Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

The Unfinished Painting

May 26, 2015
Rock painting from The Lascaux Caves, France

Rock painting from The Lascaux Caves, France

“And now I think the things that matter are unfinished paintings that everyone creates and no one owns. Rather we are created each time we touch the breath of being, and we are connected to everyone who ever lived each time we add a stroke. And sometimes we are briefly aware that we are living parts of the most elemental community of all, the community of life force that moves through everything.”

— Mark Nepo: “The Unfinished Painting,” from Parabola, Volume 36, No 4., Winter 2011: “Many Paths, One Truth.”

Art belongs to all. Copyright kills creativity.

Nina Paley on the making of Sita Sings the Blues

August 18, 2014

Nina Paley talks on the making of Sita Sings the Blues and how copyright stifles creativity.

When we enclose the commons, we turn what was freely available and abundant, into a scarce commodity.

That is what intellectual property rights and copyright does.

We can easily copy music, films, easily share, thus copyright to make it scarce.

Who owns culture?

Corporate entities that own copyright, are under no obligation to release or publish.

I Have a Dream

January 19, 2013

One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. — Martin Luther King

WTF, I Have a Dream is copyrighted!

One of the most famous speeches of the 20th century is copyrighted.

Today we celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of SOPA. On Monday we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We’re asking everyone to engage in a small act of civil disobedience and share this video of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Dr. King’s call for racial justice is as relevant today as it was in 1963. But the video can’t be watched online by a new generation, because it’s copyrighted until 2038. Had SOPA and PIPA passed last year, you could have gone to jail for sharing this video, and entire websites could have been shut down just for linking to it. This speech is too important to be censored by a broken copyright system.

One of those instrumental in the defeat of Sopa was Aaron Swartz who last week was driven to his death by a vindictive US Department of Justice and public prosecutor.

Cowards at vimeo have taken this video down.

Please share whilst we can this video to highlight we have a broken copyright system.

The irony, the film Lincoln is released and we still have oppression.

Problem with a penguin

November 1, 2012
problem with a penguin

problem with a penguin

There are any number of alternatives to Antarctica such as skiing or being in space. – Penguin

David Thorne had a problem with a penguin. Or rather Penguin had a problem with his use of a penguin. He had no problems at all, other than problems with Penguin.

David Thorne had issues with Penguin. On the front cover of his book he had an image of a penguin sticking its finger up. Penguin took umbrage. They insisted he desist forthwith.

Since the release of the first book by Penguin, I am occasionally asked for advice regarding the publishing industry. Which is like asking a five-year-old child to explain Gene Ray’s Timecube theory. I generally just wing it and see what happens; regardless of the outcome, it is usually at least interesting and there is far too much wank involved to take it seriously.

The decision not to publish the second book with Penguin was based on timing, not on any dissatisfaction. Working with a large publisher like Penguin has benefits, such as a marketing budget, but the process from initial contract to release of royalties is. so. slow. 

When the second book was released a couple of weeks ago, the cover featured a penguin giving the finger. It ambiguously made sense with the title, was cute, and… I had no marketing budget.

problem with a penguin

problem with a penguin

David Thorne complied to the letter. He changed his penguin to one holding flowers. Penguin was not amused

The exchange of e-mails between David Thorne and Penguin is an absolute must read. A delight to read, very witty, he runs rings around Penguin.

On a more serious note, the exchange of e-mails shows what a farce copyright has become.

If one wrote a book about Penguin, it would seem reasonable to put their logo on the front. Penguin would think otherwise.

Top Story in Books! Books! Books! (Thursday 1 November 2012).

Tim Berners-Lee: Don’t let record labels upset web openness

April 19, 2012
Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee

We mustn’t allow record companies’ fear that their business model isn’t working to upset the openness of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee told in a press conference at W3C.

The inventor of the web was referring to recent controversial pieces of legislation, including Sopa and Pipa in the US, and Acta globally, which have all sought to clamp down on piracy and have all been strongly supported by record labels.

“Record labels have a very strong voice when it comes to arguing for their particular business model, which is in fact out of date,” he said. “The result is that laws have been created which make out as if the only problem on the internet is teenagers stealing music. The world is bigger than that. The internet is bigger than the music industry. The economic impact of the internet is bigger than the music industry.”

He said that most of the things that are taking place on the internet are social, and downloading and listening to music is just a small part of that. He said that record companies and other organisations seeking these pieces of legislation shouldn’t be allowed to “take away the rule that you should only punish someone after appropriate court proceedings.”

Berners-Lee supports any platform that allows people to pay for music online and said that there should be more ways of “getting money back to the person who creates” content, including paying for music and donating to blogs. However, he said that “this doesn’t necessarily need to be a system created by the big record labels”.

— Olivia Solon

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, talking to Wired.

The major record labels are greedy bullying thugs who are trying to destroy the internet and criminalise sharing.

Tim Berners-Lee wishes to see the means of “getting money back to the person who creates” content. It already exists: Bandcamp connects creative artists directly with those who love music, makes it easy to share, easy to listen, easy to download, and if you wish to pay, easy to pay and the money goes direct to the creative artist, not to a greedy global corporation.

