The rationale by Silicon Valley that we already have the DMCA and it’s working just fine– seems positively Right Wing in its rabid belief system of law. Conservatives say much the same thing about guns. “We don’t need new laws, we need to enforce the existing ones.” It amusing to me that this backward sentiment is the same. Really though, it’s neither left nor right wing. It’s just pure cynicism by people who think we’re stupid.
To blame Hollywood copyright lobbyists for trying to influence law when google does the exact same thing is either ignorant or hypocritical. And to ignore the fact it isn’t just “Hollywood Copyright Lobbyists” but entire countries that are reacting to what they see is Big Tech run rampant, suggests once again the narrative is being controlled in Big Tech’s favor.
No surprise, really. The blog post was written by Marvin Ammori. He is a lawyer and Future Tense Fellow at New America. New America Foundation is a nonprofit and (ha-ha) nonpartisan public policy institute. Wanna guess who chairs the board of directors? Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of google.
Oddly, few people are talking about how much money they are actually making through Spotify, but it’s estimated that the average play is worth an abysmal $0.005. That’s half a cent…if you’re getting anything at all. An artist needs to rack up 200 plays to make $1. How are we letting this happen?! Is the general population truly oblivious to the tremendous effort and cost involved in making music?
Surprise! Songs don’t just pop out of artists like perfectly polished Easter eggs. These creative humans have dedicated a large amount of their time, money and soul to create a tangible piece of art for your listening pleasure. Studio time is expensive! Rehearsal space is expensive! Gas is expensive! Instruments are expensive! Craft beer is expensive!!! Strike that last one.
But seriously guys, when you buy music, you’re not just paying for a song, you’re supporting the artist and the process.
READ THE FULL STORY AT unEARTH MUSIC Hub:
Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler and music attorney Dina LaPolt have sent a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office opposing the creation of a compulsory license that would allow anyone to legally create remixes and derivative works, without getting songwriter permission.
For example, in 1986 Run-D.M.C recorded a version of Aersmith’s “Walk This Way.” As a cover it could have requested a compulsory mechanical license to create their version. But instead Run DMC involved Tyler and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, who authored the song, in the process to create “one of the most famous derivative works of our modern times.”
“A compulsory license for remixes, mash-ups and sampling is a step too far,” they argued in their letter, which was provided to Billboard. “Approval is the most important right that a recording artist or songwriter has and they need to retain the ability to approve how their works are used… The current system does not need reform.”
READ THE FULL STORY AT BILLBOARD:
If we want to strengthen free speech; if we want a hedge against invasions of civil liberty; if we want to speak truth to power, then we must continue to empower those who speak the truth and do so openly and professionally. To put it whimsically, a great bulwark against tyranny would be a class of unusually wealthy poets. As Congress resumes the process of copyright review in 2014, we should seek not to weaken these laws on an assumption of their irrelevance in the digital age, but to strengthen them on the grounds that they are more important than ever.
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During the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), critics of the legislation portrayed its process of identifying foreign black market domains and then blocking them from gaining easy profits from, and access to, the US online audience, as “censorship” — full stop.
It bothers me that representatives from Google or the EFF, Reddit, etc. are so quick to lump in the attempt to protect artists rights with the political censorship of China or Iran. It is entitlement of the privileged at its worst and demonstrates to me how desperate some people are to excuse freeloading by any means necessary. But, the wonders of technology simply do not excuse clear cases of exploitation.
READ THE FULL POST AT nycRUEN:
We’ve recently posted about the number of artists speaking out about being exploited by internet corporations. Here are some recent rumblings from across the pond…
Former Longpigs star and current co-CEO of Featured Artists Coalition Crispin Hunt calls for labels to reveal Megaupload mogul ‘as the self-interested privateer that he is’
“No artist with anything worth saying wants to live in a medieval world of cottage industry that Kim Dotcom and co prescribe, retraining as a plumber in the day and making bedroom albums, uploaded to an ocean of mediocrity along with the 10,000 other works of genius uploaded to SoundCloud every day, eking a living from selling CDs and t-shirts at poorly-attended gigs, peopled by an audience of well-wishing friends, who all crowdfunded their mates’ albums, exhausted at the choice of 30 gigs a night to see in Norwich alone, and bored by the endless tours of ageing dads on stage who would much rather be settled down watching Later with the kids than donning Paul Weller-style Indie Man Hair and flogging around the toilets of Britain in a splitter, whilst some kid rips the life-work of their youth from HulkShare because he wants to spend his money on Gran Turismo 25.”
READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
Rene Summer posted the article “Stop treating symptoms and start curing diseases” on The Networked Society Blog where he re-hashed the same incorrect talking points that the internet industry “Merchants Of Doubt” have been trying to pedal for a while. As much as it may have been fair to make these arguments in 2003, it’s a more than a bit silly to propose the same talking points a decade later.
This reliance on enforcement to protect old technologies (read physical distribution) and old business models is the root cause of the market-supply failure problem. It results in insufficient access to lawful digital content and its symptoms are illegal access. The causation works even the other way around increasing availability of lawful digital content also leads to decreased frequency in accessing illegal content.
The idea that there is a lack of new business models and legal distribution to address consumer habits of all kinds across many platforms is just as ridiculous coming from Rene as it was coming from Kim Dotcom earlier this year where it was also shown to be false.
Of course we also know people pirate simple because they can as witnessed by the piracy of Arrested Development which was native to Netflix and a recent story in the LA Times about San Francisco Chord Cutters.
The one thing that becomes clear is that all legal services have one major disadvantage, payment.
“It’s not that this participant is bad at math,” Juenger wrote. “This person did not want the pay-tv product, plain and simple.”
