chronovore: (mouthy)
CNET News: Music publishers: iTunes not paying fair share (via /.):
Songwriters, composers, and music publishers are making preparations to one day collect performance fees from Apple and other e-tailers for not just traditional music downloads but for downloads of films and TV shows as well. Those downloads contain music after all.

These groups even want compensation for iTunes' 30-second song samples.
Apple's iTunes provides an otherwise-unusable 30 second clip as a free advertisement to promote the sale of the song itself, and the songwriters want a cut of the advertisement?
chronovore: (mouthy)
Internet cut-off threat for illegal downloaders | Technology |
But today the government will take the unusual step of proposing much stricter rules midway through the Digital Britain consultation process. Illegal filesharers will still get warning letters but if they continue to swap copyrighted material they could have their internet connection temporarily severed, although it may be possible to retain basic access to online public services.

A similar law in France under which filesharers could be cut off for up to a year was recently kicked out by the country's highest court as unconstitutional. In the UK, privacy groups are likely to challenge any similar legislation as contrary to human rights law.

The power to introduce technical measures, meanwhile, will rest with the secretary of state, not Ofcom and their introduction will not rely upon an arbitrary 70% reduction in piracy but be up to the minister's discretion as he tries to secure the future of the UK's creative industries.

"The previous proposals, whilst robust, would take an unacceptable amount of time to complete in a situation that calls for urgent action," according to a draft of the government's new plan.
chronovore: (mouthy)
The Pirate Bay acquired for $7.8 million // News:
Global Gaming Factory X has acquired file-sharing site The Pirate Bay for SEK 60 million (USD 7.8 million).

Along with the purchase of file-sharing tech firm Peerialism, GGF intends to turn the website legitimate, offering compensation for copyright owners whose content is featured on the site.

"We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site," said Hans Pandeya, CEO of GGF

"The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited internet sites in the world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary.

"Content creators and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File-sharers need faster downloads and better quality," he added.

Peerialism creates file-sharing technology, which GGF intends to incorporate into The Pirate Bay when the acquisition is completed in August.

"Peerialism has developed a new data distribution technology which now can be introduced on the best known file-sharing site, The Pirate Bay," offered Johan Ljungberg, CEO of Peerialism.

"Since the technology is compatible with the existing it will quickly allow for new values to be created for all key stakeholders and facilitate new business opportunities."

The four founders of The Pirate Bay - Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström - were found guilty of violating intellectual property rights earlier this year, each receiving a one year jail sentence and fines totalling USD 3,620,000.
chronovore: (furious)
Slashdot | To Start Charging International Users: as announced on their official blog. Announced at the end of March, it was shortly after this that my 30 song countdown "trial" initiated after using the service off and on since April 2004. So to my comrades in North America, Canada, and Germany who could not figure out what I'm talking about, this is it. €3 a month would return's dubious playback features which rarely played the track or even the band I wanted, and music-matching inferior to's implementation. Now all I can use for is to figure out how musically incompatible I am with each of you.
chronovore: (Default)
In December or January, I bought Microsoft's karaoke game, LIPS; essentially a direct competitor for Sony's own Singstar title. Microsoft had hired INiS, makers of the very clever music game, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (Elite Beat Agents) to bring their music-game know-how to the table. While INiS made Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! a quirky, Japanese singleplayer Nintendo DS title, it appears they inadvertently turned LIPS into something similar. It's quirky, unconsciously very Japanese, and manages to get everything related to multiplayer very, very wrong. And its Down-Loadable Content appears broken.

I had purchased a DLC track for LIPS at 160 MS Points (Smashmouth's All-Star), only to find out it doesn't work. I deduced from info on game forums, official LIPS forums, and finally the MS support center, that the DLC purchased from the US store are not compatible with the region-free Asia-version of the game. US Xbox, US DLC, region free game -- verily, it maketh not the sense. My adventures with MS support ended with them saying, while they were really sorry about the trouble, refunds were not handled through web/email inquiries, only phone support.

I've been unable to make the time to call MS while they're open -and- it's waking hours in Japan -and- I'm not looking after seeing my kids off in the morning, so my little OCD "unfinished business" blinker has been going off for about a month now. I've got all of 120 MS Points left, not enough to buy anything -- and today Rock Band's DLC, which works just fine thank you, had Losing My Religion go up. Excellent!

