The Times They Are A-Changin | Guest Post by Marc Ribot

Guest post by Marc Ribot.

The deceptive premises of the NYTimes Editorial “Keep the Internet Free of Borders” 8/10, begin with the title, which leads one to believe that this ITC case will take something away that actually exists.   In fact, the Internet is not now and has never been,  “free of borders”. Copyright law prohibits unlawful distribution of copyrighted works outside national borders and has strict provisions on import and export of copyrighted works. The Internet has never been free of copyright law, because copyright  is nation-based. That’s why a new treaty was adopted to address the cross-border issue of distribution of works for blind and reading impaired persons- the Marrakesh Treaty adopted in 2012-, and why a global treaty for libraries is now under discussion: to make cross-border distribution legal in certain cases,  precisely because right now it’s restricted.  Even Google knows that the Internet has national borders.  It found a way to respect them for Google Books-  a mechanism to prevent export of copyrighted works to other countries. There are patent rules too.  All universities have policies regarding import and export of patented material. Export control rules and guidelines already cover patented material/trade competition and have NEVER  been restricted to physical goods.

When the editorial extrapolates its argument to the record industry, it goes even further afield.  ” The I.T.C. has long had the power to forbid companies from importing physical goods like electronics, books and mechanical equipment that violate the patents, copyrights and trademarks of American businesses…The commission’s order to ClearCorrect was the first time it had sought to bar the transfer of digital information.”

The Times takes the RIAA to task for supporting the decision: “Groups like the…Recording Industry Association of America are supporting the commission’s view… that, as trade increasingly becomes digital, the definition of “article” should include data.”

Yet when there was actually legislation on the table supporting the alternative remedies to ITC intervention that the editorial now claims to favor,  the NY Times took the exact opposite position ( Beyond SOPA 1/28/12), and supported empowering the ITC:  “By giving the International Trade Commission sole authority to determine infringement, [the OPEN Act] would…[give]  copyright holders powerful new tools to protect themselves [while] protecting legitimate expression on  the Web from overzealous content owners.

Funny how ‘Times’ change.

In any case, the alternate remedies proposed in last weeks editorial simply don’t apply to recording artists works.  “There are far better ways to [protect…patents and copyrights]….Align could sue ClearCorrect and seek damages for patent infringement. Or the company could ask a judge to order ClearCorrect to stop selling products made using the information contained in the files.”

Sounds great: but asking a judge to order an infringing company to stop selling [physical] products made using information contained in infringing files’ isn’t relevant for people whose product is the files themselves.  And  of course, suing companies profiting from infringement is precisely what musicians can’t do, thanks to the Safe Harbor Clause of the DMCA. That clause exempts online businesses from the normal responsibility of companies for violations of the law occurring on their premises.

Is the NY Times now going to support ending Safe Harbor protection for companies whose business models are based on aiding, abetting, and profiting  from infringement?  Such a position would be the only way musicians could have access to its suggested remedy.

We certainly hope so, because while congress has failed to effectively regulate the unfair black market destroying the value of our work, our industry has crashed and our livelihoods are suffering.

Our problem isn’t new technology itself, but the failure of government to regulate new and unfair forms of exploitation. The internet has borders: it is bound internationally by the laws of sovereign nations, and internally by laws which protect the rights of citizens. It also has hugely powerful corporations attempting to violate those borders on a massive scale in order to create consumer ‘facts on the ground’ which render those rights politically un-enforceable.

International borders aren’t the only boundaries threatened by big tech’s drive to profit from infringement: the consequences of the failure of government to stand up to this corporate manipulation won’t stay neatly contained within the music industry.  Nor will the effective nullification of citizens rights stop at those protecting artists.  Its a slippery slope, baby.

– M ribot

c3 : DEMONSTRATE TO SUPPORT ARTISTS RIGHTS !

Announcement From c3 (The Content Creators Coalition)

“Google is in the process of systematically destroying our artistic future… if the creative community doesn’t intervene now, and by now, I mean, fucking now — we will be bound to a multigenerational clusterfuck that will take 40 to 50 years to unravel.” – Kurt Sutter Attacks Google: Stop Profiting from Piracy (Guest Column) | Variety

DEMONSTRATE TO SUPPORT ARTISTS RIGHTS
when:  THIS SUNDAY, Oct 19th, at 4:30-5:00pm
where: Google 8th ave btwn 15th and 16th sts in Manhattan)

MARCH WITH US at 4pm sharp from Le Poisson Rouge
(158 Bleecker St., btwn Sullivan and Thompson in Manhattan )
—OR—
MEET US at Kelly Park at 4:15 pm
(W 16th St., btwn 8th and 9th avenue in Manhattan)

This action is sponsored by the c3, the Content Creators Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to the achievement of economic justice in the digital domain.

*  Google: Stop the Attack on Artists’ Rights.
*  Google/YouTube: Pay Creators For All Use Of Copyrighted Materials: When Profit Is Being Made, The Artist Must Be Paid:  Support An Artists Right To Choose: Take-Down-Means-Stay-Down!
*  Google: Stop brokering ads to corporate black market sites.

Please Forward

SUPPORT ARTISTS RIGHTS! #supportartistsrights
Join Us: ccc-nyc.org http://ccc-nyc.org/

c3_NYC101814

This Weekend in NYC : Benefit for Content Creators Coalition (c3): Defend Artists’ Rights: Economic Justice in the Digital Domain! w/ Marc Ribot, John Zorn, and friends

A Benefit Concert for c3

Featuring John Zorn, Eric Slick (Dr Dog), Steve Coleman, Marc RibotHenry Grimes, Marina RosenfeldTrevor Dunn, Brandon SeabrookSatomi Matsuzaki (Deerhoof), Amir ElSaffar, and more!

