goals,”
said Mayor Fenty. “These important awards from NASCIO, along with
many other recognitions OCTO has received in the past two years,
testify to the key role technology plays in meeting our objectives for
the District.”

“I’m honored by these awards that reflect the evaluation of our peers
around the country,” said District CTO Kundra. “We have assembled some
of the smartest and hardest working people at OCTO so the District can
lead the nation in innovation and service delivery.”

From the archive, originally posted by: [ mmm ]
Are musicians owed royalties for performance of their music in torture chambers?
Is Torture by Music a “Performance in Public”?
Singer David Gray has warned that US interrogators playing loud music
as a form of torture – including his own song Babylon – is no laughing

“Only the novelty aspect of this story gets it noticed… Guantanamo
greatest hits,” he said.
“What we’re talking about here is people in a darkened room,
physically inhibited by handcuffs, bags over their heads and music
blaring at them.
Girl Scouts were sad, callers were mad, and even one of Woody
Guthrie’s old singing pals was incredulous yesterday at a national
songwriting group’s order apparently blocking scouts from singing
campfire songs without paying copyright fees.

From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]




WTO Gives US$21m Compensation To Antigua, by Leroy Baker, Tax-, Washington
December 28, 2007

The World Trade Organization has awarded US$21m worth annually of
compensatory measures to Antigua and Barbuda in its fight against the
USA over the country’s unilateral suspension of its WTO obligations in
regard to on-line gaming.

The islands would be allowed, for instance, to disregard intellectual
property rules under TRIPS in order to sell US-generated content such
as films and music on the open market. But Antigua had asked for US
$3.4bn in damages.

Mark Mendel, Antigua’s lawyer, said in a conference call: “I am
pleased that the panel approved our ability to cross-retaliate by
suspension of intellectual property rights of United States business
interests. That has only been done once before and is, I believe, a
very potent weapon.”

Antigua’s Minister of Finance and the Economy, Dr Errol Cort, said:
“Although we are pleased that the extraordinary sanction of the
suspension of intellectual property right protection for US interests
has been given to us – only the second such authorisation in WTO
history – we are disappointed by the portion of the decision limiting
our annual compensation to such a mere fraction of our industry’s lost

But he said that it was not Antigua’s immediate intention to apply the
sanctions; it remained preferable for Antigua to reach a compromise
solution with the US, although it’s not clear what that might be.

The office of the United States Trade Representative, never a good
loser, said sourly with a split infinitive that: “it would establish a
harmful precedent for a WTO Member to affirmatively authorize what
would otherwise be considered acts of piracy, counterfeiting, or other
forms of IPR infringement.”

The ruling by the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body remains in place until
the US comes into conformity with the WTO’s previous ruling, which the
US rejected, or until there is a mutually agreed settlement.

The compensation for Antigua followed hard on the heels of an agreed
settlement between the USA and other countries which had demanded
compensation, when the European Commission accepted a US offer of
openings in other sectors as compensation. “A bilateral agreement was
signed in Geneva, which provides EU service suppliers with new trade
opportunities in the US postal and courier, research and development,
storage and warehouse sectors,” said the Commission. “The US also made
concessions in the testing and analysis services sector.

Canada and Japan have apparently also accepted similar US offers, and
the office of the USTR said it hoped that India, Costa Rica and Macau
would fall in line as well.

The deal between the EU and the US was probably cut in November when
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson visited Washington for meetings
on “Transatlantic Economic Cooperation.”

Mandelson met US Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Representative
Barney Frank (D-MA), who has been leading so far abortive efforts in
the Congress to modify the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act,
passed in 2006, which prohibits the use of payment instruments by
financial institutions to handle the processing of any form of
internet gambling that is illegal under US federal or state law. It
was this law which led to the collapse of many global gaming

Barney Frank introduced legislation into the House of Representatives
in April that would create an exemption to the ban on online gambling
for properly licensed operators, allowing Americans to lawfully bet
online. The Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007
would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework to
license companies to accept bets and wagers online from individuals in
the US, to the extent permitted by individual states, Indian tribes
and sport leagues. All such licenses would include protections against
underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering and fraud.

“The existing legislation is an inappropriate interference on the
personal freedom of Americans and this interference should be undone,”
said. Rep. Frank, who is Chairman of the House Financial Services

“I think Representative Frank takes a fair-minded, common sense
approach to this and we look forward to that being effective
legislation,” said Mandelson. But the bill has floundered so far.

US Piracy Laws Need Not Be Followed in Antigua, Says WTO Panel
BY Bob Hartman  /  December 21, 2007

In a conference call held midday on Friday the successful Antigua
lawyer, Mark Mendel, pointed out that Antigua cannot be vilified by
the United States government as criminals as they will not actually be
breaking copyright and piracy laws.

The WTO ruled that Antigua may meet the sanctions, worth $21 million
per year, by selling American company copyrighted materials, such as
music, video, and software, legally. Mendel said that Antigua should
not be looked upon as a criminal and as a violator of these laws
because Antigua was legally granted access to sell the material by the

Mendel insisted that Antigua was not aiming for this judgement,
rather, they simply would like for the US to follow the rules of the
WTO by allowing Antiguan gaming operators to offer horse race betting
to Americans, just as American gaming operators are currently allowed
to do. Until they do meet the legalities of the WTO rulings it will be
legal to sell copyrighted materials, Mendel said.

The likelihood of the US ever meeting all its obligations it must meet
after removing its commitments to the GATS are minimal because Antigua
will most likely never settle.

Although the online gambling industry has seen the $21 million ruling
as a setback, Mendel pointed out that this includes 2006, combined
with 2007, and will continue every year. After a few years the
sanctions will add up to hundreds of millions of dollars.


WTO Decision Destroys World-Wide Belief In Trading System
BY Tom Jones  /  December 23, 2007

After reviewing the decision by the WTO on compensation for Antigua,
it appears that two of the three persons who were impaneled to decide
the extent of award, violated their mandate to make such determination
which was to be based on the findings of earlier rulings.

While the WTO found that the U.S. violated its trade agreements in the
area of cross-border trade in services for Internet gambling, the
panel that released the monetary and penalty decision has narrowed the
scope of that prior ruling to include only horse-racing, and ignored
all other areas, which was the full scope of the violation.

This gives the appearance of undue influence by a major (U.S.) player
in the decision making process.

After years of trial and appeals, the WTO made clear that the
violation was in fact protectionism, and clearly was targeting only
foreign firms, and that the U.S. must come into compliance with its
treaty obligations by either opening the market to foreign companies
or restrict domestic companies from providing these services.

The award granted Antigua does not and can not accomplish this.

The final determination has undermined the spirit of the WTO decision
and has given a very weak slap on the wrist to the offender.

There is no appeal allowed by either party on this decision, yet, it
does not give the appearance of a decision that was come to in a
manner consistent with the panel’s obligations.

The WTO will now be looked at as a rubber stamp for the U.S. as a

With this narrowed decision and the minimal penalty, why would any
trading partner continue to have faith in the entire WTO process, and
more imporantly, why would they not use this as a means to withdraw
obligations they are no longer comfortable with?

A precedent has now been set that effectively sets aside any
meaningful position regarding sanctions that must and should be
effective to demand compliance by offending countries, and to ensure
that if a country violates it’s treaties, there will be major

A reasoned appeal to the WTO body regarding this decision may be the
proper method to correct this.

