Archive for the 'Music' Category

07 OctCD Baby’s Shipment Confirmation Email

CD Baby just sent me the following shipment confirmation email. It’s witty enough that I’m willing to give them (and my friend’s great CD!) a free plug here. Companies that write emails like this are in short supply.

Brian-

Thanks for your order with CD Baby!

USPS

(1) David Harris: St. Bartholomew and The Frail Stag

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, October 7, 2009.

We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Sigh…

We miss you already. We’ll be right here at http://cdbaby.com/, patiently awaiting your return.

CD Baby
The little store with the best new independent music.
http://cdbaby.com cdbaby@cdbaby.com (503)595-3000

02 MarPerfomance Rights Bill

It’s puzzling how we do something totally different in the mid-90s with respect to webcasters, satellite radio providers and cable companies and then now we need to “harmonize” and achieve “platform parity” with the broadcast radio world not by moving to the broadcast radio standard that’s been in place for 80 years but instead by moving the broadcast radio world over to the new approach. Given the meager success (failures?) of webcasting and satellite radio, I’d want to study that idea a little more.

09 SepA Land Called Paradise

In December 2007, over 2,000 American Muslims were asked what they would wish to say to the rest of the world. This is what they said. A music video for Kareem Salama’s “A Land Called Paradise.” (Winner of LinkTV’s 2007 One Nation Contest’s Grand Prize):

23 JunCapitol Records v. Multiply, Inc. 07-11357 (SDNY)

07-11357-013-AmendedComplaint
07-11357-029-MemoISOMotToDismiss
07-11357-034-MemoOppMotToDismiss
07-11357-039-ReplyMemoISOMotToDismiss

09 OctRadiohead’s “In Rainbows” to be DRM-free MP3s

Radiohead recently announced that fans could pick the price they’d pay for Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows.

To check this out and support this experiment, I signed up for the download-only version and chose to pay $.99 per song, i.e., $9.90 for the 10-song album. (I used a currency-converter to figure out how much to pay in pounds.)

I just received the following e-mail indicating the download codes will be provided tomorrow morning (UK time) and the songs will be provided as DRM-Free MP3s. Nice. They have made the right choice. Again.

THANK YOU FOR ORDERING IN RAINBOWS. THIS IS AN UPDATE.

YOUR UNIQUE ACTIVATION CODE(S) WILL BE SENT OUT TOMORROW MORNING (UK TIME). THIS WILL TAKE YOU STRAIGHT TO THE DOWNLOAD AREA.

HERE IS SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE DOWNLOAD:

THE ALBUM WILL COME AS A 48.4MB ZIP FILE CONTAINING 10 X 160KBPS DRM FREE MP3s.

MOST COMPUTERS NOW HAVE ZIP SOFTWARE AS PART OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM; IF YOUR COMPUTER DOES NOT, YOU NEED TO GET WINZIP OR ZIPIT INSTALLED PRIOR.

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THEM HERE:

PC: http://www.winzip.com/
MAC: http://www.maczipit.com/

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS DOWNLOADING YOUR FILE, PLEASE CONTACT OUR DOWNLOAD CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM AT downloadinrainbows@waste.uk.com

07 AprHello world!

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17 MayPatry on the Anti-Bootlegging Statute

William Patry, one of the drafters of 17 U.S.C. 1101 and 18 U.S.C. 2319A, the civil and criminal provisions, respectively, of the “anti-bootlegging” statute, has a post on his blog defending the constitutionality of these statutes, both of which have recently been ruled unconstitutional, one by a district court in California (Kiss Catalog v. Passport Productions) and the other by a district court in New York (US v. Martignon).

Patry points out that the live musical performers granted rights under these statutes are engaged in commerce. No one doubts that musical artists are engaged in commerce, often even interstate commerce. But so is virtually every other copyright holder and we haven’t taken that as a reason to ignore the Progress Clause‘s limitations or as a reason to let the Commerce Clause swallow the Progress Clause’s field of application.

He also accuses Judge Baer, author of the Martignon opinion, of contradicting himself. I’d be pleased if Patry could clear up another contradiction: 2319A adopts the (C) Act’s definition of “fixed” and the (C) Act defines works as “fixed” “when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration.” So this means that to be “fixed” you have to be “authorized”. Nonetheless 2319A speaks of “unauthorized fixations” which translates to “unauthorized authorized embodiments”, i.e., it explicitly contradicts itself. What’s going on there?

Patry writes, “The reach of the Copyright Clause stops at the fixation door: it doesn’t expressly or impliedly swing open to things that aren’t fixed.” That is where we simply disagree. Patry doesn’t address the arguments to the contrary.

With respect to live musical performances, the Law Professors’ Brief in the Martignon appeal provides three options: 1) They are writings and hence are governed by the Progress Clause. (One famous treatise author holds this view.) 2) They are not writings and hence are not governed by the Progress Clause. (This is the position taken by the Government in the Martignon appeal and also apparently Patry’s view. The Profs. point out that one who takes this position must respond to the First Amendment concerns that such a sweeping regulation of speech poses. Patry doesn’t do this.) 3) The Professors instead suggest that they are not Writings, and hence cannot be given copyright or copyright-like protection, but they are nonetheless governed by the Progress Clause and its limitations because that Clause governs all legislation that would regulate original creative expression.

