Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category (feed)

POLL: Who or what would you save?

I asked the question on Twitter a few days ago, and none of my 860 followers replied. I won’t let off that easily.

So, let’s assume that our galaxy is imminently dying for some reason. From all intelligent species out there, only one has the capability of traveling beyond this galaxy. Before they leave this galaxy for good, they go from intelligently habitable planet to planet to ask the life forms there about what would they send along to save. They have limited cargo space, and they aren’t terribly good in biology (so frozen eggs and human gestation is out of the question). So, if you were some kind of World President, who or what would you sent along to save humanity, and why:

The Art of Steal

I watched this documentary on Netflix tonight, “The Art of Steal”. It’s a documentary describing the history of Dr Barnes‘ post-impressionist art collection, and the eventual demise of the Barnes Foundation, with the city of Philadelphia taking control of that art (that is now estimated at over $25 billion). The documentary is trying to convince us of the travesty of the art ending up on a museum in the central Philadelphia, while Barnes’ will was for it to stay at its original building forever (in a residential neighborhood), be closed to the public, never be loaned, and only be opened to students. The documentary is pretty one-sided, and it mostly shows the opinions of members of the “Friends of Barnes” organization, that want to continue Dr Barnes’ wishes, and avoid the financial exploitation of his art.

After watching the documentary, I felt completely appalled by the various speakers, who I can only call “elitists”. They genuinely think that the right thing to do is to continue Dr Barnes’ wishes. That this was Barnes’ art. Well, I don’t hold the same opinion, and I’m in fact glad that the City of Philadelphia got hold of the art, even if it might have been via not so clean legal methods.

Art belongs to the people. End of story. According to Wikipedia: “Among its collection are 181 works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 69 by Paul Cézanne, 59 by Henri Matisse, 46 by Pablo Picasso, 21 by Chaim Soutine, 18 by Henri Rousseau, 16 by Amedeo Modigliani, 11 by Edgar Degas, 7 by Vincent Van Gogh, 6 by Georges Seurat, as well as numerous other masters, including Giorgio de Chirico, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Paul Gauguin, El Greco, Francisco Goya, Edouard Manet, Jean Hugo, Claude Monet, Maurice Utrillo, William Glackens, Charles Demuth, Maurice Prendergast, and a variety of African artworks, ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art, and American and European decorative arts and metalwork.” Under no circumstances this major inheritance of human culture should be kept away from the public. Doing so, it’s a crime against the very fabric of humanity. It’s elitism. It’s censorship even.

According to the documentary, the reason why Dr Barnes didn’t want his art shown to the public was because he had thin skin. At the beginning of his collection hobby, he loaned it to the Philly Art Museum for an exhibition, and art critics said that it sucked. He did get really bad reviews in the newspapers of 1922. So he got pissed off, and since then he didn’t want to do anything with the commercial art establishment. He kept his paintings behind closed doors, and only showed them to students. Just because the people at large did not realize YET these painters as great artists.

But, but… isn’t the same for any new art? Every time a new kind of art emerged, in any artistic field, it has always been met with skepticism, even hatred. But people “get it” sooner or later, and eventually that art becomes classic. As it did a few short years after the incident. But Mr Barnes was still pissed off, and nothing would cool him off. And even today, 60 years after his death, his disciples would still speak about Barnes’ wishes. Who the fuck cares about Barnes’ wishes? The guy owned the art, then he died, then this art MUST become public domain. As ALL art should after a period of time. Art is human history in the making, and belongs to no one. Artists and collectors should benefit from them for a time, so they can sustain themselves financially, but after a while, art must be given back to the world. That’s why I’m also advocating that copyright shouldn’t last more than 20-25 years either. And if the copyright holder dies, the art becomes immediately free. Any children of the artist/collector should create their own legacy and not piggyback and live off their parents’ money and fame. At least not when it comes to art, literature etc.

Another point discussed in the film was about the disagreement on moving the museum from the original Barnes building to downtown Philly. Again, I’m with the city here, because the downtown will allow more people to see the art. The Foundation needed permission to build a parking lot in the area, they didn’t get it because the neighbors fought it in court (remember that the building is in a residential area), and it was for 52 cars only anyway. 52 cars is simply not enough to hold large crowds, and the building itself is very small.

