Weekly Recap Sunday October 28, 2012

Grab the coffee!

Recent Posts:
* Is Tim Westergren (Pandora) Really Just A Beard For Clear Channel?
* “We’re Gonna Boycott Your Band” And Other Empty Freehadist Threats- 6 Months Of Campaigning Against Piracy.
* Pittsburg Post-Gazette TV Critic Instructs Readers In How To Get Pirated Copies Of DVD’s…and Fund Terrorism?
* UPDATE : Pittsburg Post-Gazette Published Piracy Link
* Pandora Comes Out Of The Closet; Confirms Clear Channel and Pandora “More Than Just Friends’

From Around The Web…

COPYHYPE:
* Essential Reading of the Week as Compiled by Terry Hart at Copyhype.

HUFFINGTON POST:
* John Mellencamp Talks Internet Piracy

CNET:
* Commentary on John Mellencamp Talks Internet Piracy

BBC:
* More piracy sites faced with blocking as BPI contacts UK ISPs
“since the April court order, The Pirate Bay has lost three quarters of its visitors.”

SPIEGEL ONLINE:
* Voters Growing Disillusioned with Germany’s Pirate Party

THE CYNICAL MUSICIAN:
* Got Change?

TORRENT FREAK:
* TV Shack Admin Richard O’Dwyer “Almost Certain” To Be Extradited To US
* Torrent Site Webhost Ordered to Pay “Piracy” Damages
* Pirate Bay Censored in Ireland After Mysterious Court Order (Updated)

DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:
* Taylor Swift’s Label: Streaming “Doesn’t Make Sense to a Small Record Company…”
* It Was 2012. And Streaming Hadn’t Yet Gone Mainstream…

HYPEBOT:
* Metallica Prepping First Independent Release

MUSIC TECH POLICY:
* Friends Don’t Let Friends Get IRFAd: Five Simple Facts About the “Internet Radio Fairness Act”
* Google and Clear Channel Send Their Shills Out for IRFA Lobby Fest
* Constitutional Opportunism Continues with IRFA: Copyright Royalty Judges are Properly Appointed

Weekly Recap Sunday October 21, 2012 aka Pandorathon, On and On…

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Recent Posts, aka The Pandorathon:
* Sign the @musiciansunion (AFM) Letter: Friends don’t let friends get IRFA’d!
* If Pandora wants Terrestial Radio Royalty Rates, Act Like It – Problem Solved!
* Tim Westergren’s Sophomore Slump. New Bill Sucks, Old Radio Fairness Bill Was Way Better.
* Screw You Too, Pandora. Part I. Pandora The Union Buster! Jail time for Collective Bargaining?
* Four Simple Reasons Why the Pandora Radio Act Screws Musicians (EZ Reader)
* Screw You Too, Pandora. Part II: Did Pandora Lie During Their IPO? Or are they just plain old greedy.
* IRFA Analysis: Section 2
* Screw you too, Pandora™ PT III. Kangaroo Court: Pandora Bill Requires Firing of Copyright Judges and Replacement with Fake Judges.
* Screw You Too Pandora! Pt IV. Why Conservatives and Libertarians Should Be Appalled By The IRFA Bill.
* Radio Fairness? Sirius/XM Paid My Band $2,213 Pandora Paid $91

And, in case you missed it:
* Amex must really like advertising on #1 copyright infringing and illegal porn linking site Filestube
* Mythbusting : Music Is Too Expensive!?
* Remembering Steve Jobs

From Around The Web.

C|NET:
* Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston on Piracy and TV’s golden age

SPIN:
* Downloaders Beware: Copyright Alert System Arises as Torrent Sites Enter the Cloud

COPYHYPE:
* Friday’s End Notes Oct 19, 2012

VOXINDIE:
* Blogspot.com, a Bridge to Piracy?
* Why Doesn’t YouTube Address the Real Content ID Fail?

ETHICAL FAN:
* Calling All Lawyers! uTorrent Increases “Privacy” and Counters Mass-Monitoring of Downloads

COPYLIKE via MEMEGENERATOR:
* Scumbag Steve – Downloads Music for free Buys $300 headphones
* Join Copylike on Facebook

THE CYNICAL MUSICIAN:
* If a Tree Falls in the Forest and Nobody Hears It…

TORRENTFREAK:
* Microsoft Will Ban Halo 4 Pirates from XBOX Live
* Maybe he should have thought twice? Pirate Bay Founder in Jail.

DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:
* Trent Reznor returns to Major Label System

HYPEBOT:
* SXSW announces first 40 Panels for 2013

MUSIC TECH POLICY
* Betting the Company: The Internet Radio Fairness Act has little to do with the Internet, Radio or Fairness
* An Overlooked Brookings Institute Study on Fighting Piracy at the Corporate Level

AFM:
* Check out the American Federation of Musicians on Facebook

CREATIVE AMERICA:
* Petition for an Internet The Works for Everyone

Weekly Recap & Links Sunday Sep 30, 2012

Grab the Coffee!

Trichordist Recently Posted:
Why are Internet Freedom Fighters always fighting against the Internet Freedom of Artists?
Is The New Internet Association Really Just A Pro-Corporate Version Of The Pirate Party? No It’s a Transparent Ploy by Google To Curry Favor With Congressional Republicans.
Artists Utilize Power of Internet to Get Paid 
Ad Sponsored Piracy Gains Attention and Awareness in Europe
Is it The Pirate Party, or The Pirate Lobby?
Mythbusters, Why Internet Pirates Will Not Win (and should just get over it)
Class Act: Amanda Palmer.
Pandora, Please Stop discrimination against Musicians!
So much for Post-Scarcity, unless Electricity is free?
Google Pro-Artist Policy Changes Challenge Allegations of “Net Censorship”

From Around the Web:

FastCompany:
* Samsung Muscles In On New Territory – Providing Digital Content

VoxIndie via NPR:
* via NPR-How Much do Artists Make on Youtube?
* YouTube Shares Ad Revenue With Musicians, But Does It Add Up?

CopyHype:
* Friday’s Endnotes 09/28/12

Digital Music News:
* Spotify Is Almost Profitable in Europe?
* Deadmou5 witholding latest album from Spotify
* Gee, That’s Funny: Grooveshark Has the Entire deadmau5 Album…

Torrent Freak:
* Canadian Government Learns about the rogue nature of Ad Networks
* Six Strikes Cooperative ISP/Content Initiative coming soon?
* More pirate convictions, this time Jail and 1.1m Euros Fine

Ethical Fan:
* Comcast May Owe Content Owners $1.6B A Year Or More

Music-Tech-Policy:
* Not So Stoopid After All: Firedoglake Reports that Google Pulls Utoopi App
* Updated: A New Twist on Artist Consent Provisions: Protect Your Right to Say No to @mcdonalds ads on pirate sites
* The Wall of Shame Diaspora Jumps the Pond: UK Authors Speak Out on Brand-Supported Piracy

Copyright Alliance:
* Internet Freedom and Protection of Authorship: A Winning Ticket

Weekly Recap Sunday September 16, 2012

Grab the coffee!

Recent Posts:
* Safe Harbor Not Loophole: Five Things We Could Do Right Now to Make the DMCA Notice and Takedown Work Better

Beck’s new album, you provide the labor!
Beck is a genius in choosing to release his new album as sheet music only. The implications of this gesture touch upon many of the current issues that musicians face from respect for their labor to addressing the illegal exploitation of their work and internet piracy. Critics of the story in Forbes by Will Burns don’t get it. Yes, Beck did not invent sheet music. And, we all know that sheet music can be pirated as easily as the music itself, if not more so. But the implications here are greater in the commentary of the act itself. If you want to hear the music from Beck’s new album you can either 1) invest your own labor and play/record it yourself and/or 2) you can buy a ticket to see him on tour. The irony of this gesture is lost on most. We often hear from critics that musicians pine for a return to the 90’s, an age of the past prior to the internet when things were different. What is truly astounding is that those same critics want to return artists and musicians to the 90s themselves… the 1890s. Beck’s unique and thoughtful commentary on our times is an acknowledgement of the current reality for musicians. You can pre-order his new album [here].

