Why Does YouTube Apologize to People Who Have Illegally Uploaded my Content?

By Larry Cane of Tape OP Magazine
(repost by permission, copyright in the author)

I politely asked Youtube to remove a song by my old band that someone had posted without permission. They took it down but then apologized “sorry about that” and ran my business name as if “blaming me” for removing content. Really? Wow. Pretty damn impartial, huh?

Kim Dotcom Parody Video Appears on YouTube

We have been alerted to the video below as reported by AdLand.  The video is a parody spoof of Dotcom’s own propaganda clip released last week. This one is aptly titled the “Permissionless Innovation Remix – Lessig Edition”. Enjoy, and pass it on.

The war for my stolen fortune has begun
Artists are fighting for their rights
Any sane person would see I’m a piece of shit
But don’t let them take away my Ferraris

Can you believe
I think I’m like Dr King
When I steal from artists and they try to fight?
They work their whole lives
To express what’s inside
But I don’t understand the word copyright

Keep my thievery going
Keep my ego growing
Keep the truth from showing
My pursuit of money
Money
Money

I won’t give up, without a fight
My Rolls Royce is a pretty white
Oh never mind I have more than one
Because of all the stealing I have done

I’ve made half a billion I am Kim.com
By stealing money and costing jobs
I sail on a yacht I am Kim.com
And ask the poor to sing my song

We must oppose those who really know
and want to take all that is mine
We must not expose to kids who don’t know
I made a fortune from doing crime

I won’t give up, without a fight
My Rolls Royce is a pretty white
Oh never mind I have more than one
Because of all the stealing I have done

Entertainment industry
I stole from them endlessly
Can I get away with it
Can I get away with it

I won’t give up, without a fight
My Rolls Royce is a pretty white
Oh never mind I have more than one
Because of all the stealing I have done

It starts with you and me
And all of my money
It starts with you and me
And all of my money

I’ve made half a billion I am Kim.com
By stealing money and costing jobs
I sail on a yacht I am Kim.com
And ask the poor to sing my song

The Trichordist Random Reader Weekly News & Links Sun Jul 29

Grab the Coffee!

Recent Posts:
* Wall Of Shame : BMW Willing To “Drive” Without License
^^^ thanks to those who have written to BMW! ^^^
* Five Things That ISPs Can Do Today to Stop Ripping Off Artists
* PayPal to Pirates “No Cash For You”
* Artists: Be The Change, Submit Comments! Deadline EXTENDED to August 10th
^^^ thanks to those who have written comments! ^^^

A worthy Kick Starter that speaks to the power of Music, “A film about the power of music and the social worker who uses it to “awaken” patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1406732546/alive-inside-a-story-of-music-and-memory

It seems like every day more and more artists and creators are learning how their work is being illegally exploited and monetized online by companies like Google. In the latest protest we find Pete Townsend of The Who, Brian May of Queen and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin (the music of all three legendary artists was featured during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics) have issued a statement noting how Google appears to be enabling mass scale piracy. Simon Cowell and others also signed the letter being sent to Prime Minister David Cameron. The letter states “Search engines must “play their part in protecting consumers and creators from illegal sites,” the signatories say, adding that broadband companies and online advertisers must also do more to prevent piracy.” Read more at The Telegraph UK:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/9421537/Simon-Cowell-and-Tinie-Tempah-attack-Google-over-piracy.html

We love it when artist speak up and speak out for themselves! Kim Dotcom is not the “Robin Hood” hero he’d like people to think he is and this week the absurdity of his self generated propaganda was parodied on YouTube, Adland reports:
http://adland.tv/content/kim-dotcom-propaganda-song-vs-premissionless-innovation-remix-lessig-edition

The Kim Dotcom comedy show keeps going… Hollywood TV director Bruce Leddy asks Dotcom, “Can I Borrow Your Lamborghini?” Read on at the Hollywood Reporter:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kim-dotcom-megaupload-cougar-town-bruce-leddy-353780

