Posts Tagged ‘Acta’

Copyright Mafia boss rails against democracy

February 9, 2012

It’s hard to type while laughing. Reading the head of the RIAA complaining about what he claims are abuses of power tends to induce uncontrollable fits of irony. – Lauren Weinstein

RIAA represents the music industry in the US. Think of it as an association of mafia bosses.

Sopa and Pipa was cooked up behind closed doors. It would have led to unprecedented control of the internet. Once people found out, they sent the phones of politicians into meltdown and Sopa and Pipa were killed stone dead.

The cultural industry
Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
Stop SOPA

But, if we are to heed the head of RIAA, this was an abuse of the democratic process, bordering on demagoguery! That people lobbied raises questions about democracy in a digital age!

THE digital tsunami that swept over the Capitol last month, forcing Congress to set aside legislation to combat the online piracy of American music, movies, books and other creative works, raised questions about how the democratic process functions in the digital age.

While no legislation is perfect, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (or PIPA) was carefully devised, with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate, and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA), was based on existing statutes and Supreme Court precedents. But at the 11th hour, a flood of e-mails and phone calls to Congress stopped the legislation in its tracks. Was this the result of democracy, or demagoguery?

The hyperbolic mistruths, presented on the home pages of some of the world’s most popular Web sites, amounted to an abuse of trust and a misuse of power. When Wikipedia and Google purport to be neutral sources of information, but then exploit their stature to present information that is not only not neutral but affirmatively incomplete and misleading, they are duping their users into accepting as truth what are merely self-serving political declarations.

Apparently this demagoguery was the result of dirty tricks by the likes of Wikipedia and Google whipping up hysteria against the music industry.

He goes on to repeat the same old crap peddled by the music industry, dealing in stolen goods, counterfeiting, lost jobs.

What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You

What the boss of RIAA is demonstrating is arrogant contempt for democracy, arrogant contempt for those who may purchase the products of the companies he represents.

Yes there are lost jobs, that is because the music industry is doing its best to destroy the industry. You do not win friends and influence people by criminalising the very folk who use wish to buy your products.

Police closing down a store selling stolen goods is not the same as shutting down a file sharing service!

He claims that old style media did not engage in the battle, because they know the difference between news and views. Obviously he has never watched or heard of Fox News, somehow missed the views of Murdoch, the man who has been repeatedly accused in the UK of heading up a criminal empire.

Apparently we are all ignorant morons who did not know what we were opposing.

We obviously do not understand how democracy works. It is cosy little vested interests (in this case Big Vested Interests) drawing up legislation behind closed doors with politicians in their pocket.

Home Taping is Killing Music

Home Taping is Killing Music

In the 1980s we had Home Taping is Killing Music.

The response of Malcolm McLaren was to release a blank cassette with instructions: record your own music.

In 2005, several hundred colleges were served writs for hosting file sharing servers.

Music Industry Sues Hundreds Of File Sharers At Colleges

There is not a piracy problem. No matter how often the industry repeats the lie it does not make it any more true. Did they all attend the Joseph Goebbels School of Public Relations?

File sharing, no matter how often it is claimed to be, is not theft!

Music sites like bandcamp encourage sharing. It is through sharing, we hear of new music.

Would I have heard of To Leave A Mark or Little Measurements both by Les Étoiles or The Traveler and The King by Stadtmusikantin und Sterntaler (now: Traveler’s Diary) or The Acoustic EP by Grace Mitchell were it not for sites like bandcamp or FrostClick? The simple answer is no. Would others, if I did not share? The answer again is no, or at best highly unlikely.

I like to share music. If that makes me a pirate, then I am proud to be a pirate.

Paulo Coelho, Neil Young, Neil Gaiman, and many others, all recognise the value of sharing. Neil Young calls piracy the new radio, as that’s how music gets around.

Piracy is the new airwaves

Paulo Coelho likes to share. That is why he writes. He recently uploaded The Way of the Bow to FrostWire, free for anyone to download.

Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire

Before I found bandcamp, I would have to copy a CD or maybe rip a track or two. But now, all I have to do is link to bandcamp. Only bandcamp make it even easier than that.

I cannot repeat often enough the words of Andrew Dubber (see Hear / Like / Buy):

Music is pretty much unique when it comes to media consumption. You don’t buy a movie ticket because you liked the film so much, and while you might buy a book because you enjoyed reading it so much at the library, typically you’ll purchase first, then consume … But music is different — and radio proves that. By far the most reliable way to promote music is to have people hear it. Repeatedly, if possible — and for free. After a while, if you’re lucky, people get to know and love the music. Sooner or later, they’re going to want to own it…whether it’s a pop tune, a heavily political punk album, or an experimental, avant-garde suite — the key is very simple: people have to hear music, then they will grow to like it, and then finally, if you’re lucky, they will engage in an economic relationship in order to consume (not just buy and listen to) that music. That’s the order it has to happen in. It can’t happen in any other order. There’s no point in hoping that people will buy the music, then hear it, then like it. They just won’t. Nobody really wants to buy a piece of music they don’t know — let alone one they haven’t heard. Especially if it’s by someone who lies outside their usual frame of reference. And a 30-second sample is a waste of your time and bandwidth. It’s worse than useless. That’s not enough to get to like your music. Let them hear it, keep it, live with it. And then bring them back as a fan.

But the music industry and Hollywood, very often the same global corporations, do not like sharing, they wish to criminalise sharing. The tried with Sopa, cooked up in back room deals with corrupt politicians on the take and failed miserably. They are trying again with Acta, an international treaty that will criminalise sharing, would disconnect from the net those who share. We killed Sopa and we must kill Acta.

We have stopped Sopa and Pipa, but there is worse to come, Acta. Acta is an international treaty to control the internet. Cooked up in secret behind closed doors with corporate interests. National governments and parliaments are being bounced into ratifying Acta. Acta seeks via an international treaty what Sopa sought through national legislation.

Say NO to ACTA

Top Story in Piracy Daily (Friday 10 February 2012).

Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire

February 5, 2012
The Way of the Bow -- Paulo Coelho

The Way of the Bow -- Paulo Coelho

I appear to have forfeited my recording deal because I won’t do reality TV. No one needs to make an album that badly. Tea anyone? — Alison Moyet

Thank you Paulo Coelho, you are a gift to mankind. — FrostWire

And remember, DO NOT PAY A DIME FOR FROSTWIRE, EVER. You can use it all you want in as many computers as you want, it’s absolutely free. — FrostWire

Artists: sell your music & merch directly to your fans. — bandcamp

Fans: discover new music & directly support the artists who make it. — bandcamp

The uses we make of this world are, in reality, the rules and laws which we agree; and not the reverse. — Laetitia Kava

I had never heard of FrostWire until Paulo Coelho mentioned on twitter that he had placed The Way of the Bow there for free download. It had been previously available as free download on his blog.

Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire
Paulo Coelho’s The Way of the Bow to be featured on FrostWire
Paulo Coelho: The Way of the Bow – an inspirational short read

Checking stats this evening on FrostClick (2321 GMT), 7,020 downloads, downloading 24, sharing 974.

FrostWire is a free, open source BitTorrent client first released in September 2004. Developed in Java by the FrostWire Project. FrostWire was spun off from an earlier project that was shut down by the music industry.

Another download system I have recently come across, thanks to ShadowBoxer who have placed their excellent EP Two Cities for download, is BandCamp.

Shadowboxer – Chase and Status – Time
Shadowboxer – Scott Matthews – Elusive

With Two Cities, you decide what you wish to pay. You can download for free if you wish.

Marcel Legane lets you download his Heart Life EP for £3 or for £4 you can download and he will send you an actual real physical album, signed limited edition.

Bandcamp connects creative artists with those who may appreciate their work, thus bypassing the music industry. But it does far, far more.

What is surprising is the amount of revenue being generated on bandcamp.

Cheaper than Free

I do not download music. The quality is too poor due to the use of lossy digital compression. BandCamp is offering high quality digital downloads (file size large).

We like to share, as human beings, we are social animals, that is what helped our brains expand and us evolve (though I do wonder with many people).

If we look at musicians from the 1960s who are still around, they played music because that is what they enjoyed doing, it was not to become mega stars or celebrities or to become rich and famous. That playing music earned them some money enabled them to carry on doing what they loved doing.