The WTO was developed to give all countries a balance in trade, this
decision will destroy the purpose of the WTO. Any country that is
committed to this organization should be offended by the methods used,
as they were not consistent with their own published rules.

As an American, I am glad that the final determination was minimal,
however, the decision was not just and does nothing to enhance the
faith and determination of any country that is necessary to ensure
fair trade.

Worldwide respect of the WTO has now diminished to a point that many
wonder why it even exists.

US faces sanctions for gaming ban
December 21, 2007

Antigua had hoped online betting would allow it to rely less on

The US faces $21m (£10.6m) in annual trade sanctions as a result of
its online betting ban, the World Trade Organization has ruled.
Antigua and Barbuda was awarded the right to impose sanctions that
target US services, copyrights and trademarks. Laws passed in the US
in October 2006 effectively made it illegal for foreign internet
gaming firms to trade there.

But in March the trade body delivered a final ruling saying that the
US online betting ban was illegal. Antigua had hoped to impose $3.4bn
in retaliatory measures against the US and the amount awarded was
described as a token gesture, given the massive size of the US
economy. The US said that Antigua’s claim was excessive and more than
three times the size of Antigua’s entire economy.

“The United States is pleased that the figure arrived at by the
arbitrator is over 100 times lower than Antigua’s claim,” said Sean
Spicer, a spokesman for U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.
Antigua, a former British colony of about 80,000 people, had been
promoting electronic commerce as way to end the country’s reliance on
tourism, which was hurt by a series of hurricanes in the late 1990s.

Piracy risk

The Caribbean nation is the smallest country to litigate a case
successfully in the WTO’s 12-year-history. The case had drawn the
attention of US industry because Antigua has threatened to target US
trademarks and copyright, which could make the nation a safe haven for
intellectual property piracy. The ruling could “establish a harmful
precedent for a WTO member to affirmatively authorise what would
otherwise be considered acts of piracy, counterfeiting or other forms
of … infringement”, the US said. The US and Antigua cannot appeal
against Friday’s decision.

Mark Mendel, the lawyer who led the case for Antigua, said that the
country was unlikely to violate US copyrights. “Antigua doesn’t want
to negate American intellectual property rights. They don’t want to
sell … DVDs and copies of Microsoft Office.”

Unequal laws

Last year the US stopped US banks and credit card companies from
processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country,
effectively killing off the market for overseas gambling firms. About
half of the world’s online gamblers are based in the US, and the
market is estimated to be worth $15.5bn.

The WTO ruling said the US was breaking trade law by targeting online
gambling firms, without equal application of the rules to US firms
offering online betting on horse and dog racing. Earlier this week,
the EU said the US would offer its member countries trade concessions
as compensation for its refusal to lift internet gambling laws.

US TKOs Antigua in bizarre WTO arbitration decision
Dispute strangely reaches climax
BY Burke Hansen  /  December 21, 2007

The long-running dispute between little Antigua and the mighty US over
the cross border provision of gaming services came to a head this
morning, with the announcement of a US $21 mil award in Antigua’s
favor. The amount was quite a bit less than the $3.4 bil demanded by
the Antiguans, but considerably more than the $500,000 offered by the

The panel agreed with Antigua that it had no effective trade sanctions
against the United States other than to suspend its WTO obligations to
the United States in respect of copyrights, trademarks and other forms
of intellectual property. Antigua now has the right to produce
counterfeit copies of Hollywood movies, Microsoft software, or whatnot
to satisfy the judgment.

The arbitrators assessed Antigua’s level of damages based upon a
hypothetical form of compliance proposed by the United States, rather
than through the withdrawal of the overall prohibition – a prohibition
that in fact has been expanded in the years since Antigua initially
brought the case through the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act, which targeted banks and other financial
institutions, and provided for a whole new series of domestic carve-
outs. In light of the way the US has been thumbing its nose at
previous WTO rulings in the case, the feeble award comes as a definite

In a conference call, Mark Mendel, Antigua’s lead attorney, referred
to the decision to use a hypothetical on gambling on horse racing
estimate of damages rather than actual damages as “unsound” and

“There was never an assessment that the only discrimination was in
horse racing. I think it’s a horrible ruling.”

“It’s an extraordinary document. It’ll have academics and lawyers
talking for years. First off, just the length. The previous record was
52 pages. Second, the existence of a dissenting opinion. There’s never
been a dissenting opinion in an Article 22 hearing.”

Although the arbitrators were tasked only with assessing damages –
after all, Antigua had already won, and won big – two of the three
arbitrators managed to knee-cap the prior compliance panel ruling by
resorting to the Article 22 principle of “reasonably expected
compliance,” and adopting the approach sought by the US. The majority
ruling essentially gutted the prior compliance panel ruling by
adopting the US position of what constitutes reasonableness under the
This decision also resulted in an unprecedented disagreement among the
arbitrators, with one panelist dissenting from the approach adopted by
the other two members over the unprecedented use of the Article 22
provision to eviscerate a prior compliance panel decision.
“What kind of precedent does this set?” asked Mendel.

Mendel did express satisfaction that the panel approved Antigua’s
right to cross-retaliate by suspension of intellectual property rights
of United States business interests. He expressed notably less
satisfaction with the amount of damages assessed. In a move sure to
throw fuel on the fire of this controversial trade dispute, the
arbitrators decided on the $21 mil figure based solely on what
Antigua’s hypothetical share of the US online horse racing market,
although previous rulings had interpreted Antigua’s trade rights far
more broadly.

“I find it astonishing that two of the three panelists would in
essence grant the United States the benefit of a hypothetical method
of compliance most favorable to the American side in assessing
Antigua’s level of trade impairment. What appears to have been done
here is assuming a form of compliance that has not happened and
probably will not happen without giving Antigua the ability to contest
the method under the WTO’s normal procedures,” he added.

Unlike other WTO rulings, awards of arbitrators are not subject to
review by the Appellate Body of the WTO. However, were internet
gambling to continue to expand in the US – as seems almost certain –
Antigua would have the right to return to the WTO to reassess the
damage award. Antigua’s position will also have to be revisited as the
US continues its Article 21 proceedings to withdraw gambling services
from its WTO commitments.

While expressing dismay at the low number and the dodgy method by
which it was reached, Mendel tried to stay upbeat about what the
future has in store.

“I hope that the United States government will now see the wisdom in
reaching some accommodation with Antigua over this dispute and look
forward to seeing efforts in this regard.”

WTO Clears $21M in Sanctions Vs. US
BY Bradley S. Klapper  /  Dec 21, 2007

GENEVA (AP) — The United States faces a token $21 million in annual
trade sanctions as a result of its online betting ban, the World Trade
Organization said Friday in awarding Antigua and Barbuda the right to
target U.S. services, copyrights and trademarks.

The decision is a setback for the Caribbean island nation, which
sought the right to impose $3.4 billion in retaliatory measures
against U.S. commercial services and intellectual property.
Washington acknowledged its Internet gambling restrictions were ruled
illegal by the WTO, but argued that Antigua should only be compensated
for about $500,000 for lost annual revenue.
The case has drawn the attention of a number of U.S. industries,
partly because of the ways Antigua has proposed retaliating against
the much larger U.S. economy. Washington’s attempt to escape its legal
loss by proposing a revision of the WTO’s key treaty on trade in
services has also fueled interest.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative noted that Antigua was
seeking sanctions worth more than three times the size of its entire

“Antigua’s claim was patently excessive,” it said in a statement. “The
United States is pleased that the figure arrived at by the arbitrator
is over 100 times lower than Antigua’s claim.”
The U.S. and Antigua cannot appeal Friday’s decision.

