If it weren't for the 1976 Copyright Act, copyright on work would expire after 56 years - which would have meant that Kerouac's On The Road, the original 12 Angry Men, and Elvis's All Shook Up would be public domain by today.
You've more than likely heard this early recording of Money
by the Beatles, or perhaps this version
by the Rolling Stones. But Barrett Strong
, the man who originally recorded
it and who was the primary songwriter hasn't shared in the millions of dollars the song has earned over the years
What do the songs The Electric Spanking of War Babies
, Uncle Jam
, Hardcore Jollies
and One Nation Under a Groove
all have in common? Well, sure, they were all written (with a collaborator here and there) by Mr. George Clinton
. But that's not all they have in common. As of now, the copyright in these booty-shaker workouts does not belong to the legendary P. Funk mastermind, but rather to the law firm of Hendricks and Lewis. Funk Classics Seized
to Pay Off $1 Million Debt
She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants,"
an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
In the mid-1950s, Dickie Goodman
was a struggling song writer working with song publisher Bill Buchanan
, when the two men came up with the idea of a fake radio program interrupted by a UFO attack (similar to the hoax Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds
), except in this case, the aliens spoke the language of rock 'n' roll. The result was Flying Saucer, Parts 1 and 2
on Luniverse Records
, the first novelty break-in record
and a forerunner to the modern mashup
. [more inside]
Pirate Bay to be blocked By UK ISPs.
"File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled." [more inside]
: "Folklorist Alan Lomax
spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world." Now, nearly ten years after his death, thousands of the songs and interviews he recorded are available for free online, many for the first time.
"It's part of what Lomax envisioned for [his] collection — long before the age of the Internet." (Mr. Lomax, Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
The insanely [un]popular Rebecca Black song Friday
has been pulled from YouTube following a copyright claim from Rebecca Black!
that the takedown is apparently the latest step in a dispute between Black and Ark Music Factory
about rights to the song. [more inside]
As Amazon and the RIAA go head to head over the Amazon Cloud Player
(esentially Dropbox with streaming) it seems like a good time to recap the turbulent history of the humble MP3
, upender of the music industry business model.
Give the drummer some? Nuh-uh. PAY the drummer some! Living Legend Tries to Make a Living
. I'm talking about the man who gave us the drum solo
(at 5:35) that launched a thousand hip hop ships, James Brown's funky heartbeat, Clyde Stubblefield
Earlier this month, thirteen record labels tried to claim that
Limewire was liable for between $400 Billion and $75 Trillion
in damages. (For some perspective, the world's GDP in 2011 is expected to be a mere ~$65 billion.
) Judge Kimba Wood called the assertion 'absurd'
in a 14 page opinion. (pdf) [more inside]
... the International Music Score Library Project, has trod in the footsteps of Google Books and Project Gutenberg and grown to be one of the largest sources of scores anywhere. It claims to have 85,000 scores, or parts for nearly 35,000 works, with several thousand being added every month. That is a worrisome pace for traditional music publishers, whose bread and butter comes from renting and selling scores in expensive editions backed by the latest scholarship. More than a business threat, the site has raised messy copyright issues and drawn the ire of established publishers. (previously)
Don't Make Me Steal
- a Digital Media Consumption Manifesto.
The Music-Copyright Enforcers “A few years back, we had Penn, Schoen and Berland, Hillary’s pollster guys, do a study. The idea was, go and find out what Americans really think about copyright. Do songwriters deserve to be paid? Absolutely! The numbers were enormously favorable — like, 85 percent. The poll asked, ‘If there was a party that wasn’t compensating songwriters, do you think that would be wrong?’ And the answer was, ‘Yes!’ So then, everything’s fine, right? Wrong. Because when it came time to ask people to part with their shekels, it was like: ‘Eww. You want me to pay?’ ” [more inside]
The Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab
is an organization dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media. You may know them from such projects as How to build a fake Google Street View car
, public domain donor stickers
, internet famous class
, the first rap video to end with a download source code link
, or their numerous firefox add-ons
(such as China Channel
, Tourettes Machine
, or Back to the future
). FAT members have been hard at work standardizing various open source graffiti-related software packages, including Graffiti Analysis
, Laser Tag
, Fat Tag Deluxe
and EyeWriter [previously]
to be GML
(Graffiti Markup Language) compliant. Fuck Google
. Fuck Twitter
. Fuck SXSW
. Fuck 3D
. FAT Lab is Kanye shades for the open source movement
Google shuts down music blogs without warning for "violating terms of service".
In what critics are calling "musicblogocide 2010", Google has deleted at least six popular music blogs that it claims violated copyright law. These sites, hosted by Google's Blogger and Blogspot services, received notices only after their sites – and years of archives – were wiped from the internet.
In the 1980s, songwriter, artist and cultural critic Momus
recorded a number of albums for the legendary indie label Creation Records, combining influences as diverse as Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Pet Shop Boys-style synthpop and Balearic acid-house. These have largely languished in Sony Music's vaults over the past few years, occasionally fetching hefty prices on eBay. Now, Momus has taken the step to commit auto-piracy and release his Creation albums online, for free; over December, he will post MP3s of all six albums to his LiveJournal blog
, each with freshly written liner notes. The first one, 1987's The Poison Boyfriend
, is here
. [more inside]
Mashup artist Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk
, is another artist to try the 'pay whatever you want' Internet release model. However, his 55-minute album
consists of over 300 samples from other artists, with many current and past hits. No stranger to current controversies in copyright, Gillis also appeared in the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy
. Previously. [more inside]
Edward Samuel's Illustrated History of Copyright
A fascinating illustrated historical tour, looking at how different technologies have shaped how we think about copyright and intellectual property.
