three guys walk into a barâ€¦ is the tape on?
The tape’s rolling.
Whip it out boys ‘n girls! What’s been eatin’ ya?
Tonight’s Open Mic Nite at KUR — have at it.
If you haven’t already, we still urge you to sign the petition regarding the ZFT’s recent “Aggressive Actions”. 1208 signatures at this time of writing — not too shabby for a petition that’s been online for 4 days, but the more the merrier, obviously. You’ll find yourself in the company of such illustrious names as Jon Naurin, Robert Kevorkian, Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black, Nigey Lennon and Candy Zappa.
For those of you who wish to be kept abreast (now there’s a wonderful expression): there’s a direct link to the petition at the right of this page. See that little banner with Dr Sharl’s hand waving at you? Indeed.
Meanwhile, these litigations have been gaining interest on several weblogs who specialize in intellectual property and fair use. Couple of links:
Now, when people who are actually knowledgeable in this particular legal field begin to express their doubt as to the validity of the ZFT’s claims, that has to mean something, right?
In other news, a couple of new-ish DVD releases, available on Amazon:
How questionable are these? You tell me.
Boy, I sure hope the ZFT won’t crack down on Amazon.com! :D
First, read it:
We the undersigned petition the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT) to cease and desist from making threats of legal action against FZ tribute bands, FZ fan sites, Zappa music festivals and other related activities that are designed first and foremost to honour and promote Frankâ€™s music, despite not being â€˜approvedâ€™ by the ZFT.
While we applaud the work that the ZFT has done â€“ especially in recent years, with the Zappa Plays Zappa tours and the release of CDs & DVDs such as Buffalo, Wazoo and Baby Snakes â€“ we do not see those threatened by the ZFT as being in any way detrimental to Frankâ€™s legacy. Indeed, while recognising that there truly can be no real substitute, we perceive any attempt to curb such alternative activities will be more likely to have a detrimental impact on the legacy.
We consider that the ZFT would be better targeting those who produce and sell Zappa bootleg recordings and pirate memorabilia â€“ of which there are a numerous examples on the Internet. If the ZFT are to unleash the lawyers, they should be aimed at them and not us – the truly devoted fans.
Next: sign it!
Yesterday was let’s mess with WordPress plugins and see if they stick day at Barry Towers.
As you may have noticed, it’s now possible to easily quote someone else’s comment when writing a comment yourself (click the aptly dubbed “Click to quote this comment” link next to every reply and watch how magic unfolds!).
At long last: a proper contact form where you may, you know, contact us!
Over at the FZ discography section, there’s now a “Highest Rated Albums” feature. Here’s how the collective beehive mind (that would be you) have been going about rating so far:
I’d say #1 and #2 are obvious. Interestingly though:
More number crunching? Here you go:
“Good student, needs to put in more effort” :)
(…) come on, my vids of the show were far from professional and none of them were even full songsâ€¦ I was just excited to share another great Zappa experience with other music-lovers. Gail Z taught me a lesson and I will be sure to never to help promote another Zappa Plays Zappa tour again! You win, Gail.
Isn’t it good to know GZ’s crusade against the well-intentioned fan outthere continues undaunted, while those who sell bootlegs or put up official releases for download, remain untouched.
Better get used to it: it’s a way of life…
I rest my case.
To be perfectly clear: I think the Zappa/Wazoo release is fantastic. However this is how the â€œofficialâ€ page shows up in Google (and other search engine) results â€” â€œskipâ€, the link that allows you to bypass the introductory flash animation, being the only one single word that gets to be picked up, and therefor shows up in search results. Is it any wonder that people end up clicking on other search results?
Thanks all for posting comments and sending in emails with regard to You Know What — we all appreciate this more than you can imagine and will be adding more information here as promised. Since I’m coming down with a perfectly timed cold, nicely coupled with an ear infection, New Year’s Eve being just days away, posting will be light here for the coming days. Until then, a couple of links to relax, inform and keep you busy:
Oh, and will Bappy Lorenzo report at the front desk ASAP please? KUR’s World Tour Scrapbook has been missing ever since he received it on November 10th.
Oh yes it is. Let’s see which sites, bands and organisations have had legal action taken against them by the ZFT in recent weeks, shall we?