Realistically, it would have been very difficult for a country the
size of Antigua’s to implement hundreds of millions of dollars worth
of trade sanctions on the U.S. without harming its own economy and the
welfare of its citizens. Ecuador was awarded similar retaliation
rights in a bananas dispute with the European Union in 2000, but
failed to come up with an effective way to introduce countermeasures.

The WTO arbitration panel said it had to adopt its own approach to
come up with a fair retaliation figure in view of the wide difference
in how the U.S. and Antigua estimated the economic effect of the
gambling ban.

“In doing so, we feel we are on shaky grounds,” the panel said in an
88-page decision.

Washington stopped U.S. banks and credit card companies last year from
processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country.
The decision closed off the most lucrative region in a growing market
worth about $15.5 billion last year. About half of the world’s online
gamblers are based in the U.S.

The arrest in 2006 of two British Internet gambling executives while
traveling through the United States also highlighted the U.S.
government’s escalation of its battle against the industry.
The WTO, however, upheld in March previous rulings striking down the
U.S ban.

The trade body found that the U.S. had the right to prevent offshore
betting as a means of protecting public order and public morals. But
it said Washington was violating trade law by targeting online
gambling without equal application of the rules to American operators
offering remote betting on horse and dog racing.

Antigua, the smallest country to successfully litigate a case in the
WTO’s 12-year-history, had hoped the ruling would lead the U.S. to
revoke the restrictions.

The former British colony of about 80,000 people had been promoting
electronic commerce as a way to end the country’s reliance on tourism,
which was hurt by a series of hurricanes in the late 1990s. There are
32 licensed online casinos in Antigua, employing 1,000 people and
generating a yearly revenue of around $130 million. Seven years ago,
its casinos had an annual income closer to $1 billion.

But Washington responded to its legal defeat by announcing it would
take the unprecedented step of revising the conditions under which it
signed the WTO’s 1994 General Agreement on Trade in Services, or GATS.
That allowed a number of countries to seek compensation under a
separate process.

The U.S. has since agreed on deals with the 27-nation European Union,
Canada and Japan to change the treaty — but has failed to do so with
Antigua, Costa Rica, India and Macau.
Until it gains the approval of all 151 members of the WTO, the U.S.
online betting ban is illegal under international trade rules. As a
result, Antigua will have the right to penalize U.S. services and
intellectual property until the U.S. government either permits
Americans to gamble over foreign-based sites or eliminates exceptions
for off-track betting on horses, including over the Internet.
British gambling companies — which bankrolled Antigua’s efforts and
heavily lobbied Brussels for tough action — were disappointed earlier
this week when the EU announced that it had received some minor U.S.
trade concessions in exchange for accepting the U.S.-proposed revision
to the GATS.

The deal fell far short of the $100 billion in new commercial
opportunities the Internet gaming sites claimed the United States

In Trade Ruling, Antigua Wins a Right to Piracy
BY JAMES KANTER and GARY RIVLIN  /  December 22, 2007

PARIS — In an unusual ruling on Friday at the World Trade
Organization, the Caribbean nation of Antigua won the right to violate
copyright protections on goods like films and music from the United
States — an award worth up to $21 million — as part of a dispute
between the countries over online gambling.

The award follows a W.T.O. ruling that Washington had wrongly blocked
online gambling operators on the island from the American market at
the same time it allowed online wagering on horse racing.

Antigua and Barbuda had claimed damages of $3.44 billion a year. That
makes the relatively small amount awarded Friday, $21 million,
something of a setback for Antigua, which had been struggling to
preserve its gambling industry.

The United States argued that its behavior had caused $500,000 damage.

Yet the ruling is significant in that it grants a rare form of
compensation: the right of one country, in this case Antigua, to
violate intellectual property laws of another — the United States — by
allowing it to distribute copies of American music, movie and software

“That has only been done once before and is, I believe, a very potent
weapon,” said Mark Mendel, a lawyer representing Antigua, after the
ruling. “I hope that the United States government will now see the
wisdom in reaching some accommodation with Antigua over this dispute.”

Though Antigua is best known for its pristine beaches and tourist
attractions, the dozens of online casinos based there are important to
the island’s economy as its second-largest employer.

By pressing its claim, trade lawyers said, Antigua could set a
precedent for other countries to sue the United States for unfair
trade practices, potentially opening the door to electronic piracy and
other dubious practices around the world.

Still, carrying out the ruling will prove difficult, the lawyers say.

“Even if Antigua goes ahead with an act of piracy or the refusal to
allow the registration of a trademark, the question still remains of
how much that act is worth,” said Brendan McGivern, a trade lawyer
with White & Case in Geneva.

“The Antiguans could say that’s worth $50,000, and then the U.S. might
say that’s worth $5 million.” He predicted that “the U.S. is going to
dog them on every step of the way.”

The United States has aggressively fought Antigua’s claims.

A W.T.O. panel first ruled against the United States in 2004, and its
appellate body upheld that decision a year later. In April 2005, the
trade body gave the United States a year to comply with its ruling.

That deadline passed with little more than a statement from Washington
that it had decided it was in compliance.

From the start, the United States asserted that it had never intended
to allow free cross-border gambling or betting. Those activities are
restricted in the United States, though some form of gambling is legal
in 48 states.

In May, the United States said it was rewriting its trade rules to
remove gambling from the jurisdiction of the W.T.O.

Washington has agreed on deals with the European Union, Canada and
Japan to change the treaty but not with several other nations,
including Antigua.

On Friday, the United States trade representative issued a stern
warning to Antigua to avoid acts of piracy, counterfeiting or
violations of intellectual property rights while talks continue.

The trade office said such behavior would “undermine Antigua’s claimed
intentions of becoming a leader in legitimate electronic commerce, and
would severely discourage foreign investment” in the country.

US, EU reach deal over online gambling
BY Bradley S. Klapper  /  December 17, 2007

GENEVA (AP) – The United States will provide the European Union with
new trade concessions in mail services and warehousing as part of a
compensation deal over Washington’s refusal to lift restrictions on
Internet gambling, the EU said Monday.

The agreement also includes new U.S. market opportunities for European
companies offering testing and analysis services, as well as in
research and development, Brussels said in a statement.

The postal and courier concessions will affect how Germany’s DHL, the
express and logistics division of Deutsche Post World Net AG, competes
with U.S.-based companies FedEx Corp. and UPS Inc., EU officials said.

But the overall trade valuation of the package is believed to fall far
short of the US$100 billion (euro69 billion) European online gaming
sites had claimed the United States owed. EU officials could not
immediately say how much the deal was worth.

“This compensation cannot be quantified up to the euro,” the EU
mission to the WTO said in an e-mailed statement. “Nonetheless, it is
clear that new trade opportunities are created for EU service
suppliers in important sectors in the U.S.”

Washington stopped U.S. banks and credit card companies last year from
processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country.
The decision closed off the most lucrative region in a growing market
currently worth US$15.5 billion (euro11 billion). About half of the
world’s online gamblers are based in the U.S.

In March, the World Trade Organization delivered a final ruling that
the U.S. ban was illegal.

The commerce body found that the U.S. had the right to prevent
offshore betting as a means of protecting public order and public
morals. But it said the U.S. was breaking trade law by targeting
online gambling without equal application of the rules to American
operators offering remote betting on horse and dog racing.

