[iDC] Fwd: Battling Bragg beats MySpace
hmusic at ozemail.com.au
Fri Jun 30 21:56:43 EDT 2006
Couldn't agree more, Andreas.
If you thought the MySpace terms sucked, you should read the YouTube ones
American Idol Underground had a similar problem when it tried to recruit
CDBaby artists. Someone actually read the terms and posted a discussion
point, which forced the company to redraft its agreement ... (I read them
but didn't mind because I don't have as much at stake as Billy Bragg! see
But this is not a problem with the Internet, this is a problem with HYPE.
Caveat Emptor, as the saying goes, applies *especially* to the Internet but
people with large PR budgets and good relationships with multinational media
companies don't want the rest of the population to think too hard about it.
It's the Wild, Wild West, and gullible and ignorant people (I put myself in
that category, though I've been luckier than most :-) fall into the trap
because it's a basic human urge to want things to be better than they are
BTW - MySpace was seen as the "good guy" not because of its populartity (on
the grand scale, its traffic was trivial until News Ltd bought it and
started to use its global media reach to promote MySpace) but because the
nature of the popularity achieved through it had "cred" in an anti-fan age.
In other words, the "popularity" was mythologised (and it still is) as being
generated by "real" people finding music and spreading the word via social
netwoks rather than large companies' publicity budgets being used to
colonise popular opinion. But guess what?? It was only a matter of time
before the very-clever people whose entire lives are devoted to promoting
music figured out how to manipulate these rules, too. All of the
"successes" from Myspace - Sandi Thom, The Artic Monkeys, DJ Lars, etc have
the backing of very clever, experienced big-budget promotion companies!
Their relationships are subtly different to those of the traditional record
company approach, but where's the "cred" now??? (I don't know the answer to
that one, only time tell, but it's an interesting redrawing of the ground
My current theory is that MySpace is doomed to go the way of the Dodo if
News Ltd is not careful to preserve the "cred". Any more stories about
pedophiles stalking residents, bands' popularity being manipulated, legal
and privacy impediments being raised in the name of reducing exposure to
risk, etc, and the whole things loses the major appeal it had to members.
They go somewhere else (there's no shortage of alternatives) and the whole
brand is worthless ... and the stench will probably affect the others, but
that's a harder line to justify. We'll see what happens.
My PhD topic is an investigation of the effectiveness of using MySpace, etc
as a promotional device for independent musicians ... I'll keep you posted.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andreas Schiffler" <aschiffler at ferzkopp.net>
To: "Chris Byrne" <chris at crowriver.net>
Cc: "IDC list" <idc at bbs.thing.net>
Sent: Saturday, July 01, 2006 12:23 AM
Subject: Re: [iDC] Fwd: Battling Bragg beats MySpace
> While I fully agree with this the general "suckyness" of the original
> MySpace copyright and the current move to alleviate that, I feel that
> Billy Bragg and "the next generation of artists" that use the internet
> to avoid "physical manufacturing and distribution" are running around
> with blindfolds over their eyes if they try to market themselves through
> For example, to avoid his copyright issues, he could have rented a
> virtual fileserver with domain ($3.19/month for the Economy hosting plan
> at godaddy.com). And just for fun, I commented a screenshot of Billy's
> MySpace page - not as a personal critique, but merely to illustrate
> the general tech-unsavyness that is apparent.
> So what does this mean? Here we have a prime example how many of us (and
> I don't exclude myself) are stumbling around this new "net world" trying
> to make sense of the things - from technical issues to legal ones like
> copyright. I think we are generally failing to protect our rights and
> privacy due to the inherent complexities of the technology and murky
> nature of its laws. MySpace was seen as "the good guy" because of its
> popularity ... until someone actually read the "legal.html" page and
> made their copyright policy more public. But who is to blame? I could
> argue that Billy doesn't deserve better if his songs are taken away by
> News Corp - it was stated in the "legal.html" that they could and I am
> sure he clicked on the "I Agree" button during signup. Or do we need to
> police these service providers better and dissallow them to do these
> kind of blanket "upload it and give up your rights" policies. I would
> argue that the second option is the better one, but that would get very
> political very quickly.
> Recently I read about a policy shift with a big Canadian ISP that will
> enable them to 'monitor or investigate content or your use of your
> service provider's networks and to disclose any information necessary to
> satisfy any laws, regulations or other governmental request.' once you
> sign on to their service.
> Wow, that sucks away my privacy, I thought - although I am with a
> competitor for my internet needs, my ISP will probably soon do the same
> in due time. So here I am - technically astute and with a Linux server
> in the basement and two hours later I had the TOR http://tor.eff.org/
> server running and PRIVOXY http://www.privoxy.org/ removing the
> GoogleAds on the fly. Finally private surfing again - but uselessly
> slow, and oh so ineffective against an ISP! Last week when I was
> streaming a worldcup soccer game from my home PC to the office, the
> provider seemd to put a filter on my connection after about a day of
> streaming. No more outgoing video packets pass through my wire now ...
> and no this is not port filtering, believe me I tried.
> My personal conclusion: Living with "the net" means being smart about it
> (=extra effort). And maybe one should at least think about an "exit
> strategy" when it becomes time to drop out from parts of the net.
> Chris Byrne wrote:
>> New Corp's MySpace has changed the terms and conditions it offers
>> artists, following a recent protest by UK singer/songwriter, Billy Bragg.
>> "Now that the popularity of downloading has made physical
>> manufacturing and distribution no longer necessary, the next
>> generation of artists will not need to surrender all of their rights
>> in order to get their music into the marketplace. It is therefore
>> crucial that they understand, from the moment that they first post
>> music on the internet, the importance of retaining their long term
>> right to exploit the material that they create."
>> (It seems the notion of authorship still is very much alive in the Web
>> 2.0 world, at least when it comes to music - Chris)
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>> iDC at bbs.thing.net
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