A California Senate candidate is using a Don Henley song in a campaign video on YouTube, and when Henley sued for copyright violation, the candidate fired back that it was his first amendment rights to use the song. It seems he failed to understand the nuances of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Maybe he should be complaining to the RIAA instead. [B]Some Background[/B] [URL="http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/04/18/henley.lawsuit/"]CNN reports[/URL] that Henley got his feathers ruffled when he heard that California Republican Senate candidate Charles DeVore used two of his songs, "The Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" without permission. …

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Just as the excitement started to hot up, first with the news that the controversial and increasingly popular legal free streaming music service Spotify was to open up with the release of a third party developer API, and then with the actual announcement of the availability of [URL="http://developer.spotify.com/en/libspotify/overview/"]Libspotify[/URL] itself, so the reality of the situation pours cold water upon it. What the heck am I talking about? Well, Spotify is perfectly poised to cash in on the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4215.html"]potential gap[/URL] that might open up in the online music market as first Apple, and now Amazon, introduce 'variable rate' pricing for downloads. …

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Many UK participants in Daniweb will be aware of the various social media that carry music. They will have been delighted by the free stuff that you can listen to on [URL="http://www.lastfm.com"]Last.FM[/URL], [URL="http://www.spotify.com"]Spotify[/URL] and [URL="http://www.youtube.com"]YouTube[/URL] - you can even get the Beatles on YouTube, which is pretty much unique among online providers. Except that cracks are starting to appear. Yesterday the holders of the rights to music in the UK had a [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7933565.stm"]falling-out with YouTube[/URL] so we can expect some of the music to be taken down. Last month Spotify had to start restricting its music along regional lines. I'm …

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The Pirate Bay is, without doubt, a huge thorn in the side of the music and movies business. As the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3479.html"]worlds largest bittorrent tracker[/URL] with more than 3 million users and well over 20 million peers it constantly flips the bird at The Powers That Be. Even the threat of legal action does little to dampen the spirits of the owners who state that as no copyrighted material is stored by them is it "not possible" to hold them responsible for material being spread using the tracker. "Any complaints from copyright and/or lobby organizations will be ridiculed and published at …

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The time has come to drag the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) kicking and screaming into the 21st century because it clearly has a lot to learn about marketing on the internet. The RIAA had a [URL="http://www.informationweek.com/news/personal_tech/music/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212501507&subSection=Management"]good news/bad news announcement[/URL] on Friday. The good news was that it would stop persecuting, er I mean prosecuting, individual file sharers, a strategy that to me was just foolish in the first place. The bad news is it has hooked up with ISPs to form a corporate file sharing police force, which could potentially deny internet access without due process to users …

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Earlier this week Apple was adamant that it would close the iTunes Store if the Copyright Royalty Board raised the royalties paid to music publishers, rather than be forced into either accepting smaller margins on the music downloads it sells or be forced into hiking prices. The way these things work, Apple pays something in the region of 70 cents on every dollar of music sold to the record labels concerned. The record labels pay around 9 cents of this to the copyright holders of the music, the music publishers. With me so far? Good. Trouble is, the National Music …

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Researchers tell us that, in the UK market, there were some 1.5 billion 'legal' music downloads last year. That's covering all bases, different devices and download services, but discounting the illegal file sharing trade. The Goddess alone knows how big the figure would be if you factored in dodgy P2P business and back bedroom file swapping. However, the point is that one research firm, TNS Technology, now reckons that it doesn't matter as the real big numbers will come from mobile phone music downloads via the Sony Ericsson and Nokia portals. How does 2.1 billion downloads of 'mobile music' in …

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Some things are just made to appeal to weirdy beardy nerds. Take the 'musical' instrument invented by the Russian nutter Leon Theremin in 1919 for example. I say musical, but anyone who has ever listened to the sounds coming from this truly bizarre combining of metal antennae and the hands of the player will probably agree that an old saw is just as melodic. The instrument in question was used one hand to control the frequency and one for volume. It's all very clever stuff, I guess, if watching someone move their arms around like a bad magician on a …

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A few months ago News Corporation announced that it was taking on Apple in the music downloads marketplace. Chris DeWolfe, the CEO of MySpace, said it would be starting up a [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/technology/03cnd-myspace.html?_r=1&oref=slogin"]one-stop music shop[/URL] by spinning out the existing MySpace Music service to become an independent joint venture. The interesting thing about this, at the time, was that the joint venture would be with Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music Group. All of whom would be minority shareholders and major content providers, with their entire back catalogs online. Combining free streaming music that is sponsored by advertising, allowing shared …

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Well, OK, they have agreed to throttle the bandwidth of those accounts found to be indulging in the illegal downloading of music via file-sharing networks if their customers do not take heed of a warning letter or two. The [URL="http://www.bpi.co.uk/"]BPI[/URL] (formerly known as British Phonographic Industry) which represents the British music recording industry has announced that it has successfully reached a 'groundbreaking agreement' between record labels and major UK internet service providers, as well as the British government, on measures to help significantly reduce illegal filesharing. "Following negotiations facilitated by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), BPI …

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The fact that the UK's Internet providers are [URL="http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4387283.ece"]doing something about illegal downloads of music[/URL] is of course to be welcomed in principle. Whenever the subject comes up there are a handful of objections; civil liberties, the Internet should be free, whatever, the objectors seem to come from everywhere. But they're wrong. Speaking as someone who writes for a living, frankly my family eats or not depending on my ability to claim copyright in everything that comes from my fingers and onto your screen unless I sign a specific agreement that says otherwise (that's UK law, by the way; in …