“While the U.S. is free to decide how to best respond to legitimate
public policy concerns relating to Internet gambling, discrimination
against EU or other foreign companies should be avoided,” said Peter
Power, spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

The WTO is expected to rule in the coming weeks on a request by
Antigua and Barbuda to impose US$3.4 billion (euro2.34 billion) in
commercial sanctions against the U.S. for its failure to comply with
the ruling. The tiny Caribbean nation, the smallest ever to win a WTO
dispute, has threatened to target U.S. patents and trademarks.

After losing the case, Washington sought to fix the problem by
rewriting its obligations under the WTO’s treaty on trade in services.
That allowed Canada, Costa Rica, India, Macau, Japan and the EU to
file compensation claims.

EU officials said their deal creates new U.S. market opportunities for
European companies seeking to expand investment and trade in the
international letters business.

Washington also agreed to ease access to European providers of
research and development in the natural sciences, social sciences and
humanities, and companies offering technical testing and analysis
services. The commitments do not cover programs funded by the U.S.
government, according to the EU’s Geneva mission.

The U.S. and Canada are also believed to be close to a deal.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington declined to
immediately comment.

Offshore Business in Antigua and Barbuda
The Antigua and Barbuda Advantage…

Since its independence in 1981, the twin-island state of Antigua and
Barbuda in the Caribbean has continued to practice a tradition of
English Common Law. Located less than 300 nautical miles Southeast of
Puerto Rico, in the Leeward Islands. Its legal procedures are
structured in accordance with strong democratic principles of good
governance, patterned after the British parliamentary system. In 1982,
legislation was enacted under the International Business Corporations
Act, with subsequent amendments in 1984 and 1985, to make Antigua and
Barbuda a choice jurisdiction for offshore banking. Operations under
this Act are controlled by the Ministry of Finance in Antigua.

While Antigua and Barbuda is probably best known as an up-market
destination for more discriminating tourists, its natural and
developed assets have also allowed it to emerge as an attractive
offshore business centre. The country is in a convenient time zone,
sharing the same time as New York, Toronto, Central and part of South
America, and falling five hours behind the UK and Europe in the summer
and four hours in the winter which allows international business to be
transacted easily within an appropriate time frame. Antigua’s
international airport is a major gateway for the Caribbean, serving
British Airways, US Air, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Air
Canada, BWIA and LIAT, with direct flights from New York, Miami,
Toronto and London. Its international telecommunications are
excellent, with direct access into the global stream of financial and
business data. Electronic funds transfer is readily accomplished,
providing same day value, and securities can be placed and executed
within 24 hours.

There is a prosperous English-speaking community, with a resident
population of 80,000. Its people are involved primarily in business
related to the tourism industry and in commerce. The country enjoys
the highest per-capita income in the Eastern Caribbean. First-rate
professional services are widely available, including banking, law,
accounting, and management resources.

International commercial banking has been conducted on Antigua for
many years. Offshore banking is more recent, having started in 1983.
Since that time the industry has grown rapidly. Working in co-
operation with the private sector, the Government has improved
Antigua’s offshore company and banking environment through the
introduction of new foreign residency, trust, and partnership

International Business Corporations Act of 1982

The prevailing offshore legislation provides for speedy formation of
international business corporations (IBCs) at very competitive
charges. The formation can be carried out by a locally registered
trust company or by an accountant or attorney. Formation can usually
be completed within 24 hours and full corporate and trust services are
available to both private and corporate investors including:

1. Registration and maintenance of corporate charters for offshore
2. Reception, management, and disbursement of the assets of offshore
3. Provision and maintenance of a registered office;
4. Maintenance of the company’s records and statutory register;
5. Preparation of all necessary corporate returns and reports to the
6. Provision of directors and officers on request;
7. Incorporation and management of offshore banks and captive
insurance companies; and
8. A full range of traditional trust services.

Some of the benefits provided to offshore companies formed under the
IBC Act include the full exemption of all direct taxes in respect of
any international trading, investment or commercial activity including
withholding taxes and stamp duties. For banking there is a 3% tax on
gross income (i.e. interest income and fees derived from the
operations and investments of the banking business minus interest
expense). No minimum capital is specified for an IBC and shares may
have a nominal or no par value. The transfer of the charter of an IBC
to a foreign jurisdiction, or vice versa, is explicitly permitted. The
board of directors of a corporation may consist of a single member. In
the case of banking, trust and insurance corporations, at least one
director must be a citizen and resident of Antigua and Barbuda.

Confidentiality Provisions

The IBC Act provides criminal penalties for any disclosure of the
business affairs of customers regarding banking or trust matters. The
only exception for the disclosure of information relates to sound
evidence regarding an alleged criminal offence that is triable in
Antigua (or which would have been triable, if it has been committed in

There are specific advantages for Canadian entities to form an IBC in
Antigua that generates an active business income, because dividends
paid out of income earned in Antigua are considered to be paid out of
exempt surplus. Antigua is one of the countries listed in the Canadian
Regulation 5907 (ii) which allows this arrangement. There are no tax
treaties with European countries, except in the case of the UK and
this is being updated through negotiations.

Incorporation Procedures

Every IBC must have a registered office and a resident agent in
Antigua. This function is regularly performed by the trust company or
by the professional who performed the incorporation process. The
resident agent is responsible for paying the annual government fees
and for keeping the company in good standing. The annual government
licence fee for an IBC is US$300; for an IBC licensed to carry on
international banking it is US$15,000 and for an IBC licensed to carry
on an international insurance business it is US$10,000.

Fees charged by trust companies or professionals for incorporation and
annual maintenance will vary, but fees for the formation of an IBC
without an international banking or insurance licence start at about US
$725, with an annual maintenance fee of US$350. Thus the total cost
for an IBC formation (including the government licence fee) is
typically US$975, with an annual maintenance fee of US$600. If the
applicant for an IBC wishes to have a registered agent serve as its
corporate director, an additional fee will be charged, between US$250
and US$1,000 for each director.

Incorporation and maintenance fees for an IBC with an international
banking or insurance licence are higher and may be related to the
level of required management services. Fees for trust management
services are also dependent on the nature and value of assets and the
required level of service.

Ship Registry

In 1985, Antigua enacted the Merchant Shipping Act, which further
expanded the facilities of its offshore centre. The designated port of
registry in St John’s, Antigua, is under the supervision of the
Registrar of Ships, Department of Marine Services and Merchant
Shipping. Registration can also be carried out in Germany by the
Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Department of Marine Services and
Merchant Shipping, Patentbusch No. 4, 26125 Oldenburg, Germany.

The procedures for ship registration or parallel (bareboat)
registration are efficient and can be organised through several of the
offshore operators. With the submission of required documentation, the
Department of Marine Services provides quick response. The
registration fees are competitive with other jurisdictions and are
transparent, with no hidden costs. No age is set for the acceptance of
ships for registration, but all ships over 499GRT must be in class.
The Department of Marine Services does not duplicate safety
inspections, but complements and controls the work of class societies.
Unlike some other registers, Antigua has no nationality requirements
for manning vessels. For more information please see the Antigua and
Barbuda international shipping register website at

Antigua and Barbuda’s Financial Sector

Establishing a Financial Institution

An international banking licence to an IBC is granted at the sole
discretion of the Supervisor of Banks and Trust Corporations. The
supervisor may revoke the licence at any time if, in his opinion, the
revocation is in the public’s interest. The minimum capital
requirement is currently five million US dollars or its equivalent in
another major currency. However, it is exempt from any exchange
control or foreign currency levy. IBC banks are required to appoint an
auditor and to file unaudited quarterly returns and annual audited
accounts with the Supervisor of Banks and Trust Corporations. The
accounts are provided in a consolidated form.

