Category Archives: Music

Band Uses CCTV to make Music Video

getoutclause.jpg This is clever:

Unable to afford a proper camera crew and equipment, The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from the city, decided to make use of the cameras seen all over British streets.

With an estimated 13 million CCTV cameras in Britain, suitable locations were not hard to come by.

They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester – including on a bus – and proceeded to play to the cameras.

The Get Out Clause, Manchester stars of CCTV. By Tom Chivers,, Last Updated: 6:54PM BST 08/05/2008

Then they requested copies of the coverage from the various companies and law enforcement organizations owning the cameras through the British Data Protection Act, and got enough to use. They even managed closeups.

So maybe there is a use for CCTV, even though it’s failed at crime prevention. It’s a huge arts subsidy program!


Fraud: Fake Zep Tickets on Ebay

ledzeppelin003.jpg Now this is chutzpah:
Although our reporter was not the winning bidder, the seller contacted us and claimed the winner had failed to pay. She then quoted a price of £2,400 and said she would post the tickets to our reporter.

But we had already contacted the winning bidder via Ebay; he told us that he had already transferred £2,414 to the seller’s bank account.

Fraudsters hijack Led Zeppelin concert, Promotor blames Ebay for failing to take down auctions for non-existent tickets,Dinah Greek, Computeract!ve, 30 Oct 2007

Not only are these invalid tickets, but the seller was selling them twice!


RIAA Money Pit

RIAA demonstrates how not only to alienate customers by suing them, but to lose money while doing so:

During an occasionally testy cross examination, a Sony executive said what many observers have suspected for a long time. The RIAA’s four-year-old lawsuit campaign is costing the music industry millions of dollars and is a big money-loser for the record labels. The revelation came during the first day of Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas, the first file-sharing case to go to trial (it was formerly known as Virgin v. Thomas, but the sole Virgin Records track was stricken from the complaint, making Capitol Records the lead plaintiff).

RIAA anti-P2P campaign a real money pit, according to testimony, By Eric Bangeman, ars technica, October 02, 2007 – 11:40PM CT

I don’t quite understand how this is good for anybody, except maybe iTunes. As risk management goes, it’s about as negative as it gets.


DRM: The Secret that Can’t be Kept

Cory Doctorow on why DRM can never work:
It’s great for email, but it can never work for movies, TV shows or music, because in the case of “copy protection” the receiver is also the person that the system is meant to guard itself against.

Say I sell you an encrypted DVD: the encryption on the DVD is supposed to stop you (the DVD’s owner) from copying it. In order to do that, it tries to stop you from decrypting the DVD.

Except it has to let you decrypt the DVD some of the time. If you can’t decrypt the DVD, you can’t watch it. If you can’t watch it, you won’t buy it. So your DVD player is entrusted with the keys necessary to decrypt the DVD, and the film’s creator must trust that your DVD player is so well-designed that no one will ever be able to work out the key.

Pushing the impossible, by Cory Doctorow, Guardian Unlimited, Tuesday September 4 2007

So as long as you can keep a secret from yourself, DRM will work….


Norms-Based iTunes?

Borovinka.jpg Ben Hyde dug up a paper about Norms-Based Intellectual Property Systems: The Case of French Chefs, which discusses the issues involved in the recent case of the French chefs, even though it was published before that foofaraw. This paper makes me wonder if that’s what Apple is doing:
With great power comes great responsibility, and apparently with DRM-free music comes files embedded with identifying information. Such is the situation with Apple’s new DRM-free music: songs sold without DRM still have a user’s full name and account e-mail embedded in them, which means that dropping that new DRM-free song on your favorite P2P network could come back to bite you.

We started examining the files this morning and noticed our names and e-mail addresses in the files, and we’ve found corroboration of the find at TUAW, as well. But there’s more to the story: Apple embeds your account information in all songs sold on the store, not just DRM-free songs. Previously it wasn’t much of a big deal, since no one could imagine users sharing encrypted, DRMed content. But now that DRM-free music from Apple is on the loose, the hidden data is more significant since it could theoretically be used to trace shared tunes back to the original owner. It must also be kept in mind that this kind of information could be spoofed.

Apple hides account info in DRM-free music, too, By Ken Fisher, ars technica, May 30, 2007 – 01:39PM CT

The ars technica article goes on to recommend a trivial way to keep the music and ditch the identifiers, and points out that the presence of such an identifier on somebody else’s disk doesn’t necessarily prove copyright infringement. But maybe that’s not what Apple is really after. Maybe it’s so people will know that Apple could know, and other people could know, where you got your music. Like French chefs know where other chefs got certain recipes. Norms-based iTunes?


Microsoft RICO

Microsoft claims that I (and possibly you, dear reader) am violating 235 of its patents on Windows by running Ubuntu Linux:

After many earlier rounds of saber-rattling and FUD, Microsoft has announced that Free Software users — including everyone who, like me, uses Ubuntu Linux — are violating at least 235 of Microsoft’s patents, though they don’t say which ones. Microsoft are now threatening end users of GNU/Linux (that’s you and me again) with lawsuits unless we pay them protection money. "Nice operating system you got there, it’d be a shame if something were to happen to it."

The Microsoft position is this: even if you don’t use Windows, you still have to pay them as much money as they would have gotten for selling you a copy of it.

Microsoft says GNU/Linux violates 235+ Windows patents, Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, Monday, May 14, 2007

Microsoft did stop short of saying it would sue Linux users or its own customers:

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Boneheaded Risk Management

In an Op-Ed about the demise of albums and record stores and the rise of the downloaded single:

The sad thing is that CDs and downloads could have coexisted peacefully and profitably. The current state of affairs is largely the result of shortsightedness and boneheadedness by the major record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America, who managed to achieve the opposite of everything they wanted in trying to keep the music business prospering. The association is like a gardener who tried to rid his lawn of weeds and wound up killing the trees instead.

Spinning Into Oblivion, By TONY SACHS and SAL NUNZIATO, New York Times, Published: April 5, 2007

Hm, how could that have happened?

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Taking Care of Business

By the middle of the ’90s:
“…almost all labels were owned by one of five companies: BMG, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. A new emphasis on quarterly results discouraged label executives from nurturing new bands and focusing on long-term development.”

No Suit Required. Terry McBride has a maverick approach to music management: Take care of the fans and the bands, and the business will take care of itself. by Jeff Howe, Wired, Sept 2006, p. 180

The article is mostly about Nettwerk, a record label that leaves copyright to the actual artists, while it handles distribution in multiple formats (CD, iPoD, ringtones, P2P networks, YouTube, etc., along with promotion of concerts and radio play).

What’s this got to do with ISPs? Continue reading

Flood Control Act of 1928

The levees and other flood control measures along the lower Mississippi valley are the responsibility of the federal government because of a disaster long before Katrina:

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break, (X2)
When The Levee Breaks I’ll have no place to stay.

Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan, (X2)
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,
Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well.

When the Levee Breaks, Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant, Memphis Minnie

Many of us have heard this Led Zeppelin song a thousand times without knowing what it’s about. Memphis Minnie is listed as one of the songwriters because she originally wrote the song, back in 1927, after the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, which displaced 700,000 people permanently and probably got Herbert Hoover elected president.

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