The Making of Le Noise: the new album from Neil Young (9-14-10)

It’s Friday.

Sometimes, ya just got to appreciate the artist, the process and the music to put everything in perspective. Neil Young + Daniel Lanois = Awesome.


And, for those who may have missed it, this awesome post from

Neil Young Exploited by Ford, Cooper Mini, Target, State Farm, Adobe, Alaska Air, ATT, Boy Scouts, DIRECTV, LG, Princess Cruises, HP, Westin, Charmin, RapidShare

Hey Tom Waits! Who’s That Bandido Ripping You Off Now? … Wendy’s, Yahoo, BMW, Mitt Romney, Adobe, Cadillac, LG, Target, Westin Hotels, Priceline, Hyatt Hotels, Weight Watchers, VISA, State Farm, Mini Cooper, ADT Security…

Remember the bad old days of the music business of yore? When sleazy cigar chomping gangsters would give an old bluesman $20 for a song? Later when that song became a hit, the old bluesman discovered that he had signed away all his rights to that song for 20 bucks. And the gangsters kept all that cash that rolled in.

Well the new guys are much worse. These cigar chomping Vladmirs don’t even bother giving the bluesman the 20 bucks. They take the old bluesman’s songs without permission, slather them in ads, and charge for faster downloads. If the artists complain about this, they are shouted down by Vladmir’s useful idiots at foundations like the EFF or glassy-eyed digital utopians from Berkeley* and Harvard. “Censorship” and “Freedom” they shout. Nevermind that many of the websites they are protecting are based in countries like Belarus and Russia. Not exactly paragons of democracy and freedom.

And what about the brands that advertise on these sites and the ad networks that put the ads there, and the payment processors who process the money for them? These guys are no different than the bankers and money launderers that enable the cartels.

This is bullshit right? Cause every single one of these companies advertising here, their advertising agencies and the ad networks have either “corporate responsibility” initiatives or grandiose statements of best and ethical practices. And here they are making a mockery of all that right here for all the world to see.

Plus it’s against the law.

What do you have to say BMW, Mitt Romney, Adobe, Cadillac, LG, Target, Visa, Wendy’s, Westin, Priceline, Weight Watchers, Hyatt, Hilton, Yahoo, Urban Outfitters and University of Phoenix?

(According to Google, the websites in this screenshot — filestube, 4shared, and Dilandau — are the #1, #6, #11, and #8 top copyright infringing sites in the world.)

(*Berkeley runs the aptly named that is dedicated to posting the names of everyone that files DMCA “takedown” notices of copyright infringing links. You read that right, the birthplace of the free speech movement runs a site that basically punishes, er, publishes the name and address of the little guy that attempts to protect his/her freedom of expression. Intimidation pure and simple. You can write the Chancellor of Berkeley here: chancellor<AT>

Here’s yer Bandido’s…

* BMW on Kick Ass Torrents
* Mitt Romney, ADT Security on 4Shared
* Adobe, Mini Cooper on FilesTube
* Cadillac on FilesTube
* LG on FilesTube
* Target on Mp3Crank
* VISA, State Farm on Mp3 Crank
* Wendy’s on Kick Ass Torrents
* Westin on Kick Ass Torrents
* Priceline, Weight Watchers on 4Shared
* Hyatt on 4Shared
* Weight Watchers, Hilton on 4Shared
* Yahoo on Dilandau
* Urban Outfitters on FilesTube

And this video from Tom is awesome too…

CNBC Tonight : Hollywood Robbery — Thursday, August 30th 9p | 12a ET

Hollywood Robbery Premieres Thursday, August 30th 9p | 12a ET

CNBC – Crime Inc Expose on Ad Supported Piracy:

Show Preview Here:

More at Music Tech Policy:

Neil Young Exploited by Ford, Cooper Mini, Target, State Farm, Adobe, Alaska Air, ATT, Boy Scouts, DIRECTV, LG, Princess Cruises, HP, Westin, Charmin, RapidShare

Neil Young Exploited… We’re Speechless… The impressive list below is just scratching the surface, or the tip of the iceberg. The only question to ask is…

How much money have these brands paid these ad networks, which ultimately is collected by these actively infringing sites, to profit from the music and career of Neil Young?

