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MAKING COPYRIGHT CREDIBLE: HOOPER AND HARGREAVES ON RIGHTS, REFORM AND A DIGITAL EXCHANGE
The Richard he references being, of course, Richard Hooper, the former Deputy Chairman of OfCom who is currently working out what exactly a Digital Copyright Exchange should be, and who was also at the FM event last night. As expected, it seems likely that what will actually be primarily exchanged via any entity born out of Hooper's work is data not rights, and mainly information about copyright ownership, though there seems to be a hope that the existence of a DCE might encourage rights owners to offer simpler and cheaper licensing solutions to grass roots licensees, most of whom probably currently use copyright material without permission.
"It's our belief that our copyright licensing system, as a whole, is currently not fit for purpose", Hooper told the FM event. "The music industry is actually better than many other creative sectors, but there is still room for improvement, and I think most people in the music industry would agree. There are various issues, but a key one is identification. It is critical that we make it easier for licensees to identify who owns what rights, and how they might go about licensing them. Now, many digital copyright exchanges already exist around the world and across the various creative industries, and especially in the music industry. But not everyone uses them, not everyone uses them correctly, and not everyone knows they exist. We want to create something that pulls all that information together, to streamline the licensing process for licensees, and to ensure creators get paid".
So, a database of databases then, with any information that currently slips between existing data systems captured directly. Which is a good idea, though whether it could really work technically and practically is presumably something Hooper and his team are currently considering, them being in the second phase of their work fleshing out Hargreaves' grand DCE plan. Though Hooper seemed optimistic.
Of course even if the government could successfully undertake such an ambitious IT project (and the government doesn't have a particularly record when it comes to ambitious IT projects), would rights owners use it, and use it correctly? Hooper seemed keen to stress that participation in the Exchange would be voluntary, though you do wonder whether a compulsory copyright registration system might not be a more efficient way of achieving the DCE's aims, even if that meant the government's initiative did start to duplicate work already being done by existing industry run data exchange organisations. But neither Hargreaves nor Hooper have ever used the 'registration' word. So far.
"This process is about industry thinking", Hooper insisted, "these are not the government's issues that we are trying to address, they are your issues. And we have enjoyed a great response from the creative industries, especially the music industry. There is an appetite to make this work".
While Hooper certainly seems to be playing the role of the facilitator rather than regulator at the moment - there were no sticks on show during last night's amicable debate - the DCE developer did have one thought that verged on a threat. "If you want politicians to do more to combat piracy", he said, "first you've got to take practical steps to eliminate the excuses used by those who routinely infringe".
It was a sentiment expressed by both Hargreaves and Hooper, especially when their music industry audience began to hone in on the UK government's slow progress in cracking down on online piracy, with the 2010 Digital Economy Act yet to come into force, and Hargreaves' review not really touching on piracy issues at all. "But the proposals we made are all part of the fight against piracy", Hargreaves insisted, referring to both the DCE and his other proposed reforms that are currently the subject of a government consultation. "For copyright to work, it needs to be brought in line with reasonable expectations".
He continued: "We need mainstream public opinion on our side, and that means streamlining the licensing process, and removing those elements of copyright that most people consider a nonsense. Not being able to copy CDs for personal use is a nonsense. Not being able to make parody songs and post them on YouTube is, in my opinion, a nonsense. And the issue of orphan works, a nonsense. For copyright to work, for anti-piracy initiatives to work, the basic system needs to be credible. And these are the changes we are trying to make, to make your copyright system stronger".
US PROSECUTORS SAY FORMER MEGAUPLOAD CUSTOMERS SHOULD JUST SUE IF THEY'VE LOST DATA
As previously reported, the EFF is representing one filmmaker, Kyle Goodwin, who lost access to his content when MegaUpload was taken offline amidst allegations of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering. A judge previously urged interested parties to find a voluntary solution to the problem, though with little progress made the EFF has now called on the courts to force measures on those who control access to Goodwin's files.
Of course most of the data in limbo is sitting on servers owned by Carpathia Hosting, the US-owned server firm that hosted much of the Mega empire. Prosecutors won't let the MegaUpload platform be switched back on for some kind of data-reclaim amnesty (and the US movie industry insists that if that did happen, its content, stored their illegally, should be deleted first). Prosecutors also won't allow MegaUpload to reclaim seized assets to fund some kind of data-reclaim programme. Which, the EFF says, leaves Goodwin with no more options.