So how much does Spotify actually pay? We still don’t know, but this week Prefix posted a chart of the four different payment tiers that Spotify is said to be paying out from .0012 per play for Mobile Streams to .0153 for Premium Streams. Isn’t a Mobile Stream a Premium Stream by default because only Premium Subscribers can stream on mobile devices? Hmmm…
http://www.prefixmag.com/news/spotify-premium-pays-artists-and-labels-three-time/67366/

“Ouch! Quit it!” Temple Law Prof Prof David Post responds David Lowery’s debunking of the “Jefferson Anti-Copyright Myth.” We’re still not sure what he’s saying, read on at his blog:
http://www.volokh.com/2012/07/24/my-mother-would-be-so-proud/

As we’ve mentioned before, we always find it amusing when any ONE group alleges to speak for the internet. In the latest of what appears to be another round of Tech Funded astro turf and sock puppet groups enter the “Internet Association.” Why are we not surprised that Google, Facebook, Amazon and Ebay lead the list of members whose mandate is to represent “the interests of Internet companies.” Oh, ok, I get it now… the internet is a business and those who speak “for the internet” are really speaking for “corporate interests.” Phew, I’m glad we’re clear about that now… read on at Digital Media Wire:
http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2012/07/26/new-advocacy-group-speaks-on-behalf-of-the-internet

And in a related story, Jeremy Nicholl blogs about another group attempting to take ownership of the voice of the internet as the ‘Fat Cat’ Internet Defense League, read on:
http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2012/07/23/the-fat-cat-internet-defense-league/
and, from Music Tech Policy:
http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/fat-cat-signal-alert-behind-revolving-door-number-3-new-improved-astroturf-now-with-even-more-google-lobbyists/

DJ Shadow tests Bit Torrent advertising revenue sharing program. Sounds good on the surface, and we understand that Bit Torrent is just a protocol. We also support the Freedom Of Choice of any artists to explore new models that are appropriate to their needs and goals. We are however a little skeptical of this type of arrangement (affiliate payments) which historically have only benefited spammers and scammers to generate the amount of traffic and clicks necessary to be meaningful. Of course it also appears DJ Shadow may be skeptical as well as the release is unreleased catalog material (IE Demos & Outtakes) from 1992 – 1996. CIO reports:
http://www.cio.com/article/712133/Bittorrent_Looks_to_Share_Some_Revenue_with_Artists

Billy Corgan talks about how the dynamic of the internet has changed the development of new artists and muses that Nirvana would not have been able to develop to the level they had if they were a new band today. Digital Music News reports:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120725corgan#2ra_J1XgO9A96y5N8R5ybA

For most artists being against piracy and the illegal exploitation of their work does not mean they are against giving away free music as a promotional tool as many in the tech sphere would like to believe. Free is a powerful tool, especially for new and developing artists to build an audience, but at some point, the faucet of free needs to be turned off to convert that promotion to sustainable revenue for the artist. Ditto Music in the UK (an upstart competitor to TuneCore?) has been aggressively getting media coverage for it’s various editorials for artists. Digital Music News Reports:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120722free#KYQ4M__pEmmDhHsK74InDw

Speaking of free, the truth will out as they say. We were indeed curious when learning of a post this that reported on the hard lessons of attempting to charge for a product after giving it away for free. What interested us most is that it is counter to the previous tech (and music tech) blogosphere philosophy that Freemiums build the potential for a larger revenue base down the road. This now contradictory reporting is encouraging as we can see that even the most aggressive advocates for “free” have seen the failure of it as a business model. Score one for common sense (sorta), as it appears TechDirt still believes in “free” as a business model, despite the unlikely admission made in the post. Of course, we should also remember that people got free tv for generations but we’re eagerly willing to pay for it (cable) when better service without intrusive advertising was offered, read on:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120714/02445619700/two-cent-doughnuts-breed-decades-bad-blood-its-not-so-easy-going-free-to-paid.shtml