Now, regarding the money-grabbing politics behind the scenes between the various foundations and politicians, it might very well be a good point that the art was “stolen” by these foundations. But honestly, this is besides the point. As long as the art is not sold back to private collectors, and instead is remained on museums (even on tour), I’d be happy with that. The more people see the art, the better it is. I’m pretty sure the artists themselves would rather see their art enjoyed by the masses, rather than by a few collectors who feel that they’re above all, and they don’t want to share with anyone else. It’s like someone has the answer to renewable clean energy but not sharing the invention with the world, just because “New Scientist” said the claimed technology is science fiction. Keeping such a grudge is a bad thing.

The Guardian: Rock’n’Roll is Dead

The Guardian has an informative article on the state of rock as a popular music genre. Basically, they say that it’s dead, with the lowest number of songs in the top-100 in the last 50 years. And the artists that still sell well, are 50 year old classic rock musicians who are about to retire soon.

I do agree with the article, it seems that popular genres usually last about 60 years, it was the same for Jazz, and even Baroque, Classical, and Early and Late Romantic. Which probably means that Hip-Hop has another ~25 years to live on too…

I feel that the future of popular music will use even more electronic influences and instruments, and it will split into two categories: one that has a super-distinct beat, like the crap that The Black Eyed Peas do, and one that’s more fluid and ethereal, like Washed Out.

But enough with the futurology. I believe that the reason Rock is dead, is two fold:

One, as mentioned above, its time has come. It’s a genre that has been studied, and explored to its fullest. Musically-speaking, there is nothing more to see there. Even when we listen to “alternative” rock music these days, even that sounds “old”. I found it very telling myself when 2 years ago iTunes moved all “adult alternative rock” bands (e.g. The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc) from the Alternative genre to Rock (as in, classic rock). As for the best new rock bands, like Wavves, Tame Impala, Surfer Blood, Deerhunter, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and Best Coast, their sound is just a rehash of old ’60s and ’70s styles.

The second reason is more important though: Rock is dead because no one has anything useful to say. When the musicians and the listeners don’t talk about socio-political problems anymore, that’s the real death of rock, a genre that goes hand in hand with rebellion, and fight for a better future. These past few years have been pretty tremulous, with wars, and civil liberties that have been slashed away, and yet, most rock bands prefer to sing about love, and the suburbs, instead. Technology has raised a lot of new issues too, but so far, no genre is tackling them. Hip-Hop does a poor job talking for anything apart race issues, and how to get rich.

So no wonder rock is dead. There is no market to sell true rock, as the Western countries are full of citizens who don’t care about fighting for their rights anymore, as long as they have a plate of food, and a TV in front of them. Much like the Romans, who lost their republic into an empire after their stomach was full of free, government-provided bread, and the Colosseum was open for business.

Why I dislike pop music

While I’m not a hipster (unless they’re also scruffy, and wear pajamas most of the time), I definitely listen to hipster music, aka “Pitchfork mandates”.

2 years ago I was a normal middle-aged geek, listening mostly to pop (e.g. Rihanna), and adult alternative rock (e.g. The Killers). Amidst the copyright wars I decided to search online for legal free indie music, in addition to my iTunes purchases. What I found instead was a whole new world of sound. A different way of thinking and appreciating music. I resisted at first, discarding such music as unmelodious and not fun, but I came around, and “got it.”

Then, I started to think about what it is that makes pop hits feel so cheesy, old style, and kits. Formulaic, easily anticipated music constructs was one point, but there was something else too that I couldn’t pinpoint at first. A few days ago I finally realized what was it: it’s the forceful nature of pop singing.

Read the rest of this entry »

GREEKS: Stop the Government from selling more WATER to corporations

The fact that “water” is the next “oil” is not well understood by most people. They don’t realize that in the next 40-50 years water will be so expensive, that many will perish for not having access to it — just like they do today in Africa.

In fact, many people think that Africa doesn’t have clean water because “there’s no water there, it doesn’t rain often”. This is a huge mistake. The reason why Africans don’t have potable water is because all their clean water is sold to corporations by their governments (in order to pay national debt). The water is pumped out and sold back to Africans for a stupendously high price. Africans are poor (for similar corporation-theft reasons), and so they simply can’t afford to buy clean water. So they have to just use whatever dirty water they can find near their villages.

This is what is going to happen to Greece in the next 30 years too. I remember when I was a kid that the river Acherontas was full of water, even in Summer. These days, it only has a few streaks of water in it, and very few eels/fish survive. When my mom was a kid she remembers even more water in that river!

Greece has already water shortages during summer, but things are going to get worse. The government has put on sale its water stakes in order to pay for debt (exactly what happened to African countries).

