Posts Tagged ‘StopPIPA’

Piracy is the new airwaves

February 2, 2012
Piracy is the new radio -- Neil Young

Piracy is the new radio -- Neil Young

I look at the internet as the new radio. I look at the radio as gone. […] Piracy is the new radio. That’s how music gets around. — Neil Young

Neil Young is right when he refers to piracy as the new radio.

Neil Young is right — piracy is the new radio
Neil Young on music and Steve Jobs: ‘piracy is the new radio’

Neil Young calls piracy “the new radio” because it’s “how music gets around”.

Hard to believe but the music industry used to pay radio stations to play their music. They paid so we could hear their music for free. It was a discredited system called payola. They also used to go and buy records in record shops known to be sampled to produce the Top 20.

We like to share. Though I wish the brain-dead morons would not share their bad taste as they drive around town with what laughingly is called music blasting out, or disturb me when travelling by public transport.

As children we used to stick a mike in front of the radio and record to tape. Then a pair of crocodile clips were affixed to the speaker cables. Eventually out came the soldering iron, holes drilled in the cabinet and little terminals to connect to.

The music industry, and more lately Hollywood, likes to equate pirate copies to lost sales. Pure nonsense of course.

We like to share.

I rarely listen to the radio. Or rather I listen to speech radio with occasionally music programmes. I hate music stations and the garbage they play. An exception was the late Charlie Gillett and his excellent World Music slot on BBC World Service. And guess what, the BBC in an act of crass stupidity, axed his programme to save money.

BBC Radio 3 and World Service DJ Charlie Gillett dies

I used to help run a pirate radio station. Occasionally there were raids by the police, but we were in a labyrinth, we knew our way around, they did not. On rare occasions, I had the late night slot. Sharing with the world, or at least our handful of listeners, my immaculate taste in music.

What was I doing playing music on my late slot? I was sharing with those who cared to listen in. Maybe they even liked what I liked.

I have always shared. That is how I first came across Neil Young, listening to a friend’s albums at university. It still gives me the shivers when I hear those early Neil Young albums.

Neil Young – Heart Of Gold
Neil Young – Old Man
Neil Young – A man needs a maid

Another friend had a vast collection of music, from Neil Young to early music groups and everything in between, he had even written a book on music Popular music. He would always give me music to take away to listen to. Try this, he would say. Would I have come across Gotan Project or Astor Piazzolla? Well actually yes, but only because I was at a concert by Zum.

Gotan Project – Santa Maria
Gotan Project – Una musica brutal
Monica Bellucci – Heart tango
Gotan Project – La Gloria

A couple of years ago I was in Brighton and found Brighton Books open (not usually open on a Sunday). I asked what was the music playing. That is how I came across Jacob’s Stories. You will only find it in Resident Records, I was told. I walked down the street and wandered around the shop. Not able to find what I was looking for, I asked. The helpful assistant laid his hand on what I was after.

I walked back to Iydea to examine my purchase. It is vinyl, I discovered, then on closer examination, saw it was a jet black CD made to look like vinyl, it even had grooves! Worried it would not play, I asked the bookshop would they play it. Yes, it played.

Unlimited Art is a limited edition CD. The cover made from hand-woven grass. Inside, a unique piece of art. I ran off copies and passed to friends. They liked so much that I was asked to buy copies next time I was in Brighton. I liked so much I bought copies to give as presents.

Resident Records is a rarity, an independent record shop. An independent record shop with a good selection of music, staff who know and love music.

Last year I asked was there anything new out Jacob’s Stories? That was Easter. No, they said, try later in the year, as we are expecting a new release. September I picked up The Ordeal by Stuart Warwick. Stuart Warwick was the founder of Jacob’s Stories.

Stuart Warwick – Ex-Gay

Ben’s Records in Guildford is another independent record shop worthy of a visit.

I do not know if it is still there but around the back of Waterloo Station there used to be a fantastic independent record shop. You did not walk out with a couple of CDs, you would walk out with an armful. Such was the turnover of this shop, that if you visited in the morning (I do not think he opened until lunchtime) then again in the evening, you would find a whole new stock to browse.

If you want to look at at falling record sales, look no further than the death of independent record shops. We are now seeing the same with independent bookshops, a quarter have gone in the last few years. Killed by the music and publishing industries.

A quarter of independent bookshops lost in last five years

Musicians were paid, ie commissioned, to perform, or were travelling minstrels who played and hoped we liked what we heard and gave them some money, or at least something to eat and drink and a bed for the night

Sheet music helped spread the fame of a musician. No photocopiers and scanners but you can guarantee scribes were hard at work running off copies for their friends.

