Chiptune Music Theft Continues; Crystal Castles Abuses Creative Commons License

Crystal Castles: now under fire for abusing a Creative Commons license on a chiptune track. Photo by Oliver J. Lopena: oliverlopena.com. (And CC-licensed, via Flickr.) As using sounds produced on unusual 8-bit systems and game consoles grows in popularity, some artists are appropriating the music as their own. Sometimes, as with Beck, a well-known or better-marketed artist is using lesser-known artists for purposes of novelty. That alone has riled some in the hard-core chiptune community. In some cases, though, artists are resorting to outright theft. In the most recent case, part of the problem is people misunderstanding Creative Commons licenses, …

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Update: Warner Exec Just Brainstorming, Oddly Ignorant of Reality

Suggesting taxes in March makes Americans nervous — who knew? Photo: romanlily. Wait … crap. It’s almost April, isn’t it? It seems Warner exec Jim Griffin was unprepared for the rancor of the Interwebs, because he’s backpedaling on a proposal to create a blanket fee for ISPs on music. All of that was just part of a “dynamic conversation,” says Griffin in a statement, and “It would be unfortunate if a creative and fruitful dialogue were sidetracked by a rush to judgment about what was simply my own illustrative example of one of many concepts I have in this space.” …

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The Problem with Music Taxes: Where Does the Money Go, and How Much?

I’ll never fully understand technology bloggers when it comes to music policy. Here’s an obviously stupid idea: Warner Brothers, the label, comes up with a scheme to add a surcharge to ISP bills to allow, supposedly, “legal” use of music file sharing services. Stupid, yes. Here’s the response from Michael Arrington (Techcrunch): “It’s clearly good for the music labels, who are facing their imminent extinction.” He claims that this is the plan the “labels” (actually one label) don’t want you to know (except that they’re sitting down for long interviews with Conde Nast Portfolio). Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan just regurgitates and …

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Stardock: Stop Blaming Pirates, Start Targeting Paying Customers

PC games — and even Windows customization utilities — make up a much larger market than music software. But in this parallel universe there have been echoes of the challenges facing music developers since the early days of PCs. Both have highly dedicated, niche audiences. Both face rampant piracy. Neither has the support of big business sales as the likes of Adobe and Microsoft do. Many of the customers use the products in their free time, rather than as tools that generate revenue. (Sorry, but it’s true.) Both have, let’s face it, customer bases who often don’t have that much …

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Want to Encourage CD Sales? Add Crack, Guns

An RIAA/District Attorney training video warns about the dangers of CD spindles. But what could be inside? Photo: Hackintosh, apparently the Martha Stewart of hacker cuisine based on this innovation. Suffice to say, we at CDM discourage pirating music. I should hasten to add, though, that we’re also generally opposed to terrorism, illegal firearms, and narcotics — just in case there’s any doubt. According to a training film produced by the National District Attorneys Association and Recording Industry Association of America, and leaked on the Interwebs (doh!), these things typically go hand in hand. In the course of the film, …

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The Flashbulb Pirates His Own Album; Fires Torpedo at the CD

Photo: WadeB. Caution: piracy can make you … queasy / vomit-y. Discussions about music distribution, sales, and piracy often return to that time-worn theme of “supporting artists.” Of course, what usually gets left out is what actually supports the artists. Sure, it’s lovely that the industry likes this theme — maybe you imagine an ingenious, talented songwriter lighting candles in her studio — and she’s super cute, too. And you’re stealing money from her. Or worse, you’re actually ripping the livelihood from a toothless guy with his guitar, who sleeps in the mud in rainstorms. (I’m only half joking … …

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PACE, Waves Respond to Blogger’s Blue Screen, and a Promise from CDM

WAVES and PACE defend their anti-piracy hardware protection and respond to allegations of technical difficulties from a blog entry … and why, if this discussion really matters, we should look at it a different way. At the beginning of the month, we pointed to a blogger who posted what was essentially a rant about why he was fed up with PACE. (PACE is a common anti-piracy developer whose technology is most often deployed as an iLok dongle, but available as software-only protection, as well.) The blog entry began with a series of technical problems, but developed into an argument about …

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Developer to Users: Boycott iLok and PACE

Updated: A PACE Anti-Piracy official has officially requested that we remove an image of the iLok product. While they asked not to be publicly quoted, they have challenged the technical accuracy of Adam’s blog post, saying they don’t believe their product caused the Blue Screen of Death. If PACE chooses to release an official reply, we will share it. The debate over copy protection in music software and anti-piracy tactics continues to heat up. Now Adam Schabtach of Audio Damage, the popular plug-in developer, has fired off a call for a boycott of products that use PACE and the iLok …

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BanPiracy Responds; Waves Going it Alone in Software Crack Crackdown?

BanPiracy.org is a independent organization pursuing “copyright enforcement” for pirated software, targeting studios with sting operations and lawsuits. Recently, I challenged them to demonstrate that they have other developers onboard aside from Waves Audio. That seems reasonable, given their website claims they have been contracted by “many of the biggest names in the industry” and that they’re the “leading rights advocate for the audio software and digital content industry.” Ross Johnson of PR firm Strick and Company contacted me this week to say BanPiracy had responded to my challenge and, presumably, various criticisms these tactics have attracted. (Paris Hilton and …

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Studio Busted by Waves Anti-Piracy Police Shares Experience

We asked to hear from some actual studios targeted by plug-in maker Waves’ anti-piracy police (aka “banpiracy.com”). Here’s one report from Nick Buxton, via comments: I haven’t read all the comments but wanted to add our experience; all our recording software is legal, we use uad plugs but wanted to see how waves worked; couldn’t get a demo version, so tried out a “copy” on personal projects; decided what we already had was better so decided not to buy; but didn’t erase the “copy”; stupid; now maybe we were denounced, although since we didn’t use it on any commercial projects, …

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