Internet Gaming

Internet gaming facilities are deemed to be financial institutions
under the law. They are regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory
Authority (FSRC), which gives the internet gaming operators a high
level of comfort in the jurisdiction and in the ability to conduct
business on a predictable basis. It is useful to take note of the
following points:

(a) A 3% tax is payable by operators on their “Net win” defined as
“the difference between the gross stakes laid and the winnings paid

(b) Operators are entitled to deduct software licensing or software
development costs from (a) above, capped at no more than 40% of the
Net win for all companies provided claims for the deduction of such
costs are accompanied by documentary support evidencing the costs.

(c) Operators are entitled to deduct charge backs on credit cards for
a period up to 18 months after the original charge was made provided
claims for the deduction of such charge backs are accompanied by
documentary support evidencing the original credit and the charge

(d) The 3% tax on Net Win and the deductibles, as described at (a),
(b) and (c) above, are fixed until 2006, after which they will be
subject to review by the Government and the representatives of the

(e) Operators are entitled to a maximum cap of US$50,000.00 per month
on taxes and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue would have no interest
in the books of entities that pay the full cap. However, such
operators are obliged to continue to maintain financial books and
records and to provide access by the Government through its authorised
agencies in the event of the need to examine such books and records in
accordance with the laws of the State particularly the Money
Laundering (Prevention) Act, the International Business Corporations
Act and the Proceeds from Crime Act and their amendments.

(f) The maximum cap of US$50,000.00 per month on taxes and the terms
and conditions described in (e) above would remain unchanged until
2004, after which they will be subject to review by the Government and
representatives of the Industry.

(g) Gaming Licence fees are US$75,000.00 per annum for those Operators
who maintain a primary server and operations in Antigua and Barbuda
and who pay the tax as described above.

(h) Wagering Licence fees are US$50,000.00 per annum for Operators who
maintain a primary server and operations in Antigua and Barbuda and
who pay the tax as described above.

The internet gaming industry benefits from high quality
telecommunication facilities provided by Cable and Wireless. The costs
of such telecommunications are highly competitive and are lower than
in the vast majority of jurisdictions which provide a home for
internet gaming.

Applications to operate Internet Gaming Entities should be directed

Financial Services Regulatory Commission, Division of Gaming
2nd Floor – West Wing, First Caribbean Financial Centre
Old Parham Road, P.O. Box 588
St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, West Indies
Tel: (268) 481 3300
Fax: (268) 481 3305
Email: Director: director [at] antiguagaming [dot] gov [dot] ag
General Information: info [at] antiguagaming [dot] gov [dot] ag

Insurance Licence

An internal insurance licence permits an IBC to engage in any
insurance business other than domestic insurance. The Superintendent
of International Insurance Corporations is empowered to revoke or
suspend the licence if its registration is deemed to be detrimental to
public interest. A stated capital of at least US$250,000 must be
maintained at all times. Annual audited accounts must be filed with
the Superintendent of International Insurance Corporations.

Trust Services

Trusts administered by Antigua and Barbuda trust companies are not
subject to any legislation imposing taxes on inheritance, profits,
income, or on any capital assets, gain or appreciation on any assets
or dividends, and interest paid out by an IBC as a trustee on behalf
of a non-resident of Antigua and Barbuda, for a period of 20 years
from the date of incorporation of the IBC.

Although there is no requirement that a trust instrument be recorded,
it may be recorded in the non-public records of the Director of
International Business Corporations who will issue a Certificate of
Recordation attached to the original of the trust instrument.

There is also no restriction on accumulations by trusts and the rule
of law known as the rule against perpetuities does not apply to any
property vested in a trust corporation. The minimum capital
requirement for a trust corporation is US$500,000. The IBC Act and
domestic laws governing trusts, based on the British Common Law, which
was adopted by Antigua as a colony and readopted after independence,
still apply to all international trusts.

Off Shore Banks and Companies

In 1982, the Government introduced the International Business
Corporations Act permitting off shore banking, insurance and trust
The benefits of the Act include:

* no control on exchange and freedom to operate bank accounts
* no minimum capital requirement
(except for
(i) banking where US$5 million is required together with the filing of
quarterly returns;
(ii) Trusts where a minimum capital requirement of US$500,000 and the
filing of quarterly returns; and
(iii) Insurance companies which must file annual reports and have a
reserve capital of US$250,000)
* The formation of an off shore company costs US$975 and is renewable
every year.


Antigua and Barbuda has paid serious attention to the various
initiatives by the G7 countries to ensure that the highest
international standards are applied to its financial services sector.

In 2000, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a body established by
the G7 as an ancillary entity of the Organisation for Cooperation in
Economic Development (OECD), declared Antigua and Barbuda to be fully
cooperative in the fight against money laundering. The FATF found
Antigua and Barbuda’s legislative regime and its regulatory and
enforcement machinery, developed and strengthened between 1999 and
2001, to be consistent with the highest international standards.

The offshore sector is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory
Commission (FSRC) whose Board of Directors is comprised of public
officials of high repute who are subject to severe penalties under the
law for any breaches of their fiduciary responsibilities. The staff of
FSRC is also governed by strict laws governing their behaviour.

The Supervisory Authority for money laundering and other financial
crimes is the Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering
Policy (ONDCP). ONDCP and IFSRA work closely together to ensure that
Antigua and Barbuda enjoys a good reputation in the international
banking community.

Antigua and Barbuda expects to join the OECD’s Global Tax Forum as a
full partner and will participate with OECD and other countries in
ensuring that tax practices across the globe are on a level playing
field and that the rights of persons and companies are fully respected
with regard to exchange of information on tax matters.


The original legislation governing the Antigua offshore jurisdiction
is the International Business Corporations (IBC) Act of 1982. Within
fifteen years the number of offshore banks registered in Antigua
exceeded seventy institutions. In 1998 the government of Antigua and
Barbuda undertook a major exercise to over-haul legislation for
banking and money laundering prevention. The task was challenging and
the closure of more than thirty offshore banks indicates the depth of
the major re-organisation that took place.

Offshore banks are still licensed under the original IBC Act, but
amendments to this Act as well as to the Money Laundering (Prevention)
Act (MLPA) in 1999, 2000 and 2001 have created a regulatory and
compliance environment equal to, or stronger, than most international
financial centres. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda received, the
support and cooperation of most of the private sector, which is
generally committed to meeting or surpassing the international
standards set for the Sector.

Regulatory Control

To focus regulation more closely, the Government established a
statutory authority in 1998, known as the International Financial
Sector Authority (IFSA) and charged it with responsibilities to
supervise and develop the sector. Concerns were later raised, however,
that the IFSA depended upon the private sector for assistance. In
response, the Government amended the legislation, to separate the
IFSA’s functions for supervision from any promotional activity. It
also provided for a new International Financial Sector Regulatory
Authority (IFSRA) that is fully independent of the private sector.