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever
Sharing of data between facebook and third parties
The cultural industry
Slow music
Community supported music
Why I’ve Taken My Music Off Spotify…
A Little “Buy Music With Bandcamp” Primer…
Tweet-Rant #2 : 23 Tweets About Bandcamp
Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire
Piracy is the new airwaves

Toronto & Western Break Ranks to Sign Access Copyright Deal

February 19, 2012
New Access Copyright agreements have been signed at Western Ontario & Toronto

New Access Copyright agreements have been signed at Western Ontario & Toronto

The universities of Western Ontario and Toronto have signed a deal with Access. Copyright that allows for surveillance of faculty correspondence, unjustified restriction to copyrighted works and two million dollars in fees that will be passed along to students.

The agreement reached last month with the licensing agency includes provisions defining e-mailing hyperlinks as equivalent to photocopying a document, an annual $27.50 fee for every full-time equivalent student and surveillance of academic staff email.

CAUT executive director James Turk des­cribed the news as incredulous.

“Western’s and U of T’s actions are inex­pli­cable,” he said. “They have buckled under outrageous and unjustified demands by Access Copyright at a time when not only have the courts extended rights to use copyrighted material, but also better alternatives are becoming available to the services Access Copyright offers and just before passage of new federal copyright legislation that provides additional protections for the educational sector.”

He also noted the deals undermine efforts underway at universities and colleges nationwide to develop fair new models of scholarly communication and to reach principled copyright arrangements with authors and publishers.

The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to clarify the educational use of copyrighted works in the coming months, a move that could undercut Access Copyright’s bargaining position. In sharp contrast to Western and U of T, many universities have opted out of agreements with the licensing agency or are fighting its demands at the Copyright Board of Canada.

“These two universities threw in the towel prematurely on the copyright battle,” said Turk. “We call on other post-secondary institutions not to follow their example of capitulating to Access Copyright. It’s time to stand up for the right to fair and reasonable access to copyrighted works for educational purposes.”

Turk said CAUT is working with the library community, copyright officers and member academic staff associations “to protect academic rights to the fair use of copyrighted material. We also intend to do everything possible to protect the academic freedom rights of our members threatened by provisions in these two agreements.”

CAUT intervened in 2011 against Access Copyright’s application to the Copyright Board for a new post-secondary education tariff. CAUT also intervened in the two copyright cases currently before the Supreme Court.

Reproduced from CAUT Bulletin.

This is obscene behaviour by Canadian universities, giving in to bullying by Copyright Mafia!

University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto Agreements with Access Copyright

Once again, action shows why we must oppose Acta!

Say NO to ACTA

The Copyright Mafia are out of control.

Copyright Mafia boss rails against democracy

Last week police shut down a music site.

Police shut down music website

Were the students consulted (who after all are the ones effected)?. The students should occupy both universities.

No1 Top Story in The #OccupyLSX Daily (Monday 20 February).

Police shut down music website

February 15, 2012
police shut down music website

police shut down music website

SOCA have shut down a website.

SOCA: Serious Organised Crime Agency.

It must be serious then if SOCA shut the website down.

Money laundering, enabling terrorism, organised crime using the site to sell counterfeit goods?

Err, no. Alleged copyright infringement.

Wow, sharing music makes you part of organised crime. Welcome to the Mafia boys and girls.

A number of questions need to be raised, apart from the obvious of do the police not have anything better do do?

Please correct me if I am wrong, but is not copyright civil, not criminal? Did the UK not oppose turning a civil into a criminal offence?

UK opposes criminal sanctions for copyright infringement

My understanding is (I am not familiar with the site) that the site was a music blog, music was discussed and reviewed.

Now you can discuss music without hearing it, but it makes a lot more sense if you can hear what is being discussed, thus draw your own opinion.

If I tune into the ghastly arts review programme Front Row on BBC Radio 4, they at least play what they are talking about.

It has always been accepted practice of fair use, you reproduce from elsewhere but cite where it is from.

Reviews of music on bandcamp blog and on frostclick let you listen to what is being discussed.

Bandcamp makes sharing of music easy. If I mention an album worth listening to, bandcamp enables me to share that album.

I can mention a couple albums – Where are the Arms by Gabriel Kahane, Measure of Love by Misty Edwards & David Brymer, The Traveler and The King by Stadtmusikantin und Sterntaler – that I think are worth listening. You do not have to believe me, you can check for yourself.

Last week I went to a concert by The Sixteen. I would love to be able to share what I heard but at the moment not possible as they are not available through bandcamp. You would have to go and buy the CD (or pay to download from their website).

Musical Illuminations

The Sixteen are about to embark on an Asia-Pacific tour. They will perform Handel at the Sydney Opera House. Sydney Opera House provide a link to a performance of Handel.

G F Handel – The Sixteen

The offending site taken down by SOCA was a .com site. Is that not US jurisdiction as would be UK jurisdiction? Is there a nod and a wink agreement with the Feds?

Police shut down website

A few years ago the Feds seized Indymedia servers in London. Questions were raised in Parliament. Indymedia now has multiple mirrors so they cannot be taken down by the seizure of servers in one location.