Quoth The Idiot Bastard:
Apparently Gail has even threatened to remove and destroy the likeness of FZ that is in Bad Doberan â€“ â€œYes, we would definitely consider having it replaced with something we do approve,â€ she said.
I know you’re getting sick and tired of this dear reader — so am I.
That’s the point.
Spread the word if you can, by any means.
A permanent page, objectively documenting the progression of any of these Law Suits is in the works, and will be published as more information becomes publicly available.
Update: had to add tribute band Ugly Radio Rebellion to the list as they too are now being sued by the ZFT for alleged copyright infringement.
Come on, ZFT, isn’t it possible to make your point of view clear without sending lawyers? Shouldn’t we be able to communicate in a friendly way? Don’t we have a common interest somewhere?
Dear ZFT, I do not like the way you’re handling this, and I think I’m not alone.
This post is about how legal, or illegal, it is to offer up a non-officially recorded and/or released live show for download.
Let us examine who is likely to download one of these shows in the first place. No, let us first examine the audio quality of the show in question. More often than not, it will suck. B+, A-, they are euphemisms for “bad quality audio”.
Next, on to the profile of the “Potential Downloader”. Debby from around the corner, who is into Beyonce sure doesn’t fit that profile (the poor girl’s in for a big surprise if she downloads any of this “depraved music”). This leaves us with two main categories: (1) the Curious Neophite Zappa fan — a potential customer, and (2) the Completist — a registered customer, one who has bought pretty much all of the official releases, interested in hearing any one single note difference between show A (say, November 15, 1973) and B (November 16, 1973, Late Show).
These are our demographics — agreed?
Explain to me then, how it is deemed a crime to make these live shows freely available for download online. The Curious Neophite, at best, will end up buying official releases, that have much better quality. The Completist will gently nod his head while puffing his pipe, dreaming of the next official release. Moreover, if these shows are not presented freely, some asshole on eBay will be making a profit off of selling them — regardless of how much the audio quality sucks.
A closing quote, if I may. It comes straight from the liner notes of FZ:OZ, as written by GZ:
Bill Lantz, thanks (you bastard) for (not saying by what means you came by) this tape and cooperating (anyway).
These unofficial live shows, in circulation right this minute in so many places, even if we at KUR no longer publish them, serve as food for thought and conversation. They are an essential part of keeping alive the musical legacy of Eff Zee. They provoke discussion among the Completists, lure the Curious Neophite into buying official releases; and as such, should not be banned from the net in my opinion.
Damn it’s cold over here.
Behold the new, snowy white 1024x768px-compliant lay-out for KUR, dubbed “Fronk Zippo version 1.0”. It’s still very much a work in progress, and you won’t be seeing it at the discography or the Gig List for the time being — we’re working on that. There will be more features available soon. Oh and by the way, we didn’t move our stuff to Sweden, though we are sure it’s a wonderfully liberal country! :)
As we’re still hunting down browser bugs, please do let us know if anything looks whacky. Thanks!
So, um, guys… what’s your screen resolution? At least 1024×768, I hope? Men at work, and all that jazz you know.
On December 11, at 11 pm Belgian time, we were sent an email from the Berger Kahn Law Corporation, carbon copied to one Gail Zappa. The subject line read:
Cease and Desist Infringements Re: Zappa Family Trust
Attached was a three page pdf document, outlining in fuzzy lawyer-speak how we are blatantly violating ZFT copyrights across the board here at KUR. You can view all three pages here: page one, page two, page three.
You can imagine our excitement — to get noticed by the ZFT!
The Honor! The Honor!
You know what: The Suits are right on all accounts.
To have transcriptions on our website of long-out-of-print magazine interviews with FZ, which took me many late hours to type out and at times translate? Dude!
To present snippets of FZ lyrics on our website which showcase his incredible sense for Conceptual Continuity? What were we thinking!
To have artwork of FZ releases up on our discography section, so that readers would know what their next purchase at Barfko Swill could be? Not done, period!
All kidding aside: we believe the material posted on this website would fall well within the definitions of “fair use” in the event of a lawsuit. However, we simply lack the financial means to fund such a lawsuit.
Can’t afford no shoes. Sigh.
Therefor: behold the new lay-out! It is, we hope, in compliance with the Cease & Desist letter so graciously sent to us by the ZFT.
It is also temporary. We have new plans for KUR. This is not the end, rather it is a new beginning.
Will you be joining us?