June 29, 2012 · · Comments Off

Rockefeller says big tech companies acting like Standard Oil — Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), whose great-grandfather founded Standard Oil — broken up by the Supreme Court in 1911 — had strong words for tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. Among other things, according to the Hill, “he said the instinct to build anti-competitive monopolies is ‘alive and well in the United States … with a lot of these big computer companies.’”

The New Busking — Musician Terre Roche offers a few words of caution to the “new business model” hype. “I was thrilled as first-responders offered up their credit card numbers to a strange Web site in order to show me that they cared. It seemed like a huge improvement over the days when I sat in record company boardrooms with “product managers” who’d been assigned to give me a “makeover” as a last resort before dropping me from their labels.”

In Plain English: The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — The Copyright Alliance presents a guest post from law student Joan Blazich on the trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and ten other nations. A great introduction with more to follow soon.

Court Denies Pirate Party Naming Right, Cites “Real Pirate” Confusion — Taiwan’s Pirate Party has suffered a setback as the country’s High Administrative Court has rejected its use of the term “Pirate” in the party name. It would appear that it won’t, as the German Pirate Party has bragged, be growin as fast as the Nazis.

Interview With David Lowery of Cracker — Chris Castle interviews Lowery in the aftermath of his super-viral letter to Emily. “Until now the debate has always been Record Labels vs. The Technology Industry.  Meanwhile the artists have been caught in the crossfire. We set out with The Trichordist to re-frame the debate about artist’s rights. We figured it was a five-year project. We got lucky this week. It’s still a five-year project.”

A Brief History of Artists’ Control of Their Product — Speaking of Trichordist, if you aren’t already reading it, I highly recommend it. Here, Jonathan Segel (solo instrumentalist and fellow bandmate of Lowery in Camper van Beethoven) lays out a detailed look at the rise of the “recording” industry, beginning with the “recording” of music on paper. Great stuff: ” I see this as a hypocrisy: either music has no value at all, (in which case why copy it to begin with?), or it has value and the copiers are refusing to admit that it does, simply because it is a copy.” Also check out Bob Regan’s post, Breaking News!! Band Embraces New Technology and Business model. Touring? T-shirts? Regan was doing that in ’77.

Moving On… — I highly recommend subscribing to Chris Ruen’s blog or following him on twitter. He has a book coming out in the Fall that promises to contribute greatly to copyright debates. Says Ruen, “In academia and new media, a handful of voices have made their names on the novelty of their own contrarianism in this regard. They tell us artists can succeed…by being more desperate for support. They tell us that creators’ legal rights are artificial…while other citizens’ legal rights are not. They seduce our lazy quest for instant gratification by rocking our good nature to sleep, purring that exploitation is really ‘sharing’ and crime is protected ‘free speech.’ And they tell us that technology is too powerful to fight anyway. We have no agency in regards to digital technology. It’s a brave new world. Truly. The survival of the festering wound is in the interest of these contrarians. Without it they would receive little publicity. They would need a new beat or a new job.”

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