Google Pro-Artist Policy Changes Challenge Allegations of “Net Censorship”
In the latest in a series of practices Google removes “Pirate Bay” from auto complete. There is a saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with but one step, and Google has begun to take that journey. These moves should be celebrated by artists, musicians and creators – however we’d suggest some cautious optimism given Google’s history of appearances over actual meaningful change. None the less, this recent move can’t be seen as anything less than positive.

In addition to this latest change, Google has:

1) Created a (relatively) easy to use web form for de-listing up 10,000 infringing links from Google Search in just one DMCA notice.

2) Begun to drop the rankings of sites identified as predominantly dedicated to infringing activity (as determined by the volume of accurate DMCA notices for de-listing).

3) Providing Content Management System (CMS) tools to individual artists, musicians, filmmakers and creators on YouTube.

The most important thing to take away from all of this is that these policies reinforce what we have always said, reducing online piracy is a question of will not capability. As Google implements more of these policies the shallow talking points of the freehadists become more diminished. Online piracy is about free beer, not free speech and we applaud Google for these early and hopefully meaningful baby steps towards an Ethical and Sustainable Internet for all citizens. And uhm, no Torrent Freak, it’s not censorship… let the screaming begin…

The other side of “Disruptive Technology” and “Permissionless Innovation”
Perhaps we’d be indulging in a little to much of wearing a tin foil hat as to suggest that the YouTube glitch effecting Michelle Obama’s DNC speech was somehow calculated, but you never know, right? We find it amusing that when “Disruptive Technology” and “Permissionless Innovation” are employeed to protect the rights of artists the amount of outrage there is to “control the machines.” But aren’t these the same machine and bots that we’ve been told repeatedly over the past decade can not be controlled by humans? That they are too complex to be managed? Well, funny how the shoe in on the other foot. The truth is pretty simple, the YouTube Content Management System flags content that has been claimed by rights holders. No doubt someone between Google, The DNC and YouTube could have easily preemptively waived those claims prior to broadcast. As with all the alleged complexities of the technological age of the internet the simplest answer is usually the most accurate one, human error, not rouge machines.

But it’s only Bits? The carbon footprint of free…
Unfortunately all of that allegedly free music could have a larger carbon footprint than CDs. Although this article from Paid Content specifically comments on streaming content, there is a large carbon footprint across the entire digital ecosystem. Anyone who thinks that Media Piracy has almost no cost isn’t paying the electric bills or maintenance costs to keep a server farm up and running. These costs specifically illustrate how the exploitation economy works. The internet does not operate on fairy dust, it does in fact require capital. We’ve heard it said, denial is not just a river in Egypt. There’s even a carbon footprint to spam. So the next time someone mentions that the internet is a post-scarcity economy, they might want to rethink that… and review this piece from Harper’s on “Google’s Addiction to Cheap Electricity.”

And finally, check out the Arts & Labs Podcast with David Lowery.

Weekly News & Links Sunday September 9, 2012

Grab the coffee!

Recent Posts:
* Javier Bardem on The Rights of Artisans and Filmmakers
* U2 Exploited by United Airlines, Jet Blue, HP, State Farm, Westin, Urban Outfitters…
* Trichordist + Facebook = FarePlay
* The Trichordist Blogroll – Labor Day 2012

New Blog VOXINDIE provides and excellent guide on how indie musicians and filmmakers can utilize YouTube’s Content ID System. Read more [here].

As always, fantastic new commentary and insight from The Cynical Musician. This time on Making Stuff and Making money, Read more [here].

Many in the free culture movement fail to recognize the good work done by artists who invest by giving back to the community. When artist become successful they often take up causes. Some obvious examples would be Sting for Rain Forrests, Bono for Human Rights and Amnesty International and Elton John for Aids Research. Let us also not forget USA For Africa and Live Aid as well. Demonizing “rich rock stars” is a shallow attempt to distract from the real issues of illegal artist exploitation online. We were glad to see Forbes report on Jon Bon Jovi’s philanthropy work.

Music Tech Policy offers spot on response to the ongoing nonsense that the artists number one problem is obscurity. It’s not. The artists number one problem is the same as it is for everyone, getting paid for your work. Everyone has bills to pay.

