Miscellaneous Music Links

Clearing the decks of a bunch of music and/or music business related links from my aggregator.

Here’s an article from Magnatune’s John Buckman in the Linux Journal that says that their artists averaged $1500 last year, with the top one making $6000. That’s before all the exposure of the last few months. That ain’t huge money, but it’s more than TLC was left with after selling 10 million albums.

Via BoingBoing comes this link to an article on the MGM v. Grokster proceedings in which the judge blasts the loaded language of the entertainment lawyers.

My favorite bit: when Judge Noonan calls Mr. Ramos on his use of overheated rhetoric –e.g., piracy talk :

“Let me say what I think your problem is. You can use these harsh terms, but you are dealing with something new, and the question is, does the statutory monopoly that Congress has given you reach out to that something new. And that’s a very debatable question. You don’t solve it by calling it ‘theft.’ You have to show why this court should extend a statutory monopoly to cover the new thing. That’s your problem. Address that if you would. And curtail the use of abusive language.”

I made the same point in a discussion on Dueling Modems, that “piracy” is not a realistic word to describe what this is. Piracy implies violent hijacking of a cargo, preventing it from reaching the destination. Distributing files to which you lack the legal authority to do so is much closer to “counterfeiting” than “piracy”, but when I brought this up I got shouted down by a particularly vehement author. Nice to see that my outlook is shared by someone with a little authority.

Via Joi Ito comes this link to the band Eisbrecher shipping prelabeled blank CDs with their newest music CD. If they want, fans that buy the CD can give their friends two copies with the disc already labeled. Only the first 5000 copies will be like this, though, which I guess is to give some urgency to the need to buy copies. Alexx Wesselsky, singer and spokesman for the band says:

“We are of the opinion that the music buyers are criminalized enough and have been made responsible for the wretched state in the music industry. We are giving them the chance to make 2 legal copies for private use with ‘official blanks’. It can’t always be that the end users have to take the blame for something that international corporations have arranged with their artist-burning methods.”

RIAA parody that makes fun of giving CDs as a gift: What a Crappy Present. This also appears to be from the same folks behind Downhill Battle.

I didn’t like the sentiment of the Pepsi iTunes ads which sounded like it would be cool but actually contained lies and a fraudulent message. None of the kids in that commercial sued by the RIAA were “prosecuted”. This is FUD to pretend there is more authority behind the RIAA actions than there really is. Here is a more accurate parody of the Pepsi commercials. It’s a damn shame when the parodies are more truthful than the real things.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.