Know Your Customer

Entrenched in the amended IBC Act, are strong “know your customer”
requirements to govern the conduct of banks and their clients. No
anonymous accounts can be established. Each account application must
provide evidence of identity, place of residence and other current
banking relations. Also, customers cannot hide behind corporate veils.
Banks require disclosure of true beneficial ownership and the true
identity of directors and shareholders. It is the responsibility of
banks to know their customers, so that in the event the Supervisory
Authority requires information under the law, it can be made

Banking Secrecy

The confidentiality afforded to clients by banks will not provide a
safe harbour to criminals. In fact, subject to the provisions of the
Constitution, the provisions of the MLPA will stand as the governing
Act, notwithstanding any obligation to secrecy or other restriction
regarding the disclosure of information by any law or otherwise. Bank
clients need not to be concerned with this issue. It is only relevant
to those who are the subject of a criminal investigation involving the
offence of money laundering and when the Court in Antigua has, on
application by the competent Antiguan authority, ordered the
disclosure of information. In other words, the privacy of customers’
banking information remains fully confidential unless it can be
established in a Court of competent jurisdiction that a crime has been

No Cash Deposit

In April 1999, Antigua and Barbuda became the first, and possibly
only, jurisdiction to ban the acceptance of cash or bearer negotiable
instruments in any amounts. Antigua demonstrated its commitment to be
pro-active against money laundering. Given that money laundering
begins with the conversion of currency, and one of the concerns
expressed has been that anonymous and illicit funds can be returned to
their financial systems via correspondents for offshore banks, the
Antigua prohibition is a positive and innovative action. And, while it
does not prevent money laundering by other means of fund transfers,
such other means allow for full identification of the transaction

Transaction Record Keeping

The IBC Act as amended requires banks to maintain full details of all
transactions in relation to deposits and withdrawals, and to retain
the information obtained by the regulation for a period of five years.
As no offshore bank may serve as originator or recipient in the
transfer of funds on behalf of a person who is not an account holder,
all transactions should be easily traceable in the event of an enquiry
by the Supervisory Authority or from a correspondent bank.

Suspicious Activity Reports

In keeping with international standards, offshore financial
institutions are required under the MLPA as amended, to pay special
attention to all complex, unusual or large business transactions,
whether completed or not, and to all unusual patterns of transactions
and to insignificant but periodic transactions, which have no economic
or lawful purpose. On reasonable suspicion that a transaction could
institute or be related to money laundering, the bank is obligated to
promptly report the suspicious transaction to the Supervisory
Authority. The Act also requires banks to pay attention to relations
and transactions with persons, including business and other financial
institutions, from countries that have not adopted a comprehensive
anti-money laundering programme.

International Cooperation

In 1995, Antigua was amongst the first countries in the Caribbean
region to sign a maritime law enforcement counter drug agreement and
an updated extradition treaty with the US. Mutual Legal Assistance
Treaties in criminal matters were signed with both the US and the UK
in 1996. The jurisdiction is a member of the Caribbean Financial
Action Task Force (CFATF) and is in full compliance with all its
requirements. In March 2000, Antigua became the first country to sign
a commitment letter to the principals of the UN Offshore Forum (UNOF),
which confirmed government’s agreement to adhere to the UN’s minimum
performance standards relating to banking practices, transparency
rules and international cooperation.

The cooperation provided under these various agreements and treaties
is also supported under the MLPA. It allows for the Court or the
Competent authority in Antigua to cooperate with the Court or other
competent authority of another state, and to take appropriate measures
to provide assistance in matters concerning money-laundering offences,
provided the measures are in accordance with the MPLA and within the
limits of their respective legal systems. Assistance includes
providing original or certified copies of relevant documents and
records, save that no information related to a client account held by
a financial institution shall be disclosed unless the client is the
subject of a criminal investigation involving the offence of money
laundering and the Court has, on application by the competent
authority, ordered the disclosure of the information.

Antigua has successfully cooperated with the authorities of the United
States, the United Kingdom. Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and Ukraine
in enforcing the law against money laundering and drug traffickers.
The role of the authorities in Antigua has been publicly acknowledged
and praised by the governments of the US, Belgium, Canada and the

In the fiercely competitive environment of offshore centers, Antigua
has placed emphasis on ensuring that the reputation of its centre and
the quality of its regulation meets international standards. The
various steps taken to address the concerns of the international
community will benefit the offshore financial institutions and their
clients, as well as their correspondent relations with other banks.
Antigua has made the decision to remain a strong competitor in the
international financial market by maintaining a well-regulated sector
in which financial institutions are committed to providing a secure
environment for their clients, with full compliance to international

Antigua and Barbuda has comprehensive anti-money laundering
legislation in place. Below is a consolidated version of the anti-
money laundering Laws”

The Supervisory Authority for anti-money Laundering has issued
guidelines to banks and other financial institutions registered in
Antigua and Barbuda. Below are the guidelines.

High Commission for Antigua and Barbuda
2nd floor, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP
Tel: 020 7258 0070 Fax: 020 7258 7486

“We have an edge because we live near the airport.”

Kids in Guinea Study Under Airport Lamps
by Rukmini Callimachi

The sun has set in one of the world’s poorest nations and as the floodlights come on at G’bessi International Airport, the parking lot begins filling with children. The long stretch of pavement has the feel of a hushed library, each student sitting quietly, some moving their lips as their eyes traverse their French-language notes. It’s exam season in Guinea, ranked 160th out of 177 countries on the United Nations’ development index, and schoolchildren flock to the airport every night because it’s among the only places where they’ll always find the lights on. Groups of elementary and high school students begin heading to the airport at dusk, hoping to reserve a coveted spot under the oval light cast by one of a dozen lampposts in the parking lot. Some come from over an hour’s walk away. The lot is teeming with girls and boys by the time Air France Flight 767 rounds the Gulf of Guinea at an hour-and-a-half before midnight. They hardly look up from their notes as the Boeing jet begins its spiraling descent over the dark city, or as the newly arrived passengers come out, shoving luggage carts over the cracked pavement. “I used to study by candlelight at home but that hurt my eyes. So I prefer to come here. We’re used to it,” says 18-year-old Mohamed Sharif, who sat under the fluorescent beam memorizing notes on the terrain of Mongolia for the geography portion of his college entrance test.

Only about a fifth of Guinea’s 10 million people have access to electricity and even those that do experience frequent power cuts. With few families able to afford generators, students long ago discovered the airport. Parents require girls to be chaperoned to the airport by an older brother or a trusted male friend. Even young children are allowed to stay out late under the fluorescent bulbs, so long as they return in groups. “My parents don’t worry about me because they know I’m here to seek my future,” says 10-year-old Ali Mara, busy studying a diagram of the cephalothorax, the body of an insect. They sit by age group with 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds on a curb in a traffic island and teenagers on the concrete pilings flanking the national and international terminals. There are few cars to disturb their studies. Most are working on memorizing their notes, struggling to commit to memory entire paragraphs dictated by their teachers on the history of Marxism, or the unraveling of colonial Africa, or the geology of Siberia. Tests are largely feats of memorization, a relic from Guinea’s French colonial rulers. According to U.N. data, the average Guinean consumes 89 kilowatt-hours per year – the equivalent to keeping a 60-watt light bulb burning for two months – while the typical American burns up about 158 times that much. The students at the airport consider themselves lucky. Those living farther away study at gas stations and come home smelling of gasoline. Others sit on the curbs outside the homes of affluent families, picking up the crumbs of light falling out of their illuminated living rooms. “We have an edge because we live near the airport,” says 22-year-old Ismael Diallo, a university student.