Water shortages happen because of dams which disrupt the flow and flora, over-consumption, bottling & exportation, de-forestation, and because of city asphalt, which drives water to the sea instead of its natural cycle of soil/clouds/soil. This makes the planet a DESERT. In a few years Greece will officially be a desert. But it doesn’t stop there. Because there is no water anymore under the soil, the Earth’s crust cracks. And when that happens, big earthquakes happen. And big sinkholes too, out of nowhere.

We are killing our planet and ourselves. If this continues, one of the first “developed” countries that will die in the upcoming “World Water Wars”, is Greece.

A few months ago there was an uproar in Greece about the prospects of selling Greek islands in order to pay for debt. I can tell you right here that selling a few small Greek islands is MUCH MORE APPROPRIATE than selling even more water to the big water corporations (the biggest ones are Vivendi, Nestle (Κορπή), RWE, Suez, Thames Water, Coca Cola (Άυρα), and Pepsi). In fact, most of the existing water contracts should be canceled, or re-written.

Greeks, visit your local government representatives. Ask them to not sell the Greek water. Do they want to privatize other parts of the system, e.g. Olympic Airways? Part of the health care system? That’s cool, I’m all for capitalism. But don’t do that with the water too. The water should be a human right and a common good. Water bottling companies can continue to exist as long as they play with specific rules and they DO NOT suck dry rivers and lakes. There have to be limits in their commerce.

Everyone must watch the following documentary (in 9 parts). Don’t you dare not watch it.

Greece in shameful protests

Greece saw lots of protests and strikes in the past few years, as part of the social unrest that governs the country lately. However, the country is now in ruins financially, and yet, Greek people STILL don’t fucking get it. They want their cake, and eat it too. They somehow think that “the government should bail the country out”, without realizing that it’s the CITIZENS who should give up some of their benefits in order for that to happen. The government doesn’t have a hen with golden eggs, unfortunately.

The people who mostly strike are the civil servants. I have written about them before here. Professionally, civil servants in Greece equate with a king or queen in another country. They have so many benefits, they get so much more money than freelancers, and they can’t get fired (they have their jobs for life). Civil servants are the people who CAN give away some of their benefits in order to fix Greece back. “…many government workers enjoy preferential tax rates, can retire at the age of 54 (in some cases earlier) and enjoy 14 months of pay for 12 months worked“, writes CNN. Think of that for a moment!

All the new government is trying to do is bring some balance between how civil servants are treated in the EU and US, in order to help the country save money and pay its dues. Who else is going to pay for that 30 years of European Union cheating? The freelance unskilled workers who have to also compete with the Albanians’ ultra-low wages? Won’t happen! The only major social cast that does have enough money to give back are the civil servants, simply because they have been milking it since 1920.

Many Greeks have had this problem in my experience: they can’t really understand themselves in a bigger picture. They can’t understand that for something to happen, everyone must contribute. Instead, they see it as “the other guy’s problem, not mine”. Not to mention that some Greeks have a VERY snobbish approach against the Europeans. It’s “the Europeans”, and then there’s “we, the Greeks, who gave these stupid Europeans the Light of Civilization”. They think that a family in Sweden, or in France should bail out the corrupted Greeks just because they’re Greeks. Because they think that other countries STILL OWE THEM.

News flash: THEY DON’T.

Get a good look in the mirror Greece. I do hope that you don’t get a bail-out from EU. You don’t deserve it. Not until your government has the fucking balls to remove most of the benefits from the biggest MENACE of the country: civil servants. Saving the country should be the No1 priority for all, no matter the cost. This is no time for strikes! Going on strike when the economy is so bad, shows citizens who don’t understand what the hell is going on. Strikes don’t help the economy, they destroy it even further!

And then Greece has a problem, and it creates a diplomatic incident when someone tells it like it is? Sorry my compatriots, but that magazine cover was WELL DESERVED. It’s the fault of every one of you for letting your own country fall into such situation (I’m mostly looking at you recipients of European funds back in the ’80s). Not just some government that came and passed. Accept responsibility and dug yourselves out of the hole. Do something that’s admirable, for the first time in 2500 years.

Why radio stations won’t play most indie music

I heard a lot of people wondering: “Why doesn’t the radio play less known artists? There are some amazing songs out there that are lesser known and need to be heard. Commercial/ClearChannel radio sucks.”

However, it’s not the radio that sucks. It’s the listeners.

