Saturday, March 28, 2009

Uro:Spredere at The Gathering

As some may know the documentary movie "Uro:Spredere", a movie about the file-sharing war, will have it's premier at The Gathering which will open it's doors in under two weeks. Yesterday it was shown as a pre-premier and they had a debate after it was shown. A representative of the music industry, Christer Falch, who is a renowned record producer in Norway showed his thoughts of the case with enthusiasms which you can read in this article (Norwegian).

Here is some of his quotes translated:

"I am sick and tired of working for free"
"We consider from record to record if we are going to bother making and releasing it"
"Filesharers are a bunch of technological freaks which who listen to trance"

This is probably how most of the music business feels these days but from my view it is only the corporate side and not the musicians themselves that have this view of the case.

A while ago the Norwegian hardware news-site had internet meetings with the producers of Uro:Spredere and EFN which is a organization that works for the Norwegian citizen's rights on the internet. You can find the EFN Q&A here and the Uro:Spredere Q&A here (Norwegian).

With this debate going on in at it's fullest now and the premier of the movie being shown at The Gathering it will be exiting to see if the documentary will get the file-sharing case to move from it's standstill with a good debate between the attendants of The Gathering, politicians, the makers of the documentary, representatives from the music industry and more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

LAN – The Gathering 2009

In just two weeks Norway’s biggest LAN gathering is going to start. On the 8th of April they open their doors at Vikingskipet in Hamar to their 5000+ participants. Personally I have been there five times and this will be my sixth and I look forward to what they have to offer this year. Every year they overcome their previous year when it comes to organizing, participant care, hardware & network functionality and entertainment. Since last year was a really good year I am excited to how they are going to overcome their selves this year.

To be honest I was a bit afraid that we would not going to have any “The Gathering” this year and the reason to that was this. The article is not translated but this is the result of the tax/vat case that happened last year. When The Gathering was holding its yearly LAN event last year they got the news that they had to pay VAT for every participant because the Norwegian government did not see The Gathering as a cultural event. After a lot of back and forth with the case and the protest march of two and a half thousand computer enthusiasts through Hamar city last year during The Gathering, they won their case at last and became VAT free. I marched in the cold snowy weather that day as well and I am proud of the other participants which were willing to sacrifice some of their time to help with a big case like this.

Here is a highly detailed panorama picture from the protest march.

So now that The Gathering is on its way and coming fast you may ask, “Why participate?”

There are several reasons a person would go to a big gathering like this:

  • Gaming: The gaming part of a LAN is vastly superior to the other categories but it is not the only thing a person would participate the gathering for.
  • Competitions: This category applies to multiple sub-categories. At “The Gathering” there are several types of competitions and here is a few: Game Development, Software Programming, Graphical and movie making is but a few of the many competitions held at “The Gathering”.
  • Prizes: Some “hardcore” gamers would participate because of the big prizes that “The Gathering” has to offer in some of the competitions. As well would the elite from the some of the other categories I mentioned.
  • Socialize: Many would not think this but LANs like these are very good places to socialize with other members of the same kind of community that you represent. Many people also seek to learn from other types of communities that are represented here.
  • Learning: This is possibly not the most common activity at “The Gathering” but several times a day there is held courses for many types of activities. Examples for this are the C++ and Java scripting courses they have had earlier.
As you can see there are many things to do at “The Gathering” and you will always have something to do if you want to. They often have scene shows with loads of entertainment, there are many different and interesting stands around in the ship and they have a movie theatre which shows movies regularly.

Hope this gives people some insight of what The Gathering is and that people are as exited to get there as I am. Later I will write more about this great event and when I attend it I will try to show you how it unfolds.

The Gathering 2009 Website
The Gathering 2008 Website
News Article on