When Mozart toured Europe, would his fame have spread before him were it not for sheet music?

Records, wind-up gramophones, the wireless, helped spread the fame of musicians far beyond the concert hall and music hall.

Last October I saw The Sixteen in Concert at Guildford Cathedral. A little stall selling their music. Are you on youtube, I asked? No, not officially, but yes, you will find us there. The reason I asked was that I could share with others what I had heard.

The Sixteen – Miserere Mei Deus – Allegri
St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen

Shadowboxer show a way forward. Their live sessions at Surrey University are fantastic. Not only excellent musically, but excellent arrangement, production and excellent filming of the sessions. You can download their EP Two Cities and you decide the price. At times very reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac when I saw them in the early 1970s. Their cover versions are vastly superior to the originals. Shadowboxer have no record label. Who needs a record label? What could a record label offer them when they have achieved so much without? They produce and perform their excellent music, then make use of the net and word-of-mouth.

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

One author I know, she will remain nameless to save her from embarrassment, hates second-hand books. To her, every second-hand book sold, is a lost sale. How short sighted can you get! The second-hand book sales are helping to spread the word of an otherwise unknown author.

Last year I heard a woman complain that people had the gall to reproduce her poetry on the net. I had never heard of her or her poetry. You stupid woman, I thought. If people like your poetry sufficient that they will take the trouble to reproduce and share with others, be grateful, they are doing you a favour.

If I find poetry I like, I reproduce it. I say who it is by, where it can be found if in a published collection. I get thanked!

Artists thank me when I reproduce their work. For them it is a free global exhibition, a window to the world.

Every day I have been out this week I have picked up books by Paulo Coelho and a couple of other writers. These I will give away. Sometimes I leave as BookCrossing books.

Paulo Coelho is only too happy to see his books pirated. He knows it will lead to more people reading his books.

Paulo Coelho calls on readers to pirate books

Little known author Neil Gaiman was opposed to piracy, until he woke up one day to the fact that it led to exposure, exposure leads to more readers.

Gaiman: SOPA and PIPA are on the wrong side of history

At a recent music-industry conference in Europe, the CEO of superstar game company Rovio (creator of Angry Birds) said that piracy “may not be a bad thing” because it increases demand for the official version of the company’s products.

Angry Birds boss: ‘Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business’

The ones who bleat about piracy are not the artists, it is the industry. The same industry that has killed music and seems to be determined to do the same to books.

With Amazon offering to publish unknown authors, the publishing industry is going to wake up one day and find it no longer exists.

Information flows, that is what information does. At the height of the Soviet Gulags, Solzhenitsyn was able to smuggle out his writing on little scraps of paper. The might of the Stalin police state could not stop the flow of information, so what hope the greed-driven Hollywood movie moguls of stopping the flow of information on the internet, a system designed purely to facilitate the flow of information? They tried with Sopa and Pipa and look where it got them. They are now trying again with Acta, an international treaty to control the net.

Say NO to ACTA

I do not download music, and no way would I pay to download music. The reason is simple and nothing to do with piracy. The quality is so poor. But having said that, check out bandcamp, quality audio files (large size) and they link bands directly with their fans.

Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire

Promo Bay

January 30, 2012

The Pirate Bay starts today a new and interesting system to promote arts.

Do you have a band? Are you an aspiring movie producer? A comedian? A cartoon artist?

They will replace the front page logo with a link to your work.

As soon as I learned about it, I decided to participate. Several of my books are there, and as I said in a previous post, My thoughts on SOPA, the physical sales of my books are growing since my readers post them in P2P sites.

Welcome to download my books for free and, if you enjoy them, buy a hard copy – the way we have to tell to the industry that greed leads to nowhere.

The Pirate Coelho

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

We have seen many independent bookshops close. They have not closed because of piracy, or because people no longer read or love books.

A quarter of independent bookshops lost in last five years

They have closed because of greed.

They have closed because the publishing industry is following the lead of Hollywood and the music industry. They no longer nurture talent. They look for the latest blockbuster, which is then offered to supermarkets and bookshop chains at massive discounts with which the independents cannot compete.

When Hollywood and the music industry start bleating about starving artists, we know they are lying.

Sopa, which appears to have been killed stone dead, was about control of the internet. If there are those who are making big bucks out of piracy, then go after the money, but do not criminalise ordinary folk who wish to share.

Writers, artists, muscians want to create, they wish to share what they create.

