(Subjectright Transmitient's disAgreement)

Subjectright Terms and Conditions of Use

Copyleft, right, and center (c) 1998-2001 Steve Mann
Verbatim copying of this document is permitted, in any medium.


Material sent to you without your permission (advertising, bulk mailings, ``spam'', and other forms of Informatic Pollution) constitutes a theft of your solitude, as well as a theft of resources required to receive it, process it, and possibly store it. (You may need to store it for use as evidence in a prosecution or for later scientific analysis, for satire and social commentary, or for other forms of scholarly discourse, etc.)

It is true that part of everyday communication involves receiving input from other individuals, which also requires processing (thought or computation), storage (memory, etc.) and we usually accept this use of resources as part of our everyday communications. But when you are exposed to mass mailings, or other forms of bulk distributed content without your consent, the resulting cost to you and to others (society as a whole) is amplified. For example, mass mailings sent to millions of recipients consume a great deal of thought, computation, expenditure of mental energy, processing resources, etc..

With the advent of newer technologies, the cost of bulk distribution channels has fallen dramatically, and at the same time, more and more new ways of exposing large numbers of people to unsolicited informatic content are being devised. From unsolicited electronic mail, to billboards and advertisements crammed into nearly every imaginable space, we are being surrounded by more and more Informatic Pollution. Even in private places, such a restrooms stalls, where one might have once been in solitude, you may now find yourself exposed to Informatic Pollution. Informatic Pollution affects not just your sense of sight (from your computer screen, or from billboards) but also extends across all the senses (as unsolicited audio files sent to your computer speakers, as elevator music foisted upon you without your consent, or as or other forms of radiation or experimentation you are subjected to without your consent, and sometimes even without your knowledge).

This Informatic Pollution takes resources (thought and mental energy or computational resources, or memory and storage resources) from you without your permission. When something is taken without permission we call the act THEFT. Thus Informatic Pollution is THEFT, plain and simple!

Because there is a clear financial benefit to the perpetrators of this theft, it continues to grow, and will continue to expand in new ways, unless, or until it reaches equilibrium by meeting an equal and opposite force.

This financial benefit to the perpetrators may even come at the expense of your safety and well being. For example, deliberately distracting visual detritus such as an advertisment colored red, and in the shape of an octagon for placement at the side of a road, is the visual equivalent of yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, in order to get everyone's attention so that you can then tell them that you have a new product for sale.

Exposure to content gives rise to a permanent modification of the brain. Learning gives rise to a permanent change in the brain (e.g. you might never be able to forget a certain joke, or maybe there's a song going around and around in your head). This permanent change may be regarded as damage, especially if it was a change that you did not want made to your brain.

Just like unwanted body modification (branding or scarification), unwanted brain modification may be regarded as ``damage'', and perhaps you can take legal action to sue for damages, and maybe even be awarded damages.

At the very least, exposure to informatic content may cause dependency, e.g. it may cause you to learn a new song, learn how to use a new computer program, or a new way of thinking. Not all of this is bad, but when it is done without your permission you should be entitled to certain rights, the very least of which is a right to tell others about your experience (e.g. perhaps to sing or reproduce that song going around and around in your head, or to apply the scientific method to reverse engineer a computer program you were subjected to, so that you can try to understand how it works, and teach others how it actually works, possibly so that others can circumvent the unwanted effects the Informatic Pollultion is having on them).

Sometimes corrupting our educational system, perpetrators of Informatic Pollution infiltrate our educational institutes, to place advertisements and other ``branding'' into student spaces, or to place computer programs and other corporate promotions into curricula.

Such infiltration is often disguised as a ``donation'' (e.g. a software donation, or the donation of a ``gym board'' display case with some advertisement already built into it.) Infection of your mind by such trojan horse tactics, is done in much the same way as drug dealers develop dependency by offering you the first few drug trips for free.

Once the damage is done, you learn to think in a certain way: you develop skills that are tied to specific computer programs that are ``free'' at your school but not freely available to you outside your school environment.

Since it is much harder to unlearn something than it is to learn something (hence the above brain damage metaphor), it is quite possible that it could also be much harder for you to learn a freely available new program once you have already been conditioned to think in the ways of the proprietary computer programs ``donated'' to your school.

Consider a physical analogy: your school (or employer) performs an eye eye lens implant surgery on you (or lends you special eyeglasses) so that you can read. Suppose that eyeglasses cause permanent changes to your body (eventually wear down your nose bridge forming a permanent scar, into which the glasses fit perfectly, but so that other eyeglasses won't fit quite perfectly anymore). The eyeglasses fit you perfectly because they've worn you down and you've worn them down, just like an old key often wears with the lock and the two fit each other perfectly. But when you graduate, you are told that you must start paying a license fee if you want to keep using the eyeglases (or if you want keep your eye lens that was surgically implanted).

This is a form of theft because the provider of the input materials to which you were subjected deliberately created in you a dependency for that material, knowing full well that you would later need to either pay for it or ``unlearn'' it. The perpetrator of this theft may also have known full well that it is almost impossible to unlearn something, such as a dependency on a certain computer program or operating system.

As partial compensation for the brain damage you are subjected to, by being taught to become dependent on something you might not have wanted to become dependent upon, you should, at the very least, be able to copy any programs you are exposed to, for your own use at home, etc., or for scientific analysis (reverse engineering) so that you can better understand your dependency. Understanding your dependency may help you mitigate this dependency, or help you kick the habit altogether. For example, you might be able to reverse engineer the computer program and then write your own computer program that does the same thing. The Terms and Conditions of Use help you assert rights to such partial compensation.

The idea of Subjectright Terms and Conditions of Use agreement is to set forth the Terms and Conditions under which you can (or can't) be used by the perpetrators of Informatic Pollution.

Moreover, to the extent that Informatic Pollution may be harmful, cause harm, whether short term, or longer term, real or perceived, these Terms and Conditions of Use, although not setting forth the parameters of permissable exposure levels, attempt to forth some of the parameters of what you may do with Informatic Pollution transmited to you.

You can use the following Subjectright Terms and Conditions of Use, by notifying others that these are your Terms and Conditions of Use. You can put a link to these terms and conditions of use (href=http://wearcam.org/subjectrights_transmitient_agreement.htm) in your email SIGnature file, in your email finger .plan file, etc., so that those sending you email could (if they so chose to) be aware of these Terms and Conditions of Use (not that a mass mailer sending a million emails is going to read each person's finger file). You might also want to have your educational institute agree to these Terms and Conditions of Use.

Subjectright Terms and Conditions of Use

In what follows, from here onwards, ``you'' now refers to the person or organization sending the Informatic Pollution (hereafter referred to as Transmitient).

By using me, you (Transmitient) agree to the following Terms and Conditions of Use. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions of Use, do not use me.

By exposing me to any unsolicited informatic content or any other form of sensory input, electromagnetic radiation, sound pressure levels, data, or other forms of input now known, or invented in the future, (hereafter referred to as Input) you agree to the following Terms and Conditions of Use. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions of Use, do not expose me to your Input.

  1. I may capture, record, store, recall, and process Input in any manner I choose.
  2. I may capture, record, store, and at any time I choose, recall as an exhibit, display, playback, publish, or disclose Input for purposes of prosecuting you for theft of solitude, theft of computational resources, or for any other purpose I may invent now or in the future.
  3. You grant me permission to use Input for satire, scholarly discourse, scientific analysis, or any other purpose now known, or invented in the future.
  4. You assign to me a nonexclusive worldwide right to use Input in any manner I may choose.
  5. You assume liability for any damage the Input may cause me.