It’s an edge in preparing for an exam in a country where unemployment is rampant, inflation has pushed the price of a large bag of rice to $30 and a typical government functionary earns around $60 a month. The lack of electricity is “a geological scandal,” says Michael McGovern, a political anthropologist at Yale University, quoting a phrase first used by a colonial administrator to describe Guinea’s untapped natural wealth. The Oregon-sized territory has rivers which if properly harnessed could electrify the region, McGovern says. It has gold, diamonds, iron and half the world’s reserves of bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminum. For 23 years, the former French colony has been under the grip of Lansana Conte, a reclusive and temperamental army general who grabbed the presidency in a 1984 coup. Suffering from a heart ailment, Conte has repeatedly traveled abroad for medical treatment. Mass demonstrations earlier this year called for his resignation because of his health and the deteriorating economy, but he instead declared martial law. Eighteen-year-old Ousman Conde admits that sitting on the concrete piling is not comfortable, but says passing his upcoming exam could open doors. “It hurts,” he says, looking up from his notes on Karl Marx for the politics portion of the test. “But we prefer this hurt to the hurt of not doing well in our exams.”




The Will to Power (German: “Der Wille zur Macht”) is a prominent concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.

The term first appeared in the posthumous fragment 23 [63] of 1876-1877, and has been read by Heidegger in relation to the Übermensch and the thought of eternal recurrence – although this reading itself has been criticized by Mazzino Montinari as a “macroscopic Nietzsche” [1]

The Will to Power is also the title of a work that Nietzsche planned to write, as well as the title given to a book of selections from his notebooks (or Nachlass). The first rendition of this collection was released with other unpublished writings in 1901, edited by Heinrich Köselitz, Ernst Horneffer, and August Horneffer, but under the pressure and influence of Nietzsche’s anti-Semitic sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. This version has been judged more than dubious[2], and later editions are considered more subtle in their presentation of Nietzsche’s intent.[citation needed] Walter Kaufmann’s English edition is divided into four major parts: “European Nihilism”, “Critique of the Highest Values Hitherto”, “Principles of a New Evaluation”, and “Discipline and Breeding”.

Mazzino Montinari and Giorgio Colli, who edited the complete edition of Nietzsche’s posthumous fragments from the manuscripts themselves, have called The Will to Power a “historic forgery” artificially assembled by Nietzsche’s sister and Peter Gast. Although Nietzsche had in 1886 announced (at the end of Beyond Good and Evil) a new work with the title, The Will to Power: Essay of a Transvaluation of all Values, this project was finally abandoned and its draft materials used to compose The Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist (both written in 1888).[3] The Will to Power, which Elisabeth Förster called Nietzsche’s unedited magnum opus, was in fact abandoned as a book by Nietzsche himself. Nevertheless, the concept remains, and has, since the reading of Karl Löwith, been identified as a key component of Nietzsche’s philosophy. So The Will to Power was not written by Nietzsche. But the concept of “will to power” is certainly in itself a major motif of Nietzsche’s philosophy, so much so that Heidegger, under Löwith’s influence, considered it to form, with the thought of the eternal recurrence, the basis of his thought.

The concept
The concept of the “will to power” in Nietzsche’s thought has had many interpretations, most notoriously its misappropriation by the Nazis, which amounts to its characterization as a “desire for and of power” (“power” here specifically denoting the more limited concept of “dominance”). Some Nazis (Alfred Bäumler, etc.) also upheld a biological interpretation of the Wille zur Macht, making it equivalent with some kind of social Darwinism, although Nietzsche explicitly criticized the latter in his works (For further information, see Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche#Nietzsche’s criticisms of anti-Semitism and nationalism.)

This misreading was criticized by Martin Heidegger himself in his 1930s courses on Nietzsche. By Wille zur Macht, Nietzsche did not have raw physical or political power in mind. He didn’t mean “Will to power”, but rather “will-to-power”: one particular and inedit concept, rather than the union of two different concepts, “will” and “power”. Opposed to a biological and voluntary conception of the Wille zur Macht, Heidegger and Deleuze both argued that the will to power and eternal recurrence are to be considered together. The concept must first be contrasted with Arthur Schopenhauer’s “will to live”: one must first of all take into account Nietzsche’s background and criticism of Schopenhauer.

Schopenhauer posited a “will to live,” in which living things were motivated by sustaining and developing their own lives. Nietzsche instead posited a will to power, a significant point of contrast to Schopenhauer’s ideation, in which living things are not just driven by the mere need to stay alive, but in fact by a greater need to wield and use power, to grow, to expend their strength, and, possibly, to subsume other “wills” in the process. Thus, Nietzsche regarded such a “will to live” as secondary to the primary “will to power”, and more generally there are varied manifestations of it, two prominent distinctions by Nietzsche are: a “life-denying” modality and a life-“enhancing” or -“affirming” one. Henceforth, he opposed himself to social Darwinism, as he contested the validity of the concept of “adaptation”, which he considered a narrow and weak “will to live”.[4]

Another particular standpoint of the will to power is that it is a process of expansion and venting of creative energy that Nietzsche argued was the underlying – the “most fundamental fact” – “inner” force of nature. “I do not speak to the weak: they want to obey and generally lapse into slavery quickly. In the face of merciless nature, let us still feel ourselves as merciless nature! But I have found strength where one does not look for it: in simple, mild, and pleasant people, without the least desire to rule-and, conversely, the desire to rule has often appeared to me a sign of inward weakness: they fear their own slave soul and shroud it in a royal cloak (in the end, they still become the slaves of their followers, their fame, etc.) The powerful natures dominate, it is a necessity, they need not lift one finger. Even if, during their lifetime, they bury themselves in a garden house!”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, Nachlass, Fall 1880 6[206]

This supplements his assertion that the fundamental causal power in the world (“cause” not in the sense of a kind of “initial cause”, but rather as the interplay of forces within the process of becoming itself, which does not lend itself to the “cause and effect” theory, for Nietzsche denied its ontological status as only useful for “describing events”), the driving force of all natural phenomena and the dynamic to which all other causal powers could be reduced. Indeed, the will to power can be understood anthropologically (as relates to others’ drives), but this view is also a part of a more all-inclusive perspective. That is, Nietzsche in part argued for the will to power as a merited idea providing the most elemental foundations for explanations of everything from whole societies, to individual organisms, down to mere lumps of matter.[citation needed]

Nietzsche perhaps developed the will to power concept furthest with regard to living organisms, and it is there that the concept is perhaps more inviting to understand by way of analogy. There the will to power is taken as an animal’s most fundamental instinct or drive, even more fundamental than the act of self-preservation; the latter is but an epiphenomenon of the former. According to Nietzsche, the will to power is the basic means through which “interpretation” or interaction with the world becomes, and, in this sense, the “world is the will to power — and nothing besides!”[5] “Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength – life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results.”

– trans. Walter Kaufmann, Beyond Good and Evil

The will to power is something like the desire to exert one’s will in self-overcoming, although this “willing” may be unconscious, for all things “desire to grow”. Indeed, it is unconscious in all non-human beings; it was the frustration of this will that initially caused man to become conscious. The philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto says that “aggression” is at least sometimes an approximate synonym. [citation needed] However, Nietzsche’s ideas of aggression are almost always meant as aggression toward oneself, as the energy a person motivates toward self-mastery. In any case, since the will to power is fundamental, any other drives are to be reduced to it; the “will to survive” (i.e. the survival instinct) that biologists (at least in Nietzsche’s day) thought to be fundamental, for example, was in this light a manifestation of the will to power. “My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (-its will to power) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement (“union”) with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on.”

