Ready The Clown Car : Kim Dotcom Contemplates Suing Google, Twitter and Facebook

Serious folks, we can’t make this up.

“Twitter introduces Two-Step-Authentication. Using my invention. But they won’t even verify my Twitter account?!,” Dotcom tweeted.

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step-Authentication. Massive IP (intellectual property) infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent,” he added.

But it get’s better…

“I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge & ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the US did to me,” he said.

However, he said a more productive approach would be if the tech giants helped cover his legal bills to fight prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which he estimated would exceed US$50 million.

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, I ask you for help. We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help fund my defence,” he tweeted.

So essentially he’s threatening to sue the very same people he’s asking for money. Interesting strategy. We’re not sure that Google, Facebook and Twitter feel they are in the same boat. It’s difficult to believe these companies would want to be anywhere near the imploding public spectacle known as Kim Dotcom.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/technology/kim-dotcom-mulls-suing-tech-giants-for-c/685072.html

you may also enjoy…

UPDATE:
Kim Dotcom claims he invented two-factor authentication—but he wasn’t first | Ars Technica

Dotcom’s European patent was revoked in 2011 largely because AT&T had a patent on the same technology with a priority date from 1995. (Thanks to Emily Weal of patent law firm Keltie for pointing out Dotcom’s European patent travails in the IP Copy blog.)

While Dotcom’s patent in the US is still in force, AT&T also has a US patent pre-dating hisThe Guardian pointed out that Ericsson and Nokia also have patent filings for two-factor systems predating Dotcom’s.

Kim Dotcom’s “End Of Piracy”, that was easy…

In the anticipation of the announcement of the new Mega launch, Pat Pilcher at The New Zealand Herald wrote an article titled “Kim Dotcom on Ending Piracy” in which the journalist listed Mr.Dotcom’s five steps to ending piracy. Pilcher writes,

As ironic as that may sound, Kim Dotcom’s logic is inescapably robust. Here’s what his end to piracy manifesto says:

1. Create great stuff
2. Make it easy to buy
3. Same day worldwide release
4. Fair price
5. Works on any device

Looking at what Kim is saying, the 5 points seem pretty obvious, although each could quickly get bogged down once Hollywood gets involved.

So let’s look at these one by one.

1. Create Great Stuff
Well, that’s a no brainer. The content industries create the most prized and sought after “stuff” in the world including films such as Avatar, The Avengers, and The Dark Night Rises as well as franchises like Iron Man, Transformers, Harry Potter and others. Music artists include the likes of Adele, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift, The Beatles and countless others. Making great stuff has never been a problem.

2. Make It Easy To Buy
Another no brainer. Perhaps a decade plus ago this might have been an argument, but not today. There are over 500 legal and licensed music services alone. For the film industry there are services like Netflix, Vudu and Cinemanow as well as other direct to home video on demand providers that give consumers more access to more content across more platforms than at any time in history.

3. Same Day World Wide Release
For music this is more less the standard now and is also more and more common for feature film releases as well. This is a common practice for the largest and most anticipated releases of music and films, the “stuff” that is the most aggressively pirated. For smaller indie releases this may not always be possible but than again I’m not sure that the problem we are combating is in Nigeria on indie rock albums and movies that are more or less film festival darlings.

4. Fair price
Done. Netflix is $7.99 a month for unlimited access to it’s entire library of films and tv shows. Spotify is $9.99 for unlimited access to it’s entire library which consist of probably 95% of every known recording in print. Add to this the cost of a song download is 99 cents. Less than the cost of a candy bar. Renting a movie from a video on demand service ranges from 3.99 to 5.99. Price is no longer an issue and has not been for years.

5. Works on Any Device
Music is DRM free and has been for at least half a decade. Streaming Services such as Netflix and Spotify are also available on every major platform including not only Mac and PC computers, but also mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets by a variety of manufacturers. Additionally most new video game consoles and blu-ray players also include many of these same apps.

So there you have it, the end of piracy. Even Pat Pilcher at The New Zealand Herald agrees a referring to a similar response from the New Zealand record industry. He writes,

Well there it is, RIANZ’s response in full. I can’t argue with much that they’ve said, as they’ve pretty much complied with most of Kim’s 5 points.

So Kim Dotcom’s five suggestions have been fulfilled and yet, I don’t think we’ll see an end to piracy anytime soon. There is still one thing piracy offers that legal, licensed and legitimate services do not, and that is compensation to the artists, musicians, filmmakers and creators which requires that consumers actually do pay the fair price asked.

