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Guest Dominik Mann

For those who doubt one of the OTHER crises in America

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Here are some recent quotes from some of the most famous people WITHIN the music, entertainment and consumer products industries. These are just the most recent comments of course. The immense dissatisfaction with the RIAA, DRM and forever extending copyright and patent fiascos is forcing a groundswell of anti-RIAA, anti-DRM and anti-extended-copyright support from within their own industry. Its about time we, as the mass of public criminals we are (according to the RIAA), are finally catching up. But it is we, as the vast consumers of these works - packaged and fed to us by accountants instead of artists, that must make the stand against the paid-for congressmen and women and the dinosaur entertainment monopolies that buy them.In times of war and extreme world unrest, it is hard to keep focus on some of the less important things at home. But waking up after such intense times to find your rights at home locked up tighter than a drum due to the back room dealings of a select powerful few, only makes the entire situation we find ourselves in much, much worse.---According to a panel of experts convened in Amsterdam by the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) and chaired by Brad Hunt, chief technology officer of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA):"We have met the enemy, and he is us". Johnathan Taplin, chairman and chief executive officer of Intertainer Inc., a Culver City, Calif.-based on-demand video service company, said: "Technology is not the problem. It's the content cartel!" "There is a content cartel used to running over networks that it controls," said Taplin, charging that the studios, "want to be able to control the food chain from beginning to end." Piracy could be reduced to a nuisance, according to Brad Brunell, director, marketing and business development of Windows New Media Platforms Division at Microsoft Corp., if the studios increased the flow of "legitimate" on-line content from a trickle to a flood. "Yes, the Internet is a source of leakage. But there is no legitimate content source," said Brunell. Sander scoffed at Hollywood's anxieties over Internet piracy while DVDs - "digital venereal disease" -- remain the primary source of stolen content. Taplin chimed in by stating that Hollywood's current resistance to the release of its best work in high-quality digital form over IP, combined its demand for as much as 60 percent of revenue from all use of its content, is a formula for a "digital train wreck." Gary Shapiro CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association: "The entire theme of the copyright community is that downloading off the Web is both illegal and immoral," "It is neither."Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards: "We're on the threshold of a whole new system," "The time where accountants decide what music people hear is coming to an end. Accountants may be good at numbers, but they have terrible taste in music. I don't know how I'm going to get paid, but I'd rather go out into the brave new world than live with dinosaurs that are far too big for their boots."On label fears of financial ruin, Don Henley : "When the record companies make $5 for every $1 the artist makes, I don't see where they get off making those remarks. It's another spin tactic."Simon Renshaw, RAC board member and manager of the Dixie Chicks: "Once people have a true understanding of what's involved, the labels will be forced to reform," he says. "The RIAA has positioned this as a bunch of rich old rock stars seeking revenge and better deals. The truth is, this system would not be suffered in any other business. You have record companies bought and sold on the strength of copyrights created by artists who sign away all rights in perpetuity to a faceless corporation.Simon Renshaw: "In the past 20 years, an industry that was led by visionaries and music lovers has become dominated by accountants, financial analysts and people who can't think ahead more than 90 days."Wayne Kramer, founder of punk's seminal MC5: "...Artists know the score. Since the business started, record companies have been getting away with murder. Almost none of the musicians I know have health insurance. Every record executive I know has health insurance, a nice house in the hills and a golden parachute."Tom Waits: "The record companies are like cartels, like countries, for God's sake," "It's a nightmare to be trapped in one. I'm on a good label (Epitaph) now that's not part of the plantation system. But all the old records I did for Island have been swallowed up and spit out in whatever form they choose. These corporations don't have feelings, and they don't see themselves as the stewards of the work. They are making shoes, and then they want to go to the Bahamas and get a suntan."Tom Waits: "Artists really do need to communicate and organize," he says. "Don Henley is willing to get a haircut and go to Washington. I'm all for that."---I urge you to contact your congressman/woman and let them know that you will *not* vote for them if they continue accepting payola from the media monopolies in return for their rubber-stamped monopoly written laws - while wrecking our digital future and fair-use rights in the process. In addition, support your local or favorite artists as they begin to market their own music directly to you, without the billion dollar monopolies in between you and those artists who rightly *deserve* your support.Take care,Elrond[link:www.boycott-riaa.com]http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font

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drought. As of this morning, Albemarle county's (Virginia) water supply is down by 50 percent. That's 3 percent lower than it was yesterday. Folks are being laid off, companies are being closed, and not a single soul remains unaffected. Sorry Elrond. When I live within a disaster zone among many in the country suffering the same fate, I really can't get too excited about the RIAA. You may well have a valid point; but it is sort of lost in the reality of life in real troubled times elsewhere.

