I definitely feel Erin's pain, but I think she's got a long road to travel to prove real infringement. It's certainly a rip off in spirit and the arrangements are shamefully close, but most of the similarities are in the set of very common tools: straight eight piano, the vocal doubling, the "girl growl" thing that so many singers are using these days it's really hard to tell them apart.
But in terms of exact melody, she might be out on a limb. That's one of the problems with a seven note scale - SO much has already been done.
For what it's worth, I think her poem is the better piece of work, and it really does sound like the guys who wrote it used it as a template and that's a real shame.
But, well, BOTH pieces are not exactly original sounding.
If it was an argument between two writers, I'd be a lot more inclined to say figure out a way to profit from the controversy and let the lawyers go make money off someone else. But it APPEARS (and I'm working from what I read so I may be wrong) that the whole thing was financed by a billion dollar multinational company specifically to sell beer.
So IF she has a case (and I think it's dubious, but I haven't transcribed the notes for a match) this would be the kind of thing that supports an argument for copyright. She's out there humpin' the boonies playing her tunes and some mega corp comes along and uses her tune for a template, sells a bunch of beer and makes a ton of money for a "song stylist." She'd be about 2/3rds of the way through her copyright, if we stuck to the original 14 year plan. It's supposed to give authors enough time to establish their works in the marketplace.
What I don't get, is the animosity toward Erin. She may or may not have a case, but it's similar enough to rightly feel like she did the work. She's working in the system we have, not the system many of us want. I wish her the best.
I moved my nine domain names last night to Namecheap at about 7pm, when the number was at around $21k. This morning, after doing the last confirmation link, the number was over $61k.
Moving to namecheap was really easy, their registration process and website is FAR easier to use, without the aggressive and slightly confusing ad gauntlet you have to go through with Godaddy and by purchasing last night, I donated $9 to EFF. Namecheap also adds your remaining time with Godaddy to your renewal time - so there is no $$ loss.
At around $10 a name, it appears pretty clear that at the very least, the boycott cost Godaddy around $600k in one day. Maybe that's chicken feed, but it would get my attention. Because it's not just this year - it's every year thereafter. It's a small pain to move my registration, but it's a pain, so unless you do something to really make me want to move, I'll probably stick with Namecheap for years to come.
It's not about secrecy, it's about winning the case. The IRS has a policy of not recognizing precedent. Sure they've lost thousands of cases over specific clauses in the tax code, but if you're audited, they'll say "prove it in court."
There is no "head in the sand" here - they are entirely aware they're using the law to obfuscate facts and deny the accused their basic rights.
One thing that came to mind when Phillip Pullman's "Golden Compass" did so poorly at the box office. It cane out at roughly the same time as the Narnia Series which did really well, and I realized that Pullman didn't have 30 years to imprint generation or two of kids.
Same thing with Rand. A lot of people will think "Atlas Shrugged" is garbage, but enough have been imprinted that it will do well. The beloved books of our childhood do well - even the awful ones.
I was taught the old way, but figured out the "guesstimate" way for multiplying things in my head.
The old way is much faster for large numbers - and also has a degree of certainty as you go along that is kind of comforting to me. Maybe it's ingrained prejudice, but my thinking is that arithmetic is about taking the guess work out of the basics.
Obviously both methods work, and of course explaining *why* something works has always been better for me. I just learned that rote has a purpose - get the scales down and the rest of the music theory will be *much* easier....
115,000 titles released in 2008. Does every one of those who "deserve" to make a living?
I just had a really validating weekend: we had a cd release party where we said "No one goes home without a cd - pay what you want. 25 cds went out the door and we averaged exactly we'd normally charge, $15 each. But the folks that paid less, were just as excited (maybe more) than the folks who paid $25.
On top of that, a fan who has been wanted to donate for years, received an inheritance and donated $2000.00 and said "Make more art and music!"
...because they'll actually get paid. Unless things have changed a whole lot since I was interested in affiliating with any of the PROs, the whole scam is based on exptrapolating plays based on a small sample ofmajor market commercial airplay. Which means if I get a few plays in Tacoma Lady Gaga gets my nickel. When you multiply that by 12,000 stations it starts to add up.
But wait, how will this "non-profit" make it's "administrative" costs if it can't shake down restaurants? hmmmm
That's the heart of the problem. We have to decide that a few years of empty but entirely dependable busses and trains / subways will be worth the investment, before we can really get people out of their cars.
Here in Seattle, which has a pretty decent system, it can still take you two to three hours to get from one part of town to another by bus, compared to a 15 minute trip by car, if you want to get there at 7pm on a Saturday night.
If you want to commute to downtown and back at rush hour, no problem. The rest of the time a couple of hills over and it's a nightmare.
The no free parking people want to penalize car users before we have solutions to moving people from one place to another. All it does is breed resentment for people that are trapped by the infrastructure. Until public transportation approximates the functionality of single vehicles, we're not going to get people out their cars.
Without payola, the DJs at the stations would play what they think is good, or what their audience are *actually* demanding - which can also be new music if it's good enough (and to be honest probably will be).
The DJs don't make those decisions. The Music Director and the Program Director decide. So the MDs might do that and sometimes actually do. The only place DJs have any say is on specialty programs which usually happen on the Sunday morning folk ghetto.
New music is added on Tuesdays and commercial stations add three new tunes a week. If they get serious response, and the records are selling, they end up in rotation. The labels pay to get them on the air and keep them there long enough to gauge the response, but that's about all they can do. The radio stations ride the line between the "comfort food" (wonderful metaphor!) of proved hits and enough new stuff to keep the playlist relevant.
All of this is happening in the context of mass market surveys. You get a call from a radio marketer and he plays you six seconds of a song. You rate it 1-5 and they throw out the ones and the fives, knowing that if people really like a tune, a significant proportion of the audience will also hate it. Programming for mediocrity.
The entire purpose of the music on radio stations is to get you to listen through the advertisements.
One of the reasons that ASCAP and other PROs are bad for the vast majority of composers is that they fight that kind of record keeping - the actual logging of actual songs performed - so they can funnel the collections to their major market composers.
They've been doing this kind of logging of plays at clubs in Europe all along. The people who actually write the songs are the people who get paid - not just the special designees of the major labels.
The PROs create more problems for upcoming artists by shaking down small venues.
"The idea goes like this: Impose a blanket license on copyright owners, making it legal for all their musical works to be shared online. In return, ISP customers would pay a monthly licensing fee. Music rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI would collect the licensing fees and distribute royalty payments to performers and songwriters."
Sorry, but that is simply a scam to funnel money to record labels again. Their payment models and collection methods more closely resemble extortion for mom and pop coffeehouses than anything equitable. Again they want to base the payment scheme on extrapolating the number of song plays from small samples - and they get to choose the sample pool.
The bottom line is that sharing is not stealing. If I make a copy of your shovel I am not stealing your shovel - I'm creating another bit of chattel. If I build a few more shovels, based on your design, and sell them, I might be infringing on your market. If I give them away and say "keep it if you like it" the person has the choice to keep it or pass it on - which *might* have cost you a sale or it might not have.
We've moved into a different business model of how music is heard and sold. In the old days, the only music that made it out to the market was controlled by a handful of gatekeepers - and they made the money. Now I can record a tune in my office and it can available to the entire world in minutes. It would be grossly unfair to anyone who creates to use the law to support the gatekeepers again instead of the creators.
You can try to force people to buy every copy of your music, but good luck getting heard. File sharing is the new radio play. I'm selling more now than I ever did in the old days.
Christopher Bingham has not submitted any stories.