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 …

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As Gaming Faces Supreme Court Case, Music Industry Defends Free Speech

Music or games – free speech is free speech, say legal, advocacy, and industry groups. Photo (CC-BY-SA) FHKE. A California ban of the sale of violent video games to minors may not seem relevant to the world of music on first blush. But the music industry, joining everyone from software makers to legal groups to state Attorneys General, feels otherwise. Overzealous restriction of the sale of games, these groups say, is tantamount to an attack on rights of free speech protected by the United States Constitution. And while the California law would make a separate set of rules for gaming, …

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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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Judge to Record Industry: Lay off Mom and Dad’s Computer, For Now

Harvard’s Legion of Legal Super-Heroes. They can lock arms and emit a powerful beam of Legal Logic that can defeat any foe. Yeah, okay, I’m glad I’m not in law; these look like the sorts of people who would beat me. What happens when people targeted by record industry legal intimidation fight back? What if they not only defend themselves, but go on the offensive, counterclaiming the industry is abusing the law and legal process? What if courts decide the industry really can’t hijack an unrelated PC belonging to someone’s Mom and Dad? That’s what’s at stake in a case …

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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, …

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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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Fine Print: What Do Royalty Rates Actually Pay?

  As an addendum to the Last.fm story today, what are the actual royalty rates we’re talking here? They’re not much – precisely the reason musicians will have to get broadcast-style play counts to ever see anything worth counting. For instance, Last.fm makes the comparison with the BBC in the Wired story. The BBC has more hegemony than even a giant US ClearChannel radio station, and I suspect it’d be virtually impossible for an unsigned artist to see that number of plays. How little? Try $0.0005 per play, as Steve of sighup writes in comments. (I think that’s just radio …

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Radio DRM: Irrelevant, Untimely, Wrong, Says Digital Freedom Campaign

As noted last night — with some very witty responses from incredulous readers — the record industry is now pushing for DRM on all radio. It’s a bad idea to begin with, and they’re bringing it up in a context in which it doesn’t even belond, negotiations on royalty rates, at a bad time — in the midst of negotiations that have broken down. I’d love to stop covering this issue, but the most recent round is too absurd to pass up. (Feel free to spread the word, since Congress demonstrated that, at least on a basic level, they’re listening …

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Record Industry Now Completely Bonkers, Wants DRM on All Radio

Deep in Tesla’s labs, Mark Twain discovers the awesome, destructive force of Windows Sound Recorder. Be afeared, intellectual property owners!) Act now, fellow musicians — before Sound Recorder destroys music! It’s amazing how complete and total crazies can suddenly wind up with the backing of organizations powerful enough to dictate the law. Witness the strange story of the “stream-ripping” scare, and how it somehow led to a push for mandatory, proprietary DRM on all Internet radio. Gasp as the experience of bringing back Mark Twain’s ghost somehow inspires a company you’ve never heard of to build their own DRM for …

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Internet Radio Wins Temporary Delay, Possible Minimum Rate Break

This may stretch your definition of “good news” for webcasters, but the latest on the Internet Radio crisis runs something like this: Webcasters don’t yet have to pay new fees for their broadcast. But they’re still accruing debt — fast. Sort of like our credit card debt. Webcasters may get a small break on the minimum fee, one that could literally have shut down “personalized” radio services. SoundExchange explains the deal thusly: Under the new proposal, to be implemented by remand to the CRJs, SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for …

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