– trans. Walter Kaufmann, The Will to Power, §636

Thus, rather than a conscious intention to ‘dominate over others,’ the “will to power” is better understood as the tenuous equilibrium in a system of forces’ relations to each other. While a rock, for instance, does not have a conscious (or unconscious) “will,” it nevertheless acts as a site of resistance within the “will to power” dynamic. Moreover, rather than ‘dominating over others’ (a misinterpretation by Deleuze et al.), “will to power” is more accurately positioned in relation to the subject (a mere synecdoche, both fictitious and necessary, for there is “no doer behind the deed,” [see On the Genealogy of Morals] and is an idea behind the statement words are “seductions”) within the process of self-mastery and self-overcoming. The “will to power” is thus a “cosmic” inner force acting in and through both animate and inanimate objects, but it may also take on many forms that could perhaps involve such mastery but in a “life-denying” modality. Not just instincts but also higher level behaviors (even in humans) were to be reduced to the will to power. In fact, Nietzsche considered consciousness itself to be a form of instinct. This includes both such apparently harmful acts as physical violence, lying, and domination, on one hand, and such apparently non-harmful acts as gift-giving, love, and praise on the other – though its manifestations can be altered significantly, such as through art and aesthetic experience. In Beyond Good and Evil, he claims that philosophers’ “will to truth” (i.e., their apparent desire to dispassionately seek objective, absolute truth) is actually nothing more than a manifestation of their will to power; this will can be life-affirming or a manifestation of nihilism, but it is the will to power all the same. “[Anything which] is a living and not a dying body… will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant – not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power… ‘Exploitation’… belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is
after all the will to life.”

– trans. Walter Kaufmann, Beyond Good and Evil, §259

As indicated above, the will to power is meant to explain more than just the behavior of an individual person or animal. It is not psychological, nor intentional or subjective. The will to power lends itself more to the view, though it be homogeneous in expression, its transformations are heterogeneous, based on the altering organizations of “quanta of power”.

The Will to Power manuscript
After returning from Paraguay, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche founded the Nietzsche-Archiv in Naumburg in 1894 (after Nietzsche’s mental breakdown), which she would later transfer to Weimar. The culmination of this organization was the publishing, in Leipzig between 1894 and 1926, of the Großoktavausgabe edition. It was first edited by C. G. Naumann, then by Kröner. In these 20 volumes, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche included part of Nietzsche’s posthumous fragments, which she gathered together and entitled The Will To Power. With Peter Gast, she claimed that Nietzsche had died before completing his magnum opus, which he allegedly wanted to name “The Will to Power, in Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values”. This compilation of Nietzsche’s posthumous fragments, selected and ordered under his sister’s authority, led to the book commonly known as The Will to Power. Until Colli & Montinari’s edition, this would form the basis for all successive editions, including the 1922 Musarion edition, often commonly used even today.

While researching materials for the Italian translation of Nietzsche’s complete works in the 1960s, philologists Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari decided to go to the Archives in Leipzig to work with the original documents. From their work emerged the first complete and chronological edition of Nietzsche’s posthumous fragments, which Förster-Nietzsche had cut up, mixed and paste together, according to her own antisemitic views (which were a bone of contention between her and Nietzsche himself). The complete works comprise 5,000 pages, compared to the 3,500 pages of the Großoktavausgabe. In 1964, during the International Colloquium on Nietzsche in Paris, Colli and Montinari met Karl Löwith, who would put them in contact with Heinz Wenzel, editor for Walter de Gruyter’s publishing house. Heinz Wenzel would buy the rights of the complete works of Colli and Montinari (33 volumes in German) after the French Gallimard edition and the Italian Adelphi editions.

Before Colli and Montinari’s philological work, the previous editions led readers to believe that Nietzsche had organized all his work toward a final structured opus called The Will to Power. In fact, if Nietzsche did consider producing such a book, he had abandoned such plans before his collapse. The title of The Will to Power, which appears for the first time at the end of the summer of 1885, was replaced by another plan at the end of August 1888. This new plan was titled “Project for a reversion of all values”, and ordered the multiple fragments in a completely different way than the one chosen by Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. In fact, according to Montinari, the earlier editions, which all depended on the Großoktavausgabe, are technically nonsense, as Nietzsche’s fragments were cut up in various places and ordered according to his sister’s will; and are a case of revisionism, as it was left to his sister to artificially combine Nietzsche’s fragments into a unified opus magnum (which very concept is alien to Nietzsche’s philosophy and style of writing), whose meaning was distorted according to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche’s anti-semitic and Germanist biases. Gilles Deleuze himself saluted Montinari’s work declaring: “As long as it was not possible for the most serious researcher to accede to the whole of Nietzsche’s manuscripts, we knew only in a loose way that the Will to Power did not exist as such (…) We wish only now that the new dawn brought on by this previously unpublished work will be the sign of a return to Nietzsche” [6] Not only did this critical philological work, a milestone in Nietzsche studies, prove case-by-case the distortions accomplished by Nietzsche’s sister on his posthumous fragments, it also called into question the very conception of a Nietzschean magnum opus, given his style of writing and thinking. [7]

1. ^ Mazzino Montinari, Friedrich Nietzsche (1974; transl. in German in 1991, Friedrich Nietzsche. Eine Einführung., Berlin-New York, De Gruyter; and in French, Friedrich Nietzsche, PUF, 2001, p.121 chapter “Nietzsche and the consequences”
2. ^ Martin Heidegger already criticized this unauthorized publishing in his 1930s courses on Nietzsche (see, for ex., beginning of Nietzsche II) (parts of which have been published under the name Nietzsche I (1936-1939), ed. B. Schillbach, 1996, XIV, 596p. and Nietzsche II (1939-1946), ed. B. Schillbach, 1997, VIII, 454p. – note that these publications are not the exact transcription of the 1930s courses, but were done post-war)
3. ^ See Mazzino Montinari, 1974.
4. ^ Barbara Stiegler, Nietzsche et la biologie, PUF, 2001. ISBN 2-13-050742-5
5. ^ The Will To Power, Kaufmann-Hollingdale trans., 1067
6. ^ Deleuze: “Tant qu’il ne fut pas possible aux chercheurs les plus sérieux d’accéder à l’ensemble des manuscrits de Nietzsche, on savait seulement de façon vague que La Volonté de puissance n’existait pas comme telle (…) Nous souhaitons que le jour nouveau, apporté par les inédits, soit celui du retour à Nietzsche in Mazzino Montinari and Paolo d’Iorio, “‘The Will to Power’ does not exist” Centro Montinari (Italian)
7. ^ Mazzino Montinari and Paolo d’Iorio, “‘The Will to Power’ does not exist” Centro Montinari (Italian)

From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]


“[Wikipedia-l] Dream a little…

Jimmy Wales
jwales at

Sun Oct 15 15:27:41 UTC 2006

I would like to gather from the community some examples of works you
would like to see made free, works that we are not doing a good job of
generating free replacements for, works that could in theory be
purchased and freed.

Dream big.  Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase
copyrights to be made available under a free license.  What would you
like to see purchased and released under a free license?

Photos libraries? textbooks? newspaper archives? Be bold, be specific,
be general, brainstorm, have fun with it.

I was recently asked this question by someone who is potentially in a
position to make this happen, and he wanted to know what we need, what
we dream of, that we can’t accomplish on our own, or that we would
expect to take a long time to accomplish on our own.”


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