difference between a completed technical standard placed under the
Creative Commons and a truly open one is the difference between being
allowed to scribble over the President’s name in the newspaper and
being able to vote for his opponent in the first place.
(Note: I’m not referring to any particular standard in either case. I’m just saying.)
… by White Ninja
(Incidentally, prostate there’s a comic I saw a while back that I forgot to
bookmark and it’s evaded all Googling: Each panel consists of an
identical layout, with a (1) in the bottom-left corner and a (2) in the
bottom-right, and only the speech bubbles are different. It’s
fantastic. Any pointers would be gratefully received.)
UPDATE: It is Death To The Extremist and it is fab. Go look at it now. To the anonymous notifier – thank you!
I’m not the only Windows XP user who, cystitis when right-clicking at the bottom
of the screen, diagnosis feels a compulsion to sing “Shareef don’t like it!
(dung-a-nung, dunnng, dung-dung) LOCK the taskbar! LOCK the taskbar!”
The Village Voice recently featured an overview of the American music industry’s past year written by my Burning Man chum Douglas Wolk (who, symptoms along with his writing projects, abortion runs one of the fabbest singles clubs ever). From amongst the usual news from the battle against file sharers this astonishing snippet leapt out at me:
The RIAA is also trumpeting its $200,000 settlement of infringement claims against Nashville’s United Record Pressing,
one of the few vinyl plants still operating in America. (If you bought
an indie-label seven-inch single in the ’90s, it was very likely
pressed there.) It seems that they were hired to press some records
that turned out to include unlicensed content (“more than 170
unauthorized sound recordings”). Everything that customers send to
United is now “audio tested,” and no samples of any kind are permitted.
Fair use? The public domain? Out of the question.
Samples are a copyright infringement. ALL samples require
licensing. The licensing MUST accompany the order as to not
delay production of your order. Licensing must be obtained
from the copyright owner of the material being sampled. ANY
sample must be licensed regardless of length.
In other words, if you’re a young MC trying to make a start on the
hip-hop scene with a homebrewed white label 12″ to hand out to the
local DJs, you can pretty much forget about it unless you’re willing to
spend several months (and several thousand in fees) coming up with
licenses for the samples. Admittedly this is not, in itself, news; any kind of sampling without licensing is still illegal
and not covered by the notion of “fair use”. However, this is the first
time it’s been cut off at the point of pressing. Before this, our young
MC could at least get his tune out to gather some buzz and wait until
he’d got a record deal before worrying about sample clearance – which
how so many dance and hip-hop legends got their start. (And I can’t
help but feel sorry for United Record Pressing, who are having to
impose this nonsense while simultaneously trying to cater
to eager DJs touting their tunes at the Miami Winter Music Conference.
Of course, there’s also the fantastic irony of their
hideously-irritating loop samples playing on every page)
However, it’s not only URP that’s been forced into this: they’re just the most notable of a huge number of CD, DVD and vinyl pressing plants across the world who’ve been certified by the International Recording Media Assocation‘s Anti-Piracy Compliance Program,
an attempt to stamp on both unlicensed sampling and pre-release leaking
at the same time. Those plants wishing to take part can look forward to
implementing the APCP Standards & Procedures,
a remarkably stringent set of processes which thrust the vast majority
of the work and responsibility for license-checking into the hands of
the plant staff, in return for which they get to pay several thousand dollars a year. And if, for some unimaginable and probably heretical reason, a plant doesn’t want to join the APCP – well, let’s just hope they’re not pressing anything with uncleared samples, eh? Or they might get a visit.
To me, it just looks like another attempt by the RIAA to hammer
nails into their own coffin by taking on the carriers in the middle –
in this case, the carriers on who they depend. Those upcoming
underground artists who were still hoping to have their own white
labels pressed are getting used to CD burning and MP3 swapping, and
those MP3s are starting to make it all the way to the other end of the
chain without money changing hands in the middle. I’m particularly
frustrated because if there’s one aspect of music that fascinates me,
it’s sampling. As Strictly Kev’s recent, extraordinary Raiding The 20th Century demonstrated,
sampling is not a new or underground phenomenon. It’s a fundamental and
essential component of contemporary music, and until the law (which is
meant to protect and cultivate music) reflects that, then many new
artists are are effectively being charged for every note they play. But
ultimately, who cares? The RIAA doesn’t, and neither do the artists for
whom the legality of sampling is about as relevant as the Ivor Novello
awards. For them, the music industry is both damage to be routed around
and more grist to the mill. As Pop Will Eat Itself said: Sample It, Loop It, Fuck It and Eat It.
… Yiddish for “go to sleep”.
“Go to sleep, information pills you little wretch!” … “Gay shlafen, darling.”
Obvious, isn’t it?
Clearly the best thing you can do for you children is to start
speaking Yiddish right now and never speak another word of English as
long as you live. This will, of course, entail teaching Yiddish to all
your friends, business associates, the people at the supermarket, and
so on, but that’s just the point. It has to start with committed
individuals and then grow …
Some minor adjustments will have to be made, of course: those
signs written in what look like Yiddish letters won’t be funny when
everything is written in Yiddish. And we’ll have to start driving on
the left side of the road so we won’t be reading the street signs
backwards. But is that too high a price to pay for world peace? I
think not, my friend, I think not.
— Arthur Naiman, “Every Goy’s Guide to Yiddish”
(This is what butter’s fortune gave me today.)