* Ford, Cooper (BMW), Target on FilesTube
* Target on Kick Ass Torrents
* State Farm on Torrent Reactor
* State Farm on Iso Hunt
* State Farm (X2) on Kick Ass Torrents
* Adobe on Torrent Reactor
* Adobe, Legal Zoom on Iso Hunt
* Adobe on Kick Ass Torrents
* Alaska Air on Iso Hunt
* Alaska Air on Kick Ass Torrents
* AT&T on Kick Ass Torrents
* Boy Scouts on Torrent Reactor
* Direct TV on Kick Ass Torrents
* Ebay on Kick Ass Torrents
* Hewlett Packard on Files Tube
* LG, Princess Cruises on Files Tube
* Westin Hotels on Kick Ass Torrents
* Charmin Toilet Paper on Iso Hunt

And, let’s be honest… What artist doesn’t want to be associated with Charmin Toilet Paper?

Neil Young Exploited by … @Ford, @CooperMiniLtd, @Target, @StateFarm, @Adobe, @AlaskaAir, @ATT, @boyscouts, @DIRECTV, @LGUSAMobile, @PrincessCruises, @HP, @Westin, @Charmin, @RapidShare@RapidShare


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Principles for an Ethical and Sustainable Internet

Technology may change but principles do not. A society that encourages the creative spirit is rare in history and worth defending. The internet and digital technology have opened up many new opportunities for artists, but it has also opened up new opportunities for those who wish to exploit those artists.

We offer for discussion a set of principles as a guide for companies and policy makers to keep in mind. It is our hope that these principles will help build a sustainable online creative ecosystem, one that benefits creators, innovators, and the general public alike.

A fair and ethical internet is built on the respect and protection of the rights of individuals to determine who benefits from their labor and creations.

Since the rise of digital utopians in the 1990s, we’ve unfortunately seen many very old arguments surface as to why the economic benefits of a few big companies should be valued over the labor rights of many. This problem is what drives workers to organize to protect their labor and demand fair compensation. Not only are artist rights protected by the US Constitution, artist rights are also internationally recognized as human rights protected by many international treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, however, there are those who seek to capture the value of artist rights profit only for themselves by systematically violating these rights for commercial gain.

A free and open internet works best without overbearing regulation, but it will not work at all without protection for fundamental rights of working people.

Your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose. Your rights end where mine begin.

Rights secured by the Constitution are intended to protect the individual from hostile majority forces and the tyranny of the mob, particularly the corporate mob. This is especially true regarding copyright, which is itself a vehicle of the right of free expression for individuals, and protected by the Constitution.

Everyone understands the value of individual privacy in the digital age. The essence of the artist’s control over the integrity of their work is not that different. Individual consent should be required for a corporation to profit from taking any creative work (just like individual consent is required for taking personal information) because the creative work goes to the artist’s personhood. Protecting an individual’s right to their personhood and the protection of their free expression are building blocks in the foundation of civilization.

Freedom of speech requires freedom of expression. Copyright protects free expression. Together, they ensure a robust marketplace of ideas that advances truth, knowledge, and culture.

Let’s get this straight. Censorship is intolerable. You don’t have to look very far to see artists being censored by governments — there are many historical examples . No one understands this more than the scores of individual artists, musicians, painters, writers, poets, filmmakers and creators of all disciplines who have actually (and literally) have been persecuted, disappeared or assassinated for their views all over the world. Sadly, many confuse the actual freedom of expression with the mistaken idea that preventing the illegal exploitation of that very expression is the same thing. It’s not.

The copying and distribution of those expressions without the creators permission is simply exploitation without consent or compensation. Would you think that a car thief is being censored when they are prosecuted for stealing your car or a bank robber is being censored when they are prosecuted for stealing your money? Don’t trivialize “censorship”.

In any value chain where the individual creator’s work is exploited, the creator must be compensated.

Most fair and reasonable people embrace “Fair Trade” products to support and encourage fair compensation of labor. Unions have fought long hard-won battles for the protection of labor rights. As a society we recognize the individual’s right to fair compensation of labor as a fundamental cornerstone to an ethical and healthy society. The internet is inhabited by as many different varied participants as the physical world, and the respect for human labor should not be devalued simply because technology makes it possible to be unethical.

