As PRS battles SoundCloud, what does it mean for your own music?

PRS for Music, a UK performing rights organization, at the end of last month sued SoundCloud for copyright infringement on behalf of its members. The action may prove a decisive moment for the Berlin-based streaming service. It represents a collision between SoundCloud’s approach and the organizations involved in administering copyright, and more broadly, between the conventional models for sharing and monetizing music and those evolving on the Internet. I spoke to representatives from PRS and SoundCloud to try to get greater clarity. Those responses were naturally a bit guarded, as the two are actively engaged in legal action. However, there’s …


Grooveshark Streaming Site Dies, Apologizes

I fought the law and the law won. Grooveshark, announcing the April 30th shutdown of their streaming music service: We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation. They go on to concede that hundreds of other services provide the same ability to listen to music without violating the ownership of music. And they’ve lost everything, from patents to the site itself.


Robin Thicke Judgment: The Day Copyright Law Died, Again [Opinion]

You may not like the song “Blurred Lines” much. But if you find that tune grating, you may find the inability of US copyright law to differentiate degrees of copying even more painful. Here’s the latest strangeness. When we last joined the American courts finding extreme interpretations of copyright, an appeals court decided to blow away the de minimis doctrine for sampling. That’s “de minimis” (Latin), as in “size matters not” (um… Yoda). The idea was, there was no need to measure the significance or size of a sample in the N.W.A. song “100 Miles and Runnin’.” The court helpfully …


SoundCloud More Affordable for Creators, As Service Attempts Balancing Acts [Analysis]

We hear some pretty clear messages from CDM readers about SoundCloud. One, almost all of you seem to have some criticisms of it. Two, almost all of you appear to use it, complaints or none. Even as other services remain valuable, SoundCloud is practically its own category. (In fact, the level of detail about those complaints suggests to me that they come from ongoing, intensive usage.) Ubiquity is an understatement. “Do you have a SoundCloud?” is a question I hear about as much as I once heard “do you have a MySpace?” a few years ago. People ask it in …


MegaUpload Raided; Do You Feel Your Future as a Creator is Brighter Yet?

Anonymous 2. And, uh, jeez, if you like uptime, you don’t want to annoy Anonymous. (CC-BY-SA) liryon. Well, that happened. It’s a surreal episode that seems not to have any clear winners, as the US government on one side and hackers on the other face off over what is and isn’t freedom online. The mystery is, what will be the long-term outcome for people making content – or, for that matter, do these kinds of dramatics even really have any logic in your work at all? While the music tech industry was holed away in the palm tree-lined walls of …


Opponents of US SOPA Legislation Gaining Momentum on Blackout Day; Musicians Have a Stake

Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Dawn Loh. It’s been called, bluntly, “Internet censorship” by opponents. And now, US legislation that claims to curb piracy faces mounting challenges as that opposition grows, particularly as the White House warns it will block the bills. Today, even as a flood of delightful new music toys become available, it’s worth pausing to consider why this matters – and, if you vote in the United States, to call your Senators and Representatives (again, if needed). Many of us who create music believe the dynamic, user-driven nature of the Web is our best chance at a bright future. Free …


Opinion: US Internet Censorship Could Cripple Online Music Web; Where to Find Out More, Where to Act

If you haven’t been following the (excellent) coverage elsewhere, just how bad is the “Firewall of the United States,” the draconian Internet dystopia misguided legislation in the US proposes to create? That legislation is so vague, so far-reaching, so poorly-designed, that it potentially threatens all kinds of sites musicians regularly use. And little wonder: a backwards legislation process in the US has locked out the very Internet and tech companies that have until now been glimmers of hope in a stagnant US economy. The crux of this issue is the impact on legal sites, and democracy and speech online. For …


A Glimpse of the Soundplane Controller, Innovative Tactile Multi-Touch, in the Lab; Call to Action

Alder Soundplane prototype with blanks of reclaimed redwood and Doug Fir. Photo by Randy Jones; used by permission. On tablets, on displays, multi-touch control these days is calibrated largely as a software interface – more Starship Enterprise panel than violin. As such, it works well for production tools and exploring compositional ideas. But it falls far short of being an instrument: even on the much-hyped iPad, touch timing and sensitivity is too imprecise, and the absence of tactile feedback and real, kinetic resistance makes you feel like an operator rather than a musician. Several projects in experimental instrument research seek …


With Creative Commons Support, YouTube Grants Remix Culture Official Sanction

VJs and visual artists remixing video have long simply grabbed what they want, when they want it. But now, the community increasingly faces a choice: will it play by the rules? The payoff could be more than moral good will or karma. If visual artists begin working with Creative Commons-licensed materials, they’ll add the incentive for other artists to remix their own work freely. And following official rules could mean the freedom to share your creative output without having to worry about navigating takedown notices or angry rights-owners. Given the importance of posting showreels to getting gigs, that could be …


LFO Everything, Max for Live, and Attribution

This afternoon, I feel obligated to offer some explanation. Following my post about Julien Bayle’s LFO Everything module for Ableton Live, several readers and a forum thread on the Ableton Live forum raised concerns that a portion of Julien’s Device was adapted from another developer’s work without attribution. Heated discussion on the Live forum spilled over into our comment thread. I was contacted by Edward Majcher, the developer of the original patch in question, entitled Device LFO, and have been in communication with Mr. Majcher and Mr. Bayle since. This would certainly qualify as a violation of the Creative Commons …