But not so, said prosecutors in their latest court filing last week. They aren't stopping Goodwin from going into Carpathia's warehouse and retrieving his data, it's just the costs of organising such a thing - which Goodwin himself would have to pay - would be too high.
Meanwhile, if he believes either MegaUpload or Carpathia have failed in any duty, contractual or otherwise, to protect his data, Goodwin can sue the companies for damages (though of course, as prosecutors themselves have already pointed out, technically MegaUpload's terms and conditions ensures they are not liable for lost files). So, prosecutors say, Goodwin is not currently without option or remedy, and there is, therefore, no current need for the courts to interfere. So that's alright then. Of course you can always rely on the legal people to ignore the moral dimension.
It remains to be seen how the US courts now respond to the various parties' latest submissions regards the lost MegaUpload data. Meanwhile Goodwin and many others are still without access to their files.
IFPI WELCOMES SHUTDOWN OF CHINESE MUSIC LINKS FORUM
According to the record industry's global trade body, the website had 900,000 users and had generated $1.5 million in profits from advertising and subscriptions, despite providing links to unlicensed music. The service was raided last week following a complaint by the IFPI, and according to reports four people linked to the website have been arrested, while servers, credit cards and cash were seized.
Commenting on the raids, Leong Mayseey, Regional Director for IFPI Asia, told CMU: "We are delighted that Macau and Hong Kong customs officials have acted promptly on our complaints and taken action to close this lucrative unlicensed business down. Copyright-infringing sites such as fdzone.org are a huge problem for legal music services in the region which offer consumers a great service while respecting artists and songwriters. Actions such as these are great help in boosting that legitimate business".
METAL HAMMER GOLDEN GODS PRESENTED
Actually, the press release bills the ceremony as "the only true metal awards of 2012", which presumably means the Kerrang! Awards don't count. Or, rather, the 'Kerrang! Awards 2012 fuelled by Relentless Energy Drink,' as we're supposed to call them. How silly is that? Metal Hammer wouldn't have a name that silly for its awards. No, because metal's all about turning it up to eleven, the rival magazine has gone one louder and insisted that we refer to its awards as 'The Orange Amplification Presents The Metal Hammer Golden Gods In Association With Hobgoblin'.
So, here's what Metal Hammer Editor Alexander Milas said of last night's Orange Amplification Presents The Metal Hammer Golden Gods In Association With Hobgoblin: "Ten playing bands, two boats, eighteen awards, and nearly 2,000 fans, and completely heavy metal - there's just nothing like the Metal Hammer Golden God awards. This wasn't just the tenth anniversary of the event. It's also the 25th anniversary year for our magazine, and tonight we partied with the legends, the new blood, and most importantly the fans, without whom our world wouldn't exist. Here's to another ten, and another 25. Chin-chin".
And here's the full list of winners at The Orange Amplification Presents The Metal Hammer Golden Gods In Association With Hobgoblin:
Best UK Band: Saxon
Dimebag Darrell 'Shredder': Devin Townsend
ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI ARE STILL A BAND, DESPITE WHAT ARIEL PINK THINKS
Writing via his personal Facebook page, the LA-based artist - real name Ariel Marcus Rosenberg - said: "BROKE UP THE BAND TODAY. HAUNTED GRAFFITI RIP". Though as conceivable as such a statement possibly sounds, it appears it'd be wise to take Pink's post with a sceptical pinch of salt. Asked if there was any truth to the declaration, the folks over at the band's record label 4AD have said they "aren't quite sure" why it was published and describe Pink et al as being "still very much together".
Pink, of course, is known as a notoriously temperamental character; an example of this being his strange on-stage behaviour at last year's Coachella: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cdt3taIaZE
That, or the post he wrote prior to the break-up note: "Cut my heart out and drink my blood. You'll never be my friend again, kinski assassin. You choose war - you despise justice with your timid heart and feeble mind so come! Bask in the black magic of self-destruction and self-delusion/confusion, you belong to Satan now".
I rest my case.
SLIPKNOT ANNOUNCE 'BEST OF' DETAILS
FYI, the mysterious 'HoGaB' hashtag that Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor was tweeting around the time 'Antennas To Hell' was originally announced didn't actually relate to the best of at all, but was instead linked to the singer's other band Stone Sour. Taylor tweeted yesterday that the title of the band's new album would be 'House Of Gold And Bones'. The album will be formed of two parts, the first released this October.
But back to 'Antennas To Hell', and Taylor's bandmate Shaun 'Clown' Crahan says: "I think every song Slipknot has ever written is a greatest hit, so it was hard to narrow it down, but at the same time there's only four records, so we did stick a couple of live songs on. It all falls together the way it needs to".
