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Archive for May, 2004

A New Book by Lawrence Lessig

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

Free Culture

A New Book by Lawrence Lessig

A book about culture and copyright by the leading intellectual in the field. The full text is avaiable free at the link above. Too restless to read a book? Watch this video. Then read the book.

Mark Webbink’s Explanation of Open Source Software

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

What is Open Source

by Red Hat’s Mark Webbink, Esq.

Good, clear explanation of open source software.

Introductionto Danger Mouse

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

The Mouse that Remixed

New Yorker – February 2, 2004

A cute Talk of the Town introduction to Danger Mouse, who created The Grey Album by remixing Jay-Z’s Black Album and the Beatles White Album.

The Microsoft Killers

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

The Microsoft killers

Prospect Magazine – February, 2004

A look at how the free and open-source movement is spreading beyond just software. Free software, the enemy of digital rights management (DRM) is crucial for maintaining our fair use rights in music.

NY Times – The Tyranny of Copyright?

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

The Tyranny of Copyright?

New York Times Magazine- January 25, 2004

A great overview of the growing movement to reform copyright. Begins with a discussion of our friends at the Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons.

France and Benefit Show Wrap Up

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

WE GOT A WHOLE BUNCH of very nice emails from France yesterday. Why? Because an interview that we did in March with one of the major national French TV stations finally aired. The timing is perfect, because SNEP, France’s version of the RIAA, just put out these two posters to try to scare filesharers back into obedience.

As you can see in the pictures, people who share music are represented by a middle finger– the implication being that filesharers are just trying to flip off ‘the system’. And if the record companies keep thinking about the issue that way, it works just fine for us. We’re not here to flip off the music industry (though we’re always happy to do so when asked), instead we’re here to win and keep winning until we level the playing field in the music business. The longer that the major labels pretend that there’s no values or politics in filesharing, and the more effort they spend trying to threaten and scare people, the less time they leave themselves to adapt. SNEP says they’re about to start suits of their own against people that are sharing music. Do they think that’s going to be a popular move in France? Or do they just not realize that software like MUTE is going to make lawsuits impossible?


The Downhill Battle benefit show on Thursday was awesome, as predicted. All the bands were really, really good, and it raised us some money. So, what does that mean for you? It means that we can get a little bit of cash to a programmer friend, which will let him work less this summer and spend more time organizing coding projects for us. And that means that we can turn the site into an organizing juggernaut, we can drop some sweet software, and we can lay the foundation for some serious business. We haven’t done nearly enough yet to get everyone involved who’s psyched about these issues, but we’re getting our house in order so please stay tuned.


The Postal Department is evolving rapidly and we’ve got a new t-shirt for sale today: concept by KDrisc, groundwork by NRev and HWil, execution by Fujichia. Did filesharing just get a little bit cooler? Check it.

DHB Benefit Show in NYC

Thursday, May 6th, 2004

DHB Benefit Show in NYC

Downhill Battle benefit show, $50m recovered

Thursday, May 6th, 2004

IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY seen it, you should read about yesterday’s 50 million dollar settlement between the Big Five labels and New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer over unpaid royalties. The labels never bothered to pay thousands of musicians for the music they sold. This is the kind of thing that happens to musicians in the major label system every day. Of course, if Spitzer really wants to clean up the music business, he should set his sights on pay-for-play, which is how the major labels screw every musician who’s outside their system.

If you’re in New York tonight, come to the Downhill Battle benefit show. Nick and I will be there, as will Matt Bernstein from the interviews deparment, and Rebecca is working but will be coming by afterwards. The show will be fun, and if you’re in the area it will be a great opportunity to meet in person and plot and plan.

Benefit Concert for DHB in New York

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

IT’S NICE TO GET HOME after driving 8 hours overnight from D.C. The Future of Music Coalition conference was an absolute whirlwind, with a lot of people who are doing very cool projects&emdash; we definitely made some good alliances. We’ll be writing more about the conference soon (after a little rest).

Now is a good time to mention that some great independent rock bands in New York have organized a benefit show for Downhill Battle that’s happening this Thursday and is featuring Unsacred Hearts, Man in Gray, Prof. Murder, Jacob Berendes, and 424 Sound Monster. We’re really, really honored to get this support, and if you can’t make it to the show, definitely check out some mp3s on the band websites. The show is at 8pm at Siberia on 40th (it’s a bar, so unfortunately it’s 21+). More details are at the Unsacred Hearts website— it is gonna be fun.