It’s all pretty simple and by Kim Dotcom’s own suggestions and admission it’s pretty clear where the problem is from here on out, and it’s not in his five suggestions…

And, of course, let us not forget this classic… Kim Dotcom Parody Video Appears on YouTube

Artists Rights Watch – Sunday Jan 20, 2013

Grab the coffee!

Recent Posts:
* Well this is Embarrassing, a Tunecore Ad on 4Shared…
* Don’t Get IRFA’d: Westergren’s Fake “Tour Support”
* Golden Globe Winner Adele Exploited by American Express, AT&T, British Airways, Target and Nissan

From Around The Web:

COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE:
* The Silver Lining of the SOPA Debate

ADLAND:
* Youtube and Google have money problems

GRAPHIC LEFT OVERS:
* Creatives Stunning Revolt Against Big Bad Business

As best I can determine, none of the creators of these images were asked to participate in a program that paid them peanuts (a one time payment of $12) and gives away their work hundreds of thousands of times. This is a great deal for Google and its users and a complete disaster for the photographers who participate against their will.

“D-Day” (Deactivation Day) is set for February 2nd and a growing number of contributors are pledging to deactivate their portfolios or pull large numbers of images until the one million image mark is met.

MICROSTOCK POSTS:
* Photographers plan to remove images from iStockphoto

THE CURTIS AGENCY:
* More Horror Stories from the Digital Book Bazaar

I have often written that piracy is the biggest threat to the e-book business. (visit Pirate Central). This is a good instance why. – Richard Curtis

DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:
* Study: A Majority of Americans Would Support Moderate Piracy Enforcement…

MEDIABISTRO:
* How to Stop Piracy: Carnegie Mellon Professor Michael Smith at DBW

“The shutdown of Megaupload caused a statistically significant increase in digital sales,” he said, comparing numbers between countries with high Megaupload usage to countries with low Megaupload usage.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL:
* At adult expo, fans hunt autographs while pros battle piracy

PHILSTAR.COM:
* TFC Japan all-out in its anti-piracy campaign

“We have an office here that provides em- ployment as it serves the community it is in. We are grateful that the new anti-piracy laws in Japan recognize the ‘sensur- round’ value of the busi- ness that we bring and the empowering impact of the content that we deliver to our target audience,” says Olives.

“There are naysayers who said that piracy is an unwinnable war,” narrates Lopez. “But we believed that piracy should be treated like a disease that needs to be eliminated. You always start effective disease preven- tion through mass information. People need to know what the disease is and what it does. And you need partners who share the same faith in the cause. We found one in OMB chairman Ronnie Ricketts.”

SE TIMES.COM:
* Balkans need better intellectual property protection

“Potential investors are not much interested to invest in a country where intellectual rights are not protected,” Blagojevic said, adding that infringement of these rights has caused substantial losses to Serbia’s economy.

Citing International Data Corporation statistics, Blagojevic said the value of pirated software in Serbia in 2011 was estimated at nearly 87 million euros.

“If the piracy rate would be dropped 10 percent, the state budget revenues could increase $20 million [14.9 million euros] and some 10,000 jobs could be opened, primarily in the IT industry,” Blagojevic said.

AD AGE:
* If Pandora Can’t Monetize Mobile, Can Anyone?

MUSIC TECH POLICY:
* What’s all this then? Google’s “Ad Cops” Are Missing the Point
* How the Rate Court Cottage Industry is Leading to the Destruction of Collective Licensing
* Brand Sponsored Piracy and Award Shows: British Airways Delivers the ultimate insult to Adele

TECH CRUNCH:
* Keen On… Incubus: Limousines, Feeling Dirty and Being Kicked In The Balls (TCTV)

HYPEBOT:
* Ted Cohen On Music Tech And The Music Industry [INTERVIEW]

Do you still favor subscription over advertising-based music services?

Yes, I do. I don’t think that the advertising model so far has proved to be sustainable. I think that we have undervalued subscription. I am paying $150 a month for cable. I watch 20 or 30 hours of TV a week. I probably listen to 50 to 60 hours of music a week. I’d argue with you that music is worth more than $10 a month subscription service.

The labels were so concerned about (piracy)—and I was there at the time—that we had to come up with a price that was just a little bit more than free to convince people that they should pay. So far, we have not been able to raise the price. I think that music is worth at least $20 or $25 a month.

THE PRECURSOR:
* The Google Lobby Defines Big Internet’s Policy Agenda

READ WRITE:
* Is Kim Dotcom’s New Site, Mega, The Wild West Of Piracy?

