Tag Archives: Copyright

‘Teachers Guide To Music, Media, And Copyright’ Review

James Frankel recently wrote a book released on Hal Leonard titled “Teachers Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright”. It sparked my interest, as I am a big fan of Larry Lessig and Creative Commons, and have self published my own CD of music, as well as written many works for media projects, so I decided to check it out.

The book covers exactly what it says – but in a very bare bones fashion. There’s no lawyer speak involved, and the entire book cover copyright, where its headed, and what it means to you as a teacher or educator. He tackles many frequently asked questions about Fair Use, Creative Commons, licenses, and more.

If you’re an educator and are looking for a quick and easy explanation on how to guide your lessons and make sure you don’t infringe on others’ rights, then this book is or you.

What else I enjoyed about this book is how it is Published in Association with TI:ME, which is the Technology Institute for Music Educators. Tom Rudolph is the President of TI:ME, who I first met in 2005 when he did a clinic on Sibelius, Finale, and Notion at the University of the Arts.

The only issue I have with this is how Wolfram Alpha and Wikipedia can be used for references because the scene changes so fast. Everything from the mechanical license fees, to the actual law is changing to the point that some things go out of date as soon as they publish. Besides, if worse came to worse I can always ask my Twitter followers or Youtube subscribers :)

Overall, its a great book, and one that you should check out in order to get you up to par with how things work. As an educator, your job is to inform your students with valuable knowledge. They learn simply by you leading by example, and therefore, you owe it to yourself to protect them, and you.

Twitter Brings Back @Replies After Uproar

Today, Twitter did the dumbest thing ever, and took away @Replies from people. Then finally, after the community uproar decided to retract their steps and bring it back.

twitter-restores-replies

As a marketing and social media guy specializing in music, I always keep a close eye to how these companies do things. I always think that these sites do this in order to test the community and create free PR. I even let my community know about it, and some agreed it was a possible occurrence.

So Twitter has fixed it by doing two things:

1.) Replies used from the arrow reply within the website will continue to be seen by everyone.

2.) Allowing a per-user choice of how replies and conversations are displayed to you. I wonder if this will battle Twirl, Tweetie, Tweetdeck, Ping.fm, Twitterific, TwitterFon and many other sites in hope to drive more traffic to Twitter’s website as opposed to third party clients.

twitter-failboat

I rememeber when Facebook redid their Terms of Service a few months ago basically claiming to own all of your content – Forever! As a result, the media picked up on it and the whole world went crazy – rightfully so. But look at what happens when people uproar: The community gets closer!

The reason why Creative Commons is such a viral tactic for companies, bands, and content producers is because it allows their content to be shared and as a result be seen by people that they would never have had access to through other means. The same goes with this Twitter mistake : when a company makes its’ community unhappy – people tell their Facebook friends, email people, retweet, youtube, etc. their thoughts. The fact that people on Twitter get upset gives us all something to talk about and connect with each other.

This is just my theory, but its a good one – because if Techcrunch no longer allowed comments on their blog, then their subscribers would let them know – but ultimately, it would create a stronger community, because after Techcrunch allowed comments again, then the community would feel a sense of satisfaction and closeness.

Anyway, I’m glad Twitter learned from their mistakes, and I’m glad social media brought us all together – because ultimately, that’s what it was for in the first place.

Stock 20 Does Royalty Free Music Publishing

Ever wanted to get your music into a video game, commercial, or movie?

Some prefer to go through websites that do the Music Publishing for you. Publishing is the idea of getting your music ‘placed’ in a media project. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Music Supervisors oversee a project and decide what music works best for a given project, and then there are the negotiations, copyright, etc. that go with it.

I had recently wrote about Pump Audio, Taxi, and more a few weeks ago. Enter Stock 20.

Stock 20 has a music library of ‘Royalty Free Music for Media Professionals’. Granted, there is no shortage of Royalty Free Music services online. But the idea is to

Having someone else do the muck work for you is pretty cool. In a world of Creative Commons and self publishing, I tend to wonder how those effect the business models of these companies. Either way, perhaps Stock 20 or some of the other sites are right for you.