It’s very simple–the answer if you don’t like an artist’s work is not to steal it–just don’t buy it. They’ll get the message.

Mutual respect for the diversity of all online citizens is the cornerstone of a healthy and robust community.

The mutual respect granted by intellectual property rights allows individual creators the freedom to determine what permissions they wish to grant and at what price. No one has to pay that price, but the creator is entitled to set it. Denying these freedoms to creators because the mob or a public company wants to overrun a musician, author, illustrator or photographer violates the very protections against mob rule that the Constitution is intended to secure. Sadly, this is largely how individual rights are viewed today by some online corporate interests.

The illegal exploitation of individuals for commercial gain is not innovation, it is techno-thuggery and cyberbullying.

We see many companies on the internet illegally exploiting the work, labor, innovation and creations of others simply because they can get away with it. We’re often told that innovation requires the unauthorized exploitation of creators in some kind of technological determinism that rejects the innovation of creators because it“scales”. That is just another way of using “convenience” as an excuse for theft. Any business that requires the illegal exploitation of individuals to be profitable is not a business but rather is a parasitic engine of oppression.

Sustainable innovation is best represented by solving problems, not creating them by adding intentional opaque layers of obfuscation.

The organized and deliberate complexity of some online ad networks, pirate site operations, and other businesses creates an impenetrable black box to protect illicit money flows and give the participants plausible deniability. Then we are told to “follow the money” through advertising networks, down a rabbit hole to a maze followed by another rabbit hole. That’s not innovation. It is old school wire fraud. This should not be a badge of honor for the online community but rather a point of embarrassment that the Internet—one of the greatest technological achievements of all time–is trivialized by making it nothing more than a safe house for many illegitimate businesses profiting at the expense of honest citizens.

There are centuries of mutual ground between creators, commerce and rights holders. Let’s not throw this away.

Let’s not set a goal of building a large database for clearances of all copyrights and do nothing until it is operational. That solution almost guarantees that there won’t be many new works to put in that database. Such a database has never existed and is incredibly complex. A transparent rights clearinghouse is a possible solution, but the lack of one it is definitely not an excuse for bad behavior.

Weekly News and Recap! Sunday Aug 26, 2012

Grab the Coffee!

Recent Posts:
* MegaUpload (MegaVideo) Smoking Gun? Did the site illegally charge for Streaming Movies?
* How to DMCA : Google Web Search, De-Listing Infringing Links
* Aimee Mann Exploited by Wells Fargo Bank, Nationwide Insurance and Others…
* Neko Case Exploited by Macy’s, Levi’s, Princess Cruises, Skype, Yahoo and Others…
* Talib Kweli Exploited by State Farm Insurance, Neiman Marcus, Ferguson/Kohler and Others…
* Death Cab For Cutie Exploited by Google, Target, AT&T, Ford, Urban Outfitters and Others…
* Jared Leto Exploited by Rapidshare, Volkswagon, Ford, LG, Adobe, Target and Others…
* A Commendable Response from Zedo
* SXSW Panels for Artists Rights – Show Your Support @ SXSW Panel Picker

The Sky is (not) Rising…
– The truth is unavoidable. In this post from Digital Music News we see again that not only are the sales of recorded music in decline, but along with it the number of professional musicians are also in decline. For all the spin put forth by the likes of former TuneCore CEO Jeff Price and the Future Of Music Coalition, the truth is the internet has failed to create a stronger professional working class of musicians. Anyone attempting to spin this anyone other way is not working for their own interests and not those of musicians. From the DMN post,

“according to stats supplied by the US Department of Labor, there are 41 percent fewer paid musicians since 1999.”

DMCA Takedown requests to Google up 100% in one month…
– Is anyone really surprised that given a new tool for delisting infringing links from Google Web Search that these numbers have increased. As Torrent Freak reports, “the scale of the issue had largely been hidden.”

A Shill by Any Other Name…
– Google released it’s Supplemental Disclosures, you can read here at featuring all the usual suspects and your favorite cast of characters. Listed and described in the document are Public Knowledge, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Floor 64 CEO Mike Masnick (also of Tech Dirt, but who questions why he was included by Google under the reference to the CCIA that he consults for) and others. The judge who ordered the disclosure rightfully understands that he who pays the piper names the tune. It’s funny how many of these same players appeared to have editorialized the SOPA debate to the benefit of Google’s business interests.