The cultural industry
Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa

Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel

January 29, 2012

Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel from Michelle Laird on Vimeo.

Excellent panel discussion at Davos on why Sopa is bad and possible ways forward.

We created Wikipedia, we made it all up ourselves. Much of the content on the net is provided by us. It is the human condition to create, to want to share.

Hollywood wants, Hollywood does not get.

Money no longer buys votes. We can mobilise via social media. we can Occupy!

Hollywood acted on behalf of Hollywood. Greed! Internet companies acted on behalf of the internet. Empowerment!

Sopa has opened an amazing can of worms. Internet companies are now demanding openness, transparency, lack of secrecy, good governance!

If Hollywood and the music industry stopped being so greedy, stopped criminalsing their customers, they would not have a problem.

Creative people wnat to share what they produce. It is the greed of Big Business that gets in the way.

Amazing. An intelligent American politician who actually talks sense, who knows what he is talking about.

We have Open Source Software. How about the same for legislation? Publish on the net. People invited not only to make comment, but to propose and draft amendments (cf Wikipedia). This reduces the worth of lobbyists to zero over night. It would also improve the political intake as they would be there to serve, to make a difference, not to get their snouts in the trough, as there would no longer be the money sloshing around.

Sopa would have been still born if instead of cooked up in secret between Hollywood and politicians for sale it had bene available to open public scrutiny.

Open Government? Participatory democracy?

The cultural industry
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
We are in charge now
A sense of the masses – a manifesto for the new revolution

Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)

January 21, 2012

The content on the net does not come from Hollywood studios or from the music business. It comes from you and I, we like to create, we like to share with others. It is part of story telling, of being creative.

I do not watch TV, I do not even possess a TV. I do not watch TV because it is complete and total crap.

I find it very depressing passing down the street as it is getting dark, passing by people’s houses, and seeing all those people sat like zombies watching the same moronic rubbish.

That is what Big Business wants, moronic consumers who do not question, do not think.

As a poor student, I used to go to a photocopy repair workshop and copy off whole books, though more often articles and academic papers. I was not depriving anyone of an income, as I could not afford to buy, but I was helping in the dissemination of information.

I often make use of other people’s work. It is called fair use. But I do not pass it off as my own or claim the credit. The originator is always credited, with a link back to their work.

Sopa and Pipa will end all that. Greedy Hollywood and the music industry wish to end all that. They wish to control what we watch, how we think, as they were able to do in the 1950s when there was only a couple of TV channels, no internet (though there has always been books and the radio).

The US policy-makers who were pushing Sopa and Pipa have accepted millions from Hollywood and the music industry.

What Hollywood does not seem to understand is we do not have to buy their rubbish, we do not have to go to the cinema.

I am suggesting we now go on the offensive. A world-wide boycott of Hollywood. Let’s see what they think of us then as so far we have been treated with contempt.

The Megaupload closure and seizure of assets and equipment, US Imperial Storm troopers trampling on the world in their jackboots, is a taste of what is to come. Many people used Megaupload to store valuable documents, all now lost, or maybe recoverable after years of litigation. If nothing else, a warning not to store valuable documents in the cloud. How can we be sure they are safe, accessible? The Megaupload closure demonstrates we cannot.

Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
The Megaupload Mega-Mess: When Innocents Are Crushed‏

Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa

January 20, 2012


IN THE former Soviet Union, in the late 1950s and 60s, many books that questioned the political system began to be circulated privately in mimeographed form. Their authors never earned a penny in royalties. On the contrary, they were persecuted, denounced in the official press, and sent into exile in the notorious Siberian gulags. Yet they continued to write.

Why? Because they needed to share what they were feeling. From the Gospels to political manifestos, literature has allowed ideas to travel and even to change the world.

I have nothing against people earning money from their books; that’s how I make my living. But look at what’s happening now. Stop Online Piracy Act (S.O.P.A) may disrupt internet. This is a REAL DANGER, not only for Americans, but for all of us, as the law – if approved – will affect the whole planet.

And how do I feel about this? As an author, I should be defending ‘intellectual property’, but I’m not.

Pirates of the world, unite and pirate everything I’ve ever written!

The good old days, when each idea had an owner, are gone forever. First, because all anyone ever does is recycle the same four themes: a love story between two people, a love triangle, the struggle for power, and the story of a journey. Second, because all writers want what they write to be read, whether in a newspaper, blog, pamphlet, or on a wall.

The more often we hear a song on the radio, the keener we are to buy the CD. It’s the same with literature.

