Saturday, October 09, 2004

 

I Sure Hope Petrillo Doesn't Hear About This

I'm somewhat bemused to post this on what would have been John Lennon's 64th birthday, but it's somehow appropriate. Senator Orrin Hatch (CSOTEI1 ) who apparently took law drafting lessons from Hans Frank and Roland Freisler has temporarily shelved plans to present the Induce Act to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Money quotes include:


Hatch has previously said he intended to pursue the legislation next session if a bill wasn't approved. (....) The chief executive for the Recording Industry Association of America, Mitch Bainwol, acknowledged Thursday that negotiations need more time. "So long as illegitimate peer-to-peer services hijack a positive technology and intentionally offload their legal liability to America's kids, legislation will be a priority for the creative community," Bainwol said.

Boo-fucking-hoo Mitch. If your members stop selling crap (read as Mrs. Federline, Mrs. Ritchie and all of the rhythmic speakers) there's a significant chance that people will pay for quality product. If your members adopt a realistic pricing model (the White Album still lists for $34.98) they just might buy more. Putting a couple of shekels toward the artists to encourage them instead of inking deals that are punitive at best unless their name happens to be Michael Jackson, in which case he will be told that he is wonderful and can spend eight million dollars and untold months recording and mixing an album (for comparison's sake consider that Revolver was recorded and mixed in well under three months).

Business Week has an interesting commentary on the chilling effects that the DMCA has had already on innovation (thanks to Freedom To Tinker for the link), and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to extrapolate the additional impact of legislation such as the Induce Act. Garage inventing has been of great benefit long before Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started messing with oscillators (The name Edison should ring a bell, of course if you look at the history Edison was really a pretty nasty character. He was quite cutthroat against George Westinghouse, especially trying to embarass George with the fact that Westinghouse electrical equipment was used for New York's then-brand new electric chair. There's another nasty bit about old Tom and Henry Ford which we'll save for another discussion). The Induce Act would probably have Linus Torvalds swinging from the yardarm because it protects a soon-to-be bankrupt entertainment paradigm. The entertainment industry is on life support because of the profitability of its back catalogs. Whatever big bucks are coming in are probably disappearing into limited partnerships and other special purpose vehicles designed to hide cash, leaving the industry to cry poverty over small potatoes piracy. The big problems you have aren't Susie Sweater and her copy of EDonkey. Hint to Mitch - look at Brasilia, Seoul, Taipei and Beijing first.

Moving over to my minor Standells/Munsters obsession (I actually reposted my little blurb from May on Blogcritics in the hope of further tracking down leads) a tantalizing lead did indeed appear, when a casual mention of Lolly and Pat Vegas of Redbone in a newsgroup credited them with "Come On And Ringo". I headed straight for Soundfile and dug into their listings, alas nothing close was there. Soundfile is the tool used by the Harry Fox Agency to issue licenses for cover versions, and a quick perusal of the database reveals some hilarity. Searching for some Beatles songs you find every version in creation listed except for the Beatles' original. Oh well, at least they make the licensing process easy if you want to do low-volume covers.

A quick perusal of my local Borders found an interesting book by Genya Ravan. Ravan of course was the toughest chick in rock, leader of Goldie and The Gingerbreads in the '60s, and recorded one of my few favorite post-1975 albums, "Urban Desire" (check out her fierce "Jerry's Pigeons"). Genya dishes some interesting dirt on another great girl singer of the '60s, none other than Ronnie Ronette (I think that calling her by her ex-husband's last name isn't terribly cool considering his legal situation, besides, that's what John Lennon called her). Definitely worth taking a look at.

1: I was originally going to use R-Disney, or make some kind of fascist joke here, however that would immediately invoke Godwin's Law and thus invalidate any point I attempt to make. Instead, Hatch and his co-entertainment industry felcher Ernest "Sounds Just Like Pat Buchanan" Hollings shall be henceforth referred to in these pages as CSOTEI, Contemptible Stooges Of The Entertainment Industry.

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