It’s the other guys fault, no really… Rapidshare plays pass the buck…
– Rapidshare pulls a page from the Google playbook in it’s filing to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) by passing the buck of responsibility for illegal file sharing onto the the search engines, advertisers, pirate sites and ad networks. While this open and honest admission is encouraging, Rapidshare unfortunately is still not taking responsibility for the overwhelming amount of infringing material it is hosting itself. So tell me more about how sophisticated these websites are and why more sophisticated legislation is not the solution? Does this sound familiar?

“Rather than enacting legislation that could stifle innovation in the cloud, the U.S. government should crack down on this critical part of the online piracy network.

The only way that content stored with RapidShare can be accessed by a third party is when a user makes his or her access credentials available to others by posting this information on websites. These very sophisticated websites, often featuring advertising, facilitate the mass indiscriminate distribution of copyrighted content on the Internet and should be the focus of US intellectual property enforcement efforts.”

USA TODAY details the true costs of “Free” Downloads
– We were very encouraged to see a well written report on the reality of illegally artist exploitation online by infringing and pirates sites By Ken Paulson in USA Today. The brief but lucid article details the historical origins of both free speech and copyright as complimentary, not competing principles. Ken writes,

“…this nation adopted two major, interlacing principles: Americans were free to write whatever they wanted and had every right to be compensated for their work. The First Amendment encouraged creativity, and the copyright clause guaranteed compensation.”

Musicians Stand to Lose Again in Battle over Radio Royalties
– It seems no matter where you look today musicians are under fire. Now internet streaming internet services like Pandora and others are hoping to make more money from musicians work, by paying them less royalties. Even major labels let artists collect 100% of their streaming royalties whether or not they’re recouped but Pandora wants to profit more by paying less.  For all the talk of how the internet is liberating and empowering musicians, it seems the in reality the truth is actually very much the opposite. This looks like a pattern–every few years Pandora will try to move the goal posts in their direction by exercising their lobbying muscle.  So much for a “middle class musician.”  Musicians need to be informed about these issues and be vocal in their support of legislative and union representation. We’re very disappointed by the strong position taken by Pandora to not fairly pay artists.  Read more in AFM President Ray Hair’s piece at The Hill.

Gearslutz pulls Spotify advertising after forum users complain
– The web forum Gearslutz caters to musical enthusiasts and hobbyists interested in studio gear. The highly successful site is probably the top meeting place online for this particular demographic of aspiring musicians. This week the site pulled it’s Spotify advertising banners after users on the forum complained that Spotify might well be the end of their professional aspirations. As the Spotify debate rages on, there still appear to be more questions than answers about the transparency of the companies practices and what it’s long term effects will be on the professional music community.

Google concerned over online Piracy?
– We found this story on Ars Technica about the FBI (as opposed to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) seizing the domain names of sites that allegedly participate in Android app piracy. Sooner or later it appears Google will learn that a fair and honest internet is the best way to build a fair and honest businesses. Now if only this solution were available to remedy the sites infringing on musicians work like FilesTube, Rapidshare and others.

Jared Leto Exploited by Rapidshare, VW, Go Pro, LG, Emirates Airlines, Adobe, Ford and Target

In this round we find advertisers exploiting Jared Leto‘s band 30 Seconds To Mars by Volkswagon, Go Pro cameras, LG electronics and appliances, Emirates Airlines, Adobe software, Ford and Target. It’s also interesting to note that in this series of screen shots the infringing links appear to be hosted on Rapidshare. This is the same Rapidshare that has been offended by being put on a piracy watch list. It seems to us that if Rapidshare wants to champion best practices for cyberlockers, they would do well to clean up their own business first.

The hits just keep on coming… How much money do we have to follow before there is some accountability on behalf of the brands and advertising networks? Let us be clear about this. Piracy is being financed by advertising dollars, originating with major brands, trusted to advertising agencies and then ultimately distributed to questionable online advertising networks and then to the pirate sites themselves.

This is not about free speech. This is not about censorship. It’s about money. It’s about a lot of money. It’s about a lot of money being made by advertising networks and pirate sites and not paying artists a penny. This is the exploitation economy where anyone and everyone can profit from a creators work, except the creator themselves.