So let’s get honest about “business models” and recognize that there is a competitive advantage to companies who do not have to pay for the cost of goods and by extension, not pay the creators for their work.
Here’s our complete breakdown as originally posted in our response to Kim Dotcom. That’s some kind of company to keep Rene…
Kim Dotcom’s “End Of Piracy”, that was easy…
In the anticipation of the announcement of the new Mega launch, Pat Pilcher at The New Zealand Herald wrote an article titled “Kim Dotcom on Ending Piracy” in which the journalist listed Mr.Dotcom’s five steps to ending piracy. Pilcher writes,
As ironic as that may sound, Kim Dotcom’s logic is inescapably robust. Here’s what his end to piracy manifesto says:
1. Create great stuff
2. Make it easy to buy
3. Same day worldwide release
4. Fair price
5. Works on any device
Looking at what Kim is saying, the 5 points seem pretty obvious, although each could quickly get bogged down once Hollywood gets involved.
So let’s look at these one by one.
1. Create Great Stuff
Well, that’s a no brainer. The content industries create the most prized and sought after “stuff” in the world including films such as Avatar, The Avengers, and The Dark Night Rises as well as franchises like Iron Man, Transformers, Harry Potter and others. Music artists include the likes of Adele, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift, The Beatles and countless others. Making great stuff has never been a problem.
2. Make It Easy To Buy
Another no brainer. Perhaps a decade plus ago this might have been an argument, but not today. There are over 500 legal and licensed music services alone. For the film industry there are services like Netflix, Vudu and Cinemanow as well as other direct to home video on demand providers that give consumers more access to more content across more platforms than at any time in history.
3. Same Day World Wide Release
For music this is more less the standard now and is also more and more common for feature film releases as well. This is a common practice for the largest and most anticipated releases of music and films, the “stuff” that is the most aggressively pirated. For smaller indie releases this may not always be possible but than again I’m not sure that the problem we are combating is in Nigeria on indie rock albums and movies that are more or less film festival darlings.
4. Fair price
Done. Netflix is $7.99 a month for unlimited access to it’s entire library of films and tv shows. Spotify is $9.99 for unlimited access to it’s entire library which consist of probably 95% of every known recording in print. Add to this the cost of a song download is 99 cents. Less than the cost of a candy bar. Renting a movie from a video on demand service ranges from 3.99 to 5.99. Price is no longer an issue and has not been for years.
5. Works on Any Device
Music is DRM free and has been for at least half a decade. Streaming Services such as Netflix and Spotify are also available on every major platform including not only Mac and PC computers, but also mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets by a variety of manufacturers. Additionally most new video game consoles and blu-ray players also include many of these same apps.
So there you have it, the end of piracy. Even Pat Pilcher at The New Zealand Herald agrees a referring to a similar response from the New Zealand record industry. He writes,
Well there it is, RIANZ’s response in full. I can’t argue with much that they’ve said, as they’ve pretty much complied with most of Kim’s 5 points.
So Kim Dotcom’s five suggestions have been fulfilled and yet, I don’t think we’ll see an end to piracy anytime soon. There is still one thing piracy offers that legal, licensed and legitimate services do not, and that is compensation to the artists, musicians, filmmakers and creators which requires that consumers actually do pay the fair price asked.
It’s all pretty simple and by Kim Dotcom’s own suggestions and admission it’s pretty clear where the problem is from here on out, and it’s not in his five suggestions…
And, of course, let us not forget this classic… Kim Dotcom Parody Video Appears on YouTube
It appears that Jaron Lanier is not the only one who is coming to terms with the broken promises of internet hype.
I believed the same lies that you still believe, for a long time. I was in college during the early days of the World Wide Web, and like others, I rejoiced in the incredible access to knowledge it provided, and diversity of thought it promoted. So when I first read in 2008 about how the Internet had a negative impact by narrowing modern scholarship, I didn’t believe it. The Internet was great, and was making us more productive, more creative, and more innovative. That’s what we were promised.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE:
This may be the single most important piece of work to date that explores the rights and concerns of creators in the digital age. The film details how Google has made plans to commercially monetize and monopolize all creative works for their own corporate profit.
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MORE ABOUT THE FILM:
The goal of accumulating all human knowledge in one repository has been a dream since ancient times. Only recently, however, has that dream become a reality. Quietly and behind closed doors, Google has been executing a project to scan and digitize every printed word on the planet. Working with the world’s most prestigious libraries, the webmasters are reinventing the limits of copyright in the name of free access to anyone, anywhere. What can possibly be wrong with this? As “Google and the World Brain reveals,” a whole lot.
Some argue that Google’s actions represent aggressive theft on an enormous scale, others see them as an attempt to monopolize our shared cultural heritage, and still others view the project as an attempt to flatten our minds by consolidating complex ideas into searchable “extra long tweets.”
At first slowly, and then with intensifying conviction, a diverse coalition mobilizes to stop the fulfillment of this ambitious dream. Incisive and riveting as it uncovers a high-stakes multinational heist, Ben Lewis’s film voices an important alternative to the technological utopianism of our time.
Faza at The Cynical Musician explores the question of control in copyright.
Copyright “skeptics”, like TechMike, tend to focus on the language of the “Copyright Clause” and construct elaborate theories about what “promoting the progress of science and the useful arts” really means. While they’re at it, they may wish to also consult the dictionary with regards to the meaning of the word “secure”2 and how it isn’t a synonym for “grant” – though that is besides the point here. Giovanetti rightly points out that promoting progress is the goal of the Copyright Clause and doesn’t actually say much about the means (that’s done in the other bit, about securing exclusive rights). What I wish to do today is to examine how the control aspect of copyright helps promote progress and why it is important.
READ THE FULL POST AT THE CYNICAL MUSICIAN: