A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather

“Protest works. Just look at the proof”

Free MP3 sites

Be your own program director. Venture off the beaten path. Live a little.

2dopeboyz: Hip hop. (RSS)

3hive: Sharing the sharing. Free and legal MP3s from over 600 underground and undiscovered artists — new ones added daily. (RSS)

Amazon MP3 Download - Frequency: Weekly. Get the latest on Amazon MP3 music downloads - new releases, freshly ripped hits, and special deals.

Audio Drums - A blog for rare, possibly overlooked, maybe forgotten gems of music with a slight emphasis on electronic and indie genres. (RSS)

Common Folk Music - A blog about music, not just folk music, but all music ranging from indie to alt-country to bluegrass, because music is for the “Common Folk”. (RSS)

Discobelle.net (RSS)

Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog - Folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and other music of the people. (RSS)

Fingertips Music - Free and legal music. (RSS)

Gorilla Vs Bear (RSS)

Hillydilly: Simply Good Music. (RSS)

I Rock Cleveland: Indie Rock, College Rock, Alt Rock, Modern Rock, Cleveland Rock, and Rock. (RSS)

KEXP Song of the Day: KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters (RSS)

Kick Kick Snare (RSS)

Line Of Best Fit - TLOBF.COM | Music Reviews, News, Interviews & Downloads (RSS)

Lipstick Disco - Deep House & Disco music blog fronted by Females (RSS)

Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day: Music lovers from 89.3 The Current share songs with you each weekday. (RSS)

Muruch (RSS)

Music Like Dirt: Music in all its many forms, mp3’s, live reviews and photography. (RSS)

My Old Kentucky Blog - a music blog that parties with unicorns. (RSS)

Nah Right. (RSS)

ninebullets.net. (RSS)

Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog, LA Music Blog (RSS)

Said the Gramophone: a music weblog (RSS)

She Makes Music: She Makes Music focuses on the most exciting and impressive new music created by brilliant and talented female musicians. (RSS)


Sounds Better With Reverb (RSS)

Stereogum: All the MP3s on Stereogum.com (RSS)

their bated breath (RSS)

Women of Hip Hop (RSS)

YouKnowIGotSoul (RSS)

Mourn ya till I join ya

The Wheel’s Still In Spin: Focusing on new music releases and reviews of individual albums as original, fictional short stories (RSS)

A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz - This site is just a way for me to have a little fun and share a little music. I’ll highlight some of my favorite artists that I play on the radio and try to expound upon their music in ways I can’t always do on the air. (RSS)

Aminal Sound

Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles - Salon.com

Crossfade: The CNET music blog

Direct Current New Music - Adult pop, rock, singer/songwriters, folk, Americana, alt-country, adult alternative, soul, world music, crossover jazz and simply those artists that make us go “hmmm.”(RSS)

GarageBand.com Folk top tracks (RSS)

GarageBand.com Hip Hop top tracks (RSS)

Flawless Hustle: Urban culture blog featuring artist interviews, music reviews, legal music downloads, street art, graffiti and more! (RSS)



The Jon Swift principle: “I will add anyone to my blogroll who adds me to theirs.” Email or leave a comment to let me know.


The Hunting of the Snark

Sites participating in blogroll amnesty day

Jon Swift aka Al Weisel, may he rest in peace. Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day

skippy the bush kangaroo (Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day) (2012)

Vagabond Scholar (2012)
Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety. Keeper of the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup (The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Notes From Underground (2012)

Redeye’s Front Page (2012)

Wisdom of the West (2012)

Zen Comix (2012)

pygalgia (2012)

Mikeb302000 (2012)

The Agonist (2012)

Brilliant At Breakfast (2012)

Bacon and Eggs (2012)

« This Week In Tyranny | Main | This Week In Tyranny »

ACTA and the Overblown Threat of Piracy

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been largely negotiated behind closed doors, and only recently was an official draft made public. The Obama administration even declared an early draft classified in refusing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request. (Negotiating in secret seems to be an emerging theme.) It eventually made its way to Wikileaks despite this reluctance, but in general the American government has led the way in keeping a lid on it as much as possible. We therefore have no way of knowing what the next developments will be, nor when they will occur.