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I couldn't agree more Tom. And thats the scary part. While we are rightly so focused on local issues that affect us in the most personal ways, or international issues that have the potential to change our very way of life, its more than natural to give a blind eye to Congress's actions in the background while the major headlines keep the focus off of them.Thats the danger. While we are consumed with other topics, some of those in Congress are taking the opportunity to change the very foundation of our Constitution and hard-won consumer rights. And change the livelihood and freedoms of countless Americans for the worse.Truly, I do understand your point. And I too fully agree with it. I just retain the hope that some reminders and debate here and there keep us mindful of other extremely important but overlooked issues. Most important when an election is right around the corner that gives the people the power to *keep* in power or *remove* from power some of those at fault (democrats and republicans alike).Its just like driving or flying: keeping your eyes focused on only one object is extremely dangerous.Take care,Elrond http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Being in possesion of a black magic maker is in violation of the DCMA.This is because it's use can be used to disable the copy protection on digital media!

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Good post Elrond....Tom.... I agree with what you say, yet I've been bashed in the MSFS forum when I voiced a comment similar to yours when a "patch FS" thread spiraled out of control. I hope you take a peek there and apply your wisdom equally.I feel Elrond's thoughts about the RIAA apply to our hobby. "Digital Rights Management" has become an issue which not only is hitting music, but also the software industry. A bill was launched in Congress quite a few months back. I suspect you know more about it than I do, but basically it was an attempt to force software (both payware and freeware) and hardware vendors to comply with a DRM standard, or else risk prosecution. The RIAA has heavily lobbied in favor of the bill, which applied to any digital media.Early in the year, I wrote AZ's Senator McCain, who is very good about responding to even the smallest of inquiries. About 8 weeks later, he sent a reply. To paraphrase, while he respected copyright and the rights of software owners, he also viewed many of the proposed DRM rules as excessive--against the rights of those of us who use software and who write it as a public service. One of the examples I cited in my letter was a pro bono app I wrote for the Napa Valley Unified School District in 1993... Such work, along with the work of many of our freeware contributors in our hobby, is jeopardized by some of the laws the RIAA is trying to back. Now the talk is of allowing legal "hacking" of p2p networks and hosts. I've often gone online p2p to share Landclass Assistant, Autoland, and some homemade mp3 files (I compose a fair amount steel pan material--fell in love with the music while working in Margarita many years back). Do I have to risk some overzealous RIAA "detective" hacking my system because I have an mp3 that matches some obscure title on their hit list? I own the material, and p2p is one great way to share it.So I feel Elrond's post is very important, and he picked a good place to post, as it influences all of us. In addition to the day to day problems we see in our lives, our hobbies should at least be safe.-John

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..when artists stop releasing a CD with 1 good song and 15 crappy ones, maybe I'll pay more attention to the RIAA. For now my thoughts are in the same realm as Tom's... We've got bigger fish to fry right now, like how to avoid pending bankruptcy when my unemployment runs out and there's not a single job offer in sight.