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With Father's Day here in the UK fast approaching (hint for my own kids: it's on Sunday!) research published today by the world's 2nd largest digital music store, [URL="http://www.emusic.com"]eMusic[/URL], suggests that nearly half of us lie about the music we have on our iPod. It seems that us Dads are caving in to the cultural pressure to stay young and keep up with the kids as far as new musical trends and genres are concerned, yet to do so 46 percent are living a lie with regard to what they listen to and what they know. The eMusic survey argues …

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Even though RIAA executives will probably spit out their coffee if they happen upon this post, I’m going to give you a round-up of some of my favorite free (and completely legal) internet music services. [URL="http://www.we7.com"]WE7[/URL]: This free site delivers free tracks from mostly unknown artists (although you will find some oldies here if you look often enough). You can play the tracks online on the site by building a playlist, download a free ad-supported track or you can pay .70 British pounds ($1.35 US as of today) to get the song ad-free. Given the unfavorable exchange rate for those …

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According to the Guardian newspaper, the much publicised reports circulating online and in the global print media that Sir Paul McCartney has struck a deal to put the Beatles back catalogue up for download on iTunes this year is simply not true. The story is that Sir Paul has agreed a £200 million ($400 million) payday for the tracks, which would cover his divorce settlement to Heather Mills nicely. But the Guardian [URL="http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/03/07/beatles_songs_to_go_online_not_so_says_apple_corps.html"]reports[/URL] that Apple Corps, which retains publishing rights to the music, says no date has been set and quotes a spokesperson as claiming “The story isn't correct. I …

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Who could forget [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Lech_Johansen"]DVD Jon[/URL], the Linux guru who was co-author of DeCSS? This Linux application 'unlocked' DVDs with content otherwise protected by Content Scrambling System (CSS) encryption and landed DVD Jon in front of a judge. Which did not stop him from continuing his quest to free audiovisual content from the chains of whatever encryption is being used to tie it to the original format. Perhaps most notoriously with his uncanny ability to quickly break new DRM systems such as the Fairplay wrapper for iTunes music for example. DVD Jon has now moved on from his Linux PC and …

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Yes, in a bizarre twist and turn of fate, the original bad boy of illegal MP3 downloads which then went legit and hooked subscribers into music with Microsoft's digital rights management system has changed tack and announced it is to sell MP3 format tunes. So, OK, maybe not a real return to its roots as you will notice that I said sell, rather give away in a free file-sharing spree. Still, as a major online music retailer these days the fact that Napster is dumping DRM has to be good news for the consumer. DRM, for those who may not …

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According to a legal [URL="http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/lenz_v_universal/final_lenz_am_cmplt.pdf"]document[/URL] published at the [URL="http://www.eff.org"]Electronic Frontier Foundation[/URL] site, the copyright Nazis at Universal Music Group might have bitten off more than they can chew when they ordered the removal of a Dancing baby clip from YouTube. Stephanie Lenz posted a video clip on YouTube of her 18 month old baby dancing. Oh ha ha, how original and amusing, you are probably not thinking. It seems that the lawyers at UMG didn't see the funny side either, as they issued YouTube with a notice to remove the clip for copyright violation. The terrible crime committed in this …

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If you like listening to Pandora but are not living in the United States at the moment, you may want to enjoy it while you can, because Pandora has announced that they're going to block non-US visitors in short order. Why? You guessed it: licensing problems. Previously, Pandora had only claimed that they were only offering their service to American visitors, allowing anyone from around the world to visit Pandora.com and enjoy the free music. Now that is about to change, due to the recent pressure from the media. It all boils down to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that's …

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Today, [URL="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/04/09ipod.html"]Apple announced that they have now sold over 100 million iPods[/URL], which comes after they had released the first iPod 5-and-a-half years ago. Grammy award winner John Mayer said about the iPod: "Without the iPod, the digital music age would have been defined by files and folders instead of songs and albums. Though the medium of music has changed, the iPod experience has kept the spirit of what it means to be a music lover alive." Today, there are more than 4000 accessories designed for the iPod, which is almost too much to stomach. "iPod has helped millions of …

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It seems like Apple is nearing a day we'd never think would come. [URL="http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKN0137689420070402"]This time it seems official.[/URL] According to the reports, Apple and EMI have formed a deal that would not only allow Apple to sell EMI's music on their store (quite possibly The Beatles), but "large portions of these would be without copy-protection". Well, if that doesn't surprise me... The very company that Apple was fighting a few months ago could very well become one of the first companies to try out a DRM-free system on the iTunes store. It would be surprising enough if Apple were simply …

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Studio To Go is a Knoppix-based Linux musical software environment that allows Windows users access to linux-based open-source software tools, without having to install Linux onto the Windows PC. Knoppix is a Linux that runs completely from a CD-ROM, although it probably takes some RAM and turns it into a ram disk for housekeeping duties and temporary files. Knoppix supports a number of external devices, such as USB thumbdrives, network interface cards, and modems. According to the FAQ on the Studio to Go website, you can boot into the musical environment, and then create songs, and mix music. It is …

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Creative Technology, the makers of the Soundblaster cards, and more recently, the Zen Neon portable music players, confirmed this week that 4,000 of it's shipped Neon music players shipped with the Wullik.b worm that affects Windows computers. Wullik.b came to the world in 2003 and it attacks all flavors of Windows (except 3.1). It is a worm that copies itself to random locations, and can spread to floppy disks and shared network drives. It was written in Visual Basic. The worm uses the Outlook address book to send itself to others. Creative posted on their Japanese website the serial number …

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The End.