UPDATE FROM THE CES “PRO-ARTIST” PANEL:

CES Panel Moderator and CNET writer Declan McCullagh discloses artists and creators representatives were not actually invited despite CES claiming they were. As we reported, the panel was comprised of anti-artist and anti-copyright publicly acknowledged Google paid shills.

MARIA BUSTILLOS:
* Yes and No (Lessig, Swartz and Society)

MegaUpload (MegaVideo) Smoking Gun? Did the site illegally charge for Streaming Movies?

These screen shots appear to show that Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload was selling streaming movies that it did not have the rights to sell.

Megaupload was allegedly paid uploaders per stream from files they uploaded to Megaupload. That is why there were so many links that Google autopopulated Megavideo after you entered Star Wars in the search field.

Then Google estimated that there were 4.3 million web pages that had the words “star wars megavideo” on them.  Legitimate file locker sites like Dropbox, don’t allow any public links to copyrighted content.  In fact Dropbox just banned Boxopus, a torrent tool from using its API.

Megavideo let you play the first 45 minutes of Star Wars and thousands of other movies for free (after they had served you and profited from dozens ads) . . .

But then, to watch past 45 minutes, you had to enter your credit card and pay $9.99 a month to keep watching.

 Carpathia Hosting, the CDN that the FBI raided because it was getting paid for caching these illegal movies for Megaupload.  Here is data from a packet analysis we ran in August 2011.  86% of the first 45 minutes of the Star Wars stream captured above came from IP address 173.245.127.21, who ARIN says is assigned to Carpathia Hosting.

IP 173.245.127.21

    Packets 39,908

Bytes 60,314,666 IP Assigned To: Carpathia Hosting, Inc.

% of Total Packets 86.2%

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

A Kim Dotcom For All Seasons

Come on, guys, I am a computer nerd. I love Hollywood and movies. My whole life is like a movie.

That’s Kim Dotcom in an “open letter” to Hollywood that he penned last week. Dotcom is the owner and CEO of Megaupload and is currently facing federal criminal charges, along with six other individuals, for allegedly operating a “mega-conspiracy” that made him a very wealthy man using other people’s work without permission.

Since his indictment and arrest, Dotcom has been waging a PR campaign to cast himself, not as an opportunistic hack who exploited thousands of creators through his spammy, scammy website, but as some sort of internet freedom fighter — in his latest “music video”, he portrays himself as no less than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Strangely, in the topsy-turvey world of the internet, Dotcom’s efforts appear to be working.

You can fool some of the people all of the time

The weirdest part of this story is that it is part of Dotcom’s modus operandi. For over two decades, he has portrayed himself as some sort of master hacker, or savvy businessman, or whatever else would garner the most press, no matter how far from the truth.

Here, for example, is his take on his first brush with the law in the early nineties:

By chance in 1993, Schmitz discovered a computer account that included the word “Pentagon”. “I connected to the computer, made myself a super-user on it and after five or six hours had access to 100 computers within the Pentagon. I found the main router and so could ‘sniff’ all the traffic and jump from computer to computer. Some had real-time connections with satellites that were taking photographs of [Saddam] Hussein’s palace – I had no idea that technology even existed. It was like Ali Baba finding the treasure cave.”

If you think this sounds more like Hollywood Hacking than real life, you’d be correct. Dotcom also claimed he “got into Citibank’s system and transferred $20 million (21.4 million euros) by taking tiny amounts from the accounts of 4 million customers and giving it to Greenpeace” around the same time period. This isn’t just like a movie, it is a movie — the 1992 film Sneakers, to be exact.

The truth? Dotcom was convicted in 1998 on multiple counts of computer fraud and data espionage. Court records don’t substantiate any of Dotcom’s amazing claims.

What he did do was steal phone calling card codes and conduct a premium number fraud similar to the recent rash of Filipino phreaking frauds. He bought stolen phone card account information from American hackers. After setting up premium toll chat lines in Hong Kong and in the Caribbean, he used a “war dialer” program to call the lines using the stolen card numbers—ringing up €61,000 in ill-gained profits.

If anything good could be said about Dotcom’s latest media blitz, it’s that he at least is picking better historical figures to compare himself to. From a 2001 interview:

Wasn’t Hitler writing Mein Kampf while being arrested? Not that I like Hitler hehe, it’s just that strange people can have strange ideas while being arrested.