Napster Killed The Pirate-Star

…Or maybe Napster created the Pirate Star. Either way, people have always stole music and art, but this became a common problem when Napster allowed ‘mass file sharing’. As a result – literally overnight – founder/creator Shawn Fanning changed the music world forever. People no longer were handing off burned CD’s to one or two friends – they were sending out mp3’s to millions of people.

It creates a few problems. So with the news that Sweden is cracking down on Piracy, what does this mean for all the Pirates and File Sharers throughout the world?

1.) Copyright.

2.) The world needs P2P sites. Many GNU, Creative Commons, and more depend on these services to increase their outreach. Websites like download.com thrive on these open-source projects, too.

3.) There will always be another way. Come out with a solution, and in 2 weeks people will find a way around it. Look at security risks in Microsoft, iTunes, Limewire, Kazaa, and more. Heck, even people are smart enough to escape prison and out-think the thinkers. Its a cat and mouse game that’ll never end.
4.) Privacy issues. People have a right to anonymity… but what if they steal something? Technically, when ISP’s (like Time Warner, Verizon, Comcast, etc.) give you the service, you sign their Terms of Use that states they can give out your info for certain situations.

So generally, there was ALWAYS pirating since the dawn of the 8track. The problem is, that Napster created such an exponential outreach around trading files, that it killed the artform. Other projects such as Muxtape were ‘OK’ until they became too big. The result is that things are ignored until they cross a threshold of viewers/participants.

The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Steve Vai, Poison, Guns and Roses and yes, even Metallica created their empires by not trying to do everything themselves.

Let’s look at Facebook Platform, Youtube, and Apple’s App Store: These three services allow for user-generated content. Why? Because the users generate the content and market themselves within their own community. As a result, the real winners are actually Facebook, Apple, and Youtube. Not only that – they also scale!

So let’s take this concept and apply it to music. If I’m playing shows every night in front of 10 people, I may never create an audience of 100,000 screaming fans… but now if my fans help me out – then it creates an army. It creates a village. Ultimately, it creates a community. Because those fans tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, etc. As a result, you reach people though the nook and crannies that you would’ve never dreamed possible. This is why Youtube, Facebook, Meetup.com, Wikipedia, Apple App, Linkedin, Twitter, and Musicians have learned to ‘win’ in this space.

So pirating was ALWAYS around – the problem is that Napster made it so easily excessible and exponential, that it essentially killed the Pirate Star.

Sweden Piracy Law Gives IP Addresses To Copyright Holders

I learned today from Total Format that Sweden is attempting to put an end to piracy – specifically peer-to-peer networks. The editor, Detomah, mentioned how Sweden has a very large piracy community (roughly 8% of the population), and The Pirate Bay is actually based in Sweden.

Basically, this new law allows copyright holders to approach Internet service providers (ISP’s) to obtain IP Addresses of illegal downloaders of their content. While the risks of getting caught are still low, it created a serious impact already – minimizing internet traffic by 30% since the laws creation.

The thing is there is a lot more to pirating than simply The Pirate Bay. You have Limewire, FTP, email, Mininova, BTjunkie, torrentz, and much more in order to send stuff out.

So its illegal to steal in a store – why not online? The major problem with file sharing isn’t hurting the pockets of the musicians. It hurting the pockets of those “behind” the scenes. Its hurting the music publishers, art designers, marketers, music engravers, manufacturers, and more.

So what’s my thoughts on this? Well, I think Piracy can be a good thing. The understanding is that when things get passed around its a free form of advertisement. Consider it a loss-leader. Losing money on the sale of music commonly leads to other venues of creating revenue (like merchandise and concert tickets), and sometime even builds a community much quicker. The reason for this is simple – today’s word of mouth is on steroids. We no longer tell one person, we now tell the whole world through our social networks.

At least this is the idea behind music. Things change when you get involved with film – because if you steal Star Wars Episode IV, then your probably not going to run out and watch the movie at your local theater (you MAY however, become a hardcore Star Wars fan and start buying all the action figures). But granted there’s never ANYTHING such as a free lunch – ever. Stealing hurts people, whether its for the long run or the short run. So as someone who gives his music away, what’s my conclusion? Well, to be honest, I don’t know – and that’s scary. Because for music it has made sense, but for the entertainment industry things get cloudy :(

So what’s your thoughts on this?

Will Facebook Go The Way Of Myspace?

Attention Musicians: Myspace is slowly dying a slow death. The thing is.. Facebook is slowly reminding me of MySpace.

The problem is that these websites try to be “All things to all people.” But unfortunately, business isn’t always like that. The secret to a successful business is in niche markets. Its the same for music, art, poetry, car manufacturers, friendships, etc.

“If you try to please everyone – you please no one.”

facebook-clutter-rs

Here is how my Facebook page looked the other day. Links, Pictures, Links, Ads, Updates, blah!

So will Facebook die?

The short answer is No… at least not yet. But I don’t use Facebook like I used to anymore. I go on once a week. I go on Myspace once a month. But I use Twitter every. single. day. Facebook has so far failed on several accounts:

1.) Facebook has an identity problem. Ever since Twitter rejected their buyout referenced to be $500 million dollars, Facebook has tried to copy Twitter’s status update features, and please everyone. I now only use Facebook to send emails to friend, make events, and maybe look at a picture or two.

2.) Facebook’s Copyright crisis. This destroys your brand, and ultimately your community. Owning content is something people don’t want other’s to have control over. Its been proven this destroys Music Bands, artists, and generates self-publishers.

3.) Ads in your face. We understand you have to monetize, but there are non obtrusive ways to do it. Facebook takes longer to load now because the ads and pictures, etc. I can’t navigate it anymore, and I can’t find links I thought were easily found in the past.

4.) Social Networking is so 2008. This is an interesting thing to mention. I look at how new social sites are destroying the traditional model. Looking at Friendster, Myspace, Twitter, Ning, Facebook, Plurk, Linkedin, Virb, Flickr, etc. and I generally don’t use any of them anymore… except Twitter (which has replaced my business card, email, Facebook, flickr, and more)

5.) Be your biggest fan. You have to be a voice amongst the community. Myspace Tom and Twitter Ev did it right. They were a part of their networks. They were the face of their community. But I don’t get that from Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook. I don’t get that from any of these websites. You have to build trust, create a sharp direct niche market, and listen to the people who helped build up the service in the first place.

Facebook still has yet to monetize, where as Twitter has several options for itself to be successful. The secret to Twitter is in its’ search feature, which will soon function similar but more specific than Google’s search. But maybe Twitter even uses Adwords to monetize – only time will tell.

Facebook is an amazing service – they just have growing pains. So will Facebook go the way of MySpace? Well, “All things rise and all things fall.” Its only a matter of when, and how far. What do you think?

Why Creative Commons Rocks!

Creative Commons is the new Copyright. I refer to it as Copyright 2.0

Why is this important, well, because my music is licensed Creative Commons which allows people to use my music, mash it up, and do what they want with it. Here’s the license which allows you to remix, mash-up, do whatever you like. Drop me a line if you do anything with it, I’d love to check it out!

This piece titled “Webcomic Commandos… again” by Orenotter uses my music, and I think this is awesome. Granted, this isn’tthe first remix using my music. The world in changing, technology is bringing us together in ways we would have never dreamed of years ago. Here’s an example of what someone did to my piece ‘Airies’. Pretty cool.

Thanks to the podcasters, tubers, remixers and bloggers who spread the word about my music. And of course thanks to you for checking out my work and everyone who paid for the music even though you didn’t have to!

‘Circles’ Creative Commons Student Video!

This video takes advantage of my Creative Commons License! Awesome! Plus the video is pretty cool too. Big Ups to Cash4freeonline for posting this! I’m sure there’s other Youtube mashups, but this one is cool!

‘Circles’ is available Here.