Is it The Pirate Party, or The Pirate Lobby?

It’s endlessly fascinating to witness the double standard of the internet companies and pirate communities. The conversation is, was and will always be about money. So much so, that the tech industry has created yet another lobby to prop up it’s interests to exploit artists and creators in the aptly named, Internet Association. This in addition to the record breaking lobby spends by just Google. At least this time the shills are out in the open. Author Scott Cleland posts, The Top False Claims of the New Internet Association to add some balance (and transparency) to the conversation.

Let’s be clear about this, the conversation is not, nor has it ever been about free speech as IP scholar Adam Mosoff writes in The Statesman,

“The right to free speech is the right to express one’s thoughts without censorship by the government. Copyright does not prohibit anyone from creating their own original novels, songs or artworks. Importantly, copyright does not stop people from thinking, talking or writing about copyrighted works.”

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/