(World Subjectrights Day: December 24th, is a
worldwide day of protest against video surveillance.)
Pervasive computing and ubiquitous surveillance have reached into
nearly all facets of our daily lives.
Identification cards are required
for more and more things, and often pictures taken for the ID cards are
warehoused for sale in large databases without our knowledge or consent.
Sheraton Hotel's management (Boston) recorded video of workers as they changed
clothes in the company locker room.
They alleged that they suspected employee drug use.
Surveillance cameras and automated imaging systems,
are being made in ever smaller packages, with increasing automation.
Thus it is getting easier and easier to capture image content
without the need of a skilled photographer or system operator.
The failure of leglislation
(e.g. a U.S. Senate bill requiring employers to inform workers about cameras
in bathrooms or locker rooms was attacked Congress and
the business community)
and the failure of various privacy initiatives, suggest a new approach
Although traditional beliefs in
freedom of expression and privacy are important concepts,
the new fundamental concept introduced by World Subjectright Foundation is
Subjectrights (see some
rough notes on various writings related to
subjectrights) which pertains to ownership of data by the subject
depicted or described by the data.
EXISTech Corporation's satire on the
concept of ``privacy'' (e.g. exposing ``privacy''
as a weak and ineffectual concept).
See also, the GAS STOVE ANALOGY
to better understand the point being
made by the above satire on the concept of ``privacy''.
Two kinds of Subjectrights
Subjectright (S) is distinct from Copyright (C).
Subjectright pertains to ownership of data by the subject
depicted or described by the data. In this context, Subjectright
protects and defends that which privacy has failed to protect and defend.
However, there is also another kind of subjectright, to address the broader
(though previously ineffectual) notion of privacy as the ``right to be
left alone'' and to make an important distinction that otherwise conflates
two disparate but important concepts.
(See an essay
on problems with privacy as a concept, especially when we acquiesce to having
our data stolen and only constrain how it is used.)
There are two distinct kinds of Subjectrights:
- Subjectright Privacy, which protects Subjectright outbound data,
by establishing ownership (in Humanistic Property)
by the person depicted in or by the outbound data;
- Subjectright Solitude, which protects from unsolicited inbound data.
Subjectrights are licensed through two distinct kinds of Subjectright
- Recipient Subjectrights Agreement: Recipients of Subjectright data
agree that said data is owned by the person depicted in or by the data.
- Transmitient Subjectrights Agreement: Transmitients agree that
subjecting someone to informatic material is not their right, but,
rather, something that requires permission of the recipient.
Moreover, Transmitients agree that deliberately (e.g. not including
Subjectright Privacy) subjecting recipients to
any subject matter constitutes an assignment of any rights in said
subject matter to the Recipient.
Implementation of Subjectrights
Here are some links to Subjectrights resources you can use in order to
put Subjectrights philosophy into direct immedate action:
To declare a picture of yourself as Subjectright (denoted as
circle S, or ``S'' in parentheses), insert a designation of the form:
Subjectright (S) by __________ (insert your name as name of the
person appearing in picture). You can
take a look at examples of articles containing material protected by
Taming the monster with a piece of itself
The original methodology in defending subjectrights has been
to use algorithmic control (e.g. to become a machine) in order to defend
against algorithmically controlled people (e.g. clerks).
Why the word THEFT is used so much in Subjectrights
Opinion piece: surveillance is theft
See an article on this topic, e.g.
it has been asked why we more moderate terminology is not used,
to which a reply was given.
What is Subjectright (S)?
- self ownership of body... (e.g. your own corporeal property).
- distinct from copyright: performance versus captured creation
in tangible media
- subject rights versus object rights
- right to access material about yourself (e.g. rights in
articles written about you by others, or rights in data about
you collected by others)
How to join World Subjectrights Foundation
In addition to being a scholarly pursuit, World Subjectrights Foundation
is also a practical organization. Membership is free of cost
but requires participation in the general
spirit of World Subjectrights Foundation's goals.
(People are also needed to
help with Subjectrights initiatives.)
Membership is by invitation. Basically you show why you feel you've
helped to expand the concept of Subjectrights by asserting such rights,
for consideration on being adding to the free membership list.