Consider the following: The music director at San Francisco’s Live 105 (owned by CBS) is Aaron Axelsen (who I’m a fan of). Aaron decides what’s get played by the DJs during the day, but he also has a show of his own on the station: Soundcheck, every Sunday night. In it, he plays the kind of music we are longing to listen to during daytime: From Manchester Orchestra, to The Temper Trap, to Surfer Blood, to many local Bay Area bands that caught his ear (scroll down for his latest playlist).

However, the rest of the daytime programming is terrible: the same 20-30 hit songs are playing on a rotation. How many times it happened to me already: driving for sushi lunch, Phoenix’s “1901” would be playing on our car’s radio. Coming out of lunch, and Phoenix’s “1901” would be playing AGAIN. The rotation is so fucking short that it’s not even funny.

Now, it’s easy to put the blame on Aaron or his corporate overlords, but it’s not really their fault. They are just doing what makes sense for their business. And what makes sense is to keep the listeners from switching channels.

You see, the vast majority of the radio listeners don’t listen to music. They hear music instead. There’s a difference. They put the kids on the SUV, and drive them to school, and turn on the radio in the meantime. Or, they’re stuck in traffic, pissed off, and need to listen to “easy” music to pass the time. Or, they’re sitting on their sofa, reading a magazine, and have the radio ON as a background.

Very few people actually drive somewhere in order to turn on the radio and listen to music. Or sit on their sofa, closing their eyes, and listen to just music. Normal people instead, are so busy with their lives, their problems, the quick pace of this civilization, that simply don’t have the time to discover new music. Listening to unknown kind of melodies, or new kinds of sub-genres altogether, takes them out of their comfort zone. Listening to something like Dan Deacon instead of Lady Gaga, for example, while the kids shout at each other at the back of the car, makes it difficult to level your head. Not only you have your problems, but you have this new ‘annoying’ music playing instead of the music (or kind of music) you already know so well.

Basically, commercial radio works as a kind of a depressant for the masses. At first, it feels like music is exactly the opposite: an excitement that is, but in reality, in the large scheme of things, as far as FM radio is concerned, it’s nothing but one of the ways that helps you kept in check. No, this is not a conspiracy theory, it’s just how things work. Listeners want it that way too.

And that’s the reason why you’ll never be able to hear Fever Ray, Antlers, or Local Natives on commercial radio, during daytime, at least in the US. Unless indie bands hit it big on their own, their music will play only late at night, or at specialized radio stations like college radios, KEXP, and Indie 103.1.

So stop hating the radio stations for doing their job. Either hate the system, or the listeners, or don’t hate anyone, and listen to your favorite music in your own accord. But don’t expect the population to follow too. They won’t. They have mortgages to think about rather than HEALTH‘s awesome off-beat noise.

U2’s Bono needs a clue

U2’s Bono calls for control over internet downloads, says on his guest column at NYTimes.

I fail to understand how this can be done though. He mentions child pornography as being combated successfully by law enforcements, but thing is, child pornography is less widespread than… mp3s. And it’s ALL illegal, while not all mp3s are illegal. It would cost an arm and a leg to get officers tracking down every possible mp3 on the internet, since it’s not just bittorrent we’re talking about, but also a lot of “music blogs” that link to illegal files, and PR/artist/label/music magazines that link to LEGAL files. So how do you know which ones are illegal and which ones are promos/freebies? The only ways to really regulate the situation fast-enough, and cheaply-enough, are two:

1. Make ALL downloaded media file formats illegal. No exceptions. This of course is not a very practical or even constitutional solution.
2. Require that all WMA/AAC/MP3s files are digitally signed. Not DRM’ed, but signed with a license. It’s the only way to easily find out via a ‘crawler’ utility that FBI could build if an offered mp3 is a promotional free-as-in-beer file, or an illegally uploaded one.

And this would create massive problems to indie and Creative Commons artists, because it would make every artist a registered provider. Given that most of them can’t even complete their mp3 tags properly on their free promo mp3s before uploading on their server, I fail to see how the same people would be able to properly get a license to give out mp3s. Such a measure won’t only make users outlaws, but some of the artists as well! In other words, such measures for file distributions would have the exact opposite effect of what that Bono claims to “the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales“.

The music magazines will also be hit with the problem because they won’t be able to give out mp3s as easily anymore. Which would mean less exposure to the artists. I mean, I spent most of my holidays tracking down legal mp3 promos. I added 2.7 GBs of legal mp3s in my music collection the past 10 days, and I found some really good artists this way that I actually later bought their full albums or more mp3s from them. Under a new regime, downloading mp3 promos would be an ordeal, and an added risk. The magazines wouldn’t bother, the users wouldn’t bother. Too much trouble about nothing. Who’d pay the price for it? The indie artists.

