A New Twist to the Remix – Sell It and Keep the Cash
I caught this story via TechDirt earlier this week. It got shove downward on my to do list and was interrupted by a turkey but I still wanted to let you all know about it.
The Band, Chapel Club is allowing people to download “stems”, the vocal musical parts of songs and then mix them to a song. The novel thing about this “Good Together” remix is that the person who mixes it is free to sell their mix and keep the money. Another condition is that, short of social media sites, the mixer is not allowed to give the mix away for free.
This past Monday, live on the Tech Net News and Opinion, we had mentioned that the search warrants regarding the Kim Dotcom raid had been unsealed. In our conversation, we had mentioned that numerous sites were reporting that there was no mention of any possible non infringing files regarding the warrants.
While that is grave enough, an article over at TechDirt adds more stench to the stink. It seems MegaUpload cooperated with the investigators in a previous investigation of NinjaVideo. In short they cooperated by not removing files at MegaUpload that were put there by NinjaVideo, as requested by the authorities. MegaUploaded cooperated only to have the same files used against them when it came time to go after MegaUpload.
I am curious. Would that be some form of entrapment?
- Megaupload Assisted FBI vs NinjaVideo, But Evidence Then Used Against Them (torrentfreak.com)
- U.S Court Partially Unseals Warrant Against MegaUpload (thedroidguy.com)
- Germany Denies Seizure of MegaUpload Assets (indienation.fm)
- A New Home for MegaUpload? (indienation.fm)
Yeah, you read that right. I can’t make this stuff up. GoDaddy, has actually been granted a patent for just what the headline states! I am baffled at what is so unique and novel about this particular idea. Honestly, who wouldn’t promote their new web site via social sites and networks? For that matter who hasn’t done so already?
Google Music Launches
Although pretty much everywhere, I caught the news of this via my EnGadget RSS feed. Google Music has launched and offered over 8 million tracks the first day. The selection of music will soon increase to over 13 million.
While the music program has been known and in beta, there was speculation as to which and how many labels would be on board, EnGadget reports that 3 major labels and 23 independents have signed on.
In conversation, we discussed how the MPAA likely cost Hollywood more than Torrents, MP3 vs Physical Media, why do people pirate and how these items relate.
Motorola Approve Google PurchaseFollowing up on recent old news, more specifically the recent “Google bought Motorola” stories. First off, to clarify what I have too often heard, Google did not buy Motorola in entirety, specifically only Motorola Mobility. In Lumpy’s opinion, likely for patents to defend the Droid phone.
They announced sticking to a “hands off” approach regarding operations. The purchase, however likely, needed final approval from the “actual” owners of Motorola.
According to a post at Physorg.com, Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility was given final approval by the Motorola stock holders. The deal was valued at 12.5 billion dollars. Of note however, though no problem is expected, the regulators has still not officially approved this purchase.
RIAA Does Not Like The Used Digital Music Sale Business
This is one we may wish to file under “no surprise”… After all other than there outdated-make-no-sense-lobby-and-sue-to-make-it-our-way business model what part of the music business does the music industry actually love? This is the same organization that tried to stop 8-tracks, cassettes and used record stores for they were all certainly going to destroy the music business.
Thanks to the ingenious strategy of “sue em all” and total alienation of their customers, the Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity has kept this dying business alive for decades. Unfortunately, when they are done paying the organization’s officers, legal fees and lawyers, there is nothing left for the artists.
Slashdot points to a few good articles relevant to ReDigi, a company which is claiming to re-sell digital music. The RIAA has sent ReDigi a letter, more or less telling them to stop. This one should be an interesting one to follow. Will it reverse the decision of Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc. or will the industries stance of “first sale” win?
Unfortunately, with both the US legal system and the RIAA involved, one has no clue what a court may decide. While I am not too sure, “re-selling” digital media is actually legal. The case referenced was more specifically involving software not music… software purchased and physically resold. As for music, sooner or later a line must be drawn in the litigious sand that fills the litter box of the current war over content, distribution and ownership.