Dotcom, Swizz Beats, Megabox and the myth of liberating artists from middlemen… It’s always fascinating to us to see how the bad guys are creating new and inventive business models by paying the artists directly and cutting out middle men. The funny thing about this is, since CDBaby, TuneCore and other services there hasn’t been a need for middle men in over a decade if not longer. And yet, many artists make the choice to sign with labels. Probably because the labels offer financing and promotion the artists can not provide themselves. So in the same way that “MegaBox” was going to be a game changer for artists, it must be questioned why, when any artist today can of their own choice, have access to distribution without a record label. Thus these claims always ring false to us. Also, if Megabox was to pay out 90% to artists, than it should also be paying out 90% to labels as rights holders… hmmmm… read on at Torrent Freak:
http://torrentfreak.com/swizz-beatz-on-megaupload-i-was-giving-artists-90-of-the-shit-120726/

A free and open internet should not be an illegal and dangerous one. The very same methods used to defraud consumers by those selling fake drugs are also employed by content pirates. So serious is this problem that Google settled a half a billion dollar non-prosecution agreement last year. We’d love to see the content industries adopt this same type of campaign, See here: http://www.safemedsonline.org/

UPDATE: Artists: Be The Change, Submit Comments! Deadline EXTENDED to August 10th

As The Trichordist noted in the July 16th post, the White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel has issued a call to the public to file comments with her office about the US intellectual property laws.  If you care about artist rights, this is a good time to tell Victoria Espinel what you think.  You can comment on anything, but she is probably looking for specific comments about how good a job you think the US government is doing in enforcing our IP laws and protecting artist rights and any ideas you have about how the government could be doing more.

You should be aware that opponents of artist rights will seize upon this kind of public comment period to flood Ms. Espinel’s office with copyleft and radical anti-artist commentary.  You can bet that they will do it and they will do it from all over the world.  This is so that they can point to the quantity of their comments and try to wrap themselves in some kind of mandate in dealing with the IPEC.  Or more likely, trying to remove that job from the Federal government altogether–I’m sure that is their true goal as Ms. Espinel has done more to protect artist rights by enforcing the laws than anyone in the last 20 years.  And we can’t have that.

Ms. Espinel’s job is to coordinate the resources of the federal law enforcement establishment on enforcing the laws of the United States against those who would steal our intellectual property at all levels–from your song to the avionics for spacecraft.  This is a very hard job that has been allocated very few direct resources and we are lucky to have her.

When Ms. Espinel first announced the comment period it was to end on July 25 (today).  The deadline has now been extended to August 10.

You don’t need to write a letter unless you really want to.  There is a webform for your comments available at this direct link for your comments:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=OMB-2012-0004-0002

Don’t be shy.  Ms. Espinel wants to know what you think.

Here are quotes from the Federal Register notice:

The Federal Government is starting the process of developing a new Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. By committing to common goals, the U.S. Government will more effectively and efficiently combat intellectual property infringement. In this request for comments, the U.S. Government, through the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (“IPEC”), invites public input and participation in shaping the Administration’s intellectual property enforcement strategy.

The Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator was established within the Executive Office of the President pursuant to the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, Public Law 110-403 (Oct. 13, 2008) (the “PRO IP Act”). Pursuant to the PRO IP Act, IPEC is charged with developing the Administration’s Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement for submission to Congress every three years. In carrying out this mandate, IPEC chairs an interagency intellectual property enforcement advisory committee comprised of Federal departmental and agency heads whose respective departments and agencies are involved in intellectual property enforcement.

PayPal to Pirates “No Cash For You” Score Another One for an Ethical Internet!

PayPal should be celebrated as a company who supports artists rights and an ethical internet. We were pleased to find this report on TorrentFreak this week stating that the online payment processing company has banned “Major File Hosting Services Over Piracy Concerns.”