The MS support center took my details twice, my existing Issue Number twice, gave me a new issue number once, and finally gave me back 160 MS Points. They asked me to confirm it by trying to buy something, and I did so -- by buying REM's Losing My Religion.

My little OCD lamp has finally gone dark.
chronovore: (mouthy)
Copyright Czar's Fate in Bush's Hands; Veto Looms | Threat Level from
President Bush is opposing legislation creating a so-called copyright czar and might veto the measure.

The House on Sunday sent the president the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act," (.pdf) a measure the Senate approved Friday creating a cabinet-level copyright czar charged with implementing a nationwide plan to combat piracy and "report directly to the president and Congress regarding domestic international intellectual property enforcement programs."

The White House successfully lobbied the Senate to remove language tasking the Department of Justice with suing copyright and trademark infringers on behalf of Hollywood
, (emphasis mine) remainder of article behind cut )
What, seriously, the congress approached the executive branch with a proposal that government money should be spent suing "pirates" instead of the copyright holders? This whole song-and-dance about how piracy is destroying Hollywood and the record companies doesn't stop them from making money, and the losses they report are about as realistic as Fantasy Football; it's all about "what IF all those college students actually BOUGHT the music on those hard drives...?! We'd be more richer!" And apparently they've managed to convince congress that the government needs to pursue their own constituents more fully on behalf of big media. Good christ.
chronovore: (mouthy)
Record labels seek more action on Rock Band and Guitar Hero - Los Angeles Times:
The firms deserve a bigger piece of the profit from music titles, Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. says.
By Michelle Quinn and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers ; August 18, 2008
Many music industry executives facing a CD sales slump love the sound of Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

The video games have millions of followers who memorize every note of songs so they can jam along -- and they often buy the original version of their favorites. In addition to the publicity, the record labels get licensing fees from the game publishers.

But not all music industry executives are singing "Hallelujah."

Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and chief executive of Warner Music Group, recently grumbled that the record labels deserved a bigger piece of the spoils from the games' success.

"The amount being paid to the industry, even though their games are entirely dependent on the content that we own and control, is far too small," he said during an Aug. 7 earnings call.full article behind cut )
I'd have a lot more sympathy for the record companies' whining about revenue sharing if (a) they were also talking about sharing the spike in music sales after inclusion in Guitar Hero or Rock Band with the game's creators (it's a two-way street, beyotch), and (b) were actually benefiting the "content creators" such as the bands themselves rather than trying to vampirically lock on to a new revenue model, or (c) were actually contributing something to the game development community. What they're talking about is how unfair it is that someone else figured out how to use their (legally licensed) IP when the RIAA has been focusing on making it as difficult as possible to do anything new with their music. xposted to [ profile] gamers


Jun. 16th, 2008 06:49 pm
chronovore: (mouthy)
MPAA wants to stop DVRs from recording some movies:
MPAA has pressed its Petition for Expedited Special Relief on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Brothers. How did these media companies get an FCC proceeding so fast? Ars bets that hiring former FCC Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy as their attorney helped. Abernathy supported former FCC Chair Michael Powell's drastic relaxation of the agency's media ownership rules in 2003, along with Kevin Martin, now head of the agency.

Movies go through a timeline of staged releases that lasts about three years. First they go to theaters; 60 days after that they start showing up in airplanes and hotels; in 120 days from their theatrical release they transfer to DVD and Internet download; about a month later to video on demand/pay-per-view; by the end of the year to premium subscription systems like HBO and Showtime; and eventually to basic cable and free TV.

MPAA says these studios want to release their movies to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) "significantly earlier and prior to DVD release"—although the trade groups' filing won't say exactly how much sooner. But in exchange for the accelerated service, MPAA wants permission to obtain SOC blocking of recording capabilities. The group promises that once said movies have reached the home video sale/rental stage, the blocking will stop. (remainder of article) (via /.)
I know there's a bunch of you who think Cory Doctorow's a loudmouth, but he's got one thing right about DRM and copy protection: nobody wakes up and says to themselves, "Gee, I really want to do less with my media today." And that's all this is about; the MPAA wants to be able to restrict your ability to use the technology you bought in a way that you've already been using it. Horse puckey.

