File sharing is alive and well, to the tune of 300 million users a month | GigOm

Surprise: P2P isn’t dead, after all. 300 million users swap files via BitTorrent every month, according to new numbers from media intelligence startup Tru Optik, which estimates that every month, more movies and TV shows get downloaded by file sharers than are sold on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon together.

And we’re not just talking about users in countries where media would otherwise be inaccessible. Users in the U.S. download more movies, TV shows, music and software than any other country, according to Tru Optik. The only exception to this rule is video games, where users in Brazil are more active than their U.S. counterparts.

READ THE FULL STORY AT GIGAOM:
http://gigaom.com/2014/05/28/file-sharing-is-alive-and-well-to-the-tune-of-300-million-users-a-month/

Music Piracy Is and Should Remain Illegal | NoisePorn

The problem is not that the music industry is refusing to change with technology and culture. In fact, I find it spooky that the notion of revamping the system to pander to those engaging in criminal activity is even being uttered. The problem is that we’ve become a society that excuses douchebaggery as a sign of the times; an “everybody’s doing it so, whatever” phenomenon. And, instead of enforcing logical rules (i.e. prosecuting the wrongdoers), we justify the despicable and conjure up excuses for their behavior. Maybe they weren’t hugged enough as children. Or maybe the music industry is being unfair by trying to profit from what some think should be free and accessible to everyone. We then, as if stricken with Stockholm Syndrome, develop a completely warped sense of empathy toward the culprits; bending the fist of justice until the finger of blame points back at the industry and its still bleeding wounds.

READ THE FULL STORY AT NOISE PORN:
http://www.noiseporn.com/2014/05/music-piracy-remain-illegal/

U2 manager: ‘Google is the greatest theft enabler on the internet’ | Music Week

Discussing piracy, McGuinness suggested Google isn’t dealing with illegal links because “they don’t want to”.

“There are some vested interests that could help a lot more than they are doing,” he explained. “Google is the greatest theft enabler on the internet, when I Google YouTube music there are multiple opportunities to steal it.

“I don’t think the industry takes [Google's] promises to take things down when they get a notice sincerely. They take it down but the bots replace them immediately. I don’t thinks it’s beyond the ingenuity of those clever people at Google to deal with that, but I don’t think they don’t want to.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC WEEK:
http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/u2-manager-google-is-the-greatest-theft-enabler-on-the-internet/058534

Copyright “safe harbors” shrink in wake of MP3Tunes, other red flag rulings | GIGAOM

In case you missed it, a jury this week found that Michael Robertson, CEO of defunct music service MP3Tunes, was liable for copyright infringement. The jury concluded that Robertson, whose websites permitted users to upload songs and store them in “lockers,” had turned a blind eye to piracy — meaning that they forfeited the so-called “safe harbor” protections under copyright law that normally ensure that a website is not liable for the misdeeds of its users.

The significance of the case has little to do with MP3Tunes, which has long been closed, but instead stands as a strategic victory for copyright owners. That’s because the jury found Robertson liable on the basis of so-called “red flag” knowledge rather than “actual” knowledge. The distinction may sound arcane, but it’s one the studios have fought hard to establish as part of their strategy to change the level of proof needed to prove piracy.

READ THE FULL STORY AT GIGAOM:
http://gigaom.com/2014/03/21/copyright-safe-harbors-shrink-in-wake-of-mp3tunes-other-red-flag-rulings/

Sons of Anarchy Creator Kurt Sutter Responds to Google Shill Marvin Ammori, and boy is it good!

So Google shill Marvin Ammori wrote an Asperger’s ridden anti-copyright, anti-artist tirade on Slate. Of course in doing so Marvin failed to represent his past and current affiliations to Google. Slate, to their credit amended the rant with the following:

Update, March 11, 2014: Disclosure: The author represented Google and other companies fighting SOPA/PIPA in 2011 and 2012. He currently represents Google and other companies on several issues, including copyright reform. These views are his own.

googlepropagandaasnews

Of course, this isn’t the first time that those with a political agenda haven’t disclosed their affiliations. Who can forget Timothy B. Lee’s Epic Fail in the Washington Post on Piracy?

And so, we present the brilliant rebuttal to Google’s disingenuous attack on the rights of individual creators and artists by Kurt Sutter.

Not-So-Zen and the Art of Voluntary Agreements
Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content. That’s bad for artists and bad for consumers. By Kurt Sutter

It’s so absurd that Google is still presenting itself as the lovable geek who’s the friend of the young everyman. Don’t kid yourself, kids: Google is the establishment. It is a multibillion-dollar information portal that makes dough off of every click on its page and every data byte it streams. Do you really think Google gives a shit about free speech or your inalienable right to access unfettered content? Nope. You’re just another revenue resource Google can access to create more traffic and more data streams. Unfortunately, those streams are now pristine, digital ones of our work, which all flow into a huge watershed of semi-dirty cash. If you want to know more about how this works, just Google the word “parasite.” And if you think I’m exaggerating, ask yourself why Google spends tens of millions of dollars each year to hire lawyers and lobbyists (like Marv) whose sole purpose is to erode creative copyright laws.

