“This says It all”
I was supposed to speak at the SF Music Tech Summit Feb 19th 2013. A few days before my scheduled appearance I received a call from SF Music Tech and Fututre of Music Coalition co-founder Brian Zisk explaining that I would not be allowed to speak because I tweeted/blogged the above picture with the following caption “this says it all.” Further he noted that “certain sponsors” would not “appreciate” me speaking at this event.
I love the hypocrisy of the Silicon Valley. They are all for free speech until they aren’t.
The fundamental American right is Free Speech. SF Music Tech (and Silicon Valley in general) do not really respect this right. Especially when it begins to interfere with their bottom line.
So what do you say we just end the charade? SF Music Tech Summit is biased against creators/musicians and their rights. It’s a pro-tech industry event. It’s held in the Kabuki Hotel in San Francisco. Because it is a giant Kabuki.
Three times a year you find Tech Industry “entrepreneurs” who’ve never turned a profit “debate” un-elected artists rights advocates who as it turns out work for opaque 501C foundations and organizations that are funded by technology companies like Google.
If it’s not clear I’m talking about you, Future of Music Coalition and Cash Music. Sorry guys/gals you had your chance to do the right thing and speak out publicly against me being banned and you didn’t. That makes you at best quislings and at worst shills.
SF Music Tech and Brian Zisk have every right to do whatever they want with their #SFMUSICTECH summit but I just ask them to stop pretending it reperesents anything other than the technologists that wish to exploit artists.
Have a good SF Music Tech. I’ll be off touring the UK.
We notice that Future of Music Coalition has submitted testimony to congress asking that they “represent” artists in the Copyright Reform process begun by Congress.
So since they’ve volunteered to represent us. We feel it only fair that they answer these two questions:
1. Who selects your advocacy positions?
AFM, AFTRA, NARAS, Nashville Songwriters Assn, and ASCAP all have democratically elected boards who set the organizations’ positions. Do you have members who vote for leadership? If not, who is making those decisions?
2. Who funds your organization?
Google is listed as your first sponsor of your primary event.
How much money do you get from Google? Do you think you should be taking funding from a source many artists believe to be opposed to their interests?
Essential reading by Soren Mork Petersen, “Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation.”
In this article  some of the critical aspects of Web 2.0 are mapped in relation to labor and the production of user generated content. For many years the Internet was considered an apt technology for subversion of capitalism by the Italian post–Marxists.
What we have witnessed, however, is that the Internet functions as a double–edged sword; the infrastructure does foster democracy, participation, joy, creativity and sometimes creates zones of piracy. But, at the same time, it has become evident how this same infrastructure also enables companies easily to piggyback on user generated content.
Different historical and contemporary examples are provided to map how the architecture of participation sometimes turns into an architecture of exploitation.
READ THE FULL PAPER HERE:
Posted in Artist Rights, Musician's POV, musings
Tagged Facebook, Instagram, Loser Generated Content, MySpace, Tumblr, User Generated Content, Vine, Web 2.0, youtube
It’s amazing how situationally dependent perspectives about the internet appear to be that something as fundamental as consent (aka permission) would be controversial. Much ink has been spilled over a consumers right to privacy in the digital age and that concern now extends beyond the internet to personal privacy fears over the potential misuse of domestic drones.
The irony of course about all the hysteria being discussed about drones (military, commercial or private) is that the greater threat to personal privacy is much more local than an unmanned aircraft at 14,000 feet, or even a home built quad copter. The real threat that will bring the real world to the same persistent observation (and cataloging) of our daily lives will be Google Glass (where is the EFF when you need them?).
Google Glass is a device that records to the cloud a persistent stream of visual and audio data as the user experiences it. Anything, and everything a person would have experienced as a personal and private experience will be recorded, cataloged, geo-tagged, and stored online. Automated face recognition technology will make it less possible to be anonymous in the real world than it currently is in the online world via the use of avatars.
But what does this have to do with piracy? Specifically what does this have to do with content piracy? How are privacy and piracy related? It’s simple, both privacy and piracy revolve around how we view the importance of the individuals right to grant consent. An individual should have the right to grant the specific permissions to access information about us and how that information can be used. Agreed?
This is the same fundamental individual right that governs the protection of a creators work from illegal exploitation. Permission is the cornerstone to a civilized society. Maybe ask these women in Texas about it?
Below is a recent example of how ordinary people, who are also creators got a first hand lesson in “permissionless innovation” aka, “you will be monetized” or “all ur net proceeds now belong to us.”
When Instagram attempted to change it’s terms of service that would allow the company to monetize the work of the individual without the individuals permission, consumers went ballistic. It seems that permission is not such a difficult concept to grasp when people are personally effected. This is why privacy is a much more universal issue, because everyone is effected by it.
It is strangely ironic (or not really) that the companies who were so quick to threaten an “internet blackout” really have no such motivation in detailing how individual personal data is being collected and monetized. Even when that data is from children. So much for being open and transparent.
What’s worse is that Google has been repeatedly caught red handed violating the privacy of not just it’s users but also unsuspecting consumers. Two cases that immediately come to mind are the Safari privacy scandal and resulting settlement and the much broader real world illegal data collection scheme known as Wi-Spy.
So, just like everyone understands the basic fundamental right to privacy is built on the permissions we grant by consent to other citizens, businesses and institutions, individual creators also have the same right to grant permission to who and how their work can be exploited (yes their work, as in labor) for profit and gain.
This is even more important when those doing the profiting are corporations and businesses like Google, various advertising networks and others.
This week marked the one year anniversary of the passing of Steve Jobs. He was by most accounts a complex man of many contradictions. One thing was clear about him however, he loved music and respected artists. It was this genuine appreciation for the arts that is said to have driven his sense of design, look, feel and performance of Apple products. With the iPod and iTunes Steve and Apple made the most significant change to the record business probably since the introduction of the 12″ long play album.
It’s easy to slip into revisionist history about the iPod, but the truth is that the product launch was delayed pending the verdict in the Digital River Mp3 player trial. Only after it was clear that the iPod was not violating any rights did the product launch. Apple very well could have also achieved market dominance of the iPod without introducing a legally paid music store, but Steve recognized an opportunity that would be mutually beneficial to both Apple and artists alike.
Although controversial when it launched in 2003 (for ala carte song downloads), the Itunes Store is still the most successful online music start-up ever. Most important in recognition of that fact is acknowledging Itunes is a model that takes into account and benefits all stakeholders fairly. The prevailing wisdom of the internet and tech community was then (and sadly remains largely so today) to be one of greed and exploitation of both artists and rights holders.
It is precisely this intention and respect that makes the iTunes store great. When Steve rolled out iTunes for indie labels he said, “Things for you are going to get worse, they are not going to get better. Payment is optional, this will help you compete against illegally free by providing a better user experience, at a reasonable price.” He was right on all counts.
Thanks Steve, if only more people in the internet and technology community had as much respect for the arts and artists as you did we’d all probably be a lot better off. We miss you, sail on.