In reviewing the User Agreement for PayPal™ Service we see what appears to be the operative language:

4. Prohibited Transactions. You agree that you will not use PayPal to accept payment for illegal products or services, including but not limited to materials that infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties. You will not use the Service, the PayPal website or any of the services offered therein for any unlawful or fraudulent activity. If PayPal (or Wells Fargo, in connection with processing credit card transactions) has reason to believe that you may be engaging in or have engaged in fraudulent, unlawful, or improper activity, including without limitation any violation of any terms and conditions of this Agreement, your access to the Service may be suspended or terminated. Further, if such behavior involved a MasterCard or VISA credit card transaction, it may result in you/your business being prevented from registering for payment acceptance through any payment provider or directly with any bank acquirer operating under license to either the MasterCard or VISA card associations. You will cooperate fully with PayPal Wells Fargo, MasterCard or VISA to investigate any suspected unlawful, fraudulent or improper activity, including but not limited to granting authorized PayPal representatives “guest” or “member” access to any password-protected portions of your website.

It seems to us that such a provision should be standard policy and best practices for many more companies operating online to ensure legal operations. We hope many more will adopt PayPal’s ethical standards.

It appears the message being sent by PayPal is resonating in the file hosting and cyber locker communities as Torrent Freak reports:

“This has a paralyzing effect on the file-hosting industry where 90% of the users of some sites pay using PayPal,” he added.

Previously most file-hosting sites relied heavily on PayPal, but they will now have to switch to alternatives. The next question is whether PayPal’s example will be followed by others such as Visa and Mastercard.

Well done PayPal. For those about to rock, we salute you!

Eyesight to the Willfully Blind: Five Things That ISPs Can Do Today to Stop Ripping Off Artists

We are still waiting for the launch of the vaunted “Copyright Alert System” which was supposed to be up and running this month (July 2012).  Now we are hearing October.  You know what we think?  We think the ISPs have bullshitted their way through another year of profiting from human misery.

We have heard just about enough from ISPs who perpetuate blatant theft online hiding behind a variety of hollow excuses—when ISPs clearly know that they profit more from theft and are in a better position to stop it than anyone else with their snout in the digital trough.  This started with ISPs benefiting from broadband penetration largely stoked by massive digital theft, willfully ignoring repeat infringers and now using the public mobile spectrum to snort down unlicensed works.

Here’s a few ideas for ISPs—but it starts with a basic suggestion.  Go to the mirror.  However you want to try to slither out of responsibility this time, take a good look at your lying face and ask yourself if you are proud of what you are doing.

1.  Stop marketing your services to encourage theft from artists.  Fast download speeds don’t have to be measured in how many movies or recordings your users can download—they can figure that out, too.

2.  Respond to repeat infringer requests quickly—you know that the DMCA you love so much does not require a full blown federal jury trial on a link by link basis before a track is infringing.

3.  Stop bullying artists who send you notices.  Your lawyers try to scare artists by threatening to bring your big boy litigation budget down on the head of an artist who’s doing good to make the poverty line when they complain about being ripped off.  And you’re surprised that we have a problem with you?

4.  Get serious about piracy.   Stop advertising on pirate sites and commit to reducing piracy by 10% a year on your networks.  We don’t need to follow the money through some black box designed to make it hard.  We know why your ads never seem to appear on porn sites—someone will get fired if they do.  But obviously, no one gets fired when your ads appear on pirate sites because more traffic helps you sell broadband.

5.  We’re going to give you the same advice we give others who profit themselves by screwing artists—give some back.  You could put 1% of your profits into arts education and health services for artists, you’ve definitely made way more than that in the biggest income transfer of all time.  You want our music, movies, books, newspapers, photographs and illustrations for your “legitimate” services?  Do the right thing.

Wall Of Shame : BMW Willing to “Drive” Without License

In our ongoing series the Wall of Shame showing advertising by major brands appearing on sites hosting unlicensed music and illegally exploiting the rights of artists, this one really spoke to us.