Did the police have a Court Order to enable them to take down the website?

If you now go to the taken down site, you are met by a notice posted by SOCA telling you that:

SOCA has taken control of this domain name.

The majority of music files that were available via this site were stolen from the artists.

Really? Did thieves go to the recording studio and steal their master tapes?

If you have accessed the website the police know who you are, are watching you, and may inform your internet service provider.

Are they monitoring you? Is it legal? Blatant threats and intimidation.

As a result of illegal downloads, young, emerging artists may have their careers damaged …

Does SOCA have evidence of damaged careers, of artists starving in their garrets?

The biggest problem faced by young, emerging artists is that they are unknown. What they desire is recognition.

They will remain unknown if no one has ever heard of them. On the other hand, if people pass the word, share their music, they get known by a growing circle of people.

That is why creative artists post their music onto sites like bandcamp. It brings them to a wider audience, makes it easier to share their work, and they get paid if people choose to download their music or buy their albums.

… If you have illegally downloaded this music you will have damaged the future of the music industry.

Does SOCA have nothing better to do, apart from shutting down websites, than regurgitating the bullshit of the music industry?

Bandcamp see the advantages conveyed by the internet. It connects creative artists with those who appreciate their work, it encourages sharing, it provides a conduit for money to flow into the pockets of creative artists.

With the shut-down of this site we have a foretaste of what will happen under Acta, an international treaty to criminalise sharing. Yet one more example of why Acta must be stopped.

Say NO to ACTA

The Copyright Mafia are out of control.

Copyright Mafia boss rails against democracy

The music industry is dying due to self-inflected wounds. Their only response to criminalise those who love music, who wish to support music and musicians.

Big Corporate-Controlled Music Industry is dying. Albums sales are falling. But how much of the cover price of an album ever found its way into the pockets of the artists?

Music per se is thriving. I have yet to go to a concert and find I am in an empty venue.

Last week I went to a concert by The Sixteen. It was a sell-out concert. The night before it snowed, on the night it was bitterly cold, the coldest night of the winter. And yet it was packed with people of all ages.

Musical Illuminations

Small record labels do not see music as a commodity, a product. They love music and wish to share that love with others.

We have ludicrous situations of a London Court ruling an individual holds the copyright to an image of a London red bus, of a French Court ruling a furniture manufacture owns the copyright to images of their furniture.

Copyright abuse over who owns the image of a London red bus
Photographing your furniture may be a breach of copyright!

Top Story in HBB Music (Thursday 16 February 2012).

Photographing your furniture may be a breach of copyright!

February 14, 2012

Photographing your own furniture may be a breach of copyright!

It is getting to be bloody ridiculous. We recently had a jerk claiming copyright to the image of London Red Bus.

Copyright abuse over who owns the image of a London red bus

Now we have a case where the French courts have found in favour of the Le Corbusier, take a photo of their furniture, or even have their furniture make an appearance in your photos, and you will find yourself in breach of copyright.

This is an e-mail sent out by Getty Images warning of possible risk of copyright breach:

Attention all Flickr Collection on Getty Images Contributors!

You may have heard about a recent case (actually more than one case) where Getty Images and some of our photographers have had claims lodged against us in French court for images which include designer furniture, even as a minor part of the image.

This is a serious issue that involves potential liability for you as photographers.

The French courts have found in favor of the Le Corbusier rights-holders who initiated these claims. While we disagree with the decision and we are appealing it, we are very mindful that for now, it is a valid decision. It is critical that you understand that any claim like this one is extremely serious and requires action on your part in order to protect your interests, not just ours. We will continue to fight this decision, but in the meantime we must continue to actively pull content from our site that may be deemed infringing. We simply cannot identify all problematic images as quickly without your active participation. And quick action is vital.

Most importantly, if you believe that any of the images you have uploaded to us might possibly include any designer furniture, please email the Getty Images ID numbers to [email redacted] as soon as possible! The sooner we can identify and remove potentially infringing images the better we can reduce potential legal problems.

We are including links to information and FAQs that give more information on this issue and we strongly request that you read them and study the visual guides included.

You can also read the original Le Corbusier complaint here:

In English

Original in French (clearer photos)

Please note: because we are still engaged in litigation, we are very limited in what comments we can make or questions we can answer. If you do have questions please email [email redacted] especially for any specific images you believe may be a problem.

This is only for images you have on the site. We cannot answer questions about images you have posted on Flickr or elsewhere.

Thank you for your help and attention to this very important matter.

I would not know a piece of Le Corbusier furniture if I tripped over it. But let us, for the sake of argument, assume I am at an upmarket hotel and take a picture of someone sat on Le Corbusier furniture and post on the net. I would immediately be in breach of copyright. Throw in Acta, and I am thrown in prison.

I can only suggest we flood the net with pictures of Le Corbusier.

We cannot sit idly by and be dictated to, criminalised by the Copyright Mafia.

Copyright Mafia boss rails against democracy

It is imperative that we stop Acta.

Say NO to ACTA

Top Story in The Sue Searle Daily (Tuesday 14 February 2012).

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

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

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).

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