Do they do this because they hate artists? No. They do it because they love money.

READ THE FULL STORY AT SLATE:
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/03/sons_of_anarchy_creator_kurt_sutter_google_s_copyright_stance_is_bad_for.html

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Google, Advertising, Money and Piracy. A History of Wrongdoing Exposed.|Trichordist

Why Google Really is Evil | Fox Business News

Google and Trichordist to debate piracy profits in London | Music Week

Homegrown Music: The Challenges Of Running A Record Label in D.C. | DC Music Download

“I don’t think people understand the idea that music is someone else’s property because it’s just in digital bits,” Feigenbaum says. “It’s intangible. People who feel music has no value and want to steal from you will steal from you. It’s so ubiquitous—it’s so easy”.

“I have people come up to me and tell me how much they love what I do, and I’ll be like, ‘That’s great, where do you buy it?’” notes Feigenbaum. “And you can see they weren’t expecting that and they start to stammer. It’s like, ‘You’re not helping me. You’re not a fan-you’re a leech.’”

“I could go on and on about the things I don’t like about iTunes,” he says, “But they do pay. It’s not my favorite business model, but I get paid from them.” Spotify, however, is another matter.

“They don’t pay shit,” he says. “The only people who make money off of Spotify is Spotify. We were getting thousands of listens on Spotify, which added up to literally one and a quarter pennies. So we opted out.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT DC MUSIC DOWNLOAD:
http://dcmusicdownload.com/2014/02/12/homegrown-music-the-challenges-of-running-a-record-label-in-d-c/

7 royalty cheques that’ll make you lose your faith in the music industry | AUX

How little does the music industry pay artists? Shockingly little. Spotify, the dominant streaming music source in the U.S., is leaking money. They reportedly dole out 70 per cent of their revenue to royalties, and while that number seems high, consider this: each song stream pays an artist between one-sixth and one-eight of a cent. One source claimed that, on streaming music services, an artist requires nearly 50,000 plays to receive the revenue earned from one album sale. Ouch.

Indeed, things are getting dire. And here are seven examples of how bad things can get.

READ THE FULL STORY AT AUX:
http://m.aux.tv/news/100455-7-royalty-cheques-that-ll-make-you-lose-your-faith-in-the-music-industry

U2 Manager Paul McGuinness on Artists Rights and Piracy

What needs to be done is simple, take the sites down and keep them down. If the pirates can manage to replace their sites instantly with legions of bots, Google, with their brilliant algorithm engineers can counter it.

We need the technology giants like Google to do the things that labels, the publishers, the artists, the writers repeatedly ask them to do. They need to show corporate and social responsibility. Take down the illegal sites, keep them down and clear the way for the legal digital distributers like iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, the new Jimmy Iovine Beats service, which promises to be a very serious competitor. Those services now exist, it is no longer acceptable to say that the music industry is not available, not making its wares available online.

We’re all aware in this room that subscription is now replacing downloading — legal or illegal — but we do need those mega corporations to make a genuine effort to cooperate and feed the industry that has been so good to them.

READ THE FULL STORY AT BILLBOARD:
http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/global/5893877/u2-manager-paul-mcguinness-receives-billboards-industry-icon-award

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Gene Simmons Voices Support for New Artists | Slyck News

We love Gene’s passion for new and developing artists to have the same opportunities he did.

The foxes have been led into the hen house, so people wonder why there’s so few chickens. It’s because you allowed your kids to go in there and steal the stuff for free, so record companies are dying and new bands don’t have a chance. And new bands should get every chance in the world, and if it means ‘The X Factor’ or ‘American Idol’ or any other kind of (outlet), give them a chance.

“I still think [downloading] is a crime. The sad part is that the fans are the ones who are killing the thing they love, great music. For f***ks sake, you’re not giving the next great band a chance. How much have we lost through illegal downloading?

READ THE FULL STORY AT SLYCK NEWS:
http://www.slyck.com/story2274_Gene_Simmons_Speaks_Out_Once_Again_About_Music_Piracy

Don Henley Talks Google Versus Musicians | LA Times

In the technocratic world of Google (which owns YouTube), my musical brethren and I are no longer artists; we’re not creators — we are merely “content providers.” Copyright and intellectual property mean nothing to the technocracy. They’ve built multi-billion-dollar, global empires on the backs of creative, working people who are uncompensated. They’re wrecking entire industries.

There might be a legislative fix, but there seems to be no political will. Google alone has about a dozen lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Google spent over $11 million last year on lobbying and over $18 million the previous year. They spread the money and the propaganda around like manna, employing their favorite buzz words like “innovation.” Regulation, they say, will “stifle innovation,” and the legislators all nod in agreement. It’s an oligarchy, plain and simple.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW AT THE LA TIMES:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-don-henley-qa-20140115,0,5745299.story