BMW advertising appears on the site mp3crank for the unlicensed album download of the critically acclaimed “Drive” Soundtrack. Given that BMW is the maker of “The Ultimate Driving Machine” this really make us wonder about the sophistication of context based advertising.  As such, the DMCA protection for dumb pipes would seem to not apply in this circumstance. Of course it completely makes sense to us why BMW would want to associate itself with an album of music that has entered the pop culture zeitgeist with references coming recently from the front page of the LA Times and in the season premier of the TV show Workaholics.

But we also wonder if the brand and/or its ad agency (or its online advertising affiliates) know that they are supporting the systematic exploitation of artists and creators. It would seem in very poor taste for such a highly respected luxury automobile maker as BMW to do so.

As a point of interest it should be noted that most of the artists on this album are themselves independent or signed to small indie labels. These are not “millionaire rock stars” being exploited. They are regular, hard working musicians who caught a lucky break. That break unfortunately is not for the profit of the artists, but rather this site who is contributing nothing to the artists themselves.

So how does this happen?

Who from these brands is responsible for making sure their ads don’t end up in the wrong places?

Is there any accountability at all with online ad networks?

And here’s where it gets even weirder. The link  to the site above was delisted from Google by the UK’s BPI. We assume they would have also issued a take down notice to mp3crank as well, if the site had a take down policy provision (it appears they don’t).

However the link reappears when Google forwards the DMCA notice to Chilling Effects, which itself then requires a DMCA notice to take down the report of the original DMCA notice. Kinda defeats the purpose of having the link delisted in the first place, huh?  (And notice that Chilling Effects has not registered a DMCA agent, so they may not even qualify for the safe harbor in the first place.)

For those who want to support the artists on the album legally, here’s a link to Apple’s iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/drive-original-motion-picture/id455448129

Artists, ask BMW to stop propping up unlicensed businesses that are illegally exploiting creators! Here’s how you can contact BMW to ask them to stop exploiting artists, include the link to this post in your email.

BMW GROUP CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS – NORTH AMERICA

Dirk Arnold   Vice President, Corporate Communications   Tel: 201-307-3954   Email: Dirk.Arnold@bmwna.com

Amanda Thomas-Henke   Corporate Communications Coordinator   Tel: 201-307-3724 Email: Amanda.Henke@bmwna.com

 

The Trichordist Random Reader Weekly News & Links Sun Jul 22nd

Grab the coffee!

Recent posts on The Trichordist:
* The DMCA is Broken…
* Artist! : Be The Change, Send A Letter – JULY 25th Deadline <- We’re not Kidding, Do it if you haven’t!

For those who remain confused about the difference between FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and FREE BEER (er uhm music) please read this report from Amnesty International regarding the band Pussy Riot and do take action. Freedom of Expression is truly a right to be protected and preserved, as ARTISTS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/russia-urged-to-release-pussy-riot-group-as-court-prolongs-detention
SIGN YOUR NAME:
http://amnestyusa.org/pussyriot

We’ve been alerted to a couple of websites (and organizations?) that are fighting against illegal artist exploitation on the front of cyberlockers and payment processors (Visa, Master Card, Pay Pal, Etc). Read more here:
http://coldcopy.com.au/
http://stopfilelockers.com/

Thanks to Copyhype for noticing this one, an epic and essential read “How Free Is Ruining Everything” from Eamonn Forde at qthemusic.com:
http://news.qthemusic.com/2012/07/column_-_how_free_is_ruining_e.html#post

Kim Dotcom is not Robbin Hood. The billionaire and alleged mass scale media pirate is awaiting trial and created a video this week that has been described as a pirates “Triumph of the Will” or even perhaps in it’s absurdity, “A Burns for all Seasons.” Prof Jonathan Taplin from the USC Annenberg School of Innovation muses in this blog post, “The Big Lie”:
http://jontaplin.com/2012/07/22/the-big-lie/