I'm going back to books. Well, videogames and books.
chronovore: (mouthy)
This morning I woke up to a contact's link to Animation World Magazine, Mind Your Business: You Will Lose All The Rights to Your Own Art. My first thought was, That doesn't sound right. That just sounds alarmist and scary, though there certainly is a lot of MAFIAA behavior that would qualify as scary and dishonest. When I read through the article, it seemed to largely be about "orphaned works" (wikipedia) - this is particularly an area where I'd like to see copyright reform begin to take effect. After all, there are heaps of works out there where there is no clear ownership of the original work, so using it is questionable and generally legally inadvisable. However, because of the cooling effects of copyright law, these works may fade entirely away; they're not in print, they're not being maintained and there's no positive result from trying to save them, only perceived potential for litigation.
“As the Copyright Office said in its notice, the evidence suggests that a large number of works may fall into the category of orphan works. We consider it extremely important, not only for the artists who are creating new work today, but also for the ideas created in years past, that orphan works be made as widely available as possible.

"The greater availability of orphan works will provide a new and valuable source of inspiration for writers, film-makers, musicians and artists generally. (Save Orphan Works)
I am not sure where the author thinks that work which is readily attributable to him will legally become open fodder for Disney and Halliburton, but that's not what orphaned works are really about. So I went looking for examples to counter this guy's perspective. It turns out, there's been a minor firestorm over this in teh blogospherez today, and at least one person has written up what's fundamentally wrong with the positions expressed in the AWM article: read Six Misconceptions About Orphaned Works for some common sense and insight. [via boingboing]
chronovore: (mouthy)
Hey, news-flash: US Amazon's One-Click shopping requires a credit card with a US-domestic billing address. Purchases from Amazon's MP3 store can only be made via One-Click. I do not have a card with a US billing address; hence, I do not have access to Amazon's MP3 store.

I am distinctly not enjoying the direction the internet-as-marketplace has been taking this past couple years.
chronovore: (mouthy)
Wired News - AP News: (via [ profile] chernobylred )
Terry Hartle, vice president of the American Council on Education, which represents higher education in Washington, said the mistakes showed the entertainment industry has unfairly targeted college campuses.

"Illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing is a society-wide problem. Some of it occurs at college s and universities but it is a small portion of the total," he said, adding colleges will continue to take the problem seriously, but more regulation isn't necessary.
Man, the MAFIAA is a society-wide problem, in my opinion. How much of the world's time have these idiots wasted based on their own-funded studies which THEY can't even be bothered to correctly interpret? I think if I were a college network admin, I'd have my own list of concerns about limiting bandwidth per user, but I don't need some hollywood lawyer asshat to tell me that.
chronovore: (mouthy)
Free? Steal It Anyway -
Piracy, it seems, is about more than price.

That's one of the surprising discoveries to come out of an experiment by the British band Radiohead last week. On Thursday, the group made its latest album, In Rainbows, available for direct downloading from the Web at an unusual price: whatever fans feel like paying. Downloaders who want to pay nothing can enter "zero" in the site's price field and download the album for free.
Well, another reason might be that, even if one enters 00.00 on the site, it still requests a VISA/MASTERCARD payment information before providing a download link. Is anyone else seeing this screen.
chronovore: (OMFG)
Digital Downloads: Radiohead Offers New Album For Whatever You Want to Pay - Gizmodo:
Oh, did I mention they're doing this without a record label? Yes, that sound you just heard was the music industry collectively crapping its pants. [Radiohead via Idolator]
chronovore: (Default)
Prince Points the Way to a Brighter Future for Music:
Paul Quirk, co-chairman of Britain's Entertainment Retailers Association, threatened: "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behavior like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores."
Prince's latest gambit also succeeded by acknowledging that copies, not songs, are just about worthless in the digital age. The longer an album is on sale, the more likely it is that people can find somewhere to make a copy from a friend's CD or a stranger's shared-files folder. When copies approach worthlessness, only the original has value, and that's what Prince sold to the Mail on Sunday: the right to be Patient Zero in the copying game.
My problem with the RIAA and the MPAA (the "MAFIAA" there in tags) is that they look at consumers as potential criminals, much in the same way that a police officer looks a citizen; only without reason, and certainly without vested authority to do it. Which is why it gets under my skin so much when the MAFIAA starts looking for ways to enforce "its own brand of justice," by hiring off duty cops impersonating on-duty behavior to roust street dealers of CDs and DVDs, or by demanding that they be allowed pretexting in order to entrap people.
chronovore: (furious)
RUN-DMC vs. Jason Nevins - It's Like That (thanks, [ profile] weezie13

Of note: Sony/BMG, like many copyright holders, is now officially promoting their artists on YouTube. This is good because stuff goes up there officially, and it's available for viewing without having to go to Sony/BMG's site and navigate through crap and use whatever crappy player they've got going - it allows use of YouTube/Google's search function to find what you want, instead of having to go back and forth on the publisher's site, maybe finding it, maybe missing it even if it's there.