The more people ‘pirate’ a book, the better. If they like the beginning, they’ll buy the whole book the next day, because there’s nothing more tiring than reading long screeds of text on a computer screen.

1. Some people will say: You’re rich enough to allow your books to be distributed for free.

That’s true. I am rich. But was it the desire to make money that drove me to write? No. My family and my teachers all said that there was no future in writing.

I started writing and I continue to write because it gives me pleasure and gives meaning to my existence. If money were the motive, I could have stopped writing ages ago and saved myself having to put up with invariably negative reviews.

2. The publishing industry will say: Artists can’t survive if they’re not paid.

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.

When you’ve eaten an orange, you have to go back to the shop to buy another. In that case, it makes sense to pay on the spot. With an object of art, you’re not buying paper, ink, paintbrush, canvas or musical notes, but the idea born out of a combination of those products.

‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection.

The rest is either greed or ignorance

— Paulo Coelho

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

No one suggests musicians and other creative artists should not be rewarded. Be it buskers on the streets or mega stars. What we all object to is the greed of the music industry and Hollywood, often the same mega corporations.

I often buy CDs off guys who I hear play on the street. I know the money is going straight into their pocket not to a corporation. One female singer was amazed when I bought more than one copy. I can run off copies, if you prefer, I told her.

The music business does not nurture creative talent, we do not see the relationship we saw between George Martin and The Beatles. It is the next clone me-too act, the next mega deal, to then be dropped when the next talentless hyped act comes along.

With Hollywood, it is the blockbuster movie.

Sadly we are now seeing the same in the book industry, the next blockbuster, the next me too copycat book jumping on the bandwagon. These are heavily discounted to supermarkets and High Street book chains, leaving independents who know their trade, to die a slow death.

We used to have the music business equate the sales of blank cassettes to lost record sales. They even tried to force through a sales tax on blank cassettes to compensate them for lost sales. They then tried the same with sales of blank CDs,and no doubt Hollywood does the same for sales of blank DVDs.

I have always recorded music. As kids we used to stick a microphone in front of the speakers. Then we learnt to attach wires to the speaker wires with crocodile clips. Look at all the bootleg Dylan albums. They achieved cult status.

That a CD or DVD is copied does not equate to lost sales. It may never have been bought. But it does expose the artist to a wider audience. I may have a copy, think that is great, when I would not have otherwise have heard of.

I have a love of early music from copies from a friend, music I may not otherwise have heard of. Certainly not the music of Hildergard von Bingen. Would I have gone to Guildford Cathedral to hear The Sixteen, bought one of their CDs, be going to one of their concerts in February and hopefully Winchester cathedral in April?

Hail, Mother of the Redeemer
On-line tickets for British Museum exhibition

I have seen most of the leading musicians from Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Santana, The Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Vangelis, because I have shared their music with friends. I have also bought their albums and DVDs.

As Paulo Coelho notes, pirate copies of his books has brought him to a wider audience. With over 130 million books sold, he does not appear to have suffered lost sales.

During the summer, I spoke to a couple who had the books of Paulo Coelho stored on their laptop. Because of that they were familiar with his works. When I told of his latest book Aleph (word of which spreads by word-of-mouth because Waterstone’s perversely did not put on display) they thanked me and said they would pick up a copy.

Sopa and Pipa is about satisfying the greed of Hollywood. It was cooked up behind closed doors by politicians for sale to the highest bidder. No one gets their snouts in the trough as deep as US politicians.

What these corrupt politicians did not expect was the reaction from the public. Over 7 million people signed a petition on google.

We are not prepared to tolerate control of the internet.

In what was then Czechoslovakia, a group of dissidents were put on trial in what was known as The Prague Trial. They fought to stop abuses by the Soviet-controlled state. A schoolboy had been sentenced to 21 months in prison for copying a text by Vaclav Havel and showing it to his class mates. In the 1950s show trials led to executions.

Megaupload has been shut down by the Feds. The Hong Kong-based site had around 150 million users and 50 million daily hits. The site was supported by Alicia Keys and Kanye West. Four Megaupload employees were arrested in Auckland, New Zealand, at the request of US Feds! Anonymous retaliated by shutting down several sites in the US.

Megaupload was also used for legitimate file sharing. It is already back up and running with the address (no domain name to circumvent the Feds):

US Congress has backed down over Sopa and Pipa. But the bills have only been suspended, not killed. They need to be killed.

We have appalling hypocrisy. The US applauds use of the net by dissidents, attacks control by China, yet seeks to control the net, supplies weapons to the Fascist states the dissidents are fighting.

