Friday

02009-07-03 | Uncategorized | 13 comments

Played a lot of guitar today. In the late afternoon I recorded myself playing This Spring Release 10,000 Butterflies in the studio, using HD Video and ProTools at 24/88.2. Now I just need to replace the audio recorded on the video with the audio from the ProTools session… You will find the result here soon.

I keep turning to the Guardian for music news.

Pirate Bay’s purchase proves they’re not altruistic | Behind the Music | Helienne Lindvall | Music | guardian.co.uk
The Pirate Bay is not the first company (and, yes, whatever image they tried to portray, it was always a business) to have built their entire existence on making copyrighted material available for free, without asking, or compensating, the people who created the material. As far back as 2000, Napster was in the dock for copyright infringement; in 2008, the brand was bought by the American electronics retailer Best Buy for $121m (£74m). As I’ve previously reported, LastFM built their business on unlicensed music only to sell it to CBS for $280m (£171m). And let’s not forget Google’s purchase of YouTube for $1.65bn (£1bn). For supposedly “altruistic” ventures, these companies sure made a lot of money. Some would argue the artists whose music built these businesses should have received some of that money.

Read the whole article. Couldn’t agree more. I didn’t know all of this background stuff about the Pirate Bay.

Upaya Newsletter for 6/22/2009
The trick is to create a society in which the privilege of disposable income is not contingent on the existence of disposable people–to say nothing of the disposable tigers, ice caps, and arable land.
– Keizer

Or, our happiness should not be based on other creatures unhappiness.

Neuromancer is 25 years old… William Gibson wrote it on a manual typwriter, model Hermes 2000 (((scroll down to see that Swiss-built beauty)))

William Gibsons book Neuromancer was published on July 1st, 1984.
(Via Macworld)

Here is a link to a wonderful essay by Stephen Batchelor:

The Freedom to be No One
Poetry is abandoned in favour of reason.

In the essay Stephen Batchelor quotes Nagarjuna, who I mentioned here.

13 Comments

  1. steve

    I suspect that these pirates, like most pirates, will surface elsewhere, this time better funded as a consequence of their spoils.

    However … this Guardian article seems to paint a picture that I can’t help but think is a hamfisted, un-nuanced, black-and-white description of the problem. And this problem is nothing if not attended by nuance, perspective, and most importantly, detail.

    Don’t get me wrong: I am NO DEFENDER of the Pirate Bay. They are what their name says they are.

    However, Helienne Lindvall really isn’t looking at the issue but from a single, 1-dimensional perspective and reporting on that exclusively. The reportage is fairly detail free, which I suppose one should expect from modern mass media that purport to explain complex issues in less than 1000 words.

    Reply
  2. Brenda

    Wow! Love manual typewriter… memory – feet flat on the floor , elbows at side, hands in position, eyes on copy, bell rings to view the race of perfectly placed letters or the oh no’s . .. oh to be 16 again :)… two letters that would become stuck together because timing was off, ribbons that would become faint, print that splat on the the crisp white paper but yes energy efficient 70’s green.

    Reply
  3. Ottmar

    Steve: why don’t you write up a nuanced description of the problem and possible solutions and we’ll publish it here for Ottmar-Friends and discuss it? I think that would be great. I myself keep changing (((if I was generous I would say adjusting to the climate))) my views on the matter and am far from settled on a course.

    I do think that internet startups have created websites and software and profited handsomely (((boy is that an understatement))) from using free content, whether that’s photographs, video or music. They didn’t put a gun to the heads of the artists… the artists did it willingly.

    My view is that it comes with the territory… there was a new publishing medium, the internet, people re-organized everything. The early birds made billions from that. For a while new companies could get away with getting free content, especially when the traditional publishing houses are dying… but that time is coming to an end.

    Anyway, I am rambling. Would love to hear your description of the big picture.

    Carmen: no 4th of July plans here. Just keeping a couple of fire extinguishers handy in case my neighbors get carried away with the explosives…

    Brenda: yes, there is beauty in those old typewriters! Me, I did better writing longhand than typing, until the computer came along. Now I prefer a laptop keyboard to a regular computer keyboard, in fact I replaced the studio computer’s keyboard with one that features the same keys as a laptop: http://www.macally.com/en/Product/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=144

    Reply
  4. steve

    Anything I write is going to end up sounding like I’m plagiarizing professor Lawrence Lessig. He is far more erudite and articulate that I CAN be, PLUS most of what I have come to think about this and related issues come from having attended several of his lectures and read many of his books.

