Tag Archives: mp3.

Awareness Music

Update On Blogger’s Removal of Music Blogs

Yesterday, we posted that Blogger had rather surreptitiously shut down several popular music blogs.  Today, Pitchfork is reporting that Blogger has issued a statement in its defence.  In the statement, the Google-owned service explains its policy for enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the controversial American copyright law), noting that when it receives multiple DMCA complaints about the same blog, and has “no indication that the offending content is being used in an authorized manner,” they will remove the blog (italics mine).

In other words, the burden of proof is on the blogger.  The statement goes on to say that

“Inevitably, we occasionally receive DMCA complaints even though the blogger does have the legal right to link to the music in question. Whether this is the result of miscommunication by staff at the record label, or confusion over which MP3s are “official,” it happens. If this happens to you, it is imperative that you file a DMCA counter-claim so we know you have the right to the music in question. Otherwise, if we receive multiple DMCA complaints for your blog, this could very well constitute repeat offenses, compelling us to take action.”

Fortunately, the DMCA complaint form seems fairly stringent and requires a lot of specific information, ostensibly preventing anyone from shutting down a blog they don’t like by sending off an accusatory email or two to Blogger.  And what’s more, Blogger’s policy (according to the statement) is to notify blog owners of any complaints made against them and to reset the offending post to ‘draft’ status, allowing them to remove the infringing content.

But that doesn’t explain why so many blogs were shut down so quickly and, apparently, without warning. 

Several commentators are pointing to this incident as further proof of the ineffectiveness of the existing online copyright regime.  As Techdirt points out,

… there are two real issues here. First, is the ridiculous “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” aspect of record label lawyers sending out DMCA takedowns for content that its marketing department sent to the blogs on purpose. But second, and much more important, is the ridiculousness of the DMCA‘s notice-and-takedown provisions in its safe harbors. It’s a “guilty until you’re innocent” type of measure. It effectively forces Google into a position where it needs to take down the content, until a blogger goes through the confusing process of filing a counternotice.

The response to this whole kerfuffle has been widespread and, often, intense.  We’ll keep you abreast of any updates.  Hopefully it gains enough steam to positively affect how intellectual property rights are regulated on the internet, leading eventually to a fairer and more transparent framework.

Awareness Music

Blogger Takes On Popular Music Blogs

Earlier today, Pitchfork reported that Blogger, the venerable Google-owned blogging service, has shut down several music blogs, including Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, I Rock Cleveland, Living Ears and It’s a Rap (none of which I have admittedly ever visited).  Apparently, the free music offered on the blogs violated Blogger’s terms of services.  As of about 11 a.m. PST, attempts to visit the blogs returned one-line ‘Blog not found’ error messages.

The website The Daily Swarm has compiled several responses to the move, as well as a copy of an email sent from Blogger to I Rock Cleveland and the blogger’s reply.

Obviously, this story is still unfolding.  Whether or not it represents the opening salvos in a new crackdown on illegal music sharing remains to be seen, but hopefully it’s an aberration that won’t have any wider implications.

Music

Enormous mp3 collection

4080Records, thanks to some wonderful contributors, has been shown a website that will blow your entire mind.

Some enterprising fellow has been digitizing all his old LP’s.  Travesty, you say?  Sure, until you realise he’s been carefully categorizing and labeling them and putting them online as downloadable mp3s.

Aptly titled “My collection of 78 rpm records“, it’s got a ton of jazz and blues for your listening pleasure.  As well, he’s got quite the collection of foreign music, including some folk songs from various countries.

As you all know, sites like this don’t tend to last too long, so head over and grab what you can.

Check it out here.

Jelly Roll Morton – Fish Tail Blues

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Count Basie – Good Morning Blues

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Geek Music

Hiding mp3s in images

This type of trick is old hat when it comes to hiding files on your computer itself (yes, it’ll work to hide your porn or your terrible poetry).  And it can be done through any major photo sharing site.

All you have to do is rename your mp3 file to end in .jpg, upload it to the photo sharing site of your choice, and there you go.  You have a file that anyone can download, and once you rename it back to mp3 it’ll play just like new.

Obviously this should only be used for files you hold the copyright to, as a quick way of downloading files from anywhere.  But make sure to be careful when doing this.  It may actually be against the terms of service of whatever site you choose to use, so make sure to read carefully!

[Source: Lifehacker]

Featured Politics

Conservatives to the Future: F*ck You

Last Friday, Canada’s governing Conservative party introduced Bill C-61, an Act to amend the Copyright Act. According to a news release from Industry Canada, the bill “balances the interests of Canadians who use digital technology and those who create content … it’s a win-win approach.”

Josée Verner, the Minister of Canadian Heritage added, “Canadians are known around the world for their creativity and ingenuity, and many of their ideas are found in the books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we watch, and the new digital technology we use in our day-to-day lives. Our balanced copyright reform builds on these successes.”

New Restrictions

The provisions of the Bill include:

– A $500 fine for each mp3, video, or other copyrighted item a Canadian is caught downloading. However, the fine may be reduced to $200 for individuals unaware the content they have downloaded is illegal.

A $20,000 fine for each copyrighted item a Canadian distributes over peer-to-peer services, or posts on sites like Youtube or Facebook.

– New restrictions around digital “content locks,” such as DRM technologies in music files. According to law professor Jeremy de Beer, under these new restrictions if a consumer wants to rip a CD to their iPod, they will have to own the CD and keep it indefinitely. If the consumer sells the CD later, they will have to delete its songs from their iPod.