Speaking of Kim Dotcom, Billboard reports that the Judge that ruled the raid on the compound was illegal has now stepped down and out of the case for bias regarding a comment made at an EFF event… wow, just wow… Maybe he should have stepped down before making a ruling?
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/legal-and-management/kim-dotcom-extradition-judge-steps-down-1007605352.story#kYXZKhHOvmTYoFIi.99

Ok, ok, ok… last one… it’s a Kim Dotcom-athon… Indie filmmaker Ellen Seidler writes an open letter to Kim in response to his “Letter To Hollywood”, read more from this guest post at Copyright Alliance:
http://blog.copyrightalliance.org/2012/07/guest-post-dear-kim-dotcom/

So now that Coke A Cola can legally use music from any band on Spotify to sell it’s drinks, doesn’t this imply some kind of endorsement? If for example a playlist by Coldplay is embeded on a Coke A Cola website, the previous cost of licensing that music for that application would have been very expensive. Whereas this could be very good for developing artists, it could also be exploitative of established ones. We’re not really sure what this means, but we’re interested to see how it actually is implemented. Read more on the Coke A Cola website:
http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/dynamic/press_center/2012/04/spotify-and-coca-cola-partnership.html

Here’s a way to bring attention to the issues of artists rights and illegal online exploitation. Woman strips in public to protest e-book pirates, ZDNet reports:
http://www.zdnet.com/woman-strips-in-public-to-protest-e-book-pirates-nsfw-video-7000001329/

Digital Music News reports on absurdity at it’s best from Richard Stallman. Perhaps a future Nyan Cat Award Winner?
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120716stallman
and a response here from the cynical musician:
http://thecynicalmusician.com/2012/07/two-inane-suggestions-for-compensating-artists-online/

Pirates want to go legit? Well… not so fast, Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/pirates-want-to-go-legal-but-convenience-choice-availability-come-first-120719/

Who is the internet anyway? We’re always kinda amazed when a singular entity or point of view “speaks for the internet” as if there is no social, economic, geographic or political diversity. Is the “Internet’ a demographic onto it’s own, and if so, what defines that demographic? Which begs the question, does “the internet” speak for you (as an artist, as an individual)? Though this entry is somewhat cute, it is also disturbing to see “the internet” as a single block with a Borg like hive mind… TechDirt reports:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120718/18350719751/internet-wins-again-writer-gets-rapper-pitbull-exiled-to-alaskan-walmart.shtml

The French Supreme Court May Order Google to block unlicensed, infringing, illegal sites, ‘Torrent,’ ‘RapidShare’ and ‘Megaupload’. Again, Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/court-may-order-google-to-censor-torrent-rapidshare-and-megaupload-120718/

Last but not least, several of our friends report success using Google’s DMCA Search Link De-Listing tool for infringing links, try it for yourself! Up until recently the only way to send infringing link DMCA notices to Google was via MAIL or FAX (not kidding). More on this to follow…
http://support.google.com/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1114905&page=ts.cs

The DMCA is Broken…

This post was sent to us by a friend who runs an indie label:

Just about a year after hiring two part time people, to do nothing else but issue DMCA takedown notices we’ve crossed the 50,000 notice milestone. The division of labor requires one person just to monitor YouTube, and another handles all DMCA compliant sites such as CyberLockers, Torrent Search Engines, etc.

The DMCA is BROKEN.

Most of the take downs are for the same title, at the same site, the same day. Day after day during the initial release period of the album (generally the first 60-90 days) it is a constant game of whack-a-mole.

We shouldn’t have to have the same title removed from a site more than once – and each time we issue a notice it takes 24 to 48 hours to remove. But, once it’s removed it is generally back on the site within a few hours.

We should not have to send a notice for the same title more than once, ever – Not to Rapidshare, not Grooveshark, not any one of the probably top 20 offending sites we track, and those are just the ones that even have a DMCA provision (The Pirate Bay for example does not, nor did Limewire to the best of my memory).