Support for the Pirate Party in Germany appears to be diminishing. Amongst the problems facing the fledging party (of which there are many) a primary one appears to be “the novelty is wearing off.” SPIEGEL online reports [here].

This is how we got Al Capone… Pirate Bay Founder Arrest Related To Tax Hack, Not Piracy. Although isn’t a Tax Hack just money piracy? Torrent Freak Reports [here].

Another artists speaks out against Spotify payments and practices. This time it’s Grizzly Bear, as reported by Digital Music News [here].

Weekly News and Recap! Sunday Sep 2, 2012

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Recent Posts:
* Principles for an Ethical and Sustainable Internet
* Neil Young Exploited by Ford, Cooper Mini, Target, State Farm, Adobe, Alaska Air, ATT…
* CNBC Tonight : Hollywood Robbery — Thursday, August 30th 9p | 12a ET
* Hey Tom Waits! Who’s That Bandido Ripping You Off Now? … Wendy’s, Yahoo, BMW…
* The Making of Le Noise: the new album from Neil Young (9-14-10)

The Illusion of More : Dissecting the Digital Utopia
– A fantastic new blog and audio podcast launched this week which explores the good, the bad and the ugly of Internet culture, “Now that we’re just about 20 years into the digital age, and the babies born to the sound of dial-up modems are young adults who’ve never known life without the Web, it seems like a good time to explore some of the best and the worst of what we’re making of this technology.” Check out The Illusion of More [here].

Copyhype’s Friday Endnotes 08/31/12
– In addition to the weekly recap here, we strongly recommend the weekly reading of Friday’s Endnotes from Terry Hart’s fantastic blog, Copyhype. Terry often delivers thoughtful and insightful analysis of recent copyright cases, legal developments and news stories that are important to artists and creators.

Artists Exploitation is a Mass Scale, Enterprise Level, Infringing Business
– We are pleased to see several other blogs picking up on this story and asking the same questions we have been. Who is responsible for the funding of illegal artists exploitation on sites dedicated to infringement? Adland picked up the ball this week on our Neil Young post and commented from the perspective from within the Advertising Industry. Several other blogs also have been picking up on the story including Bill Rosenblatt’s Copyright and Technology, Terry Hart’s Copyhype, and Bruce Warlia at Music Think Tank.

Apple V Samsung, $1 Billion Dollar Victory for Apple leaves Anti-IP/Freedhadists with panties all bunched up…
– This is a major win for all artists and creators of Intellectual Property. Even though this case is about patents and not copyrights it clearly illustrates (again) that when presented to a jury (Tenenbaum/Thomas), people understand right from wrong and that copying without permission, is in fact stealing someone else’s hard work for profit. It’s important to note, this jury is comprised of regular folks being presented the actual facts in a court of law. All of the free culture nonsense that reverberates through the echo chamber of tech blogosphere has little impact in the bright light of reality. We are encouraged by the common sense and fairness that this jury displayed, Ars Technica reports;

The jury “wanted to send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do, not just Samsung,” Hogan told the newspaper. “We felt like we were 100 percent fair, but we wanted something more than a slap on the wrist.”

Comscore released a white paper this week on the Economics of Online Advertising.
You can download the white paper [here]. Readers of this blog will note that we are somewhat skeptical of the economics of online advertising as they seem to be largely dependent upon “exploitation economics” to remain profitable. This could be the use of unpaid bloggers for corporate gain, or the use of unlicensed content to aggregate an audience large enough to monetize with advertising. One only need look at the post IPO performance of Facebook to see this in action. Given the above, we found this statement particularly interesting,

“Bottom line, despite all the ingenuity of market participants, the current market situation is untenable.”

Cult of Mac Writer John Bownlee on “Why I Stopped Pirating Music”
– It’s a bitter sweet essay not unlike the one written by NPR’s infamous intern Emily White. We’re encouraged by the notion that as people mature from their 20s into their 30 recognize the value (not the cost) of music in their lives. Not only do they recognize this value, but they recognize the value in actually paying the creators of that work for enriching their own lives. As Brownlee writes, “As a thirty-three year old man, I’m ashamed of the piracy of my twenties” which is encouraging. However it’s the second part of the sentence, the rationalization for a decade plus of denying artists their rightful compensation that still remains as the bitter part, “but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it gradually helped transform me from a person who didn’t care about music into a music lover, an individual with a true passion for sound, and a fervent believer in buying music.”  The takeaway may be that one in their twenties will not pay for music if they don’t have to, but we should be grateful to them if they should grow a conscience and awareness in their thirties? We hope that people like John will stop with the rationalizations, and just admit to themselves and others that the artists that provide enrichment of their lives are deserving of compensation for the consumption of their work and for their contributions to the listeners life.