The last seems to me the best view. It may well imply that much legislation, such as the anti-bootlegging statute, is unconstitutional. It may also mean that much more state regulation of original creative expression is preempted than we currently recognize. I don’t think those are problems with the view. Rather, I think they are some of the better features of the view. Not because I care about bootleggers, but because it will provide for a more balanced “intellectual property” landscape, one where the limitations of the Progress Clause will keep us in check and prevent us from being tempted to over-expand perpetual rights that don’t actually benefit society.

As an aside, Mr. Patry spends some time discussing the drafters’ intent to legislate under the Commerce Clause. I’d be pleased for him to actually cite to the legislative history that demonstrates this intent. So far no one has actually provided a citation, and all the comments on the floor of Congress suggest instead that members, at least, believed they were enacting Copyright legislation. (However, we should keep in mind, as Patry also notes, that this is irrelevant to the statute’s constitutionality).

Update May 19:The Conversation Continues…

Cross-posted to bIPlog.

29 JulProprietary Hardware and DRM Threats from Apple

RealNetworks recently announced that their new RealPlayer with Harmony Technology would allow users to “Get your music anywhere. Transfer to any portable device” including Apple’s iPod. That sounds great for users, huh? Well, Apple doesn’t think so.

Apple’s so irked by the idea that users might have the freedom to buy music from someone other than them and still be able to play that music on their iPod that they’re considering suing RealNetworks and they are strongly hinting that they are going to break this feature in the next iPod software forced downgrade, I mean “update”. Kinda takes the polish off the ole Apple, eh?

In one way, it’s an odd position for Apple to take. iPod owners can currently transfer music they’ve burned from their own CD collections or downloaded off peer-to-peer networks to their iPods without a hitch. The difference here is that Real made it possible to also transfer songs bought at Real’s music store. It’s not hard to see that Apple is merely opposing its competitors at the expense of its users.

Now for the real twist. Apple is probably right! That is, they are probably right that RealNetworks broke Federal law to do this and that Apple could win a lawsuit on this point. That’s just how screwed up the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is!

You see, Apple’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) software that controls the copying of songs you buy from Apple’s iTunes store is what the DMCA would call “a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work.” Sec. 1201. And the DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent such DRM (in most cases) or to make available software or devices that circumvent such DRM. And while it’s not perfectly clear how Harmony works, if it makes it possible to copy Apple iTunes-purchased music onto any portable device, then it is inevitably circumventing Apple’s DRM.

What a mess. This is why I want a portable music player that runs GNU/Linux and plays non-DRM’d .ogg format music files. Then I can mostly ignore stupid laws like the DMCA and company in-fighting that hurts users and just enjoy my music in peace. Someone with financial backers and a manufacturing plant could make a mint selling open hardware running open software to fed-up consumers who just want to take back control over their music.

25 JunYour iPod Illegal Under the INDUCE Act?

As was recently reported on Slashdot, Senator Orrin Hatch has introduced the INDUCE Act with this absurd floor speech which Ernest Miller has torn apart line-by-line. In response to Hatch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has brilliantly illustrated how the INDUCE Act can and will be abused. They explain how under the INDUCE Act an agressive copyright holder could sue Apple for inducing iPod owners to infringe (merely by creating the innovative devices), as well as Toshiba for making the iPod’s hard drive, and CNET for showing people how to move the iPod’s music files. Time to visit the EFF Action Center to contact your Senators and tell them you want INDUCE squashed and innovation preserved. (This was a rejected Slashdot submission of mine.)

13 FebSheikh Terra – Dirty Kuffar Video

This is troubling. See the rap video that people are talking about. It reminds me of one of the things that makes me so angry about the Bush rhetoric. He repeatedly says he is fighting against people “who hate freedom” and who “hate our liberty” and so on. That’s just idiotic on its face. No one prefers to be enslaved rather than free. What they hate is what everyone hates. They hate seeing people they know and love killed. They hate soldiers that glory in killing. That cheer. That think killing another human being is “awesome” and want to “do that again.” But let’s be clear. Just because I don’t think Bush is their savior, doesn’t mean I think Osama is. Bush is their enemy. Sure. But Osama is too. So is anyone that tells them to commit suicide. Their enemy is anyone that tells them to waste their lives in the taking of other innocent life. Their enemy is anyone that tells them that more killing is the answer to their problems. Their enemy is poverty. Their enemy is ignorance. Their enemy is the political structures of almost every country in the Middle East. Their enemy is the greed of politicians. Those things are our enemies too. We have to get new leadership in this country that sees this. That is willing to adopt a progressive foreign policy that tries to heal wounds rather than create new ones. And since such leadership could change their plight for the better as well as ours, regime change here is more important than regime change there.

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