Get Off Mah Lawn: BPI, Filters & Law

Missed this missive about the BPI…who from personal experience are a complete bunch of numpties, so I approve. All those royalties go to the highest sellers, not the actual poorer/smaller artists. It’s a complete protection racket, and true that the record labels loved underground scenes – like mashups – but publicly didn’t want to be associated while paying for remixes and mashups on the downlow – all those kids using cracked versions of Acid Pro and Ableton. Total hypocrisy.

And check out Dan Bull’s latest about the whole Web Filter Porn debate…yes Cameron is a wanker, and the idea is so flawed it’s not true.

What with the new Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill with it’s IPNAs and PSPOs (Public Spaces Protection Orders) the country is becoming more and more ‘Them and Us’ and I hate to say it, as it’s a complete cliche, but another step to a police state. I mean when you have the Ramblers of all people, not exactly radical kendal mint cake and parka types opposed, then you know something is completely wrong. You know rich types are going to use such laws to git the proles orf mah lawn – even if there is a public right of way there. And the new ASBOs – the less snappily titled Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance – apply to anyone over 10 FOR LIFE and along with the Dispersal Orders they can be applied only if you are ‘annoying’ someone or if they think you might annoy someone. Completely vague, and like the ASBOs they will be abused, probably to affect people’s right to assembly.

Can Haz Proper Constitution Plz?

As I said on Twitter I do think there should be a new Kinder Scout mass trespass if these laws come into effect and are used to protect the rich places. I would suggest the still closed Thames Path going through Windsor Great Park – yes Queen stopped those nasty scruffy walker types walking along her lawn. Even though everything she owns is actually ours, or she stole it from us…

Lord Footnote vs The World

I’ve never even heard of this Lord Finesse (oh such a player…oh he was the vocal sample in Rockafeller Skank?…that’s hip hop history *right there*. Looking at his wiki page and 3 albums it does make me wonder if this is the hiphop version of patent trolling?) but this video by Dan Bull spells out what happened when he got a video criticising his lawsuit against Mac Miller pulled. Basically he took and sampled Oscar Peterson for a beat in a track, and many years later it was used in a free mixtape (not an official release), as with pretty much all up-and-coming rappers and even the likes of Lily Allen. This isn’t a new thing…but no, Lord Footnote has to sue for 10 Million dollars. For a song on a free mixtape. Especially when parts of the beat is already sampled from elsewhere, and I bet you anything he did the same as Mac Miller when coming up.

And then he pulls Dan Bull’s comment on this using the same beat of YouTube. Complete dick move, I’m sure you agree. The video above spells out why this is a douchey thing to do, for him but also hiphop in general, but also why it’s scary to ‘counter notify’ a DMCA or content strike unless you’re prepared to go to court. And yes I’ve had to do that frankly insulting ‘Copyright School’ too, courtesy of Rastamouse (middle finger goes to RTV too) which was also a parody usage which earned me a lovely first-and-only content strike after many other big corporates didn’t seem to mind or only blocked a few of my videos.

The law on parodies and mashups is an ass – and such uses is a little grey in the UK. You should be able to do them because it’s comment, but a lot of the law is untested or only used for different usages – and UK law isn’t as protective as the US. Then again using the current FBI Megaupload logic against the industry itself: if US copyright law applies with Mega because it had servers in the US, surely that means US copyright law protections should be extended to non-US originating content? You can’t have it both ways about the same case law.

Anyway I guess no-one wants to be the first to prove it in the courts, it’s an expensive deal especially up against the likes of Lord ’10 Million’ Finesse.

Here is the original Dan Bull video, reposted – as long as it stays up that is.

(via PomDeter)

Megaupload gets a better song, WW3 doesn’t happen (yet)

I’m sure most people have been haunted by that Megggaaa MEgaaaUpploaddd… song that reportedly cost 3 million (!!! Was it extra for a decent tune? Apparently Kim dotCom is releasing an album? Not sure how he’d do that from prison, then again rappers have managed it in the past…) but Dan Bull comes up trumps for a figure probably far less on the whole Mega-affair.

There has been a domino effect in the Megaupload affair, a lot of similar sites like FileSonic or Fileserve have shutup shop, closed their rewards programs or changed the sharing to only your own files. Although I was horrified by the Hollywood use of NZ police over a fairly minor matter and rather imperialistic approach the US is taking re: copyright (ACTA in EU is going to be voted on tomorrow apparently – have you spoken to your MEP?) – part of me always thought filelocker/cyberlocker sites who were selling premium access to mostly illegal files were doing pretty much the same as those who sell their own or other people’s mashup. I refused to pay for ‘premium’ access, although I’m sure some used those accounts for legal pursuits *cough*. But certainly there were people sharing files that were their own, mixtapes and albums, tracks and collaborative projects…legally shared. To shut down the whole site cos of illegally shared content was also dodgy.

So I didn’t really cry for Mega, although I do think the whole affair is disproportionate, and has rather more serious issues re: how much America can interfere with other countries, and draft in their local forces into another stupid war, after the war on drugs, the war on terrorism (hey guys those both worked well didn’t they?), now comes the war on copyright.

I mean if they come for the pirates, or even quasi-legal or DMCA co-operating sites, who’s next? Usually I would dismiss this to paranoia but fact is fast overtaking fiction in modern times, from V for Vendetta to Watergate Part II and 1984. there does seem to be a flexing of muscles into a sort of global justice/cop role on the part of the US government (and sadly the UK government as their favourite lapdog), which will backfire…certainly entertaining escalation over Iran, or say trying to raid copyright infringement in Russia – (not signed up with ACTA unsurprisingly, neither has China) could lead to a militaristic response from those countries which would make Iraq seem like primary school. WW3? You betcha.

Actually if Iran or North Korea really wanted to make a few bob AND annoy the US government they should setup content server farms for the likes of Mega, LOL.

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