Also, consumers will only be allowed to transfer content between devices they own. As de Beer emphasizes: “technically, [under the Bill’s regulations] you can’t rip songs to your sister’s iPod, nor can your kids load up your Father’s Day gift with any songs before they give it to you.”

For a complete list of the Bill’s dos and don’ts, scroll to the bottom this CTV article.

Opposition and Controversy

Opposition to the Bill has been widespread and fierce. Liberal MPs, whose partisan rhetoric reflected many citizens’ legitimate concerns, called it “a piece of half-baked legislation” that “misleads Canadians who wish to transfer to their iPods the music they bought as digital locks on CDs become more commonplace.”

The Canadian Music Creators Coalition, a group that includes Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene, and Avril Lavigne, released a statement Friday, criticising the Bill for imitating US law rather than offering a “made-in-Canada solution.” The statement further warned that “suing fans is destructive and hypocritical” and “digital locks are risky and counterproductive.”

Experts in the field of intellectual property are similarly upset. Professor Michael Geist described the Bill’s “anti-circumvention provisions” as “worrisome,” and noted that they may lock “Canadians out of their own digital content.” As an example, Geist said that, should the Bill become law, it may be illegal “to play a region-coded DVD from a non-Canadian region.” Professor de Beer offered a similar analysis, saying in the National Post that he hopes “the government listens to the overwhelming outcry against Bill C-61 before the proposal becomes law.”

Most of the protest, however, has been concentrated online. A Facebook group started by Geist called “Fair Copyright for Canada” attracted 10,000 new members less than 24 hours after the Bill was introduced, bringing the its membership to over 53,000 people. “What we’ve seen over the past 24 hours has been nothing short of remarkable,” Geist told the CBC. “Literally tens of thousands of Canadians are speaking out with an element of shock that the government would introduce this legislation in the manner that it has.”

Reaction in the blogosphere has been similar. A post on TorrentFreak, which garnered nearly 2,000 digs, calls the Bill “a shadow” that may dim Canada’s image as “one of the shining lights in the copyright and intellectual property world.” BoingBoing, a “directory of wonderful things,” blasts C-61 for “[importing] the worst elements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, [and] turning millions of Canadians into presumptive criminals who will be forever at risk of losing their property, privacy and dignity for the “crimes” of posting a clip to YouTube, breaking the DRM on a CD, or using a region-free DVD player.” Yet another blog, Open Source Cinema, voiced their opposition by creating a protest vid. Check it out:

Summer Election

Considering the immense controversy surrounding Bill C-61, many Canadians are wondering what the chances are of it becoming law.

Fortunately, with the summer break quickly approaching, it seems unlikely that C-61 will be seriously debated, or even voted on, in the immediate future. Instead, the Conservative government will probably take the summer months to carefully guage public reaction to their proposed amendments, and, depending on whether the Bill’s opponents can sustain their momentum, decide whether to renew debate over C-61 in the Fall or let it die quietly on the order paper. Alternatively, C-61 would also die if the Opposition decides to use the various methods at its disposal to force an election.

Either way, Bill C-61 will not come into effect for at least several months. So, if you’re a regular downloader/file sharer – get your download on now, ’cause this time next year you may be facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Quick

Are mixtapes piracy?

This post from CityPages takes a pretty funny look at the arguments record companies use to justify their war on piracy.  In fact, it goes back over the same arguments they used to make about how home tapers were ripping off the music industry and would essentially cause the same downfall the doomsayers are claiming mp3s caused.

Definitely worth a look.

Geek Music

The Source magazine predicts the future

The Source was a magazine that pretty much was the pinnacle of hip hop magazineness for Canada. For a while back in the 90’s it was the primary way to get hip hop news, especially in some of the cities where hip hop wasn’t nearly as prevalent. The April 1999 issue is especially interesting. They ran an article about the future of hip-hop and mp3s titled “MP3 and Hip-Hop: Sounds like the future”.

Here’s how it starts: “Imagine Downloading the latest album from Jay-Z or Method Man straight from the Internet and instead of shelling out $15.95 at the Virgin Megastore you pay just $4.00. Digital music is here and record companies/distributors may be worried about the possibilities.”

It’s a visionary piece of work, coming before iTunes was ever around. Click on the image below to view the entire article. Or right click and save the image and view it at your leisure.  Or, for those of you who are having issues viewing the image, you can find a PDF copy here.

Sounds like the future

Music

Nine Inch Nails release FREE album

Taking a page out of the Radiohead playbook and improving on it, Nine Inch Nails superstar Trent Reznor has decided to release the newest album for free on the web. Not backwards, not low quality, not snippets.

The. Full. Album. There are multiple versions to choose from. The audiophiles among you may actually choose to download a 1.2 GB monstrosity of the album in wav form. It’s not compressed so the sound should be nice and crisp.

You can download the album here.

My favourite part about this whole enterprise is Reznor’s message to his fans.

“(thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years – this one’s on me)”

It’s succinct and appropriate. NIN is releasing a physical copy of this album in July on CD and vinyl. I have a feeling that this album will sell really well. Fans tend to appreciate goodwill gestures like this, and I think the NIN fans will really rally to support the band.

Not to suggest that this is going to be a huge model for changing the industry or anything, but I’m pretty happy about it.

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