The tracklist for the hits compliation is as follows:
KEEL HER TO RELEASE DEBUT LP
With this slated to come out later in the year, Keeler-Schäffeler and bandmates James Levitt and drummer Andrew Barnes will release their debut seven-inch, 'Prize Catch', on 13 Aug. And if you'd like to see the trio live, they're playing a free set at London's The Old Blue Last tonight.
Meanwhile, here's 'Prize Catch': soundcloud.com/criticalheights/01-keel-her-prize-catch
And also the very smoky video for past demo 'Tired Of Waiting': vimeo.com/43786511
DAFT PUNK MAN SOUNDTRACKS LINDSAY LOHAN SURF FILM
The movie, entitled 'First Point', is credited to artist Richard Phillips in collaboration with filmmaker Taylor Steele, and features pro surfer Kassia Meador as Lohan's stunt double. What a delight.
On the off-chance you won't be present at its premiere later this week as part of Switzerland's Art Basel expo, why not just watch the trailer here: bcove.me/37tzbbz4
AIDEN GRIMSHAW PLOTS GRIM-TOUR
And here are its component dates, in chronological order:
19 Sep: Bristol, Academy 2
DIANA VICKERS OUTLINES LIVE DATES
Catch Vickers, if you can, at the following:
16 Jul: Manchester, Deaf Institute
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE TO TOUR THE WORLD
Its official release on 3 Sep will be preceded by a single comprising non-LP tracks 'Gotham' and 'Honeycomb', out via both digital and vinyl routes on 26 Jun. Though you can listen to its latter half here now: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCK03Po10iE
And here are the relevant UK dates:
4 Nov: London, The Roundhouse
MAXIMO PARK TO PLAY FIVE IN-STORES IN ONE DAY
Lead singer Paul Smith, a champion of independent music outlets, says: "All of us are regular record buyers and we prefer to indulge this passion at the shops of independent retailers who have a genuine love of music and knowledgeable, friendly staff".
In view of the band's new LP 'The National Health' being out right now, Maximo Park will attempt the in-store feat this coming Saturday, 16 Jun.
And their live itinerary is this:
11.30am Stockton, Sound It Records
MAZES ANNOUNCE TOUR, DISCUSS NEW LP
Having converted his London flat into an improvised studio space to make the album, which follows last year's excellent 'A Thousand Heys', frontman Jack Cooper says: "We were all fairly content with the first record but there were things about the recording process and the record itself that disappointed us. Personally, I've been disappointed with every single thing we've done... it's normal. We spoke about recording something that represented our record collections... something denser maybe? Not a garage rock record".
He adds: "It's been the most rewarding recording experience because it feels completely organic and liberating. I think we've made something really cool".
And so to those live dates. The band visit Sheffield's Tramlines festival on 21 Jul, after which they'll begin the tour in earnest, playing several shows (some are still to be confirmed, see the Mazes Facebook page for updates) throughout late July.
22 Jul: Leeds, Brudenell Bar
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
1234 SHOREDITCH, Shoreditch Park, London, 1 Sep: Bo Ningen, Crocodiles, Citizens! and Jeff The Brotherhood are amongst the latest wave of acts spilling onto the 1234 roster, and join the previously announced likes of Savages, Gross Magic, Iceage, The Duke Spirit, Dirty Beaches, Frankie Rose, SCUM, Gabriel Bruce, Visions Of Trees, La Femme, Let's Wrestle and Bleeding Heart Narrative. www.the1234shoreditch.com
LOUNGE ON THE FARM, Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent, 6-8 Jul: LOTF'S most recent influx includes Example, DJ Wire, Dusky, Willy Moon and Urban Nerds, all of whom align with existing bookings Emeli Sande, The Wombats, The Charlatans, Chic feat Nile Rodgers, Mystery Jets, Roots Manuva, AlunaGeorge, Caspa, Charli XCX and Disclosure. www.loungeonthefarm.co.uk
UNSOUND, Krakow, Poland, 14-21 Aug: Taking its 2012 theme as 'THE END', the last word in 'advanced' music festivals is initially to host Julia Holter, aTelecine, V/Vm and a collaboration between Tim Hecker and Oneoftrix Point Never's Daniel Lopatin. www.unsound.pl
FORMER ROADRUNNER PROMOTIONS HEAD LAUNCHES NEW AGENCY
Confirming the launch of AC Promotions, Collins told CMU: "The launch of the new company comes with mixed emotions. It's very, very sad that such an iconic, cutting edge and truly unique global brand such as Roadrunner, run by such a dedicated and talented team, has closed so many operations outside of the US. The label's UK team are the most incredible, creative, passionate and hard working group of individuals I have ever been blessed to know, let alone to work with, as part of a team".
