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Archive for December, 2005

A Word from French Downhill Battle Supporters and Fighters

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Matthias Budde of a French radio station, Radio Anda and also co-founder of a new organization trying to do similar things as Donwhill Battle in France and Europe, has the following to say about what is happening with copyright law there:

“This law on the “copyright” (it’s not a “copyright” in France, we call it “Author’s right”) is very complex. Yes, an amendment has legalized the downloading but another one could be voted to cancel it next weeks. Major labels have made an incredible lobbying on our government so that we imprison downloaders and then, what happened ?…. the opposite… :-D

But everything is not fine for us… What concerns me more, it’s the part of the law that is going to start the lock of webradios as Radio Anda, because of Digital Rights Management which we cannot buy.
This part of the law was already voted, and in this end of year, here is what worries me. :-\

Anyway, our government, was well manipulated by the lobbyists and now I am really disgusted. I was on TV yesterday ( ARTE / TRACKS) evening to say in the name of Downhill Battle ” Music Industry is a ceaseless war for more than 30 years…. ” Now, more than ever….

Well, if somebody wants to help the french webradios like our, please contact us office@radioanda.org and at Radio Anda. :-)

More on French filesharing

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

I failed to mention yesterday the crucial point that the legislation to legalize filesharing in France would require users to pay into the system and the money received would be distributed to artists. One French teenager says:

“Artists currently get no money from peer-to-peer sharing, and with this fee at least they would get some,” said Aziz Ridouan, a 17-year old high school student who has fought for Internet rights as president of the Association of Audiosurfers. “If the government and industry attack downloaders aggressively, we will just go underground with encryption and all chance of revenue will be lost.”

More info on Joi Ito’s blog here.

France tries to legalize filesharing

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

The French parliament is in the midst of passing a bill that would legalize private, non-commercial filesharing. Downhill Battle France, this is your moment– organize, call, get on the ball. There is about to be a blizzard of corporate lobbying thrown at these legislators and if there isn’t just as big a push coming from real people, the bill will disappear. Read more >>

Patti Santiago fights the RIAA

Monday, December 19th, 2005

Our friends Jon Newton and Jason Rohrer are helping Patti Santangelo defend herself against and RIAA filesharing lawsuit. It’s yet another example of how the major labels are stomping on people unfairly and with no accountability. Read more at p2pnet >>

Today is Dean Gray Tuesday

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

Today is Dean Gray Tuesday, a protest against the continued corporate censorship of music. Learn more and get involved >>

Downhill Battle is participating in the protest by offering the full album for download. Download American Edit.

Update: Tuesday is over and we’re taking down the files– sorry the bandwidth is killing us! Seems like it went wonderfully, congratulations to everyone who participated.

Singer Writes NY Times Op-ed on DRM

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

The lead singer of the major label band, OK GO got an op-ed piece into the New York Times yesterday. A big up to them, seriously. OK GO is on the EMI label and narrowly escaped EMI’s forceful hand at putting DRM on their most recently-released album and have been doing some anti-DRM talk for some time. DRM stands for digital rights management and refers to any software or hardware that locks down digital content. DRM is supported by the DMCA, which was passed in Congress and says that anything that tries to break that lock is in violation of the copyright. Damian says,

“We are also the sort of band that hasn’t yet gotten the full attention of MTV and major commercial radio stations, so those college students are our only window onto the world. They are our best chance for success, and we desperately need them to be listening to us, talking about us, coming to our shows and yes, trading us.”

The op-ed is an interesting read and gives a good run-down of why DRM is bad for small but majorly signed bands like theirs. Bands in this limbo zone often have a hard time making enough record sales to make a profit over and above the amount they owe to their label. So, there are two major issues involved here:

1a. Small major bands have a tough time making it and find themselves choosing between a rock and a hard place.

1b. Bands that are signed to major labels but aren’t big enough to survive without more radio play need some other form of play. (Read producer, Albini’s expose on the industry and small bands.)

2. Bands that must have DRM on their cd’s or music get a double punch and have less of a chance at getting popular.

This is good news that bands are getting political about their music and their right to let music spread on channels that are open to them, like the internet. It is also good news that the internet’s influence on music is getting mainstream press play, which points to the fact that the internet and the badness of DRM are becoming important pieces of music distribution and marketing.

The first time you may have heard of OK GO may be from their other internet-savvy move — this viral dance video and a half. They’re also really good at getting email addresses after their shows and have a huge and growing email list to advertise their shows on. They’re playing the new digital world music scene in a smart way and leave it up to you to decide if you like their music (and/or their politics).

Thanks, KD for being awares.