Dotcom would next reinvent himself as a shrewd businessman-slash-entrepreneur. In 2001, he was claiming to the press that his net worth was $100 million, and his investment company would soon be making $553 million a year. Here, again, the reality was far less glamorous than Dotcom suggested.

A German court would hear later that he had pulled a textbook “pump-and-dump” move, borrowing money to buy Letsbuyit shares, and then quickly selling them to those who swallowed his investment story, gaining himself a quick profit of 1.1 million euros ($1.4 million).

But before facing justice, Dotcom was busy writing Act 2.

In the movies, whenever a protagonist gets away with a big heist, we invariably see him passing safely through customs in the Caribbean or southeast Asia as the credits begin to roll.

Perhaps this hackneyed Hollywood device was on Kim Schmitz’s mind when he chose Thailand as his hideout from German authorities curious about his KimVestor Ponzi scheme.

Add “bizarre” to the list of adjectives that could be used to describe Dotcom. As it turns out, prior to his arrest in Thailand, he had changed his website to announce that he would be livestreaming his own suicide. Said the site:

Enough is Enough. Kim Schmitz will die next Monday. See it on this website live and for free. When the countdown is over, Kim steps into a new world and wants you to see it.

But he would be arrested the Friday before. As the Guardian reported:

This proved to be a publicity stunt and visitors to the site are now informed that Schmitz wishes to be known as “King Kimble the First – Ruler of the Kimpire”.

A Kim For All Seasons

Schmitz’s claims follow a pattern. He takes bits of what he has been found guilty of, bits of other hackers’ publicised doings, even tales of hacker movies, and mixes them together to form his “personae”.

A con man par excellence.”

He was trying to make half a buck on every occasion.

On his way up, he fooled them all: judges, journalists, investors and companies.

Everything that entwines itself around Mr. Schmitz is, to say the least, somewhat dubious.

Over the past 20 years, Dotcom has worked hard to portray his life like a movie, seeing himself as, perhaps, a super-hacker from Sneakers, or the innocent man on the run from The Fugitive (Dotcom’s nickname “Kimble” is said to be derived from Dr. Richard Kimble, the lead character in that show/movie).

But it seems to us that the closest one can come to the movie that Dotcom has created of his life is A Burns for All Seasons, the fictional movie created by Mr. Burns in the animated series The Simpsons. In the film, the unapolagetic plutocrat portrays himself, in three separate scenes, as an outsourcing champion, the alien E.T., and Jesus Christ.

That there are those who buy into Dotcom’s latest self-cast role as champion of internet freedom and innovation is sad commentary. Dotcom’s “mega-empire” made him millions of dollars off the work of thousands of creators. There’s nothing innovative about exploiting artists. If this were really a Hollywood movie, the happy ending would see Dotcom finally facing justice.

Kim Dotcom Parody Video Appears on YouTube

We have been alerted to the video below as reported by AdLand.  The video is a parody spoof of Dotcom’s own propaganda clip released last week. This one is aptly titled the “Permissionless Innovation Remix – Lessig Edition”. Enjoy, and pass it on.

The war for my stolen fortune has begun
Artists are fighting for their rights
Any sane person would see I’m a piece of shit
But don’t let them take away my Ferraris

Can you believe
I think I’m like Dr King
When I steal from artists and they try to fight?
They work their whole lives
To express what’s inside
But I don’t understand the word copyright

Keep my thievery going
Keep my ego growing
Keep the truth from showing
My pursuit of money
Money
Money

I won’t give up, without a fight
My Rolls Royce is a pretty white
Oh never mind I have more than one
Because of all the stealing I have done

I’ve made half a billion I am Kim.com
By stealing money and costing jobs
I sail on a yacht I am Kim.com
And ask the poor to sing my song

We must oppose those who really know
and want to take all that is mine
We must not expose to kids who don’t know
I made a fortune from doing crime

I won’t give up, without a fight
My Rolls Royce is a pretty white
Oh never mind I have more than one
Because of all the stealing I have done

Entertainment industry
I stole from them endlessly
Can I get away with it
Can I get away with it

I won’t give up, without a fight
My Rolls Royce is a pretty white
Oh never mind I have more than one
Because of all the stealing I have done

It starts with you and me
And all of my money
It starts with you and me
And all of my money

I’ve made half a billion I am Kim.com
By stealing money and costing jobs
I sail on a yacht I am Kim.com
And ask the poor to sing my song

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/

The Trichordist Random Reader Weekly News & Links Sun Jul 22nd

Grab the coffee!

