grooveshark

Grooveshark Streaming Site Dies, Apologizes

I fought the law and the law won. Grooveshark, announcing the April 30th shutdown of their streaming music service: We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation. They go on to concede that hundreds of other services provide the same ability to listen to music without violating the ownership of music. And they’ve lost everything, from patents to the site itself.

READ MORE →
blurredlines

Robin Thicke Judgment: The Day Copyright Law Died, Again [Opinion]

You may not like the song “Blurred Lines” much. But if you find that tune grating, you may find the inability of US copyright law to differentiate degrees of copying even more painful. Here’s the latest strangeness. When we last joined the American courts finding extreme interpretations of copyright, an appeals court decided to blow away the de minimis doctrine for sampling. That’s “de minimis” (Latin), as in “size matters not” (um… Yoda). The idea was, there was no need to measure the significance or size of a sample in the N.W.A. song “100 Miles and Runnin’.” The court helpfully …

READ MORE →
IMG_0011

Two Pacemaker – Spotify Screenshots That Show For Serious DJing, Downloads Are Here to Stay

Sometimes, images say it all. Pictured below is what happens when you try to use Pacemaker’s Spotify functionality on the iPad without an Internet connection. Tracks simply don’t play at all. Even though Spotify Premium users have offline access to their tracks when listening one at a time, you won’t be able to DJ that way any time soon. Above, you’ll see that you can’t record mixes even with an Internet connection if you try to use a Spotify song. But given how many small, boutique labels and independent artists rely on enthusiast DJs to care enough to download their …

READ MORE →

On Behringer’s Track Record, “Value,” and “Copies”

Photo (CC) sleepydisco aka David Wood. In pointing out Behringer’s clone of Apple’s homepage, I may have left some things unclear. I was honestly surprised to find a number of people rushing to Behringer’s defense. I wasn’t trying to score cheap and easy points against the brand, but while venting frustration, I may have underestimated the response of people who own Behringer gear. If you do, and it’s working for you, as always – that’s a good thing. The conversation got me excited, and I stepped into the comment fray. I shouldn’t have in this case, and unless asked to, …

READ MORE →

Behringer’s Latest Rip-Off Job: Apple.com

  Look out: Behringer, already a notorious rip-off artist, is taking the “first step in [the] company’s reinvention of online presence.” I shudder to think what the coming steps will look like. But yes, the new site looks a wee bit familiar. It actually gets worse as you dig into the layout. In fairness, for over a decade now, Apple’s site has perhaps the most ripped-off Website design on the Internet. But then, Behringer is special. Back when the blog Music Thing was publishing, it was able to do an annual series on cloned Mackie and Roland/BOSS gear, some down …

READ MORE →

Harvard Students Defend Privacy Against RIAA; Industry Pushing Campus Licenses?

Reflecting Harvard: a bike passes through Cambridge. Photo (CC) sandcastlematt. Music DRM may be a thing of the past, online sales may be growing, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. record industry has missed a beat in its ongoing legal and lobbying campaign against music piracy online. The latest battle starts today in Rhode Island federal court. The difference this time: the RIAA and record companies will have to face a Harvard Law prof and his students. Prof. Charles Nesson and his team allege the industry is abusing the court system, unfairly making “examples” out of the people they’re suing, …

READ MORE →

All Fruity, No Loops: FL Studio to Remove All Melodic Samples; Murky License, Content

Deadmau5 roars, and FL drops all melodic content? Hey, whatever – FL users stay loyal to their app and it’s now BYO sample time. Photo (CC) iamdonte. The FL Studio community was rocked earlier this month as producer Deadmau5 claimed the use of his samples was “stealing,” even though these samples were bundled with the software and assumed by most to be licensed royalty-free. FL Studio developer Image-Line has not responded to a CDM request for comment, but they did talk to MusicRadar.com. Managing Director Jean-Marie Cannie told that site: We’ll remove all melodic loops from FL Studio to avoid …

READ MORE →

Calling Samplers, Sharers: Creative Commons Now in SoundCloud

SoundCloud, the music and sound sharing service we saw launch this month has added a very important feature: support for different licenses. When you upload tracks, you can elect to protect your work with a conventional copyright or opt instead for a Creative Commons license. That’s an important feature I’d like to see all these services support. The one thing Creative Commons and conventional copyright advocates agree on is that being explicit about what rights you want to your work is essential. Naturally, this means not only that you can upload works, but that SoundCloud could soon become a rich …

READ MORE →

Fair Use, Public Domain, Creative Commons Explained in Videos, Tool

When is it legally permissible to sample and reuse content? What’s in the public domain? And what is this Creative Commons thing about? These questions are perpetually important to anyone in digital media, but there have been a number of resources I’ve come across just in the last few days that may be friendly to those curious about these questions. Fair Use Seesmic, the video community, has started a discussion with LA-based entertainment lawyer Michael Donaldson about copyright and the oft-misunderstood Fair Use provisions of US copyright law. Here’s a teaser video; follow through and the Seesmic community asks questions …

READ MORE →

DRM Lessons: MSN Music Restores Authorizations Through 2011

Let this be a lesson to you, purveyors of online music. If you do DRM-lock digital music, be prepared to continue to support it well into the future, lest users rebel. Microsoft announced earlier this year that its MSN Music service, defunct now for some time and never terribly popular, would cease to function as of August 31, 2008. This would mean that people who bought tracks from MSN Music would no longer be able to authorize files to play on new PCs and devices. The only workaround: burn to CD and re-rip. Even on a relatively unsuccessful service, though, …

READ MORE →