FilesTube points to Rapidshare as a host of infringing uploads of artists work. Also not the Adobe advertising. Wouldn’t be ironic if users searched FilesTube and RapidShare for Adobe software products?

Death Cab For Cutie Exploited by Google, Target, AT&T, Ford, Urban Outfitters, United Airlines, Rejuvenation and Crate and Barrel

Google was right. This is a follow the money story. As reported by PC Pro Magazine, Google says,

“Instead of imposing blocks or filters that might damage fundamental freedoms, governments should construct coalitions with reputable advertising networks, payment processors and rightsholders. Together, these coalitions can crack down and squeeze the financing behind online infringement.”

We’d like to think that Google themselves would be one of the “reputable advertising networks.” As pictured below, Google appears to be not just the ad network serving the ad, but also the brand buying the advertising for it’s product, Google Advertising. Needless to say this is a disappointing find given the recent report.

What’s worse is that major consumer brands are benefiting from having access to the audience (and key demographics) built by individual artists. In this case Death Cab For Cutie who based on the advertisers seems to be a very good demographic indeed supporting ads from Target, SC Johnson and AT&T and that’s just on one site with infringing material.

What incentive is there for brands and advertisers to work with artists and creators to create ad campaigns when the brands can simply “steal” access to the artists audience by paying ad networks to turn a blind eye to sites dedicated to infringing activity?

So far we’ve seen that Google understands, and recommends that advertising networks be accountable to where they are serving ads, despite the fact that Google themselves appears to be still serving ads to sites entirely dedicated to copyright infringement. We’ve also seen above how the music of Ben Gibbard‘s band Death Cab For Cutie is able to draw advertising revenue from Target and AT&T.

Below we see how deep this really goes. By focusing on just FilesTube we can see that Death Cab For Cutie draws advertising revenue to the site from Ford, Urban Outfitters, United Airlines, Rejuvenation and Crate & Barrel. These are all well respected brands, that appeal to a demographic with considerable disposable income. And yet, none of these brands compensate Ben Gibbard, Death Cab For Cutie or any of the various rights holders for access to the bands music and fans.

So yes, this is a follow the money story. When we follow the money it leads to major brands and online advertising networks all profiting from the artists work and paying nothing to the artists. Not one single penny. Zero. Zilch. Nadda. That’s what makes this discussion about free beer, and not free speech as some would like to propose.

Music Technology Policy

We got this nice comment today from Francine Hardaway on behalf of Zedo (who we called out in an earlier post).  It’s gratifying to hear that a company in the ad network business cares enough about artists to respond to criticism.  This exchange highlights the most important aspect of the collision of legitimate companies with the seedy underbelly of the Internet–it’s not enough to sit back and wait for someone to formally notify you when things are going wrong.

Ad networks are the Pinto of the 21st Century and it’s important not to cover up responsibility as it will only come back to bite in the end.  Not to mention that good companies are run by good people who want to do the right thing.

I’m particularly glad to get this response because Esther Dyson’s book “Release 2.0” inspired me in the 90s.  We look forward to not seeing Zedo show up on pirate…

View original post 144 more words

Talib Kweli Exploited by State Farm Insurance, Neiman Marcus, Ferguson/Kohler, The Ad Council, Google, Ad Choices and Desk Top Strippers

Still think that the illegal exploitation of artists work is about freedom and sharing? From the looks of the screen shots below it’s about mass scale, enterprise level ad laundering with money originating on Madison Avenue. Or, in the case of Neiman Marcus maybe 5th Avenue?

These are major brands and corporations like State Farm Insurance, Neiman Marcus, Ferguson, Kohler,, Google and even the Ad Council who are aiding in the exploitation of, and profiting from the infringement of the artists work.

Yes Google we’re following the money and it leads back to these major brands and companies (like Google).

We’re not sure how Talib Kweli feels about all this, but maybe we’ll tweet him to find out.Earlier this summer we noticed Talib retweeted the “Letter To Emily.”

Talib Kweli Greene ‏@TalibKweli
RT @SLondonChicinFL: EXCELLENT must read for anyone who has downloaded music illegally

of course one of the greatest irony’s of pirate culture is protecting their IP while profiting from everyone else’s…

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