"Over my years as Head Of Promotions at the label, I've been privileged to work with some of the world's most successful, cutting edge, genre defining and awe inspiring artists, delivering some very special moments: Mastodon on 'Later With Jools Holland'; Slipknot playlisted on daytime Radio 1 (multiple times!); the likes of Nickelback and Slipknot going from playing the Astoria to having multiple sold out arena tours; multiple gold, silver and platinum UK selling albums and artists... it's been quite a ride!"
"But to be able to continue working with these artists is really incredibly flattering and very exciting indeed. To add to this fact that I can now look to work with many other of the world's finest artists, outside of the RR roster for the first time in many years, really is the icing on a slightly strange tasting, but very sweet cake! AC Promotions looks forward to keep working with the world's finest artists and continuing to push the boundaries and deliver many 'firsts' for the world of rock and further afield..."
Follow the new company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WeAreAC_Promo
TALKTALK BLOCKS THE BAY
The move means that TalkTalk customers, like those accessing the net via Virgin Media, BSkyB, O2/Be or Everything Everywhere, will not now be able to access to the controversial file-sharing website, unless they know how you go about circumventing such blocks, or can be bothered to check one of the various web pages that explains how to do so.
As much previously reported, record label trade body the BPI secured the web-block injunctions earlier this year, using last year's successful efforts by the movie industry to force net firms to block file-sharing community Newzbin as precedent. A sixth injunction against BT has been going through the motions at a slower speed, but it too is expected to block access to the Bay later this summer.
DROWNED IN SOUND CRIES FOUL OVER MAIL'S REWORK OF ITS MACCA CHAT
The Daily Mail story took quotes from the Drowned In Sound interview that was published on 28 May. In the Mail's version, McCartney admits to turning to the bottle after the collapse of The Beatles in 1970, and that his drinking left him unable to write new songs. But, Adams said via Facebook, "at no point does he say he had any problem writing. Quite the opposite, in fact".
Confirming he was now consulting lawyers on the matter, Adams wrote on Facebook on Monday: "Consulting lawyers and entering into legal proceedings against The Daily Mail... this is an odd start to the week ... [The] Mail published a significant chunk of an interview we ran, re-presenting what was said massively out of content. Might have to do the same with The Sun, Yahoo and The Express too, who've also taken quotes from our Paul McCartney interview massively out of context and not even bothered to attribute the source".
He added: "It's not the first time something like this has happened, but it's certainly one of the most brazen and misleading, not to mention the huge percentage of our editorial that has been re-run. I honestly can't believe some of these places re-reporting the story with no attribution to the source - a lot of which is literally just copy-pasting the original, and a lot of the 400+ results on Google News just seem to be pulling in an RSS feed. The internet is a grotesque place".
Of course publications lift quotes from other publications all the time - we just did it there - though journalistic etiquette says you credit the source, and many online publications now routinely link back to the original article, helping the source build traffic and score better on search engines.
But, of course, aside from the etiquette code, which, it has to be said, the tabloids routinely ignore (though chiefly so they don't have to credit their direct rivals too often), there is possibly a copyright element to unattributed quotes too if they form too much of a finished article. And there may even be a moral rights issue if a distortion of the quotes could be deemed a "derogatory treatment" of the original work. Though these are all very grey areas of the law and it remains to be seen how this dispute pans out.
THIS JUST-IN: SCOOTER BRAUN WETS THE BED... OFTEN
The first tweet to arouse suspicion read: "Hahaha. Look who left their Twitter open by mistake! Priceless. I LOVE JUSTIN. He is the greatest. I wish I had more hair".
Why Braun would think that finding his own Twitter profile open was worth noting to the world, and with a delighted "Hahaha" at that, isn't clear, so it's possible Bieber himself was responsible. But, as you can see, it's hard to be sure.
But of course it wasn't Braun himself writing. We knew that all along really. It was indeed The Bieber being a scamp. I can see why you'd be confused though, he covered his tracks so well. Once back at his computer, Braun (the real Braun) wrote: "Not cool. For my friends - that wasn't me. Eighteen year old kid snatched up my Twitter. I apologize. I'm back. I only wet the bed sometimes".