SOPA Not Well Liked By Many
Mike Masnick of TechDirt posted that many have been expressing a dislike for SOPA. The “Stop On-line Piracy Act” or H.R. 3261 is currently in committee hearings. One of the more popular news stories which came out of the public reaction to this potential law was “Free Justin Beiber”. The bill would make on-line streaming copyright offenses a felony, with up to 5 years prison time. Ironically, Beiber sent a cease and dessist order to Free Beiber which was started by Fight for the Future.
The TechDirt article lists the following as opposing this bill:
- Hacker News who has actually put up a site so that you can send representatives a letter.
- The ACLU regarding free speech issues
- The American Library Association as part of the Library Copyright Alliance
- Association of Research Libraries (PDF of letter) as part of the Library Copyright Alliance
- Human Rights Watch
- New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative
- The Competitive Enterprise Institute over due process concerns
- EFF – Has many articles on this topic
- Public Knowledge
- Consumers Union
- Consumer Federation of America
- US PIRG
- The Brookings Institution
- ESET over security concerns
The EFF lists even more who oppose this bill, “including Facebook, Google, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, AOL and Mozilla”.
The process of approving this bill has also come under scrutiny, TechDirt discusses that the committee is perceived as biased and, add to that, those opposed to the bill have not been permitted to attend the hearings. The EFF has more on those who are not permitted to attend and states that many of those who are permitted to attend actually helped draft the bill.
An additional link was also brought up during the live discussion:
If you would like to participate in this show’s live discussion, contact us at 818-81-INDIE or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cautious Optimism Follows SOPA Hearings: Don’t Get Cocky (readwriteweb.com)
- SOPA copyright bill draws fire (news.cnet.com)
- TechFast: SOPA Backlash, Google’s Music Store, Tablet Wars (techland.time.com)
- Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act Now (dailyfinance.com)
- Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act Now (fool.com)
- ISPs versus SOPA: Anti-piracy bill could force severe privacy-invading measures (zdnet.com)
- Google Music debuts, with downloads and sharing (live blog) (news.cnet.com)
- Google Music debuts, with downloads and sharing (live blog) (news.cnet.com)
- How SOPA would affect you: FAQ (news.cnet.com)
- Tech Giants Take Out Newspaper Ad Blasting Net Censorship Proposition (ostatic.com)
- Google Buys Motorola (indienation.fm)
- RIAA goes after ReDigi for selling “used” iTunes tracks (electronista.com)
- T-Mobile may be part of Google Music launch (news.cnet.com)
Another Lawsuit, to Pay for a Lawsuit
I have often said that the current music industry is a dinosaur, many have. I often use terms such as “new media order” and “new business model“. It is obvious that I feel the way the big boys play is obsolete and I am not alone in that feeling.
Don’t Make Me Hit You… Beavis and Butthead to Return
Remember how you got all excited about music videos due to two cartoon idiots? Maybe not, maybe so…They were a tad too stupid to hold my attention very long but just tolerable enough for me to watch it and wait for the next video.
However, there used to be an era when MTV actually played music videos. People used to actually buy music videos they saw on MTV. The name originally met “Music Television”.
There were, as our source article at TechDirt points out, television shows that were what they were because of the era related music. Ironically, when released on DVD, the original music had to be replaced due to excessive license fees for the music. Honestly, what is WKRP in Cincinnati with out the era music? One word… lame.
Google Link War
I had an ex-girlfriend who always used to say “be careful what you ask for because you may get just that”. That phrase seems to perfectly describe what this article at Techdirt is reporting.
A lawsuit going all the way back to 2006 filed by a group of Belgium newspapers complained that Google should be paying them when they link to their sites. After all it is intellectual copyrighted property. While that claim alone should raise an eyebrow, the courts actually ruled against Google. The court ordered Google to pay up and remove the links. Google did as the court ordered.
A post over at TechDirt, dated July 1, although some what dated is still worth a mention because of something Google did which is rather geeky kewl. The post was reporting on Reuter’s wrap up on the Nortel patent auction. To simply cut to the kewlness, Apple, Microsoft, EMC, RIM Ericsson and Sony ended up getting the patents for 4.5 billion.