The major labels and artists won’t be hit much from it, since they almost never give out free promos anyway! If such a law ever passes, it will be a massive kick in the nuts for the indie industry and Creative Commons artists, because the promos or freebies are the only way for these artists to be heard. In fact, according to reports, the average indie artist is making increasingly more money these days rather than back in 2000 — despite the rampant piracy that’s going on in the last 10 years. Obviously, restricting the media transmission will bring the world back to a pre-internet era, where the major labels have the upper hand again, because they would be controlling the internet too, in addition to TV and radio, while the indie artists will be dying of hunger.

Not to mention that wild rumor that’s going around for a while now that RIAA is preparing an international copyright treaty where people would be questioned on the airports about where they got their music files from. Think of having to give out your iPod to a special machine during security checking to check for all the embedded licenses. What would happen on the older files that have no licenses? CD-rips? Not to mention that going through 120 GB of data is enough to make you miss your plane too (these hard drives are dead-slow). Sure, this is just a rumor for now, but there’s no smoke without a fire. This is why I _always_ update the “comments” tag of all legal mp3s I download with the URLs I downloaded them from, to prove that it was from either an artist/label/PR site, or a well-respected music magazine. Might prove me wise in a few years time.

And if airport checks might never realize, house-to-house checks might. I trust RIAA to lobby for things like that. Just like you get your door knocked in UK by officers to check for your TV license, there’s no reason why an officer wouldn’t knock your door to check for your mp3s on your computer, if such a law passes. I trust that if they find “what seems to be illegal” mp3s on your drive they won’t charge you with thousands of dollars per song, but certainly $100 or so. There would be enough volume to pay for these officers, and RIAA, and the government. Who loses again? All the citizens, artists and not.

Sure, this sounds like a “police state” to you, that “will never happen”. But if you had a time machine and you could transport yourself back to 1920s, and you mentioned to the people of that era that by 1980 everyone would need a license to have chickens in their garden, they would laugh at you and tell you that you’re fucking crazy. Sorry guys, but that’s how most political shifts happen in a capitalistic environment. Slowly, but surely, usually induced by lobbying. It’s never a swift change, it’s always done gradually.

And finally, the other problem of file-signing is technological innovation. If the governments of the world require all AAC, WMA and MP3 files to be digitally signed, then it might make it illegal to use a different file format, simply because the government won’t have ways to check licenses on newer media formats. And if not illegal, certainly a trouble-making experience. So basically, the media formats would be a “locked” affair, since no one would want to jump to another format, from fear of what might happen to them. This would kill R&D on audio and video formats. This is how technological innovation dies. With fucked up laws and regulations like the ones Bono aspires to.

So, my dear Bono, as South Park so elegantly put it, your ideas are the biggest pieces of crap in the world. Well, either yours, or the RIAA/UMG prick who wrote that article for you.

An addendum to my previous post

I found two interesting comments on Slashdot about the Vimeo/EMI situation.

The first comment, by Bedroll:

“As the trend towards Internet Television strengthens the monopolies of the content industry weaken. Quality user generated content is a direct competitor to professionally generated content. The content industry has a long history of using the legal system to ensure that they squash the competition.”

The second comment, by Tepples, brushes off on the fact that many musical compositions are similar, even if not on purpose, and so even by using royalty-free music, ASCAP could fight a potential free media revolution:

“[…] ASCAP will be able to dig up something non-free that was written in the past 95 years and happens to sound like the freely-licensed music, making the free license invalid.”

And this is so true: this year alone there were 100,000 album releases. About 1 million songs. Per year. Which makes it utterly impossible to not be songs out there with the same riffs/melodies. Which makes every musician, or user, potentially liable, especially when the copyright has been extended so far back.

What really made me cry last night though (for real), was reading an excerpt from Larry Lessig’s “Free Culture” book. Please do a search on this page, and start reading from the point that reads “Edwin Howard Armstrong is one of America’s forgotten inventor geniuses“, up to “then stepped out of a thirteenth story window to his death“. This bit shows how new things are shot down by established corporations, and how they use the lawmaking system and the government to do their bidding, and then passing their doings as “normal”. It’s a very good parallelism example for the internet age.

