Category Archives: Music

Musical Paradigm Shift

Prince just gave away copies of his latest CD with every copy of the London newspaper, the Mail, which of course resulted in it being available all over the Internet that same day. He also promises to give away copies at his concerts; 21 concerts in a row in London alone, each different, each priced so anyone can attend. Record stores go ballistic:
Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retailers’ Association, said the move devalued music.

“The losers will be new artists who are trying to come through who won’t have any support from recording companies because established artists are chucking out their music for free,” she said.

Prince album set free on internet, BBC, 16 July 2007

Well, let’s see. Continue reading

Global Media Consolidation

mediabrands.jpg In case you thought media ownership in increasingly fewer hands was a uniquely U.S. problem, here’s a handy graphic illustrating its worldwide scope. There are links to the research behind it.


Eerily Familiar

Office of the Army Chief Information Officer The Pentagon video and blogging ban is circumventable primarily due to multiple Internet providers in Iraq:
Deployed troops can still post their videos to YouTube, despite the recently announced Pentagon ban against accessing that site and ten others from government computers. The trick, says Rear Admiral Elizabeth Hight, is to use your own internet access or visit one of the rec center internet cafes, which plug into separate, commercial networks. The ban, she says, applies only to the 5 million computers worldwide connected to the official Department of Defense intranet.

Getting Around the YouTube Blockade, David Axe, DangerRoom, 17 May 2007

I suppose we could resort to going to the local Internet cafe to get around such bans if they occur stateside. Continue reading

The Other Regulatorium

I may have mentioned that the telcos and cablecos seem to like to game legal and regulatory systems in their favor. There’s another group of companies doing the same thing:
If there was ever an example of why the DMCA needs to die, this is it. The idea that a sixteen-digit number is illegal to possess, to discuss in class, or to post on a news site is offensive to a country where free speech is the first order of the Constitution. The MPAA and RIAA are conspiring to unmake America, to turn this into a country where free expression, due process, and the rule of law take a back-seat to a perpetual set of governmental handouts intended to guarantee the long-term profitability of a small handful of corrupt companies.

EFF explains the law on AACS keys, Cory Doctorow, boingboing, Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Why would the activities of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America be worth such a polemic by Cory, who after all lives partly by copyright in his hat as a science fiction writer? Continue reading

Net Neutral Musicians are Pirates?

I wondered how long it would take for somebody to try this:
“To what extent are supporters of net neutrality also tacitly supporting piracy?”

Get Real – The Net Is Not Neutral, By Sonia Arrison, TechNewsWorld, 04/13/07 4:00 AM PT

Speak up for open connectivity and free speech, as Rock the Net is doing, and you’re a supporter of piracy? Continue reading

Musicians Rock the Net

Rock the Net Some artists get their facts straight:
Musicians, including well-known bands and smaller independent artists, have joined together in supporting Net Neutrality . On the actual website, Rock the Net, you can quickly get a list of the supporting artists and a list of upcoming concerts.

SimpleTEXT creates a visual symphony, Ben Woods,, 03:54 PM EDT on Monday, April 16, 2007

Or several different lists, but still, it’s quite a few bands (362 bands so far, and 105 labels), some of them quite well known; others obscure (as yet). Continue reading

Chuck Berry Mashup

A Congressman gets it about how mash-ups (music that samples bits of other artists’ work) are not new, and maybe even beneficial:
‘I hope that everyone involved will take a step back and ask themselves if mash-ups and mixtapes are really different or if it’s the same as Paul McCartney admitting that he nicked the Chuck Berry bass-riff and used it on the Beatle’s hit “I Saw Her Standing There.”‘

Perhaps the Coolest Moment in the History of Congress and Why it Matters, by Sean Garrett, The 463: Inside Tech Policy, Technology policy trends, insight and news March 11, 2007

Who said that? Congressman Mike Doyle (D-Pittsburgh, PA), in a hearing on the “Future of Radio” of the House Telecom and Internet sub-committee, which was mainly about the recent Copyright Royalty Board decision to raise prices for music over the web. If there really is such value in mash-ups, perhaps that value needs to be somehow balanced with copyright.