Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Italy Passes Law Allowing P2P Music?

The Italian parliament passed a new copyright law in both houses that would allow citizens to share noncommercial and degraded music over the internet freely.

That’s going to hurt – but some say it happened totally unknowingly – we’ll see what happens.

Tension = Sales

Stanley Zappa makes an interesting point:

(…) I had occasion to speak with my friend Mark on the telephone. We talked about this and that.

“Tension equals sales” said Mark.
“It sounds like Gail took marketing 101″

Tension equals sales. (Tension = Sales)

At first it kind of sounded like Reich. In the end it just sounds like the devilry it is.

El Copyright Del Mundo Invisible

Maroual writes in with the following question:

Could the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation send a C&D letter?

… and refers to this post he made on the Zäppî forums:

The Zappa Wazoo liner notes mention “Cover Art ‘Mundo Invisible’ (oil on canvas, 60″ x 72″) by Christopher Mark Brennan, 2003″ which itself is a derivative work of the excellent Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire (oil on canvas, 46.5″ x 65.5″) by Salvador Dalí, 1940.
Actually I was curious to know whether any permission was needed and/or requested to the Dalí Family Trust (la Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí) prior painting and then publishing. This painting should not fall in the public domain before 2010 thanks to the copyright extensions, right?
Does this constitute a copyright infrigement? Does this respect the original intent of the painter?

Heh heh!

So Dangerous to Society at Large

This is URBANGRAFFITO . . . it is my responsibility to research all the laws that haven’t been passed yet. It is also my responsibility to alert each and every one of you to the potential consequences of various ordinary everyday activities you might be performing which could eventually lead to Incarceration (or affect your parent’s credit rating). Our criminal institutions will soon be full of little creeps like you who do wrong things . . . and many of them were driven to these crimes by a horrible force called MUSIC!

Our studies have shown that this horrible force is so dangerous to society at large that laws are being drawn up at this very moment to stop it forever! Cruel and inhuman punishments are being carefully described in tiny paragraphs so they won’t conflict with the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which, itself, is being modified in order to accommodate the Intellectual Property Protection Act).

I bring you now a special presentation to show what can happen to you if you choose a career in MUSIC . . . The WHITE ZONE is for uploading and downloading only . . . if you have to upload or download copyrighted material, go to the WHITE ZONE . . .

Imagine if you will legislation that enjoys the support of such large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America (amongst them, no doubt, a recent litigant against this very weblog) known as the Intellectual Property Protection Act, expected to be introduced in the very near future.

This bill will give the U.S. Justice Department the ability to combat Intellectual Property crime in bold new ways. It would soon become a new federal crime just to attempt to commit copyright infringement. All attempts, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison. This legislation would also permit the bypassing of copy protection even for “fair use” purposes.

It would permit wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, and would establish a unit within the FBI itself with budgets of $20 million which would create advanced tools of forensic science to investigate copyright crimes.

This legislation would amend existing law to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work in question was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. It would boost criminal penalties for copyright infringement originally created by the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 from five years to 10 years (and 10 years to 20 years for subsequent offenses), for the noncommercial piracy and posting of copyrighted photos, videos or news articles on a Web site if the value exceeds $1,000.

This legislation would also create civil asset forfeiture penalties for anything used in copyright piracy. Computers or other equipment seized will be disposed of, for instance, at a government auction following the rules established by federal drug laws. Copyright holders will be able to impound records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in infringements, including server logs, IP addresses, and everything that person has ever downloaded.

It appears the future that FZ envisaged with the release of Joe’s Garage has arrived as of 2008. Quite soon we’ll all have two computers: a clean one we all do our internet business on, and a dirty one that will never ever be connected to the internet.

Big brother is watching. He wants to know what’s on your hard drive.

Status Back Baby

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

Petition: Aggressive Action by the ZFT

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 Frank’s music, despite not being ‘approved’ by the ZFT.
While we applaud the work that the ZFT has done – especially in recent years, with the Zappa Plays Zappa tours and the release of CDs & DVDs such as Buffalo, Wazoo and Baby Snakes – we do not see those threatened by the ZFT as being in any way detrimental to Frank’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 – 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!

Cease & Desist: YouTube Edition

This just in via The Idiot Bastard: guy posts little clips taken at a live ZPZ show on YouTube, receives The ZFT Treatment ™ we’ve all come to know so well:

(…) come on, my vids of the show were far from professional and none of them were even full songs… 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…

The Year Of The Freak Is Imminent

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 – “Yes, we would definitely consider having it replaced with something we do approve,” 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.

A Message From United Mutations

Peter of United Mutations weighs in. Quick link and quote, in case the post were to be deleted (though it can’t happen there, can it?!):

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.

These Boots Were Made For Talkin’

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.

Your thoughts?

Shit & Fan: Make A Sentence

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?