Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, Entertainment Industry
In a recent statement James Blake said that he is not concerned with those who download his music without his permission. While the English singer-songwriter seemed comfortable on the issue of filesharing, the future of music industry as it is today for him looks rather gloomy.
While the artist’s album ‘Overgrown’ had its official release yesterday, it had already ‘debuted’ on some torrent sites like KickAss Torrents last week. If you download the album for free and you like it, you can visit Blake’s official website and buy it (actually pre-order it for now).
In an interview with The Guardian, Blake emphasized how easy is for anyone willing to download an album for free to do so:
“Why wouldn’t you [download ‘Overgrown’ for free]? My label (Universal) is hoping that on 8th April you’ll do the right thing and click the ‘Buy’ button. You should see what they’re doing online just to get people to look at the ‘Buy’ button. I’m starting not to care, to be honest.”
With regard to the industry, things don’t look too bright in his opinion: “Things are changing. The ship (music industry) isn’t just going down. There are people trapped inside, bashing on the windows trying to get out.”
Along with the release of his latest album James Blake launches a mini-tour in the UK, London being his first stop today.For those who want to see him live, you can check the tour dates and buy tickets here.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
The annual South by Southwest festival has made it a tradition to share artists’ music (with their agreement, of course), and this year is no different. A bundle that captures a little over 1200 tracks (totaling 7.39 GB) has been made available on BitTorrent’s networks.
Starting with 2005, musicians participating at the festival agreed to share their work with the world. Before using BitTorrent, the festival’s organizers used zip folders to distribute the music packs, but this method was dropped in 2008.
An unofficial website called SXSW Torrents has been opened; here you will find all the tracks – starting with 2005.
As for this year, the music bundle contains 1210 files from a vast selection of artists, including The Geeks, MC Gee, DJ Andrew Parsons, the hip-hop band House Shoes, and much more. The South by Southwest festival started on March 8 and will end on the 17th.
Either you use uTorrent or another downloading platform, the torrent files can be found here.
“These torrents include all the tracks that could be previewed on the SXSW website for SXSW 2013 as of March 7, 2013. This year’s collection includes 1,210 files totaling 7.39GB. Note that the filenames and ID3 tags have been updated to properly reflect the artist names and song titles,” the unofficial website reads.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
Not long after the US Supreme Court had been asked to handle Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s case, the young mother who has been charged with copyright infringement for sharing 24 songs, the Obama Administration stepped in, asking the court not to meddle with the previous verdict – a fine of $220.000.
The lawsuit involves the RIAA and the aforementioned woman, mother of four children and music’s fan. Her ordeal started in 2007 when a US court found her guilty and agreed on a fine of $220.000. After appealing this decision, two more trials followed, but, unfortunately for her, the result was the same. In other words, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals offered its support for the previous verdict, and Jammie was still to pay that ridiculous six-figure fine.
Her lawyer also highlighted that Thomas-Rasset’s trial judge “called for relief from Congress, and throughout his opinions called the statutory damages sought by the recording industry harsh and oppressive.”
A brief that was filed on Monday by the Obama Administration dismisses the argument and pleads the Supreme Court not to consider Jammie’s appeal.
“The public interest cannot be realized if the inherent difficulty of proving actual damages leaves the copyright holder without an effective remedy for infringement,” the brief reads.
The Recording Industry Association of America is also against Jammie’s appeal, saying that:
“Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s copyright infringement was willful in the extreme,” a brief filed on Monday by several major labels writes.
“Three separate juries have concluded that her blatant and unapologetic violation of Respondents’ rights warranted a substantial award under the Copyright Act’s statutory damages provision.”
The music industry claims that the penalty is justified in light of Thomas-Rasset’s “particularly blameworthy conduct.”
Jammie still has her hopes up, but she should also consider that just a fraction of the appeals filed to the Supreme Court are being accepted. Hope, however, is all she has.
