While surfing Archive.org in search of a copy of Fahrenheit 911, the Michael Moore political film I came across a treasure trove of Grateful Dead bootlegs on their servers. The Dead are part of a US phenomenon of ‘jam bands’ – people who make their money by touring and sell just enough records for to keep them in the public eye. They did a multitude of cover versions and their concerts were a home from home for acid casualties from the 1960’s.
The Dead took a farsighted attitude to the nature of the copyright of their live concerts:
The Grateful Dead and our managing organizations have long encouraged the purely non-commercial exchange of music taped at our concerts and those of our individual members. That a new medium of distribution has arisen – digital audio files being traded over the Internet – does not change our policy in this regard. Our stipulations regarding digital distribution are merely extensions of those long-standing principles and they are as follow:
No commercial gain may be sought by websites offering digital files of our music, whether through advertising, exploiting databases compiled from their traffic, or any other means.
All participants in such digital exchange acknowledge and respect the copyrights of the performers, writers and publishers of the music.
This notice should be clearly posted on all sites engaged in this activity.
We reserve the ability to withdraw our sanction of non-commercial digital music should circumstances arise that compromise our ability to protect and steward the integrity of our work.
I have been off ill from work the past few days with flu and I had my posts largely pre-written, At the moment I am bored out of my skin and procrastinating about getting stuck into my IPR development plan. So I thought a book recommendation would be in order. I recently read Serpico by Peter Maas. Peter’s true-life account of officer Frank Serpico’s one man fight against corruption in the New York Police Department is a fantastic read. The Al Pacino film sticks pretty close to the book, but thats my recommendation for the moment!
According to Reuters, Elvis Presley’s back catalogue starts to become public domain from next year. Music industry fat cats are petrified as they see their revenues from The Beatles and the Rolling Stones start to go south in the near future. Maybe they should have invested in new talent instead? The BPI is trying to put the squeeze on the UK government to secure legislation similar to the Sonny Bono bill in the US, violating existing public rights.
Bainst is a web designer with a sense of humour based around subverting the form of communication. Check out some of his really cool viral videos. The Soul Calibur (a Mortal Kombat type fighting game for hormone crazed teenage boys) characters getting jiggy wid it, rather than taking chunks out of each other and a public service announcement making it clear why tax evasion is your civic duty!
URST (said so it rhymes with thirst) – unresolved sexual tension. A device and description used by soap opera script writers describing the relationship (or lack of it) between two characters according to the Late Late Breakfast Show on RTE.