ASCAP Attacks Creative Commons, Advocacy Groups as Anti-Copyright, Anti-Artist

Vintage image (CC-BY-SA) Ioan Sameli, as licensed by us pinko commies at CDM. An ASCAP legislative fundraising letter revealed last week that the American performing rights organization is invoking fears of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Creative Commons in order to raise money. ASCAP appears to be repeating, now in the more heated language of fundraising, arguments it has had with the Creative Commons license in the past. For its part, Creative Commons insists most of its licenses don’t preclude performing rights bodies like ASCAP from collecting funds. In the letter, sent on behalf of ASCAP’s Political Action …

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Worldwide Busking Event Turns Street Music into School-Building Power for Zambia

Could busking – street music performance – be a tool for social change? It’s an idea I’ve heard artists mull before. Here’s one opportunity to do just that next month, in April, in support of building badly-needed school facilities in southern Zambia. And yes, digital musicians can participate, thanks to terrific, affordable, battery-powered amplification. I do hope this could launch a discussion, though, on how to organize this kind of action, and how to make busking work for good. Ben Matthews, founder of the charity, writes: LearnAsOne,a UK-based charity dedicated to funding schools in Africa, announces the launch of its …

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Pirating a Fundraising Album for an Italian Quake – Really?

Ligabue, one of the contributing artists, live in Berlin. Photo (CC) Matthias Muehlbradt. Sure, many issues around intellectual property are gray. But contributor Jo Ardalan has a disturbing story: what happens when a fundraising album gets pirated? Did illegal file sharing users know what they were doing — is there a need for a donation mechanism for these services — or is it really this bad? Apologies if this is old news – catching up during travel – but a question well worth considering. -Ed. We all know piracy forces labels, artists and developers to incur a huge cost. Recently, …

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Volume Wars: Dynamic Range Strikes Back with Campaign, Plug-in

Photo: Orin Zebest. Are you sick of the death of dynamic range? Are you mad as hell at squashed audio that means to be “loud” and only wind up with the actual sounds smooshed out? Alternatively, are you guilty of some detail-squishing dynamic abuse yourself? A campaign is on to get the dynamic war out of comment threads and forums and onto the streets. Taking a positive tack, the Pleasurize Music Foundation isn’t simply attacking overcompression and dynamic distortion: they’re suggesting an alternative path, in which restored dynamic ranges bring back joy to your life. There are opportunities to sign …

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Most Samples Ever: German Art Makes Song with 70,200 Samples, Using Pd

Reason number 3,174 why I love Germany: it’s the one nation that has both arcane governmental procedures and the avant-garde musicians to turn them into protest art — with the chops in Pure Data (Max’s open source cousin) to squeeze 70,000+ samples into a tiny space. Song registration requires citing each sample? No problem — unless you’re an overzealous Pd user. Meet Johannes Kreidler and his work “Product Placement” product placements (2008) music piece / performance (“music theater”) 70,200 samples in 33 seconds: nightmare for GERMAN RIAA If you want to register a song at GEMA (RIAA, ASCAP of Germany) …

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XLR8R vs. Daedelus Video: On Musical Influence, Monome pr0n, Obama

XLR8R TV Episode 71: Daedelus from XLR8RTV on Vimeo. XLR8RTV has a fantastic video interview with one of my favorite artists, Daedelus. The man is, as always, like pure musical joy. He talks about his musical influences, the early connections he made (including at USC, alma mater of a number of the CDM community), his approach to live performance, the virally-popular open source monome controller, and, yes, that pro-Obama song. (The original lyrics were catchier.) The monome connection is an interesting case in music technology. Daedelus was the first artist to gig regularly with the device, possibly helping both him …

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Re-imagining Pirate Radio Broadcasting with P2P

P2P Radio from robertanderson on Vimeo. Could meshes of data help the creation of new, international radio broadcasting and receiving mechanisms – even in rural areas? Artist Juan Esteban Rios proposes a design to do that. It’s not just a software concept; a hardware design would make the idea accessible even to people who don’t own or know how to use computers. It seems a powerful idea for musicians, as well, particularly if it helped eliminate the need for dedicated streaming servers. (There may be others who are more familiar with P2P broadcasting technology out there; if so, I’d love …

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Audiovisual Remix as Politics, and Psychedelic America with David Last and Brian Kane

We hear a lot about remix culture, but what does it actually mean – and does it mean anything? The founders of RemixAmerica.com hope to promote video mash-up as political discourse, by feeding Web denizens clips historical and new and remix, videocasting, and discussion tools. They’re lucky enough to have Sanford and Son and People for the American Way pioneer Norman Lear at their helm, too. We’ve got the story over on Create Digital Motion: A New Online Community Focuses on Political Video Mashing; Here’s America Gone Psychedelic I do want to point specifically to the video from Emergency Broadcast …

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More from Mutek: Tech and Gear Spottings, Ecology and the Planet

Liz and Peter Dines continue to send dispatches from the epic MUTEK festival in Montreal. Stay tuned to our events.createdigitalmusic.com page for the latest. Among the new reports: various Reaktor spottings among artists, insane turntable abuse, and even a discussion of how arts events can reduce their impact on the planet. (Oddly enough, that last panel evidently included Dan Seligman, with whom I worked at the Sierra Club on international trade and human rights issues in another life of mine.) Check out the ongoing MUTEK coverage while we wait for Liz and Peter to finish off their stack of interviews …

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