Oh, and I really dislike it when people say “but, that’s the law”, when that copyright law was lobbied by corporations, so it’s not how that law should have been in the first place. The law is the law, and I always try to not break it, but at some point you gotta open your eyes too. Otherwise, you allow the system to fuck you in the ass. And if you don’t have respect for yourself today and you allow the fucking to take place, at least have respect for the children of tomorrow, and fight for a more fair law.

I don’t feel safe even using Creative Commons music anymore for my video projects. There’s nothing stopping ASCAP suing me for a CC song that has a melody similar to a 1960s song that I never heard before. And in this country, everyone is suing every one else for no reason most of the time. Too many lawyers probably, gotta do something with ’em.

I personally feel very pressured in the last few months, on all fronts. From the various creepy small laws that I read on the news (“shave your lawn or go to jail” type of crap), to FTC’s new blogging rules, to warrant-less wiretapping, to religious nuts, the never-ending wars, to the continuous stifling of culture and art. I feel that previously established liberties are now getting repressed, one at a time, slowly but surely. And in my own country, Greece, things are getting worse too.

I kind of feel like leaving civilization and go live in the mountains. With as little influence and dependence from the outside world as possible. Get a few goats, possibly a mule too, and give the rest of the world the finger. I just HATE the way this whole world is ran. I’m disappointed, and I see nothing good in it. The few good bits in it, are just that: too few. Too bad that JBQ doesn’t want to join me.

EMI sues Vimeo; Eugenia Stops Buying RIAA Music

We’re audiophiles in this home. This year we spent about $1800 is music purchases. More than anyone we know.

About 40% of all the iTunes/CD purchases were for acts signed to major labels. The rest 60% was all indie.

I hereby make it my resolution for the new year to never buy RIAA/majors’ music ever again. Even if I like some of their songs so much that it makes me cry.

The last straw for all this was learning that EMI sued Vimeo the other day. They claim that Vimeo endorses users to lip dub and that this is copyright infringement. This whole thing is obviously a sham, and just pathetic. Even the Rolling Stone commented that this lawsuit comes out strangely after Vevo going live.

For some of the lip dub videos on Vimeo might be on the fence if they’re eligible under fair use or not, but some are so creative that no matter if a closed minded judge deem them in the future as non-fair use, in my mind they are. These videos do serve as a great advertisement for the labels, but they don’t see it this way.

Most of the music I bought this year it was because it was originally free out there. I downloaded the legally free mp3s, and if I liked what I heard, I’d go to iTunes to sample the rest of the band’s music. And if I liked what I heard, I bought the album. Many times I’ve heard a song on Youtube or Vimeo, asked what it was, and then bought it too (e.g. Feist’s “One Evening”). Instead, the majors (and RIAA), have become over-protective about the whole thing somehow, and they prefer to go to court. I really don’t see the point of all that.

Sometimes I wonder if what they’re trying to do is simply to have restrictions apply to ALL (including indie artists), just so THEY can promote their artists via TV/radio as they always have. You see, the internet PR companies have no power over TV/radio/mags, but they have the internet. The majors on the other hand, they are mighty-powerful on TV/radio/mags, but are only equal in the Internet PR game. If the majors can kill part of the internet hype machine by making video sites add more and more restrictions, then their songs will get more recognized/hyped via the traditional media rather than the Internet. So all these lawsuits against people, youtube, vimeo, might be just a strategic way to kill the indies! Destroy the competition by simply destroying THEIR TOOLS (aka the Internet way of doing things).

Rest assured, I’m not against the notion of copyright. What I’m against is the lawmaker’s abusing of that notion to make copyright laws worse and worse as the time goes by. Originally, copyright was meant to last 25 years. Now, with amendments on the law, we’re looking in to a century (in EU too). And the fair use allotments are simply too limited. They were written before the age of Youtube. Instead of the lawmakers taking these changes into mind to change the law, they make the law even more draconian, paying lip service to RIAA. The new international treaty that the media companies are cooking up for all countries is definitely not going to be pretty either.

As a media creator, I have already moved to Creative Commons for my music needs for 2 years now. I don’t touch non-CC music for my video projects.

As a media consumer, December 2009 is the time where I stop buying the major’s music. And if an indie label gets on the same tune as RIAA, I’d ban it too.

I ask all of you to think about this. If you read comments online, many say that “RIAA and the majors will fall soon”, but this is NOT TRUE. The only way to have them fall is if we don’t buy their products. These guys are not going anywhere if they still have money in their pockets.

The Gandhi way, is the ONLY way.

Update: An update to this article can be found here.