Streaming and Sustainability, Maybe it Just Doesn’t Work?
– This isn’t just about Spotify as Pandora also faces challenges with scaling it’s business. Maybe the truth is that internet advertising dependent businesses for content just don’t work once one factors in the actual fixed costs to produce and license the content itself? It’s no mystery to us why the illegally operating infringing sites monetizing content seem to be the only ones making money. They’re not actually paying for the content they are monetizing against. This is not a failure of the content industries, it is a failure of the internet community to figure out how to build models that can actually pay for the content they are using to attract the audience they need in which to sell advertising. Not surprisingly, Pandora has hired K-Street lobbyists in an attempt to deny artists of royalties and to line their own pockets. This may also be why Spotify is betting on a subscription model and not advertising, as Digital Music News reports.

Pirates meltdown as they realize that Copyright Law is not going to be abolished anytime soon.
– It is endlessly fascinating to us that the entirety of the free culture movement is defined by the same talking points as a petulant two year old, “I want it, I want it, I want it.” The constant whining and crying is really troublesome as they could be actually working on cooperative and innovative solutions for all stakeholders. Although Rick Falkvinge at Torrent Freak fears having these conversations for the next forty years, we’re a little more optimistic that only those who like walking into walls instead of walking through doorways will insist on continuing the pointless discussion about the unprincipled practice of exploiting the labor of others. We suspect in forty years people will look back at this moment in time and realize the truth that the exploitative robber baron’s of internet industry got a nearly two decade free ride as education and the law reconciled core societal values that have been present for centuries. Copyright is an individual right.

FilesTube Facebook Page Hacked
– Fascinating as it is entertaining. This week the Facebook page of FilesTube was hacked and an endless streaming of taunting and humorous pictures were posted. Not sure why, or who would be motivated to do this but it does indicate that not all hackers are aligned with the free culture movement. Wouldn’t a true “Robin Hood” movement actually transfer wealth from corporations to artists and creators as opposed to the other way around? One again, Torrent Freak reports.

Another one bites the dust, FileSonic Offline.
– The BBC Reports that FileSonic is the latest cyberlocker to go offline, “It’s becoming more difficult for file-sharing sites to operate without getting into trouble both from the authorities and also lawsuits from copyright owners.” Add to this that IMAGiNE BitTorrent Piracy Group Members Have All Plead Guilty and Sweden Ordered Pirate Bay Founder’s Arrest, while Cambodia Mulls Options. It’s getting hard out there for a Pimp, maybe the pirates should just listen to Larry Lessig and “Get Over It”?

Google, YouTube, Porn, Infringement, Copyright Policy and Consequences.
– We pretty much adhere to the time tested idea that eventually, the truth will out. We’ve said for a long time that managing copyright online is a question of will and not capability. This stunning story on Buzzfeed from a Google/YouTube temp worker confirmed what we’ve always believed. If there are consequences for bad behavior (such as porn and other nasty stuff getting onto YouTube) then there are ways to figure out how to manage it. This simply illustrates the obvious, consequences lead responsibility. Or in other words, necessity if the mother of innovation,

“One of the most shocking parts of my job was working on porn issues. Child porn is the biggest thing for internet companies. By law you have to take it down in 24 hours upon notice and report it to federal authorities.”

The Illegal Exploitation of Creators Work is not limited to Musicians.
– Javier Bardem, the Academy Award Winning star of “No Country For Old Men” explains how piracy removes opportunities from actors and other creative artisans.

Be sure to check out the CNBC, Crime Inc. Broadcast of Hollywood Robbery
– Airing Sunday, September 2nd, 11:00 PM EST/PST.

Weekly News and Recap! Sunday Aug 26, 2012

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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 scribd.com 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.

