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Opponents of US SOPA Legislation Gaining Momentum on Blackout Day; Musicians Have a Stake

Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Dawn Loh. It’s been called, bluntly, “Internet censorship” by opponents. And now, US legislation that claims to curb piracy faces mounting challenges as that opposition grows, particularly as the White House warns it will block the bills. Today, even as a flood of delightful new music toys become available, it’s worth pausing to consider why this matters – and, if you vote in the United States, to call your Senators and Representatives (again, if needed). Many of us who create music believe the dynamic, user-driven nature of the Web is our best chance at a bright future. Free …

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RIAA Website: Portrait of an Industry Group Out of Touch with its Own Interests

This Website is brought to you by Chicken Little and Bad Cop. Much of the debate online about the record industry has devolved – with quite a lot of help from the misguided message of the US trade group, the RIAA – into a debate about piracy. It winds up being something dumb, like, “Piracy is evil!” “No, piracy is great!” Wow, this should be a really insightful discussion – I can’t wait! Piracy is, pure and simple, “loss prevention.” People often laugh off the comparison between piracy and things like shoplifting. But I think that comparison isn’t made enough …

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New York Declares War on Tripods, Photography

New York City, having already banned dancing (don’t ask), now wants to ban videography in the streets without a permit and $1 million in liability insurance. Some I talked to suspected anti-terrorism paranoia. I suspect the lucrative deals the city feasts on for big-budget, commercial projects — and an utter disregard for everyone else. That is, if any rational explanation can explain these criteria: Two people + one camera + 30 minutes. Five people + one tripod + 10 minutes. According to the proposed legislation, those would add up to one required permit and liability insurance. Obviously, this is absurd. …

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