Category Archives: law

"De Morgen" ripping pics off Flickr

Copyright infringement warningThis is sad isn’t it. Turns out a major Belgian newspaper called De Morgen ripped some guys pictures about the Burning Man festival off his Flickr foto gallery without paying, or even contacting him.

This kind of stuff is extra sad because a newspaper should damn well be aware of things like copyright violations and such, and definitely be respecting the copyright of others, if they want their own rights to be respected as well.

They sure lost my respect, but I guess they wouldn’t care less about the little man, judging from what they where up to…

googling for porn

You probably heard about this by now but the Google subpoena is a real bitch. So the government wants to invade the privacy of every American, and I’m pretty sure non-Americans such as myself as well by getting search query information concerning kiddy porn. I can’t say I don’t like them fighting that smut though, but they are violating “our” civil rights in the process as well, and that’s a no-no in my book.

Google seems to be the only one that didn’t fold (here’s a big FU to MSN and Yahoo btw, who did turn over the requested data) I’d say they are definitely sticking by their “don’t be evil” motto.

One thing did hit me though when I read about all this stuff. Google has a awful lot of information on all of us using their services. Through your google account they can track your recent web queries, your email traffic, your blogging activity…

I didn’t have a problem with that before, because I trust Google for some reason. Problem is, if they are forced to hand over the data by the government… that trust in Google isn’t worth a damn anymore is it.
I bet a lot of people will be started to look into anonymisers and stuff like that before they start surfing for their dose of explicit nudity in the future…

amen brother

Remember that cool amen narrative sample in that Fucknose set I talked about here?
Of course you don’t, but that doesn’t matter, I just came across the whole thing, a history of the Winstons “Amen Brother” break.

Can I Get An Amen? is an audio installation that unfolds a critical perspective of perhaps the most sampled drums beat in the history of recorded music, the Amen Break. It begins with the pop track Amen Brother by 60’s soul band The Winstons, and traces the transformation of their drum solo from its original context as part of a ‘B’ side vinyl single into its use as a key aural ingredient in contemporary cultural expression. The work attempts to bring into scrutiny the techno-utopian notion that ‘information wants to be free’- it questions its effectiveness as a democratizing agent. This as well as other issues are foregrounded through a history of the Amen Break and its peculiar relationship to current copyright law.

a white label record playing

sampling is bad mkay

Something scary I read on Wired today :


A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work � even minor, unrecognisable snippets of music.

Though the article focuses mainly on rap artists, who are making big bucks using unknown samples from older funk (or whatever) tunes, this could easily be extrapolated to other musical genres, such as electronic ones which are based on sampling old funk, hip-hop, rave and hardcore tunes. Genres like drum’n’bass, breakcore, breaks and a dozen others heavily depending on recycling sounds of the past could become more or less endangered by a law like this.

Keep you hands off our Amens and Firefights judges, or your in for a shit load of trouble… :)
Lighten up on the copyright thing ffs.

land of the free, home of the…

This is amazing, picked it up from slashdot

The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by everybody’s favorite senator, Orrin Hatch, is moving to outlaw P2P entirely by making it illegal to produce such applications.

The plan is to make p2p apps illegal in The States because they “indice” copyright violation.
It’s like WTF!? What kind of a stupid idea is that anyway. What’s next, are they gonna outlaw weapons next because they “indice” murder? They should actually, but they just don’t get that one apparently, but when it comes down to software and p2p, oh yeah, after being seriously brown nosed by MPAA and RIAA they’ll be passing that one for sure.

What happened to freedom of speech? Couldn’t that be applied to writing software as well? I guess not, since nobody in the US will have the right to write a filesharing app when this bill passes.
Funny though, but what about webservers, don’t they allow sharing of files as well? Maybe we’ll get rid of MicroSoft after all. Hey, when you come to look at it, this bill might not be so bad after all… not!

And since Europe isn’t following quite yet, we’ll be writing all the p2p apps over here (or the rest of the world for that matter), and the evil US filesharers can download and use those instead.
Besides, if I remember correctly Kazaa for instance isn’t even on US soil anymore, so how is this bill going to stop that in the first place.

Ah well, I’m glad I don’t live in the US. Now let’s hope the European lawmakers are just a tad smarter and manage to keep software patents out of the European patent system.

DRM systems are bad for business

So the Beastie Boys have a new album out, which I was looking into getting myself a copy, since I already have most of their other albums, and I’ve always liked their fun approach to hip-hop.
It turns out that their latest CD however contains MacroVisions CDS-200 DRM technology which has “features” that stop me from ripping the CD to mp3’s, and even stop me from playing it back using my favourite player.

Since I’ve put quite some money in my PC over the years it has grown out to become my major sound equipment as well. I used to play my CD’s from it, because the speakers are way better than the old CD player I have, and later when harddrive space allowed this, I ripped the most recently bought CD’s to my HD where they are only a single right click away from being enqueued in WinAmp, ready for hours of legitimate musical delight, even if I forgot to take the CD out of my car.
The Beastie Boys / EMI however do not allow you to do this, even though you’ve paid for the CD. Instead you get forced to listen using some shitty player they put on the CD, and only from the original medium.

There are a few things about this that really annoy me.
One of them is that if I buy this CD I will not be allowed to listen to it the way I’m used to and want to. I’m not planning on sharing high quality mp3 rips on various file sharing networks, I just want to rip them to my HD because it’s soooo much handier.
Second thing is that DRM software can usually be easily circumvented by a bit of a techy. So basically there will always be plenty of people out there who manage to rip and share the CD anyway, allowing the non-techies to download them.
To make things even worse, the copy control system is only used in Europe, which means US and UK citizens are free to rip and share.
This whole thing is just encouraging me to get a copy off a p2p network instead of buying the damn thing, because that’s the only way I’ll be able to listen to it how I want, unless I want to waste my time finding out how the protection can be broken.

There’s no way pirates are going to be stopped by this. Look at all the drum’n’bass releases available on various filesharing networks. A lot of those have only been available on vinyl, a not so easy to rip format, but it certainly hasn’t slowed it down, or stopped it. The only ones being screwed are the honest (European) buyers who legitimately get their copies from their local recordstore.

The big labels burning this crap on their CD’s should read this excellent article on DRM by Cory Doctorow and finally realise that mp3’s and filesharing networks are here to stay.

Forget those old fashioned ideas and get with the program.