soundcloudhq

As PRS battles SoundCloud, what does it mean for your own music?

PRS for Music, a UK performing rights organization, at the end of last month sued SoundCloud for copyright infringement on behalf of its members. The action may prove a decisive moment for the Berlin-based streaming service. It represents a collision between SoundCloud’s approach and the organizations involved in administering copyright, and more broadly, between the conventional models for sharing and monetizing music and those evolving on the Internet. I spoke to representatives from PRS and SoundCloud to try to get greater clarity. Those responses were naturally a bit guarded, as the two are actively engaged in legal action. However, there’s …

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 →
wtf

Opinion: US Internet Censorship Could Cripple Online Music Web; Where to Find Out More, Where to Act

If you haven’t been following the (excellent) coverage elsewhere, just how bad is the “Firewall of the United States,” the draconian Internet dystopia misguided legislation in the US proposes to create? That legislation is so vague, so far-reaching, so poorly-designed, that it potentially threatens all kinds of sites musicians regularly use. And little wonder: a backwards legislation process in the US has locked out the very Internet and tech companies that have until now been glimmers of hope in a stagnant US economy. The crux of this issue is the impact on legal sites, and democracy and speech online. For …

READ MORE →
soundplane_blanks

A Glimpse of the Soundplane Controller, Innovative Tactile Multi-Touch, in the Lab; Call to Action

Alder Soundplane prototype with blanks of reclaimed redwood and Doug Fir. Photo by Randy Jones; used by permission. On tablets, on displays, multi-touch control these days is calibrated largely as a software interface – more Starship Enterprise panel than violin. As such, it works well for production tools and exploring compositional ideas. But it falls far short of being an instrument: even on the much-hyped iPad, touch timing and sensitivity is too imprecise, and the absence of tactile feedback and real, kinetic resistance makes you feel like an operator rather than a musician. Several projects in experimental instrument research seek …

READ MORE →

Creative Commons, CBC, and Music for Commercial Use: Addendum

The Canadian Broadcasting Centre, viewed from above. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Benson Kua. To me, a license is a tool: it’s a means to an end. But that means that the tool ought to be doing the job you chose for it. After news broke that the Canadian public broadcaster CBC was moving away from Creative Commons, we launched on CDM into a somewhat informal (and occasionally heated) discussion of CC licensing and specifically the non-commercial restriction most musicians attach to their music. Here’s a summary of what I can conclude from those conversations. Abuse of non-commercial CC material is rampant. Very …

READ MORE →

CBC Dumps Creative Commons; Non-Commercial Licensing to Blame?

I’m able to use this particular image as CDM is itself under a Share Alike license. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Andy Melton. I have no problem with copyrighting music. So I’ll be blunt: my ongoing impression of Creative Commons licensing is that you should either choose a license that allows for commercial use, or opt for traditional copyright and licensing. The popular “non-commercial” restriction is problematic. It does too little to prevent exploitation, and too much to prevent exactly the kind of use that’s the reason you’d choose CC in the first place. That’s not an effective compromise; it’s more like a …

READ MORE →

Free SoundCloud Sampling with Creative Commons Search, Player; Q+A

Creative Commons button. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Andy Melton. Finding samples and remix-able music — or advertising the availability of tracks you want to release for that purpose — has just gotten a lot easier. As part of a raft of improvements to the SoundCloud service – including some nice non-CC enhancements to search and tag browsing – the service has boosted integration with free licenses. You can now search for CC content, and the license is visible directly in the player, going beyond what even services like Flickr and Vimeo have done. You can add SoundCloud to CC-focused sites like ccMixter …

READ MORE →

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 …

READ MORE →

Updated: MPEG LA Pool Planning to Torpedo OGG Theora, Says Jobs

RichardL notes some potentially major news this afternoon. Shortly after my post, Steve Jobs himself reportedly answered an open letter written by free software advocate Hugo Roy. Hugo’s letter contained suggestions about whether a standardized unencumbered video codec needed to accompany the video tag in order to be truly “open.” The original post, on “hugo’s blog”: Open Letter to Steve Jobs Jobs’ response, as quoted by that blog: From: Steve Jobs To: Hugo Roy Subject: Re:Open letter to Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash Date 30/04/2010 15:21:17 All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being assembled to …

READ MORE →

“Music Simulation” Patent Unsuccessful, Gibson Mucks Up Own Case

Simulated guitar? Gibson gets carried away, but the law wins. Photo/bento creation (CC) Sakurako Kitsa.(Yup, this is a Fender Strat, but this is my kind of simulation of a musical instrument – in cheese form!) Gibson, the guitar company, has been on an utterly absurd campaign against music games, bringing lawsuits against the developers of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band and even against retailers. In the latest illustration of how screwed up patent law is, and just how over-litigious it has made technology in this country, the patent was based on a Gibson patent for a “System and method …

READ MORE →