Weekly News and Recap! Sun Aug 19, 2012

Grab the Coffee!

After a brief break the weekly news is back. We also encourage our readers to send us news and stories you discover that you’d like to share with other Trichordist readers. Send your submissions to:  the trichordist (one word) at mail dot com. That’s mail dot com, no “g”.

Recent Posts:
* BMW’s Response to Ads for Its Brands on Pirate Sites
* Isohunt: Bringing People Together on the Wall of Shame
* Mullets, Platform Shoes, Mack Daddies and Public Knowledge
* Dead Kennedy’s Exploited by Charter, Blizzard, Alaska Airlines and 1-800Flowers
* Dear American Express: Stop advertising on sites that illegally exploit my music.
* Free Pussy Riot Now! This is what Real CENSORSHIP Looks Like.
* Who Speaks For The Internet? Do Artists have No Voice Online?

Pussy Riot sentenced to Jail Time, where is the internet Protest and Black Out in response to Real Censorship?
– This is what real and true censorship and oppression looks like and the internet is oddly silent. As yet we’ve not seen the kind of outrage (and outage) sparked by both SOPA and ACTA, which protected artists rights against exploitation. It is sad and confusing that the internet freedom fighters such as Google, Wikipedia and others have not come to the aid of true oppression and censorship. But then again, Pussy Riot is experiencing their troubles in the real world, not online. This is a very important story and we urge all of our readers to educate themselves about it. Mark Levine writes for Al Jazeera, “There are hundreds of artists who perform under threat to their freedom and lives, who also deserve our solidarity.”
* Amnesty International
http://amnestyusa.org/pussyriot
* Free Pussy Riot
http://freepussyriot.org/

Google changes search ranking policy, internet and tech blogosphere have fetal meltdown:
– Google announced that it will start dropping the rankings of sites with a history of infringement in it’s search rankings. We and many others have been advocating this for a long time. It is both encouraging and frustrating that these seemingly impossible policies (like youtube content management and audio fingerprinting) just make it appear to us that Google is the boy who cried wolf. That said we applaud Google, for these policy changes that have the tech blogosphere whining like a baby without a bottle. Let’s be clear about this, these policies are, have been and will be about money and Google’s best interest. Eric Goldman’s piece in Forbes is representative of the kind of fetal meltdown the Google faithful are experiencing, including the EFF. Politico noted Google’s stat that  of the 4.3 Million DMCA requests filed in one month, 97% we in fact infringing. We fully expect to see more inevitable policy changes along these lines in the future, let the screaming begin…

Related : Pirate Sites lose their cookies over Google’s policy change:
– Hmmm… it’s funny how when the pirates need to “adapt and evolve” how much whining we hear. Torrent Freak reports on how The Pirate Bay and Isohunt are in a defcon 4 panic because they know, like we do, once Google acknowledges that these sites are infringing we have started down the road to real progress for creators and artists.

Pirates eat their own in response to uTorrent’s announcement to include adware in the client:
– It never fails to amaze us how those infringing and exploiting artists feel they deserve to be paid for their labor, despite running a site that denies artists the ability to be compensated for their labor. We love this quote from one of the uTorrent developers reacting to the stream of criticisms, “µTorrent is an excellent application which comes for free, but you must understand that its development doesn’t. You just have no authority to sit in judgment over that.” Yes, please tell us more about the importance of being compensated for your labor…

Topspin’s Ian Rogers joins in letter arguing against the protection of Artists Rights:
– We like Ian Rogers alotl. Readers of The Trichordist will know that we frequently refer to Ian’s awesome post-sopa editorial on hypebot calling for non-legislative, cooperative solutions between the tech and content industries in the form of a content database and registry. It is with great disappointment that we saw Ian’s signature on a letter with many people who aggressively campaign against artists rights from the illegal exploitation of their work and fair compensation online. I’m not sure what artists are using Topspin these days, but it gives us pause when the CEO is so aligned with those who are seemingly so opposed to artists rights.

