I thought it’d be a pretty cool idea to digitise my old C90 mixtapes for people to listen to online – explain the rationale for the selections and sequences, drone on a bit about why to this day I expect “Adam raised a Cain” to immediately follow “Tunnel of Love”
Which is what mixtapes are all about, right?
Or take a track that stopped me in my tracks and give it some context. (I still smell the coal fire of my uncle’s house in Horsforth when I hear Free’s “Alright now” – I first saw it on “Top of the Pops in his living room
Or simply put together a random list what I’ve listened to for the last day of so.
Put them on the server for a week and if folks like a track, maybe they’ll toddle off and buy some stuff.
Which is how it works for me.
I wouldn’t have discovered Willie Wisely or the Weepies or Fountains of Wayne or Ollabelle or The Trampolines or or or had it not been for Jefito’s Friday Mixtape (and others of his ilk) and the record industry wouldn’t have benefited from my buying their stuff and my life wouldn’t have been brightened just a little bit by listening to some really cool stuff.
But the music industry doesn’t see it like that.
A whole bunch of us got DMCA Takedown Notifications the other day, telling us that Blogger has removed “allegedly infringing posts”, this in order to retain their “safe harbor” status.
Basically, the music industry – represented by the IFPI – trawls through posts, finds something they THINK might infringe someone’s copyright and requires the ISP (Blogger, in my case) to remove it.
Except that there’s no infringement.
No matter that the link doesn’t go anywhere – one of my mixtapes from July 2007 just went down the drain, dead links and all… – or that an artist AGREES (ASKS, even) that you do a bit of promo on your blog or that the link goes directly to the Amazon website so you can buy the album (as in the case of a Delamitri post from January 2008).
The IFPI sees a link, alleges that your blog infringes copyright and has it taken down.
Without even seeing where the link goes.
You CAN appeal by filling out a form (on which you sign your life away) and snailmailing to Blogger, but I really can’t be bothered.
And it’s not as if I haven’t done a fair bit of due diligence on this.
I mailed IFPI, listing the sort of things I do – write about music now and again, listen to (and sometimes rip) LastFM, stream and record radio programmes, download historical radio broadcasts from John Peel and the like – and asking them what was OK and what wasn’t.
Not a flicker.
The German equivalent was marginally more helpful – instead of publishing guidelines, they recommended that I retain legal counsel to advise me in the matter to find out what I could and couldn’t do…
So that’s pretty much it.
Back to making mixtapes and giving them to my mates.
If you’re in the neighbourhood, why don’t you pop in…..
>Well seeing as I was mentioned in this blog, I’ll take the opportunity to remind everyone that the major labels don’t know how to sell records any longer. They are far more concerned about copyright infringement than actually getting music into ears. It’s because accountants, lawyers and former heads of biscuit companies now run the industry. Yet another great reason to keep releasing music on indie labels.w