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Archive for November, 2005

Dean Gray Tuesday – December 13, 2005

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

This just in:

I am half of the outfit responsible for ‘mashing up’ Greenday’s album ‘American Idiot’. We called ourselves Dean Gray and the album ‘American Edit’ and have received an incredible amount of feedback regarding the project on various forums, blogs and via email. All feedback was very positive and supportive.

Yesterday I received a Cease and Desist order from Grayzone who I believe act as a representative for Warners. I have attached the C&D to this email. I immediately complied with the request and took down all audio files relating to the project. I must point out that this was a not for profit project and the site suggested that if people wanted to that they should donate funds to a selected charity. The site was online for 10 days only.

In the wake of ‘all this’, one of the supporters of the project has set up an alternative site in the hope of replicating the now famous ‘Grey Tuesday’.

The rally site is here: Dean Gray Tuesday

This is the same short-sighted corporate censorship that the Grey Album and numerous other pieces of music have been subjected to. Musicians should have the right to create something new and exciting out of music in the world around them. That’s where art has always come from. If someone wants to sell sample-based music, then let’s give them a way to do it– a flat fee sampling license, perhaps. But the bottom line is that musicians should only be worried about one thing: making music. They shouldn’t be looking over their shoulder for lawyers who want to censor their art. But these days our corporatized copyright industry is choking creativity, rather than supporting it, and that needs to change.

Downhill Battle will, of course, be participating in Dean Gray Tuesday– we’ll be hosting the album here on December 13. If you can, you should do the same and help spread the word and the music.

More info from your boy Cory: Warners censors mashup album, fight back!

And while it lasts you can download the album from this site:












Article on RIAA NYC Raids

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Here’s a good article about the RIAA raids of NYC record stores. A lot of these raids are grabbing hip-hop mixtapes, which means that the promotion wing of major record labels send songs to DJs that make mix-tapes and then another part of the company comes along and raids stores that sell the tapes. It’s preposterous.

RIAA-Free Music Suggestions

Friday, November 25th, 2005

The FreeCulture.org crew has put together a holiday gift guide for conscientious music-lovers. It’s a bunch of good suggestions for music purchases that don’t prop up the corrupt major label system. And don’t forget RIAA Radar, because major label CDs are such a crappy present.

Sony Sued for Rootkit

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Sony-BMG is being sued by the EFF and the Texas Attorney General over the rootkit bullshit. Go team!

When will the Free Software Foundation jump in to sue over the violations of the GPL? Stallman??

Sony copy protection illegally used copyrighted code.

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

The copy protection software included on many new Sony albums doesn’t only do nasty things to your computer that make it more likely to crash and more vulnerable to security problems. Sony actually makes illegal use of free, open source code.

The funny part: some of the copyrights belong to DVD Jon, the guy who first cracked DVD encryption.

Code licensed under the GPL is copyrighted, but it’s free for everyone to use, provided they make their own code public. If you don’t comply with those terms (and Sony didn’t) then it’s straight-up copyright infringement. This isn’t “sharing music with a friend” infringement. This is more like “burning a few million Playstation games and selling them in Walmart and Best Buy” infringement. Sony packaged and sold pirated software on a few million of their CDs.

If Sony were a college kid or a single mom, they’d be in big trouble.

The major labels real problem is ineptness

Monday, November 14th, 2005

Sony has been getting burned by this bogus CD copy-protecion technology that they shipped on 4 million CDs. NYTimes reports it today. I love this part of the article, beginning with a quote from a Sony-BMG spokesperson:

“we’re constantly identifying new ways to meet consumers’ demand for flexibility in how they listen to music, while at the same time protecting the rights of artists.”

But the industry’s mad dash to protect artists – or more accurately, its profits – may have led Sony BMG to move so aggressively, and disastrously, on the D.R.M. front.

Yes, that’s the New York Times correcting major label bullshit about ‘protecting artists’!

Here’s a Sony anti-customer technology roundup and time-line.

Explorer Destroyer: a campaign to switch people from IE to Firefox

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

This weekend, some of us who work on Downhill Battle worked out a new campaign to try to get more aggressive about switching people from Internet Explorer to Firefox.

It’s something we’d been thinking about doing for a while, but hadn’t found the time to put together. So when Google announced that they would offer $1 for every referral to Firefox with Google toolbar, we figured the time was right to get sites to be more serious about getting their users to switch. With that financial incentive, they won’t be so timid. It’s very possible to get Internet Explorer down to under 50% of all web browsers. This is the best chance we’ve ever had and it would be a *huge* victory for open source.

So today we have two new sites to launch that campaign. The first is the campaign home and has free scripts that they can install on their site that will detect IE and encourage people to switch. You’ll earn money from Google for the referrals. Check it out:

Explorer Destroyer
Explorer Destroyer

The second is a parody site. You know how we do.

Kill Bill's Browser

Let’s give Internet Explorer that finishing blow it’s been asking for.

R. Kelly ‘Trapped in the Closet’ Remix / Fan Site

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Claire Chanel, of Jay-Z Construction Set fame, has a new project: R. Kelly’s Closet.

The site is built to encourage creative remixing of R. Kelly’s ‘Trapped in the Closet’ series. There’s acapella version sung by various fans, video remixes, and covers. Check out the video section.

Revver Gets Videomakers Paid

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Revver is a new company and website that a few of us have been doing some work for the past 10 months. Last week the site hit boing boing just before we were ready to announce, but the Revver team has been rolling with the punches and it’s off to an amazing start. Check out Revver.

The idea behind Revver is simple, but the implications are big for independent creators. Most simply, Revver let’s video makers place a single frame ad on the end of their video files. When users click on the ad, creators make money. It’s like AdWords for video and it means that creators can directly benefit from the success of viral video online. It also solves the dilemma that many videomakers face when they try to decide whether to make their videos free and reach a wide audience or charge for them and make money. Revver lets them keep it free and make money at the same time. I’d wager that most of the bands selling videos on iTunes right now would be making more money with RevTags (not to mention building more fans).

We’re very proud of where Revver is at right now and where it’s headed. We’re only a week in, but the momentum is building very fast. It will be pretty amazing when the first round of payments go out to videomakers.

On of the coolest projects happening at Revver is the ‘lost creators’ campaign. We’ve posted some of the most famous internet videos to the site and while they start racking up ad money, we’re looking to identify the original creators so they can get paid for the first time. Lost creators campaign.

Big congratulations to Steven and the team for achieving liftoff. Keep your eyes on Revver, there’s big things on the way. You can keep in touch at the Revver blog.

Automatic Superstar – Music Industry Rock Opera in NYC

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Automatic Superstar is a rock opera about the music industry and filesharing. They have performances the next three Fridays: November 4, 11th and 18th at Show Nightclub, 135 West 41st St. (corner of 41st St. and Broadway) in Manhattan. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., showtime 8:00 p.m. You can get tickets on the website: Check it out. UPDATE: you can get discount tickets on the website by entering the code ‘downhillbattle’.