Rozovian’s Music Log

www.ocremix.org/artist/4795/

Posts Tagged ‘riaa’

…on _my_ internet!?

Posted by Ad on February 22, 2012

I’ve been keeping an eye on Techdirt and a few other internet-centric news sources for a while now, ever since the whole SOPA/PIPA thing made the rounds a few months ago. Techdirt was recently blocked in Germany as it was deemed harmful to minors. It’s a site that discusses the internet and related stuff. Who would find that harmful to minors, if not an oppressive regime bordering on an example of Godwin’s Law just a few sentences into this post.

But no, fortunately, it seems it’s a machine that made this mistake, flagging a discussion of content on the internet, which includes pornography, as actual pornography. While it’s a good thing we’re not talking about outright suppression of dissent, we are talking about giving machines a bit too much power. Imagine if a global censorship machine decided an entire country was harmful to minors, and blocked the whole thing from the wider internet community.

Imagine if that country was the USA, with its media giants. The thought amuses me. Seriously, why doesn’t the EU just step up and tell the USA to clean its own figurative nose before sticking its fingers in other nations’s noses. Why doesn’t the EU say that it’ll block all media business with the USA until they’ve sorted out their corrupt government.

Okay, hard words. Really, tho, I think the US government, as a whole, is either inept or corrupt. During the SOPA/PIPA talks in US Congress and Senate, it became apparent that lawmakers are not denizens of the internet and have little to no understanding of how it works. The Daily Show hilariously and wonderfully pointed out that during the hearings, the representatives admitted to not being “nerds” and suggested “nerds” would be brought in. Stewart suggested they use the term “experts”, since they would be brought in for their expertise.

In lack of a clip of that, here’s one from The Alyona Show. Also amusing.

Either inept, or corrupt. Possibly both, given how easily copyright owners were given the keys to the bulldozer while the internet was represented by a handcuffed dude on a plastic tricycle. This changed when Wikipedia and numerous other sites went dark one January day, bringing attention to all of this.

Since then, I’ve learned that lawyers are trolls, lawmakers are tech-illiterate and gullible (or possibly play dumb while being paid by lobbyists), and media giants are trying to take over the world. It’s like a game of Illuminati!, only instead of having the power to control, neutralize, or destroy groups that threaten my Power Structure, I can at most raise the issue in my corner of the web. No MegaBucks to spend, no Transferable Power to offer anyone on my side, no alignment advantage… (yes, I’m using terms from a game)

It doesn’t help that China and Russia are making a play for control of the Internet as well. I don’t like the look of things.

TL;DR: Machines are stupid and should not run the internet. Old people are tech-illiterate and should not run the internet. Media giants are not a democracy and should not run the internet. I’ll leave you with this quote (by me, cuz I thought I wrote something good) on the difference between the lawmaker generation and the internet generation:

“I’d say it’s more a case of (the internet) being a mere communication and information tool for the older generation. Not in the sense that they use it more than we do for those purposes. It’s just that to them, it’s a telegraph and a library rolled into one, and nothing more.

To us, it’s a free theatre, and we can be both on stage and in the audience. To us, it’s a town square, with market booths for everyone with something to sell. To us, it’s watching tv and playing outdoors at the same time. To us, it’s a club where you can meet strangers and a community where you meet friends. To us, it’s a new frontier to explore, right in our own back yard. To us, it’s a world. To them, it’s a means they could do without.”

(wow, this blog used to be about music and games, and the overlap between the two.)

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Apple are Morons, RIAA worse

Posted by Ad on January 24, 2012

Lately, iTunes has been asking me to sign in a few seconds after starting the app. I get it, it’s a music store that I persist in using as the music library it used to be. But you’d expect the program to let me opt out of logging in every time. What’s more annoying is that it asks twice, with some delay in between. This even happens when the iTunes Store is disabled in the Parental options.

I had a similar problem with an old version of Photoshop Elements, where every so often after I’ve started it, it “couldn’t get info” from… somewhere. Didn’t matter if I was in the middle of tweaking an adjustment layer or effect, it just dropped everything to let me know that it couldn’t get info from wherever. I’m tolerating that because once it’s tried a few times, it stops. Besides, I don’t use PS for much anyway, and that old version will be retired along with my old laptoip once I get a new one.

But when Apple does this to me, it’s worse. It’s not a glitch, it’s something that someone decided was a good idea. I don’t like the idea of logging in to do stuff on my own computer. I don’t use the iTunes store, and I’ve only bought a handful or Apps via the App Store. While it never actually requires me to log in, asking – twice – is annoying.

Speaking of which, I’m not likely to purchase much of anything from either store anyway. I don’t have a credit card, and I can’t get either store to accept PayPal, which I use for my online purchases. I’ve heard there was an issue with the App Store charging as much as 4000USD for Lion through some glitch, but that’s no reason to pull support for it… especially as so many other parts of the internet use PayPal without any apparent problems. I mean, every game I’ve bought on Steam I’ve bought via PayPal. IIRC, all the music software I’ve bought over the net I’ve bought with PayPal.

And segueing from iTunes, the fallout from the rightfully rejected SOPA/PIPA has shown the true colors of the MPAA and the RIAA. The way I see it, we could do without those two. The less power they have, the more they’ll have to focus on good music, not just metrics and a bland copy of the next hot thing. Maybe they’ll support real artist instead of manufacturing their own?

The way I understand it, Spotify has to deal with whatever they demand for their music, and if Spotify doesn’t make enough dough to keep up, they lose their contracts with the big music companies. That might actually be a good thing. If I knew my money was going to the ppl that make the music I listen to, I’d happily pay for a subscription to Spotify. Currently, I wouldn’t.

If the big labels pull their stuff, Spotify could survive as a transparent, independent music platform, delivering great music, supporting the artists that make the music, promoting new and interesting indie artists. Last I used Spotify, it was a search engine for names of songs and artists, with a “featured” page with the “hottest” music. I don’t care. I’m apparently too hipster to like most modern pop music. What if I wanna find some new, cool, underappreciated artist, or discover the unknowns hits of some niche genre, or catch up on jazz history or video game releases?

The movie industry could do better too. While stuff like Attack the Block and other gold does appear from time to time, we’re still getting huge budgets on mediocre films. Sure, Inception was cool, but Avatar was predictable and gimmicky, like the entire, color-ruining, still not focus-altering 3d thing. Granted, you need money to make movies, so why not spend more money on movies and less on bribes?

While big, spectacular films, good or not, will always draw ppl in for the things that money can buy on screen, the record industry is in a terrible position where music is all over the place and the value of any given album or song has dropped dramatically.

While Apple tries to remedy this with a convenient means of buying music, and Spotify paying big money to use the big names on its service, I’m hoping someone’s gonna come up with a, big new music service that’s better than both of those. Something that doesn’t ask you repeatedly to log in to your own music, and that actually pays the artists.

In the mean time, I’ll use PayPal to buy my music from artists’ bandcamp pages or from cdbaby or something. As for my own music, I’m still on Logic Express 8, and while I’ve been meaning to upgrade, Apple doesn’t make it easy for me to hand them my money…

PS. I’m still displeased with wordpress’ new interface. I can see one or two paragraphs of text in the New Post text box, and the resize thing doesn’t work. Navigating through the site to get to the Add New Post page thatactually works is troublesome because the whole thing defaults to the wrong blog. I have two. This belongs on the music one. Dear webmasters, stop “fixing” things by b0rking them!

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