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Archive for September, 2004


Monday, September 13th, 2004

Right now we’re doing some press work for Save Betamax and we’re about to send out a reminder email to everyone who’s signed up.

It’s not too late to get your friends on board…

Movies for Music

Monday, September 13th, 2004

The Movies for Music contest that we sponsored with p2pnet.net came to a close a couple weeks ago. We didn’t receive as many entries as we had hoped for but we did get some amusing stuff. p2pnet has just announced the winners and you can also find them in the movie gallery. p2pnet is planning another contest for next year, so if you missed this one, you can still get in the ring.

Over 2,000

Monday, September 13th, 2004

We’re up over 2,000 people registered at Save Betamax and rising fast. If you haven’t signed up yet, go for it, and keep telling your friends.

Great NY Times article, and more info on SaveBetamax

Friday, September 10th, 2004

Jon Pareles at the New York Times just wrote an excellent article about legal online music sources. It’s great that such a solid resource (pointing folks to sites like Purevolume and Micromusic) is going out in such a major paper. Pareles also points out that downloading music from filesharing networks is still legal, as long as you’re not sharing– another great thing to see in the mainstream press. Read it.

SaveBetamax just got on Slashdot, which is great news. The number of people registered should be rising fast. By the way, you all should put these in your webpages, if you haven’t already:

Save Betamax. A Nationwide Call-in Day to Stop the INDUCE Act.

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004

Sign up and mark your calendars: SaveBetamax.org.

For a while it was looking like the INDUCE Act would die a quiet death, but now we hear that the major labels and Hollywood are pushing hard behind the scenes to get it through. What they’re after is a law that would give them veto power over any new hardware or software product that did anything with audio and video, so they can continue to exert control over distribution.

They say they’re just going after p2p, but all the legal folks who’ve looked at this (Ernest Miller has been on a tear) say the language they want would give them the power to do a whole lot more. From a musicians’ perspective, giving the major record labels more instruments for monopolistic control is absolutely the last thing you want to do. New technology is shaking up the music industry and making it better, why give these outdated labels more tools to fight the rising tide? And from the perspective of music fans, this new law could make your mp3-playing iPod ancient history.

So sign up right now for our national call-in day to stop the INDUCE Act: SaveBetamax.org. Nobody likes this bill, but up till now there’s been no focused effort to rally against it.

Now there is. Are you in?


Tilly in BusinessWeek

Friday, September 3rd, 2004

We mentioned here a couple weeks ago that Tilly and the Wall, on the new record label Team Love, made all the tracks from their new album available online for free (also check out the photos on that page by DB’s our very own Rebecca Laurie). Now BusinessWeek has picked up the story with this article. Serious bands putting full albums online for free is a trend that’s going to grow fast– keep your eyes peeled. It could become the most compelling challenge to the major labels’ increasingly desperate PR machine.


The Illegal Art show opening last night was a lot of fun– thanks to everyone who came out. Here’s a small photo of the DVD Art, the Grey Album listening booth, and Jay-Z Construction Set display. The video, edited and narrated by Tiffiniy, went over very well. I think the tangibility of seeing a lot of this art in print and on screen really helped give people who don’t study this stuff a more concrete understanding of the issues.

And as we mentioned in the previous post, we’d love to turn this project into a nice digital package that people can use to put on quick, fun art shows wherever they live. Realistically, we’re totally overwhelmed with other things right now, but if someone wants to volunteer for this, we’d love the help and it would be a great thing to make. Any meticulous curator types out there? We’ve already laid a lot of the groundwork, so here’s what it would entail from here:

  • We’ll send you all the digital print and video files that we have.
  • Together, we’ll come up with a list of other things that we might want to add.
  • For things we don’t already have, you’ll get in touch with as many of the artists as possible and try to get their permission to include digital versions of the art in the show kit.
  • You’ll clean up the DVD we’ve made, try to get higher quality versions of some things, and add new stuff (video editing experience would be really good).
  • You’ll make a CD of all the print art in the show, so that anyone with a little money can drop it off at a copy shop to have nice prints made.
  • We’ll make a nice website about the project and host (probably with Bit Torrent) all the files that people need.

If we do this right, people will be able to put on a really good illegal art show with $150, a simple space, and about a half-day of setup. This could also be a nice model for shows with other themes. Interested? Email me: npr(at)downhillbattle.org.

Illegal Art Show In Worcester

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004

Tonight at 6:00pm we’re hosting the opening of an “Illegal Art” show at the Bijou Cinema in Worcester, MA(ssive)– Downhill Battle’s hometown. If you live in the area, you should drop by. We’ve been working with Mass Bay Film Project to put the show on and it will be up through September.

We’re showing a bunch of interesting pieces, including Barbie in a Blender submissions, the Jay-Z Construction Set, and paintings by Al Bombz. At 7:30 we’ll be running a very entertaining collection of video clips, some of the sharpest demonstrations of fair use– you know, stuff like this.

We’re (tediously) getting the video clips together on a DVD, and we’ll probably make a CD of the visual files– we’d like to have a nice package of digital stuff that people can use to quickly put together Illegal Art shows wherever they are. For now, if you’re interested in doing something like this, drop us a line.


Things might be a little quiet on the blog for the next few days as we hunker down on a few projects that are close to completion. We have some really good stuff lined up, so don’t stray too far.