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Elrond and Tom,Elrond, what you have said here (and before) regarding the RIAA is, I believe important for all of us using the web to share information. I have joined the anti-RIAA 'league' some time ago because of my own experiences with the music industry. One band I worked with (surf/punk/grunge) was even asked to sign-over their existing material when the record company had no intention of letting US release it. They had a 'toy boy surf pop band' (you know, Hanson, Silverchair etc) for that. Nup, they decided that we'd look better in Akubras playing country music!!?! Had we signed, the contract contained nothing about paying us royalties from our other music. In fact, anything and everything we had done , or did in the future, was theirs.Imagine what they could do with these spooky new laws and access to your PC...Tom, I can sympathise with your water-shortage problems. Actually, this year, we (Sydney) have had plenty of rain however that's not the case only 100 miles from here. Usually, we have major water restrictions in summer (if you've been here in summer you've probably noticed the dead grass and dying plants in the local parks - no, it's not deliberate!), coupled with water health problems (cryptospiridium etc) and we're Australia's largest city! Out west is just unbelievable. It's a dust-bowl. I'm not talking desert here either. These are places normally lush with pasture but the farmers are rushing to sell their animals NOW before they starve to death. The native animals are suffering as well - millions of birds have migrated to the coast recently, leading to my daughter and I having to wade through flocks of galahs and cockatoos as we walk to school each day. Meteoroligists are blaming the Southern Oscillation index which simply means it was going to happen anyway.The reason for my comment here is that (finally!), people are waking up to the fact that drought is not something that rarely happens. A couple of good years and everyone forgets the bad times and the heartache. When things return to 'normal' they put their hands out for help. We in Australia are beginning (!) to take a hard look at just how sustainable some activities are, including the establishment of farms, towns and cities. Face it, rounding-up cattle in a dust cloud may look romantic on TV but it's just telling you that you've over-grazed your land 100%!Hope you get some rain soon. I hope your state or county resource planners intend to enlarge that reservoir too! BTW, I know these aren't American crises - they occur world-wide :-(Jon Point*************************(effyouthree@hotmail.com)*************************

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Yes folks we are all in the s**t when it comes to water shortages.In Australia at the moment we are going through "ANOTHER" massive drought. When I travel into the outback I carry photos of lakes to show the locals what water looks like.I am in the same position re: unemployment. Made redundant after 18 years with the same employer, being over 50 makes you a liability on the job market.Keep your chin up this war will have us all employed soon in the armament and funeral industry.God I miss Napster.Cookie

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The music industry is dominated by corporate pigs, who sell a product to maximise their personal finances :-roll. I am 25, and therefore my teenage years weren't that long ago (:-lol). In the past six or seven years the music I hear on the radio has become less varied, and more manufactured :(. In 2002 the music industry has become so superficial that many of the groups look and sound the same :(. I look at the groups on TV and they all have the same stupid little dances: they all "twitch", rather than dance :-roll.TV Programs like the UK's "Pop Idol" and the US version "American Idol" are creating a superficiality in the music industry: If you are over a certain age, or don't look the part... you won't be considered - it wasn't always like this!. IMHO Britney Spears' songs sound alike, and as for the rest of them ... I can't even remember their names :-lolThe "pop" music industry has hit rock bottom: The sales are low, simply because the product is poor. The corporate pigs don't care, as they will have earned enough money to retire in a very short period :-rollHow I dream of a beautiful music era! ... I'm not holding my breath, though ;(8http://www.aavirtual.com/images/aav2207_banner.gif

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I fully agree with you, Darren and Elrond. IMO, it's entirely the music industry's own fault that they're in the s**tter like that. I remember reading an article about what you need to do to override copy protection in order to make a PERFECTLY LEGAL private backup copy of your favourite music CDs, and how there was an insert containing an interview with some puke from the music industry who, apparently, would have liked to force us to trash our CD writers altogether. Among other things, he claimed that CDs never wear out or suffer damage (just like some software industry reps do), which is complete bu11cr@p. Tell me, did it never happen to you that the CD tray closed automatically before you had put the CD into the proper position, jamming and scratching the CD in the process? This is just one example, though. Or how about this: I've seen MANY instances where CDs were kept on the shelves for several months at the same (for the most part excessive) price, and then they just disappeared from one day to the other. Now, a friend of mine recently talked to a clerk at one of those shops and asked what ever happened to those CDs. They told him that those CDs which were not sold during a specified period of time are being DESTROYED by the record labels that cater them. You know, they COULD just put them up for budget prices (like some labels fortunately still do), but NO... x( !You know, I have a 6x CD changer in my car, and those CDs I want to listen to while on the road I make a copy of and keep the originals at home. That way, if my car should indeed be broken into one day and my CDs removed, I will still have the originals and be able to make new copies of them.As for your comment, Darren...I also agree that much of the music coming out these days is tr@sh *sigh* ...let's just hope that some day things will backfire in the face of the record labels when there are just too many boy groups and girlie singers for anyone to bear...

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