On the other hand, they'll almost certainly be increasingly vigilant about keeping other users away from uploading their own unedited recordings of the artists they represent (not a major problem), as well as the co-opted use of those music recordings in fan videos, use as background in collage videos, and who knows? Maybe they'll even go after young girls lip-syncing Pixies songs - how wrong! But in all seriousness, with the entry of big copyright holders into a realm that has burgeoned under use by casual users, I hope they don't sic the lawyerhounds on the other users, because there's already enough chilling effect on people's ability to interact with the media they love, and share it in their own way.
chronovore: (Default)
RADIO.BLOG.CLUB: In my continuing quest to ameliorate the damage done to my ears by the VACUUM caused by the sudden disappearance of, I am enjoying this site as well. I discovered it through its Google Desktop Widget. I searched for "Boingo" and it drummed up a playlist of tracks by Oingo Boingo, Danny Elfman, and even the currently playing track off the soundtrack from Forbidden Zone, when they were "The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo." Unfortunately it suddenly segued to a crap soundtrack symphonic from Suikoden for some reason - its "hey-he'll-like-this" algorithm is still unclear to me.
chronovore: (furious)
TiVo fears new open source license will harm business - Engadget:
As if TiVo honestly needed any more reasons to fear for its life, it looks like the forthcoming version of the General Public License could actually do more "harm to its business." It the firm's most recent regulatory filing, it warned that the third version of the aforementioned license "would prohibit manufacturers of consumer appliances that use open source software from implementing technical measures designed to prevent user modifications," essentially giving the TiVo hackers of the world even fewer hoops to jump through. TiVo fears that if GPLv3 is widely adopted, it may be "unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU / Linux operating system into its software," which would obviously affect the outfit in a negative fashion. Notably, Novell has also spoken up about how this latest document could "disrupt its Linux distribution partnership with Microsoft," but unless something major happens rather hastily, the Free Software Foundation reportedly expects GPLv3 to be published sometime this summer.
I'm guessing it's little things like this why Apple standardized on BSD instead of GNU/Linux for OSX. OTOH, it's bogus that TiVo doesn't want people messing with SOMETHING THEY BOUGHT. And it's based off FSS/OSS, the basic spirit of which is "you can do whatever the hell you want with this." I'm surprised that they're surprised.
chronovore: (OMFG)
Tech news blog - Gonzales proposes new crime: 'Attempted' copyright infringement | CNET
Gonzales proposes new crime: 'Attempted' copyright infringement
Posted by Declan McCullagh

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pressing the U.S. Congress to enact a sweeping intellectual-property bill that would increase criminal penalties for copyright infringement, including "attempts" to commit piracy.

"To meet the global challenges of IP crime, our criminal laws must be kept updated," Gonzales said during a speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Monday.

The Bush administration is throwing its support behind a proposal called the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, which is likely to receive the enthusiastic support of the movie and music industries, and would represent the most dramatic rewrite of copyright law since a 2005 measure dealing with prerelease piracy. full article text )
chronovore: (mouthy)
Record shops: Used CDs? Ihre papieren, bitte!:
There are a few things lawmakers have decided really ought to be handled with the "care and oversight" that only the government can provide: e.g., tax collection, radioactive materials, biohazards, guns, and CDs. CDs? No, I'm not talking about financial Certificates of Deposit, though that might make more sense. I'm talking about Compact Discs.

New "pawn shop" laws are springing up across the United States that will make selling your used CDs at the local record shop something akin to getting arrested. No, you won't spend any time in jail, but you'll certainly feel like a criminal once the local record shop makes copies of all of your identifying information and even collects your fingerprints. Such is the state of affairs in Florida, which now has the dubious distinction of being so anal about the sale of used music CDs that record shops there are starting to get out of the business of dealing with used content because they don't want to pay a $10,000 bond for the "right" to treat their customers like criminals.


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