UNSOUND : Zoe Keating Interview : Part 1 [VIDEO]

Zoe explains her background and how she became a DIY artist. She also explains how streaming services like Spotify don’t work out so well for independent artists.



Musicians POV : 1,000 True Fans (an answer)

If the Internet is working for Musicians, Why aren’t more Musicians Working Professionally?

Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

Online Piracy of Entertainment Content Keeps Soaring | The Los Angeles Times

The amount of Internet bandwidth used to illegally download movies, TV shows, music, books and video games has jumped 160% since 2010, a study says.

Despite the growth of Netflix, Amazon.com and other legal channels for watching entertainment online, the volume of pirated movies, TV shows, music, books and video games online continues to grow at a rapid pace.

The amount of bandwidth used for copyright infringement in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific has grown nearly 160% from 2010 to 2012, accounting for 24% of total Internet bandwidth, according to a study from NetNames, the British brand protection firm.

At the same time, the number of people engaged in copyright infringement has grown dramatically too. In January2013, 327 million unique users illegally sought copyrighted content, generating 14 billion page views on websites focused on piracy, up 10% from November 2011, according to the report.


UnSound : New Film Explores Artists Rights in The Digital Age (Video Clip)

From the forthcoming documentary Unsound: Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz talks about how large tech corporations make millions of dollars selling advertising- essentially making people the product, without them even realizing. The promise of free or cheap music is often used to draw eyeballs to websites, apps, and social networking platforms, allowing corporations to make large amounts of money from advertising. The public is generally unaware and happy to have free/cheap music, corporations make tons of money from advertising, but how is the musician benefiting from this?


Unsound uncovers the dramatic collapse of the music industry and its impact on musicians and creators of all kinds trying to survive in the ‘age of free’.

“Google & The World Brain” Airing Now on Al Jazeera America

This may be the single most important piece of work to date that explores the rights and concerns of creators in the digital age. The film details how Google has made plans to commercially monetize and monopolize all creative works for their own corporate profit.



The goal of accumulating all human knowledge in one repository has been a dream since ancient times. Only recently, however, has that dream become a reality. Quietly and behind closed doors, Google has been executing a project to scan and digitize every printed word on the planet. Working with the world’s most prestigious libraries, the webmasters are reinventing the limits of copyright in the name of free access to anyone, anywhere. What can possibly be wrong with this? As “Google and the World Brain reveals,” a whole lot.

Some argue that Google’s actions represent aggressive theft on an enormous scale, others see them as an attempt to monopolize our shared cultural heritage, and still others view the project as an attempt to flatten our minds by consolidating complex ideas into searchable “extra long tweets.”

At first slowly, and then with intensifying conviction, a diverse coalition mobilizes to stop the fulfillment of this ambitious dream. Incisive and riveting as it uncovers a high-stakes multinational heist, Ben Lewis’s film voices an important alternative to the technological utopianism of our time.

Weekly News and Recap! Sunday Sep 2, 2012

Grab the Coffee!

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.

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,Kat.ph and Dilandau — are the #1, #6, #11, and #8 top copyright infringing sites in the world.)

(*Berkeley runs the aptly named http://www.chillingeffects.org 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>Berkeley.edu)

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…