The event will also feature a short screening of highlights from Michael Count Eldridge’s upcoming documentary film “Unsound”.

General Admission: $20 pre-sale (ends at noon on 10/18) $25 at Doors

Special Artist Rights Supporter tickets include reserved balcony seating and access to a one hour meet and greet prior to the show // Doors at 7pm

TICKETS :
https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9950804

MORE INFORMATION:
http://roulette.org/events/benefit-content-creators-coalition-c3-defend-artists-rights-economic-justice-digital-domain-w-marc-ribot-john-zorn-friends/

 

Marc Ribot Talks Respecting Artists’ Rights | The Talk House

We’re organizing to fight back. We’re going to give value to the ineffable, uncountable and immeasurable beauty being destroyed. We’re going to give voice to the creators whose work — and lives — are being devalued by tech-corporate greed. We’re going to fight for the sustainability of the culture we all enjoy. We don’t have the lobbying millions of the tech-corporate giants, but we’re going to win. Because the truth is a powerful slingshot.

Editor’s note: If you’re in the New York area, by all means go to “Benefit for Content Creators Coalition (c3): Defend Artists’ Rights: Economic Justice in the Digital Domain!” on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at Roulette.  The show features: John Zorn, Eric Slick (Dr. Dog), Steve Coleman, Marc Ribot, Henry Grimes, Marina Rosenfeld, Trevor Dunn, Brandon Seabrook, Satomi Matsuzaki (Deerhoof), Amir ElSaffar and more. You can buy tickets here.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE:
http://thetalkhouse.com/music/talks/marc-ribot-talks-respecting-artists-rights/

Artists Take To The Streets to Protest Google/YouTube in NYC | NY Times

Last week, the dispute spilled out into the streets of New York. On Saturday afternoon, a few dozen supporters of the Content Creators Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group, picketed Google’s office in Chelsea, playing New Orleans-style marches on horns and carrying signs like “Economic justice in the digital domain” and “What YouTube pays? Nothing.”

Marc Ribot, a guitarist who has played with stars like Tom Waits and Elvis Costello, summarized how the larger conflict over streaming revenue affected artists’ careers.

“If we can’t make enough from digital media to pay for the record that we’ve just made,” Mr. Ribot said, “then we can’t make another one.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/25/business/media/small-music-labels-see-youtube-battle-as-part-of-war-for-revenue.html

CCC-NYC : International Fete de la Musique day

We’re looking forward to seeing coverage from the event in NYC yesterday.

Google-owned YouTube’s new streaming service has rates so low it will put many indie labels and hardworking artists out of business.   According to the CEO of Merlin (rights licensing organization), “the service that pays the least is the service that’s the most well funded and run by the biggest company in the world: their figures are by far the worst, whether you measure them on a per-stream basis or a per-user basis.”

Support Artists’ Rights by demanding that Google and others:

1.Stop using the copyright reform process to attack artists rights.

2.Cease brokering ads to the corporate black market.

3.Support sustainable pay models for the cultural creators on whom its profits depend.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE CCC-NYC:
http://ccc-nyc.org/2014/06/support-artists-rights-this-saturday-june-21st/

“They’ve Manufactured That Consent, Because They Need That Consent…And We’re Gonna Blow It Up.” [video] | NYCRuen

Full Post At nycruen.com here:
http://nycruen.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/theyve-manufactured-that-consent-because-they-need-that-consent-and-were-gonna-blow-it-up-video/

 

 

Musicians Sing for a Cause That’s Their Own | The New York Times

In the latest example, a group of artists including David Byrne, Mike Mills of R.E.M., John McCrea of Cake and the guitarist Marc Ribot are putting on a free concert on Tuesday at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village to protest the way radio stations pay royalties, and to introduce a new advocacy group, the Content Creators Coalition.

“This is possible now because musicians and artists are fed up,” said Mr. Ribot, who is renowned for his work with musicians including Tom Waits, another coalition member. “It takes a lot to get a musician to go to a meeting, serve on a committee. It’s not what we do; we play music. But the way things are now, many of us feel that our backs are to the wall.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/arts/music/musicians-sing-for-a-cause-thats-their-own.html?_r=1

CCC-NYC.ORG | RALLY & CONCERT FEB 25 2014 feats David Byrne, Marc Ribot, Mike Mills, John McCrea, More!

About CCC-NYC

The New York City Chapter of the Content Creators Coalition is a new group united with the national CCC behind the idea that creators of cultural content need to join forces in order to ensure fairness and dignity for artists in the digital age. If the past fifteen years has taught us anything, it’s that artists cannot depend on industry professionals or journalists or fans to advocate for them—we must speak up for ourselves.

The group is enacting bylaws and seeking nonprofit status so we can operate and address these issues over the long-term.

Statement of Principles:

1) We believe in an Artist’s Control Of Their Work; that it’s the right of any creator of cultural content to choose when, how, and whether their work is distributed for commercial gain, monetized with advertising, or otherwise exploited.

2) We believe in the Ability to Opt-Out of services; the right of artists, writers, and other creators of cultural content to refuse, individually and collectively, to participate in business models that threaten our livelihoods.

3) We believe in Fair Pay; the right of content creators to a fair share of the wealth our work generates.

4) We believe in Collective Representation; the right of all creators of cultural content to aggregate our power to protect our livelihoods and our art forms.

Join Us!

If you are a NYC area creator of cultural content and would like to get involved, please contact us at cccnewyorkcity@gmail.com (or the form below). We want you at our meetings and events. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

If you are outside the New York area, please visit the national CCC website: www.contentcreatorscoalition.org.