In a manner that one might expect in a sitcom or a movie and not an auction, Google had some interesting bids. For example:
- When bidding hit 3 million Google upped it to 3.14159 billion which most would know as Pi
- $1,902,160,540 was also bid which, likely geeks would only recognize as Brun’s Constant
- 2,614,972,128 was another number thrown out by Google again, Greek to most but Meissel-Mertens Constant to geeks
While we can speculate on why the Google team did this, one thing is for sure, it is very geek.
- Those Zany Math-Based Bids That Didn’t Get Google Any Nortel Patents (wired.com)
- Bizarre – Google Bids PI for Nortel Patents (q-ontech.blogspot.com)
- Google’s unusual Nortel bids rooted in mathematics (canada.com)
- Are you a Geek? Answer this question to find out! (setandbma.wordpress.com)
An article at TechDirt points to a blog post with some very unfortunate, disturbing and somewhat hard to believe news regarding a recent United States Supreme Court Decision. Quoting the TechDirt post:
A blog post by Skip Oliva alerts us to a very troubling Supreme Court ruling in a patent lawsuit that is going to have massive, dangerous unintended consequences — as pointed out by the lone dissenter, Justice Kennedy. Effectively, the ruling claims that even if you had no idea that a patent existed, if you sell products to other businesses for resale, and it later turns out that those products infringed on a patent, you could be liable for “inducement” to infringe.
First and foremost, the compay, SEB, did in fact file and have a patent for their deep fryer. This is not the first time in history that two indivuduals had the same invetive idea at the same time… the rumor mill has it that Tesla invented radio first. However, not only was the company unaware of any patent infringements but they even hired an attorney to do a patent search!
What baffles myself, Techdirt, Skip Oliva, hopefully many of you and one lone US Supreme Court Judge, unfortunately only one, is that this was considered inducement. How can it be inducement if, first, they believed the idea was, in fact, not patented and, second, how does this show any will or intent to induce? The companies were under the impression that a search was done and that everything was in order. Does not inducement require awareness of the infringement?
TechDirt brings to our attention some disturbing news. With all the intellectual property litigation going on and copyright fees increasing, one would think that the authors would be seeing fair share. It seems, however, that at least in the case of Access Copyright, this may well not be the case. The TechDirt article links to a post by Michael Geist who has some questions about a report from Access Copyright. Seems the math and reporting is very similar to the voodoo math of the RIAA.
The authors may well be getting less than 10 %. The rest is eaten up in administrative expenses. I think the Tech Dirt post sums this up nicely:
it does seem quite eye opening to find out that the group brought in $33.7 million last year, and only about $3.1 million of that went to authors directly, while $8.7 million went to administrative expenses. Kinda makes you wonder who Access Copyright is really representing.
While this author feels that litigation and legal expense are not taboo in the budget of companies associated with intellectual property, one has to wonder how much they budget for spreadsheet and accounting software. Well that is my two cents which is likely more than I would earn for anything I might copyright.
- Access Copyright Responds: So Much For Getting the Facts Straight (michaelgeist.ca)
- The Economics Behind Access Copyright (michaelgeist.ca)
- Why The Situation Is Likely to Get Worse for Access Copyright (But Not Necessarily for Authors) (michaelgeist.ca)
- Follow Up – RIAA Will Give “Some” of the Royalties to The Artists (indienation.fm)
It was previously reported that the recording industry (RIAA or Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity) was not going to give any of the money awarded in the recent LimeWire settlement to the artists. The story at The Huffington Post referenced a post at Torrent Freak and reading it today it reminds me of the news re-writes in 1984. Strangely the Huffinton Post now claims that the Torrent Freak article was incorrect. The original Torrent Freak article reads:
RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy previously told TorrentFreak that the ‘damages’ accrued from piracy-related lawsuits will not go to any of the artists, but towards funding more anti-piracy campaigns. “Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs,” he said.
Hmmm…. seems like a pretty clear to me. Based on the track record of the RIAA have any artist actually received anything from these lawsuits? Remember they announced the end of the “sue em all” campaign? Now if they announced the end of it, why do they need to “re-invest” any of the settlement money? It seems that what he previously said was taken out of context… Or is it just being re-written?