    I think he has presented very balanced, nuanced argument. SPECIFICALLY, I will refer you (and whomever cares) to the following talks at Google + an ebook available for free:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHma3ZQRVoA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xbRE_H5hoU

    _The Future of Ideas_ by Lawrence Lessig available for free at his website:

    http://www.the-future-of-ideas.com/download/

    For those that have an iPhone and use the Stanza reader it is available through that as well. I don’t think it is available for the Kindle reader app, but I could be wrong.

    I think those are a great place to start.

    Reply
  5. Ottmar

    I was hoping you could add something new. I am aware of Prof Lessigs talks. As you can tell from this article I was an early (2005) believer: http://creativecommons.org/audio/ottmar-liebert

    I wonder whether he planned on this: book-cover designers and ad-agencies lurking on Flickr, searching for CC-licensed images they can use for free, increasing their profits and killing much of the income of photographers.

    At one time I thought it would be great to add to the pile of CC-licensed stuff… create and share and create… but I am not sure whether it works at all.

    Reply
  6. steve

    No. I really don’t have anything new to add. Unfortunately.

    Reply
  7. Ottmar

    We will collectively figure it out eventually…

    Reply
  8. Brenda

    Thanks Ottmar :) I do like creativity of writing in longhand but have adapted to the blend of typing. There is something about white notebook paper and a blue ink pen that just has the perfect fit for me. I believe it is because you never lose the thought but just have so many rewrites with all the scratch outs. It is so good , when you reach the moment of that’s it! Yes, it helps you to see where you began and when you ended.

    Reply
  9. steve

    Don’t you suspect that we will always have pirates, though?

    It’s an asymmetrical thing: the pirates always have the upper hand because they always have the luxury of reaction. They don’t have to be proactive. They just wait.

    For example: Suppose these “Pirate Bay” weasels start up a new site in a non-Berne convention country. Kind of like Neal Stephenson’s _Cryptonomicon_ “data harbor” idea. What then? What would the music industry do? What could they do? More specifically, what could the independent do?

    These pirates every bit as clever as anybody working at Google, Microsoft, Apple, or NSA. CSS was broken by “DVD-Jon” Johansen and his pals within a day of the release of CSS: He was 16 at the time. Hollywood spent tons of money on the R&D of that scheme only to have it broken before the weekend was over by a bunch of teenagers. There are now tons of DeCSS programs that run on pretty much every OS you can think of, and breaking DVD encryption is as easy as opening a Keynote presentation.

    Again, not a justification, but reality, and one that I suspect will remain with us since in the entire history of the human species, we have been unable to eradicate the pirate or piracy.

    Reply
  10. Ottmar

    What I like about the Guardian piece is that it mentions other internet businesses that had a similar M.O. – YouTube, Last.fm, Napster… one might also add MySpace and many others. All of these companies were based on getting free content from artists and all of them were sold for millions or billions. Essentially they were content-less containers. Hey, let’s organize videos and let people upload stuff. Before they even had to worry about copyright they had already sold the business for $1.65 billion.

    Reply
  11. steve

    And this is one of the areas I saw a problem with: The pricing structure for Internet streaming is just ridiculous. For example, why does satellite radio pay artists and songwriters for playing their songs, but terrestrial radio only pays songwriters? Why do web casters also pay both, but at a different rate? This facet of the story is left out of the Guardian article, and is, I believe the “deal killer.”

    In the case of the per song streamed The Copyright Royalty Board set the fee at $0.0011 per song streamed. Now, given the way the Internet scales, it’s easy to see that this would be completely beyond the rabbit proof fence when talking about a large streaming entity like YouTube. And, completely out of line with what other broadcasters are required to do. So, the lack of parity amongst all broadcasters creates an attitude of “you call me when you are serious..” and certain of them decide to pay nothing or minimal (e.g., Google/YouTube). It’s as if there is some kind of broadcaster caste system. (Which, frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out exists)

    As I said earlier, referring to Prof Lessig. Lessig is right: copyright is broken. The laws that are being written are not being written for the good of the culture, or the good of the content creators, but for the lining of the pockets of those that craft the laws to perpetuate their next election. We won’t get a sane copyright law in the US until we change the influence of the lobbyists on congressional members. To do that we need to change Congress.

    Reply
  12. Ottmar

    Have you considered that Lessig makes his money giving speeches about copyright, and from being a professor at Stanford, and not from creating, selling and licensing creative content? I found that most of the people who dislike copyright are people who make the bulk of their income talking about why they dislike copyright. Take that guy from BoingBoing. I bet he makes 1000% more money from speaking about copyright than from selling his books. With that in mind, I have turned to listening a little less to copyright-haters and more to people who are creating stuff and who are struggling.

    Reply

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