A proposal for the monetization of the file sharing of music from the Songwriters and Recording Artists of Canada.
"Most Canadians are aware that the Internet and mobile phone networks have become major sources of music. What they may not know is that songwriters and performers typically receive no compensation of any kind when their music is shared or illegally downloaded... We believe the time has come to put in place a reasonable and unobtrusive system of compensation for creators of music in regard to this popular and growing use of their work."
is the C
oalition of A
rtists & S
olders, a project conceived and initiated by musician Kristin Hersh
. CASH is "read-write
" — more than consumption; a collaborative online effort — helping make music ownership more of an interactive affair
facilitated through Creative Commons
Steal this album.
"In the dying days of the music business as we once knew it, record labels are waging war on leaks—only to discover that many of the saboteurs come from within the industry itself." It's easy to arrest a geek
or lay draconian fines on a single mom;
what happens when their witchhunt leads to their own offices? Animal Collective won't always be around to get the culprits off the hook
Guilt ridden music lovers get to feel better about themselves.
The Indie Band Survival Guide:
A fantastic, free, 101 pages collection of useful information for musicians - covers topics such as recording, copyright, major label contracts, commercial radio, promoting your music, band websites, distribution, filesharing and live shows.
Make a mixtape highlighting a young artist, have that artist proclaim his delight about the project on the CD, reignite that artist's career, repeat, then, the RIAA has you arrested for counterfieting
. The RIAA continues its vain struggle to understand the new music economy. In the meantime, at least one company gets it
, offering DRM-free CD downloads of obscure titles.
Permission to Innovate? How the Record Industry Is Like 17th-Century French Buttonmakers
A corporate consultant blog makes a weird but compelling argument that the RIAA and MPAA are forcibly imposing a draconian 17th-century business model on the 21st century.
Wish you could have bought shares of Pearl Jam before they were famous?
Fans sponsor bands in $10 'parts'. Once 5000 parts have been pledged, the band gets a proper studio recording. Tracks are made available free. CD's are sold. Money goes to the band and to the 'believers' who sponsored them. Might work. Probably better than this model
Canadian musicians protest file-sharing lawsuits.
The Barenaked Ladies
, Broken Social Scene, Sloan, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, and many other Canadian artists have formed a coalition
to protest the hard line
taken by the recording industry against file-sharers, and call for copyright reform
. Is there a better way to protect intellectual property rights than suing file-sharers?
The RIAA would like to remind you that copying purchased music to your iPod is illegal
without first gaining permission from the copyright holder. Thank you.
The Columbia Law School Music Plagiarism Project
is a repository of the music industry's most famous copyright infringement cases of the past 100 years. Each case contains links to samples of the original song and the alleged infringer, and there's even a song list
for easy browsing. (My favorite: Gilbert O'Sullivan v. Biz Markie).
If you liked the Kleptones
and other posts
, you might have caught "raiding the 20th century" in early 2004
. Well, DJ Food
has completely updated it for 2005 and now clocks in at a full 59 minutes of monster mashup mix madness. Download the mp3 here
and enjoy the eclectic sonic landscape.
A new, controversial law
making its way through the Finnish parliament is confusing
, but its implementation may infringe on already existing Finnish laws of free speech. With decisions set to be made later this week, a demonstration has already been planned for Tuesday
. On the other hand, some sources seem to be saying that this new law should present no major issue.
Thus, it seems like there's a small amount of confusing legal voodoo going on: while the law wouldn't make it illegal to copy music to MP3 players, it would mean that "the breaking of copy protection for the copying of the content of a sound or video recording for personal use would be prohibited." It looks like no one knows exactly what they want out of this law, or how to interpret it. DMCA
FHM rips off Music Thing blog. Compare
Fair use or a plain old fashioned rip-off? You make the call. Seriously, how common is this kind of thing and is the net producing content to be repackaged and sold commercially without proper permission?
Legitimate MP3 downloads!
If you like the big
, I'm sure you'll be impressed by these two excellent
remixes: Flip The Switch
& Believe EP
's deep house masterpiece
is given similarly impressive treatment in Screamixadelica
Maybe you prefer the punkier electronica of The
; check out Always Outsiders, Never Outdone
BTW don't forget to donate to the nominated charities on each site if you decide
to keep the tracks.
On slightly more dodgy ground, copyright-wise, are the remixes and mashups
& Go Home Productions
(these are clearly only a handful of artists, but in my opinion are some of the best) - I
wonder how, or even if you can, apply copyright laws to some of these kinds of
After much discussion about legality
, within thirty days we will know if Russian authorities are going to bring criminal charges
against Allofmp3.com for large-scale copyright infringement.
A small new future. 1999 was the year the RIAA began writing checks the record industry couldn’t cash.
All samples must now be licenced
according to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, including tiny samples that have been modified to the point of being unrecognisable
. "We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way.
" via /dev/null
DJ Danger Mouse
has been making waves recently with his Grey Album
that cross-pollinates the music of The Beatles'
classic White Album
with the lyrics and delivery of Jay-Z's
recent swan song, the Black Album
. The results? "One of the more interesting pirate mashups ever done."
). "Most ambitious remix."
). "As fun as it is daring."
). "Ultimate remix record."
). Not surprisingly, EMI
is far from amused
by the unsanctioned and unapproved project and the limited release will no longer be distributed
. So, download it now
(or check out these Real Player samples
Send them back!
We're feeling great
about ourselves! Because we sent our mp3's BACK!
is an on-demand music service offered to the MIT campus through its cable TV network. The NYTimes mulls the copyright implications