Here are some possible ideas:
- If you're obtaining a photo ID card, help prevent theft of your
own likeness by requiring the photographer to sign the
Humanistic Property License Agreement (HPLA).
If you obtain one of two possible successful outcomes:
then send us a short letter outlining your success story,
along with materials such as a copy of
the HPLA signed by the photographer, or a copy of the policy
requiring a picture on the
ID card, along with the picture-free ID
- photographer agrees to the HPLA (e.g. agrees not to
steal Humanistic Property, and to delete his or her
copies of the picture so that the only copy in existence
is the ID card itself);
- photographer provides ID card with no picture,
when policy otherwise requires a picture on every ID card
(e.g. your effort at imposing policy on someone else's
policy causes it to be changed),
- Declare a work Subjectright (S). For example, you might place
a picture of yourself on your WWW page, and, rather than using
Copyright (C), you might choose to
use the circle S, or ``S'' in parentheses), of the form:
Subjectright (S) by __________ (inserting your name).
- Appear in a newspaper, magazine, on television, or other
similar media, in which you are asked to sign a
model release or appearance release, and then convince
the media representatives to agree to a
subjectrights agreement instead.
For this purpose, you may wish to bring a copy of the
- Require your doctor or health care provider to
refrain from theft of your medical records, by having your
doctor or health care provider sign a
Subjectrights Medical Data Privacy Agreement
- Fight the fingerprint: subvert or avoid being fingerprinted.
Fingerprinting is for criminals.
(There's already a
good website on fighting the fingerprint.)
- Photograph a customs official, security guard, police photographer,
gambling casino owner, or similar person, who is violating your
privacy by taking pictures of you without your permission (See
for some ideas in this regard).
- Contribute your skills to assist in the building of a
for use in documenting
human rights violations, war crimes, or police brutality.
In addition to simply spreading the concept of Subjectrights through
usage and continual assertion of these rights, there are some specific
benefits of joining World Subjectrights Foundation.
Why the word "Subject"?
The word "Subject" calls to mind many things that pertain to these ideas:
Etymology: from Latin subjectus one under authority... past participle of
subicere to subject, literally, to throw under, from sub- + jacere to throw
Date: 14th century
1 : one that is placed under authority or control: as a : VASSAL b (1) :
one subject to a monarch and governed by the monarch's law (2) : one who
lives in the territory of, enjoys the protection of, and owes allegiance
to a sovereign power or state
synonym see CITIZEN
Date: 14th century
1 : owing obedience or allegiance to the power or dominion of another
Date: 14th century
1 a : to bring under control or dominion : SUBJUGATE b : to make (as oneself)
amenable to the discipline and control of a superior
3 : to cause or force to undergo or endure (something unpleasant,
inconvenient, or trying)
- sub.jec.tion /s&b-'jek-sh&n/ noun
Main Entry: short subject
- We find ourselves more and more the
"subject matter" of a photograph, e.g. the subject of the picture,
or the subject matter of a video or other image capture;
- Wheter a loyal subject of the state authority, or an unwilling
subject of a dictator, we are often subjected to the scrutiny
of the carceral state or surveillance society.
Why all this writing looks like a legal document
Essentially society tells us that
the activist has 3 choices: take no action; take legal action; or take illegal
action. Therefore if you're active, you must be one of either a lawyer, or a
Audio video comparison:
A photographer and an audiographer both record a live musician playing.
For some strange reason, the photographer has the rights in the pictures,
whereas the subject (the musician) has the rights in the sound.
What is needed is a harmonization of media (audio, video, etc.).
Self ownership or ownership by others:
Function: noun plural
Etymology: Middle English catel, from Old North French, personal property,
from Medieval Latin capitale, from Latin, neuter of capitalis of the head --
more at CAPITAL
Date: 14th century
1 : domesticated quadrupeds held as property or raised for use; specifically:
bovine animals on a farm or ranch
2 : human beings especially en masse
Etymology: Middle English chatel property, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin capitale -- more at CATTLE
Date: 14th century
Dr. S. Mann,
Assistant Mailroom Clerk,
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