Paulo Coelho, Neil Young, Michael Moore recognise this need to share. They want people to be aware of their work.

Paulo Coelho calls on readers to pirate books
Piracy is the new airwaves

We read a book that we are given, lent or recommended to read by a friend. Or if we are very lucky we meet the author.

My first encounter with Paulo Coelho was meeting a lovely Lithuania girl sat by a river reading The Zahir. I was curious what had her so entranced. We had a long conversation about writers. I have since not only read all the books by Paulo Coelho but actually met him.

Synchronicity and Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho Press Conference at Pera Palace Hotel
Paulo Coelho’s St Joseph’s Day Party at Pera Palace Hotel

I had never heard of Orhan Pamuk until my lovely Russian friend Alissa recommended that I read My Name is Red.

A little over a year ago, I met Canon Andrew White. I bought all his books, which I read, then gave as Christmas presents to my lovely but sadly mad friend Sian. A year later we met again and I bought six copies of Faith Under Fire, one for myself, the others to be given away as presents.

Dinner with Canon Andrew White
Canon Andrew White at Guildford Baptist Church
Canon Andrew White at the Boiler Room

Fulla tells her story in Suffer the Children. We are now in regular contact and we will meet in Brighton in September at a conference on Iraq organised by Canon Andrew White.

Little known author Neil Gaiman persuaded his publisher to make available one of his books for free download for a month. Monitoring only sales in independent bookshops they found sales increased by 300%!

Paulo Coelho had only sold a few thousand copies of The Alchemist in Russia, his publisher was no longer interested, until a pirate copy was posted on the net, sales then became millions!

In 1999, when I was first published in Russia ( with a print- run of 3,000), the country was suffering a severe paper shortage. By chance, I discovered a ‘ pirate’ edition of The Alchemist and posted it on my web page.

A year later, when the crisis was resolved, I sold 10,000 copies of the print edition. By 2002, I had sold a million copies in Russia, and I have now sold 12 million.

When I traveled across Russia by train, I met several people who told me that they had first discovered my work through the ‘ pirated’ edition I posted on my website. Nowadays, I run a ‘Pirate Coelho’ website, giving links to any books of mine that are available on file- sharing sites. And my sales continue to grow — nearly 140 million copies world wide.

Writers do not slave away in their garrets wishing no one would read their works. They write because they have a story to tell, they want to be read.

The music industry and now publishing is in crisis because of greed. There is no nurturing of talent. It is the latest me-too, copycat, blockbuster mega-selling act, book, then on to the next, mindless brain-numbing book, act. Moronic TV shows like X-Factor encourages the dumbing down, me-too I want to be rich and famous celebrity no talent culture.

Alison Moyet was refused a recording contract because she refused to degrade herself and appear on a crap reality TV show.

We were angry over Sopa, we are even angrier over Acta, we are seething with anger. Sopa was defeated and so will be Acta. We will not allow Hollywood and the music industry to control the internet. We will continue to share. If sharing is piracy, then I am proud to be a pirate. Sharing is not theft.

Say NO to ACTA
The cultural industry
Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
Stop SOPA

A couple of years ago I picked up Unlimited Art by Jacob’s Stories. I got Unlimited Art from Resident Records in Brighton, having been pointed in their direction by Brighton Books, where I first heard Unlimited Art. I got home from Brighton some time after midnight, listened to Unlimited Art until the early hours of the morning. I gave copies to friends. Can you buy us a copy next time you are in Brighton? I bought several copies to give away as presents.

Next time I was in Brighton, I asked in Resident Records, anything else by Jacob’s Stories? No, but you will like Mechanical Bride.

Last Easter, I asked again. No, but we expect something later in the year. I picked up a copy of The Ordeal by Stuart Warwick. Stuart Warwick was founder of Brighton band Jacob’s Stories. Or maybe it was the year before, I lose track of time.

Brighton Books, Resident Records are a rarity, another good reason to visit Brighton. The reason independent bookshops and record shops are a rarity is because they have been destroyed by the greed of the music and publishing business.

A quarter of independent bookshops lost in last five years

Who needs a record label? Shadowboxer are doing ok without. Watch them in a recording studio and see the sheer joy on their faces.