Recent posts on The Trichordist:
* The DMCA is Broken…
* Artist! : Be The Change, Send A Letter – JULY 25th Deadline <- We’re not Kidding, Do it if you haven’t!

For those who remain confused about the difference between FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and FREE BEER (er uhm music) please read this report from Amnesty International regarding the band Pussy Riot and do take action. Freedom of Expression is truly a right to be protected and preserved, as ARTISTS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/russia-urged-to-release-pussy-riot-group-as-court-prolongs-detention
SIGN YOUR NAME:
http://amnestyusa.org/pussyriot

We’ve been alerted to a couple of websites (and organizations?) that are fighting against illegal artist exploitation on the front of cyberlockers and payment processors (Visa, Master Card, Pay Pal, Etc). Read more here:
http://coldcopy.com.au/
http://stopfilelockers.com/

Thanks to Copyhype for noticing this one, an epic and essential read “How Free Is Ruining Everything” from Eamonn Forde at qthemusic.com:
http://news.qthemusic.com/2012/07/column_-_how_free_is_ruining_e.html#post

Kim Dotcom is not Robbin Hood. The billionaire and alleged mass scale media pirate is awaiting trial and created a video this week that has been described as a pirates “Triumph of the Will” or even perhaps in it’s absurdity, “A Burns for all Seasons.” Prof Jonathan Taplin from the USC Annenberg School of Innovation muses in this blog post, “The Big Lie”:
http://jontaplin.com/2012/07/22/the-big-lie/

Speaking of Kim Dotcom, Billboard reports that the Judge that ruled the raid on the compound was illegal has now stepped down and out of the case for bias regarding a comment made at an EFF event… wow, just wow… Maybe he should have stepped down before making a ruling?
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/legal-and-management/kim-dotcom-extradition-judge-steps-down-1007605352.story#kYXZKhHOvmTYoFIi.99

Ok, ok, ok… last one… it’s a Kim Dotcom-athon… Indie filmmaker Ellen Seidler writes an open letter to Kim in response to his “Letter To Hollywood”, read more from this guest post at Copyright Alliance:
http://blog.copyrightalliance.org/2012/07/guest-post-dear-kim-dotcom/

So now that Coke A Cola can legally use music from any band on Spotify to sell it’s drinks, doesn’t this imply some kind of endorsement? If for example a playlist by Coldplay is embeded on a Coke A Cola website, the previous cost of licensing that music for that application would have been very expensive. Whereas this could be very good for developing artists, it could also be exploitative of established ones. We’re not really sure what this means, but we’re interested to see how it actually is implemented. Read more on the Coke A Cola website:
http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/dynamic/press_center/2012/04/spotify-and-coca-cola-partnership.html

Here’s a way to bring attention to the issues of artists rights and illegal online exploitation. Woman strips in public to protest e-book pirates, ZDNet reports:
http://www.zdnet.com/woman-strips-in-public-to-protest-e-book-pirates-nsfw-video-7000001329/

Digital Music News reports on absurdity at it’s best from Richard Stallman. Perhaps a future Nyan Cat Award Winner?
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120716stallman
and a response here from the cynical musician:
http://thecynicalmusician.com/2012/07/two-inane-suggestions-for-compensating-artists-online/

Pirates want to go legit? Well… not so fast, Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/pirates-want-to-go-legal-but-convenience-choice-availability-come-first-120719/

Who is the internet anyway? We’re always kinda amazed when a singular entity or point of view “speaks for the internet” as if there is no social, economic, geographic or political diversity. Is the “Internet’ a demographic onto it’s own, and if so, what defines that demographic? Which begs the question, does “the internet” speak for you (as an artist, as an individual)? Though this entry is somewhat cute, it is also disturbing to see “the internet” as a single block with a Borg like hive mind… TechDirt reports:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120718/18350719751/internet-wins-again-writer-gets-rapper-pitbull-exiled-to-alaskan-walmart.shtml

The French Supreme Court May Order Google to block unlicensed, infringing, illegal sites, ‘Torrent,’ ‘RapidShare’ and ‘Megaupload’. Again, Torrent Freak reports:
http://torrentfreak.com/court-may-order-google-to-censor-torrent-rapidshare-and-megaupload-120718/

Last but not least, several of our friends report success using Google’s DMCA Search Link De-Listing tool for infringing links, try it for yourself! Up until recently the only way to send infringing link DMCA notices to Google was via MAIL or FAX (not kidding). More on this to follow…
http://support.google.com/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1114905&page=ts.cs