Controversial Tunecore CEO Jeff Price has exited the company:
– We can’t say that we’re surprised. We love Jeff for his passionate and unapologetic opinions about the record industry but often wondered about the accuracy of his perception. Jeff no doubt has done a lot of good on behalf of artists at Tunecore, but also was a bit too defensive and combative when called upon to engage in serious conversations about the reality of life for musicians in the piracy age. Jeff missed the mark and missed the point with an ill informed abusive rant aimed at the widely embraced “Letter To Emily” by David Lowery here on the Trichordist. We believe Tunecore offer a great service to many musicians, but the model would appear to have a glass ceiling. Only so many people are going to keep renewing fees for a service from which they can not recoup those fees, and/or the actual costs to make, market and promote an album. We always thought Jeff would have been better served understanding the real enemy of artists in the 21st Century is for profit piracy and not the major labels (which he oddly defends in the case of Spotify). We hope wherever Jeff lands he will have learned from this experience and continue to be a vocal advocate for artists rights.

Red State reports on the state of the Internet Policy:
– We’re always encouraged to see the issues facing artists and creators reaching a wider audience and greater awareness. Neil Stevens reports in this post from Red State on how Google still makes good money off of slavery and copyright infringement, the ever changing stories told by Kim Dotcom, and comments that Anonymous hasn’t gotten past banging on the table and screaming for what they want: free stuff, legal or not.

AdLand reports on how major brand advertising appears on sites with infringing content exploiting artists:
– We highly recommend checking the AdLand website. A lot of very useful and informative info. We like their no holds barred attitude in addressing the inequities happening online.

Things we like to see, Fair Trade Music Seattle:
– We hope to see more organizations like this for musicians and artists rights. We been saying for a while that people are willing to pay more for fair trade coffee once they’ve been educated, so fair trade music should benefit from the same philosophy to benefit working musicians.

What do Aimee Mann, Neko Case, Talib Kweli all have in common? Tune in this week and find out…
– Starting this week, we’ll be exploring the real word effects of the exploitation economy as we look at how brands, agencies and ad networks appear to be benefiting from the infringing and illegal exploitation of not only artists work in their music, but also the artists name and brand itself.

Reader Comment of the Week:
– This week’s user comment is from Bill Rosenblatt in response to the post Who Speaks For The Internet? Do Artists have No Voice Online? in which we discuss the parties who claim to speak for everyone online. Bill’s comment, “As for Mike Masnick, he’s the Rush Limbaugh of the Internet – he and his Dirtoheads…”

The Trichordist Random Reader Weekly News & Links Sun Aug 5

Grab the coffee!

Recent Posts:
* Kim Dotcom Parody Video Appears on YouTube
* Why Does YouTube Apologize to People who have Uploaded Illegally?
* A Kim Dotcom For All Seasons

Advocacy or Astroturf? Fortune reports on how Google and Facebook channel money to the EFF…
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/30/google-and-facebooks-new-tactic-in-the-tech-wars/

Essential reading, How Online Ad Networks support online piracy. This is business, Big Business. Music Tech Policy reports:
http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/how-the-brands-and-ad-agencies-are-in-on-advertising-supported-piracy/

History repeats itself, Copyhype reports on James Frederick Willetts one of the OG content pirates, prosecuted in 1904:
http://www.copyhype.com/2012/08/enter-the-pirate-king/

Interesting, Demonoid under attack of DDOS strikes and domain redirection to virus software and malware, Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/demonoid-starts-redirecting-to-ads-and-malware-120802/

Don’t believe the Hype, Facebook reports 83 million “Fake” users, and your band still can’t get 100,000 likes… Digital Music News reports:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120802facebook#2DUqPK9yMgrhd-3pomt14A

We’ve been disappointed by the delays of the “Six Strikes” ISP anti-piracy notification system going into effect, but the fact that it’s still upsetting to pirates warms our hearts. Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/isp-six-strikes-anti-piracy-scheme-120803/

Spotify subscriber stats were released this week, but the question remains, will it scale? Digital Music News reports:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120731spotify#6orxX825bqy7BuKYOEPlpA

Ugh. The state of California bet almost 2% of it’s budget on the Facebook IPO hoping for easy money to help the states budget crisis. Guess what? Now it’s worse… Bloomberg reports:
http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-02/california-says-tax-revenue-at-risk-from-facebook-drop.html

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/