You cannot kill an idea. You cannot control the flow of information. The Soviets tried and they failed.

Har Paulo Coelho blitt en pervers gammel gris?
The Day the Internet Roared
We are the lobbyists now
Senate and House slow PIPA/SOPA votes, but promise it’s just a delay
SOPA: Anti-Piracy or Censorship?
Feds Shutter Megaupload, Arrest Executives
Anonymous Retaliates Against MegaUpload Takedown, Knocks MPAA, RIAA Sites Offline [plus DOJ]
Sopa and Pipa bills postponed in US Congress
Hackers retaliate over Megaupload
Megaupload wasn’t just for pirates: angry users out of luck for now
Megaupload Is Back in High Tech Whack-a-Mole
SOPA Defeat Is Not the End Of Hollywood’s Ramped-Up Fight Against Piracy


January 19, 2012
Lamar Smith a real scumbag

Lamar Smith a real scumbag

sopa/pipa blackout

sopa/pipa blackout

Members of Congress still in shock over yesterday’s massive internet protest. I’ve never seen a demonstration have an impact this quickly. — Michael Moore

Greed-driven Hollywood must be a rare example of an industry that treats its customers and potential customers as criminals.

I find it offensive to buy a DVD and then be forced to watch a video that tells me I am a criminal.

No, snatching a purse or handbag or a smash and grab raid, is not the same as copying a DVD. In the first case is is clearly theft, someone has been deprived of their property, in the latter, no one had been deprived of their property.

The irony is that if I had a pirate DVD, it would not have at the beginning the compulsive video that implies that I am a criminal for possessing a legitimate copy.

I find it offensive, have laptop will travel, but Hollywood puts regional encoding on its DVDs to stop them being played outside the region.

The irony is that it is simple enough to bypass, simply download AnyDVD or DVDFab Passkey and it sits in the background and removes the regional encoding, I can then watch at my leisure wherever I happen to be, any DVD from anywhere in the world.

If I borrow a DVD, I copy it so I can watch it when I get around to it.

I find it offensive when a student in the UK is facing extradition to the USA at the behest of Hollywood for having a website which directed visitors to where they might find free downloads. He himself was not supplying free downloads. What he did is not even a criminal offence in the UK! He faces 10 years in prison if extradited to the USA.

UK student faces extradition to US after piracy case ruling
British Student Faces Extradition to U.S. in Copyright Infringement Case
Student loses extradition hearing
‘Piracy’ student Richard O’Dwyer loses extradition case
TVShack’s student founder can be extradited to US, court rules
Abandoned by British justice: Student faces 10 years in U.S. jail for setting up ‘illegal’ website

Now Hollywood is wanting to control the internet.

Hollywood is not losing massive amounts of money from piracy. We have all noticed it is an industry on its knees, though it deserves to be.

Hollywood makes its money from bums on seats in cinemas, TV rights for those endless repeats on TV. Money made from DVD and Blu-ray sales is cream on the cake.

You cannot equate blank DVD sales with loss of business. Sony has its fingers in both sales, likes to have its cake and eat it.

We hear a lot of bleating about loss of creative talent, artists in garrets working for a pittance. If they are only getting a pittance it is because Hollywood keeps for itself too large a slice of the cake.

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho found he sold more books when pirate copies were made available for free download.

Pirate Coelho/ help your community

Hollywood, in dark corners with corrupt politicians up for sale, thought they could control the Internet through SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). Users thought otherwise, as did many of the big internet players.

Yesterday many internet sites went black. Many internet junkies like Paulo Coelho, refused to use internet for 24 hours.

The result has been almost instantaneous. US politicians are reeling from the public backlash. many, who supported SOPA, who were even sponsors, have suddenly found it is not a hot potato they wish to be caught holding.

We do not have to jump to corporate lobbyists. We can bring Hollywood to its knees. How about a worldwide boycott of Hollywood, no going to the cinema to watch their rubbish films, no buying their DVDs?

The Day the Internet Roared
We are the lobbyists now
SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?
Battling Internet Censorship: The Long War
Why Hollywood Is Losing the Public Relations War on Piracy
Supreme Court Bashes Public Domain
It’s time to place the Internet in Safer Hands
Senate Democrats hold fast to anti-piracy bill
Senate and House slow PIPA/SOPA votes, but promise it’s just a delay
SOPA: Anti-Piracy or Censorship?
Feds Shutter Megaupload, Arrest Executives
Anonymous Retaliates Against MegaUpload Takedown, Knocks MPAA, RIAA Sites Offline [plus DOJ]
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa

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