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…”