In a similar case, Joel Tenenbaum had been fighting the RIAA, but his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court back in May.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
A survey by Professor Peter DiCola of the Northwestern University School of Law shows that just 6% of musician’s revenues come from recorded music.
The professor’s study includes 5.000 artists, all living in the United States, and covers various subjects, including illegal file-sharing. As such, approximately 25% of the respondents agreed that music piracy had made things worse for them, while another 25% said that file-sharing helps them. The remaining 50% had no opinion or declined to answer the question.
Furthermore, the survey highlights that music piracy has a small impact on musician’s overall income. Professor DiCola discovered that just 6% of the average income of a musician comes from recorded sales. On the other hand, live performances are clearly a better source of revenues, accounting for 28% of the total income.
The study also established the incomes of the 5.000 musicians. As a result, it was possible to compare revenue streams per income group. Here’s what it showed:
The study’s results convinced Professor DiCola that the existing copyright laws are a blessing for the highest earners.
“Rather than providing marginal incentives to create to all musicians at all times, copyright law mostly affects the revenue of the highest-income musicians in a direct fashion. This is not a surprise, given the prevalence of winner-take-all markets in the entertainment industry,” he said.
This doesn’t mean that copyright laws should be completely ignored or revoked, as many of these artists, including composers, rely on them.
“Musical creativity takes a number of forms, not just the kinds that copyright law protects. This broader perspective should not, however, obscure the reliance on copyright for many musicians in particular subgroups”.
“Those who focus their activity on composing rely on composition revenue and are much more vulnerable to harm from copyright infringement. The same goes for recording artists who rely on sales of sound recordings,” the professor wrote.
What’s going to happen from now on to the music industry and their “relationship” with musicians remains to be seen, but one thing is clear – the ever increasing number of talented song writers, composers, musicians, and independent artists is going to make a visible change in this area.
You can download the full study here.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
Music piracy around the world costs the United States $12.5 billion a year, or at least this is what the industry is saying. Furthermore, the Institute for Policy Innovation claims that copyright infringement is taking more than 71.000 jobs away. East Bay Ray, Dead Kennedys’ guitarist, addressed this issue in a debate with Anita Rivas – a music industry lawyer and Chico State’s adviser.
According to the punk legend, technology companies such as Google, Pandora, and MTV abuse and persecute musicians’ work, an opinion expressed by the band back in 1985, when they’ve released a track called “MTV – Get off the air”.
East Ray Bay goes on to compare tech companies and recording artists with pimps and prostitutes.
“Pimps are not cool, especially when they don’t pay their hookers,” he said to the delight of the audience.
The artist also pointed out a vital issue (one that the industries are not ready to accept) – that there’s a huge difference between sharing a CD with your friends or family and the mass-production of someone’s work to make money.
“The difference is that we do all the work and they get all the money,” he said.
Moreover, the number of independent artists have been decreasing since 2002 (45%), he continued.
“It’s confusing. You want to get your music to people, but you don’t know how to do it so that it is fair to everyone,” he said.
“I hope that we will all be able to figure it out.”
As for tech companies, their blame is that of putting up together copyrighted content, while having the benefits of paid advertisement, the artist said. An even bigger problem is the 1998’s Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act; its amendments protect hosting companies from being held accountable for copyrighted works, if the infringement is done by a customer and not the company itself, he continued. Moreover, East Bay Ray believes that tech companies are trying to make creative content free and nullify any copyright law that exists, with Google being the worst of them.
“Google likes to pretend like they are our friends,” Rivas said.
The punk star also targeted Spotify by calling it corrupt.
Lina Falk, a Swedish foreign exchange student working with the KCSC radio and SOTA Productions, disagrees:
“How we view Spotify and how it is used in Sweden is that people really pay for the service,” she said.
“The situation is what it is, and you cannot just rewind it,” Falk concluded.
As usual, this debate could have continued forever, but it stopped at some point with standing ovations and follow-up questions.