Maybe Shadowboxer can show Alison Moyet how it is done without needing a record label, without a degrading appearance on a reality TV show.

Big business has alienated those who buy by treating them as criminals. Alienated those who have talent as they are incapable of recognising talent.

What the internet demonstrates, via systems like FrostWire and BandCamp, those who create can communicate directly with those who appreciate what they create. To Big business both are simply a source of money, a product, a brand, a commodity, all consumed by easily manipulated mindless consumers who can be sold the latest fad. It could be a can of baked beans for all they care, so long as it has a monetary value attached, the bigger the price tag the better.

We make the rules, not Big Business. By making use of services like FrostWire and BandCamp, by sharing, by telling our friends to do the same, we can bypass Big Business and put them out of business.

We need more creative people to make use of platforms like FrostWire and BandCamp. And for us to support them when they do.

Well done Paulo Coelho for setting an example by putting The Way of the Bow on FrostWire for free download.

Top Story in Creative Industry Articles (Wednesday 8 February 2012).

Top Story in Creative Industry Articles (Thursday 9 February 2012).

Say NO to ACTA

February 5, 2012

A new global treaty would allow corporations to police everything that we do on the Internet.

A week ago Sopa, which would have controlled the internet, was stopped dead in its tracks. US politicians found their phones in meltdown, such was the public anger at back room secret deals with corporate vested interests to control the internet.

The cultural industry
Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
Stop SOPA

We now have something far, far worse. Acta is an international treaty to control the internet. Cooked up in secret behind closed doors with corporate interests. National governments and parliaments are being bounced into ratifying Acta.

Acta seeks via an international treaty what Sopa sought through national legislation.

Such is the Draconian nature of Acta, that the European Parliamentarian responsibility for Acta has resigned in protest, describing never-before-seen manoeuvres by officials working with corporate interests to force Acta through.

European Parliament rapporteur quits in Acta protest

In Poland there has been mass street protest to oppose Acta.

Thousands march in Poland over Acta internet treaty
Polish sites hit in Acta hack attack

ACTA – an international treaty – would allow corporations to censor the Internet. Negotiated in secret by a small number of rich countries and corporate powers, it would set up a shadowy new anti-counterfeiting body to allow private interests to police everything that we do online and impose massive penalties – even prison sentences – against people they say have harmed their business interests.

The EU is deciding right now whether to ratify ACTA – and without them, this global attack on Internet freedom will collapse. We know they have opposed ACTA before, but some members of Parliament are wavering – let’s give them the push they need to reject the treaty. Sign the petition — we’ll do a spectacular delivery in Brussels when we reach 500,000 signatures:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet/?vl

There is also a White House petition

End ACTA and Protect our right to privacy on the Internet

And a UK petition

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20685

Please sign and spread the word. We defeated Sopa, we can defeat Acta.

It’s outrageous – governments of four-fifths of the world’s people were excluded from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations and unelected bureaucrats have worked closely with corporate lobbyists to craft new rules and a dangerously powerful enforcement regime. ACTA would initially cover the US, EU and 9 other countries, then be rolled out across the world. But if we can get the EU to say no now, the treaty will lose momentum and could stall for good.

The oppressively strict regulations could mean people everywhere are punished for simple acts such as sharing a newspaper article or uploading a video of a party where copyrighted music is played. Sold as a trade agreement to protect copyrights, ACTA could also ban lifesaving generic drugs and threaten local farmers’ access to the seeds they need. And, amazingly, the ACTA committee will have carte blanche to change its own rules and sanctions with no democratic scrutiny.

Big corporate interests are pushing hard for this, but the European Parliament stands in the way. Let’s send a loud call to Parliamentarians to face down the lobbies and stand firm for Internet freedom.

Please sign now!

Recently we saw the strength of our collective power when millions of us joined force to stop the US from passing an Internet censorship law that would have struck at the heart of the Internet. We also showed the world how powerful our voices can be. Let’s raise them again to tackle this new threat.

Please send to everyone you know.

THE SECRET TREATY: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Its Impact on Access to Medicines
ACTA vs. SOPA: Five Reasons ACTA is Scarier Threat to Internet Freedom
If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACTA