In terms of Bjork's approach to art I assume there indeed is reason to leave portation to fans.
As well as being interested in getting fans involved in participating in art as much as possible by remixing, gaming etc, it takes this approach even step further. Fans are implicitly told to rework the code. And giving that every part in Bjork's art is part of the whole piece of art, fans are even participating in collaborating and evolving the technology part of it.
It's straight forward and consistent. Love that. Just hoping that their fans are not just taking Android or whatevs in account, but also HTML5. Now THAT would be awesome.
In the very special case of Germany, there's another problem related to the Google blog mess.
Obviously, there are loads of artists' sites promoting widgets to be used on other sites, as well as there are labels seeding content & the likes to blogs. BUT.
Here comes GEMA (German collection society). They just recently "opened up" for allowing at least artists to use their own work on their own sites (!) without having to report this use of streaming or downloading to GEMA. Remember: Artist sites have a commercial purpose. Any commercial site using streaming/downloading has to license this use with GEMA.
Yes, you got it right: There actually have been times (a year ago or so), that legally an artist had to pay a licence when including his tracks on his site.
Back to promotion & widgets: Every company site, every blogger earning money by blogging (= commercial site) has to report the use of promotional elements like players, widgets etc. to GEMA. If it's not content that's licensed with Creative Commons, the company/blogger has to pay.
Of course, it's often difficult to divide commercial from private sites. Mine is commercial, since I'm not only blogging but offering consultancy. Bingo.
That's why I deleted all streams and music videos some time ago. But, I decided to report instead - that's why now you find a video by Zoe.LeelA in the most recent article. Though CC licensed, I am urged to report it.
Here we are. No matter how transparent the workflow of marketing/legal hands at labels is in Germany, promotion that's explicitly intended by artists or labels is only possible if you report the use to GEMA and if you license it (= $$$).
Btw, the amount you have to pay depends on the percentage of music content on your site, and on page impressions. After all, it might be hard to find what category (and licence amount) you're in - don't know about you, but the number of page impressions differs depending on the tool you use.
Finally, to anyone who's in doubt - since I personally had doubt if GEMA is that restrict on promotional widgets (SoundCloud partnered with another company recently just to provide this tool of marketing) - I asked GEMA's director responsible for legal issues.
He confirmed what I described above.
Actually, they know how to run a show - newthinking communications are also organizing "re:publica" each year around March/April. Next year it's the fourth one.
But... usually you have a year to go! ;)
It's not about mass mailings. It's been Twitter. And word of mouth. Heavily. I read about the petition and instantly contacted people I knew because they are like-minded. And I tweeted (like others did). And those following my tweets are the same. This is where real and huge masses are built. Social media. So call me Ché "GEMA" Senges if you like... it's about messaging, people decide to sign by themselves.
There are several detailed issues GEMA is picking up in the newsletter. It's about new rates and transparency by communication. The latter refers to 3 issues of a print magazine a year plus a regular newsletter. Whoa. That's a lot. Regarding new rates - have a look at the articles at ContentSphere.de. You have to know of these rates, and GEMA consultants apparently tend to not mention them (see discussion at petition forum).
I'll try to address the GEMA newsletter in an upcoming article of mine at ContentSphere.de.
One thing: I honestly thank GEMA for appealing for an objective tone in discussion. Absolutely no pun in that. When discussing these issues we need to be objective. After all, we're all in the same boat. Let's go for improving what we've got. That's what the petition is aiming at.
[Ok, obviously I have to break my post down to two replies...]
Just 2 days ago I received GEMA's most recent newsletter. It's dedicated in its entirety to the petition dealt with in the articles on ContentSphere.de (thanks to Mike for linking above).
Basically, it's a call on their members to take part in the discussion going on at the petition's forum (currently about 1.100 posts). Obviously, due to the fact mostly people who vote at the petition do actually visit the site, there are lots of posts against GEMA. So it's only fair to push the few who are lost in the masses.
Now the fun begins. The newsletter kindly lists arguments to be used when posting. And I really suffered from an outbreak of spontaneous laughter when I read (translated into English):
"Since 20 June 2009 classical methods of 'Guerilla' marketing were taken such as mass mailings to selected target groups like media representatives, event managers, politicians and musicians."
Let's see... mass mailings? People involved were mostly private people. Those people rarely do have databases of clients to make use of. Well, even if they do have one - I don't think there'll be more than 1.000 entries. And even if there would be a hundred people sending such a "mass mailing"... the intersection of addressees will be very large. To be honest, it's more than difficult to get 1.000 different recipients. Say, it's 10.000 people (now that really is a high estimate) receiving "mass mails" - please have a look at the petition. We are getting close the 100k mark here.
[more: see next part of comment]
Just heard GEMA announced a special press conference for today.
ehrichweis, you're missing the point. GEMA starts effectively to stifle alternatives like Jamendo in birth. arne said, that another law suit might end up differently. That's right. But although Germany has another jurisdiction, they still look for precedences.
By setting up a general statement like the "GEMA assumption" (which is really ridiculous and embarassing at the same time), they are founding the basics for upcoming law suits - in particular, if they find support by law.
Nonetheless, there's still hope the judgment I referred to as been based on more facts than just the "GEMA assumption". Yet the GEMA is an opponent hard as rock. They are quite infamous for for enforcing financial claims.
Referring to Marjorie Scardino's (CEO at Pearson, publisher of Financial Times) keynote at SIIA this year, I compared her business model to music business. Result: 1) Provide service and involvement of fans, 2) Offer a product exceeding generic content that otherwise might get illicitly distributed, 3) Generate profit from added value and motivation of fans. However, you nailed it. The presentation really struck me (since I posted my article just a few days ago), so I featured it on my ContentSphere blog. Keep up the brilliant work.