There is a lot to look at in the draft, but the linchpin may be the legal status of Internet service providers (ISPs). Up to now ISPs have been protected by what in the US is called a safe harbor provision. Basically, ISPs are regarded as providing dumb pipes that their customers can use to transmit whatever they want. This makes sense on the face of it; an ISP is no more responsible for an illegal activity by its users than a phone company is when crimes are plotted (or committed) using their services. Take away safe harbor and the Internet as we know it will disappear, replaced by something vastly smaller, slower, fragmented and closed.

The alternative to safe harbor is what David Kravets called “the holy grail of Internet-IP [Intellectual Property] enforcement, staunchly backed by the Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA] and the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA],” so-called “three strikes” laws. Under these provisions a rights holder makes an infringement complaint to an ISP, and that counts as a “strike” against the user. After three such complaints the user would be kicked off the ISP - and the Internet.

In her analysis of the draft Gwen Hinze of the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote it would “facilitat[e] an ISP practice of Internet user disconnection on the basis of copyright holder allegations of copyright infringement.” Allegations, not proof. The legal system is entirely circumvented here. No judicial review of the allegations, no proof needs to be offered, nothing. The complaint gets made, it counts as a strike. If a paranoid and trigger happy company that prefers to shoot first and ask questions later lodges an abundance of specious complaints based on sketchy, absent or incorrect data, too bad.

Moreover, if infringing activity happens over a shared network address like a wireless router, if someone in the next apartment piggybacks onto your wi-fi connection and uses it for piracy, you are on the hook. If your stupid kid shares music on a file sharing or social network without your knowledge, you are out of luck. This all assumes legitimate violations, too. Since an allegation is all that is needed, imagine the havoc a disgruntled ex-spouse could wreak.

Keep in mind the MPAA and RIAA have already established themselves as completely malevolent actors in this area. Witness the surreal legal odyssey of Jammie Thomas, fined $1.92 million ($80,000 each for the sharing of 24 songs!) by a jury in the first major decision of an Internet IP case brought by the RIAA. The judge has since reduced the amount, but the case has been dragging on for years now.

Or consider how an industry-funded report screamed that there was “$53 billion lost to software piracy in 2008 alone, and claim[ed] that the costs of IP infringement may reach $1 trillion in the next several years.” The only reputable study on it says such estimates are wildly inflated (via). Then there is the claim that infringement dwarfs bank robbery (via). They even floated the idea (I swear to God this is true and I urge you to click on the link if you don’t believe me) of having the Department of Homeland Security deployed to movie theaters to make sure no one tries to record the latest blockbuster (via).

The punchline in all of this is, it’s bad for business. For the past few years I have been a music scavenger, putting lots and lots of MP3 sites in my RSS feed and downloading the tracks they post. It is a great way to hear new artists, but it exists in a legal gray area. But because of them I have bought new CDs by Citay, Von Lmo and White Hinterland so far this year, and on June 8th I’ll buy the new one from Grace Potter. Prior to this I had not bought an album in years. There is a business model in there, where you give people free access to tons of stuff and they end up happily parting with more of their hard earned money. Instead of trying to refine that alchemy, ACTA proponents would rather blow up the lab.

Reader Comments (2)

Yet more proof, as though any were needed, that business and profits trump everything, and the federal/state government intervene on behalf of the corporation to a greater extent than they do on behalf of the user.Too bad many of the local groups that joined the Tea Party have been taken over by racists and politicians and corporate interests. During the first few days of their lives, they got it. Now, instead of fighting on the side of liberty and law, they've given themselves over to the politics of resentment so eagerly fed by Fox, many churches, corporate interests, and a cadre of elected politicians who get regular corporate massages and feel no responsibility to the voters.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPW

Three strikes... Lemme see, that'd kick the entire MPAA and RIAA directly off the net.


By grace of law corporations are individuals, with some of the same rights as natural persons...

We are all equal under the law...

All of them are guilty of more copyright infringement than you can shake a stick at...

So kick 'm off and never let them near a network connection again. They're a bunch of lying, cheating, embezzling, scheming no-good-for-nothing copyright infringers and deserve all they will get.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaß Kapital

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>