If site operators want to hide behind “how do we know what’s infringing”… Well, here’s how, we’ll let you know! If we issue you a notice, you now know… do you think the title will suddenly not be infringing the next day, when re-uploaded by the same offending person? Seriously? Does Billy in Pittsburgh suddenly own the rights to a Radiohead album (for example)?

Internet piracy apologists are quick to accuse labels and artists of wanting the government or others to become piracy police. This is simply not true. Most labels I know of have assumed the responsibility to track and issue takedown notices for themselves and on behalf of their artists (who should be focused on creating, not policing). Ironically, these same people are offended and attempt to diminish the issue when confronted with the overwhelming amount of takedowns being issued.

Keep in mind, we’re issuing DMCA takedown notices for ALBUMS not songs, entire albums are zipped as an archive and now distributed with as much ease as songs once were… let me say that again, our notices are for ALBUMS not songs…

There can be no question why album sales continue to plummet, and why digital album sales have leveled off… meanwhile, I suppose individual songs will continue to grow given the ease, convenience and low cost of a 99 cent purchases from iTunes.

The simple math says that if each of those uploaded ALBUMS was only downloaded ONCE by one other person, that is a loss of revenue of $350,000 dollars wholesale ($7 x 50,000).  If each one we’re downloaded only TWICE that is a loss of $700,000 dollars in revenue a year ($350,000 x 2). This is just for ONE indie label tracking only it’s top five titles at any given time.

Yes, many will exclaim that not every illegal download is a lost sale (to the artist/label/rights holder). But, these numbers illustrate the financial impact of just ONE or TWO illegal downloads per DMCA takedown notice. I think any reasonable person would agree the number of downloads per upload is significantly more than ONE or TWO.

We only have the resources to track 5-10 titles at a time with any effectiveness. Catalog is a free for all.  When adding in current titles that fall below the current top ten best sellers and a catalog that reaches back almost two decades the numbers become truly staggering.

This is why the number one agenda of the recorded music industry must be to address the illegal exploitation of artists work and closing this loophole in the DMCA, which is clearly not the intent of the law.

Artists : Be The Change, Send A Letter! July 25th Deadline

Here is something every artist, musician and creator can easily contribute to.

Our U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel has asked for your assistance to, “Help Us Shape Our Strategy for Intellectual Property Enforcement.”

DEADLINE For Comments : Wed July 25, 2012 @ 5Pm EDT 

Here is the Direct Link to Post Your Comment:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=OMB-2012-0004-0002

Read more here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/jsp_2013_frn_final.pdf
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/25/help-us-shape-our-strategy-intellectual-property-enforcement

Example Comment as Submitted by East Bay Ray:

Stop Easy Money to Unethical Businesses

I am an independent musician, my band Dead Kennedys earned a Gold Record while being independent our whole career. But those days are gone, the reality is that internet businessmen now make more money off of our music than we do. And they do it because of a loophole in the current copyright law, a law that is supposed to protect artists from greedy businessmen. It’s analogous to a pawn shop allowing stolen merchandise to be sold and then using the excuse “I didn’t know it was stolen.” (They make money by selling advertising on the internet pawn shop walls.)

The current internet business model:
1. Gather music, video, art, etc files from around the internet
2. Host them on a website
3. Slather them in advertising
4. If someone claims copyright infringement, throw your hands up in
the air and exclaim “It was our users who uploaded your music! We had nothing to do with it! We’re innocent!”
5. Cash six figure advertising checks from other artist’s stolen creations

The reality is that the current DMCA take down notice system does not work.

A solution is that the same technology that websites like Google and Facebook use to track and sell people’s information to advertisers could be used to track and stop payments to sites that make money from distributing illegal files; and to stop search engines from generating advertising income from the search traffic to those illegal sites. Not anything more than what a pawnshop is required to do.

And business websites should be required to show their agreements that they have the right to post and distribute other people’s files for profit to credit systems like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc before they are allowed an account.

The distinction needs to be clear that there is a profound moral and legal difference between sharing something with a friend and distributing, without permission, other people’s files for commercial gain.

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