Friday, July 09, 2004

Speaking of Copyright Infringement

The RIAA, scourge of the United States, attacker of the commoners and protector of all artists rights and freedoms, has spread to Canada via CRIA.

Yay to the artists!
Boo to the bootleggerz and those evil grandmotherz and teenagerz downloading MP3z!

I am going to pick on Jann Arden tonight for lack of a better target. Nothing personal Jann. You seem to be a brilliant lady with deep emotions, and have a liking for dogs like I do, so I hope you understand that this is my opinion and nothing else.  

In a statement released by CRIA, Arden said she was "heartbroken" over the charges. "Touring is an incredibly important part of my career as a singer/songwriter. It's my job and it's how I connect with people," the musician noted. "Something special was taken from me and my audience."

C'mon Ms. Arden. I saw your concert a few years ago in Niagara Falls on New Years. You're a very talented person, and an amazing singer, but I don't think I'd buy your CD, even though you're getting a ton of stars at HMV Amazon. GM or Chrysler or Microsoft might buy it to advertise their cars though, and they seem to have a few more dollars in the bank than I do right now, plus maybe it will make me buy their car instead of the Nissan I'm driving around.   You can reach a much larger audience via television, books, and radio than concerts, though it's much cooler seeing you in person and wigging water bottles at bands during those festivals at Molson Park in Barrie.  Maybe you can sell USB keychains with your concert footage at the concert itself and avoid these pesky bootleggers.

My friend and I just paid $150 to Ticketmaster, $100 for dinner, gas & parking, $50 for drinks for us and our significant others, and got soaked in the rain waiting in line to see the Barenaked Ladies open for The Nits last Wednesday at The Mod Club.  $75/person isn't that bad I guess, though in the end all I have my memory of the event, and my memory is none too good lately, plus my fiancee and I are trying to pay for a wedding and really can't afford it. My good friend did pay for dinner and two of the tickets so it really only cost my fiancee and I $55.00 each.  It did made us all happy to go there though, and for $55.00 it was well worth the price of happiness and having a good time, and I will reinvest myself in this venture in the future for the four of us again.

I probably won't buy the Nits Album or the Barenaked Ladies album for awhile, but I would definately pickup the concert DVD when it's available, my friend and my fiancee will probably buy the BNKL albums if they don't already have them, and the people we talk to will know who The Nits are and how amazing the Barenaked Ladies concert was. 

The Nits are a really inspiring and eclectic band, and I can see where BNKL got their ideas and music influences from.  The two bands were nearly identical in the way they presented themselves.  It was great to see the torch being passed down through two generations of music.  I wonder who The Nits inspiration was?

The Mod Club is a venue owned by the former frontman for Platinum Blonde and is a great one.  It was one of the best concerts I have ever been to, and I have been to more than a few.  An acoustic set, intimate and interactive, with around 300 people there.  I found out about this one on The Barenaked Ladies blog since there wasn't much media hype about this. I will try and post some of my camera phone photos once my moblog is up and running.  They are really bad quality and may tick off the Barenaked Ladies and their label to no end but I am a fan now so hey... it's worth it to me.  If it shows up in HMV I will buy the DVD.  If it shows up on e-Bay I will buy the bootleg.

But wait.

I just found out I could have waited a day and got some Barenaked Ladies concert footage for free on MSNBC since they played The Today Show in New York at Rockefeller Plaza.  (Maybe not, since I'm using Firefox and the service only supports Internet Explorer browsers...)  Oops, am I bootlegging that link?  Sorry MSNBC & BNKL.

If I could find your concert that I attended on e-Bay I may just go ahead and pick it up though. There were a few artists I liked there and your set was really good, plus maybe my stupid big head was sticking out in front of the camera. If it's crappy quality I lose out, and if the artist doesn't make any money you lose out, and this guy wins. In this case, it is my stupidity for not going to HMV and paying $55 for your high-quality concert DVD, it is your stupidity for not tracking down this bootlegger yourself via your fan base or your record label or your lawyers or e-Bay and suing him in civil court to get your property back, and it is his advantage he gets to feed his family and support his elegant jet setting lifestyle from the proceeds of crime.

Maybe I am not taking this problem from the right angle, but just my $0.02, which is probably how much you made from your record label anyway, so I feel kind of bad for saying the above. Sorry Jann.

Wait a minute, do you have my concert DVD or video I can buy from you at HMV?
This link
doesn't let me find one.  Do you have any DVD's or video's for sale? 
Not on E-Bay, the largest e-commerce site in the world with over $70,000,000,000 billion million dollars in transactions every quarter and growing.  You don't even have any bootlegs on there.  Great job on that one, you had better send a thank you card to your lawyers and RIAA/CRIA.

Guess I have to go back to that flea market in Hamilton, or that used CD store in Kingston, or that fan web site in Germany to track down this amazing concert I saw that you haven't published yet. As usual, most of the media hyped this local bust of this concert video bootlegger, without divulging the fact that he was a one-legged disabled man with two children selling his videos on eBay and at flea markets to support his family. (Of course I read this in a left-wing newspaper today so I don't really believe it, or should I?)

Not exactly the mastermind criminal portrayed in the media though.  He was selling his stuff at a Hamilton flea market for heaven's sake!  I do like these lines though:

Record and CD shows are common throughout Ontario. Catering to collectors, the shows specialize in used records and memorabilia. Most vendors are legitimate.

There were 48 vendors at the June 13 show, but plainclothes RCMP found only four selling bootlegs. One was caught burning a bootleg DVD for sale to a plainclothes Mountie. Two others voluntarily handed over their products to the RCMP after being warned. One other grabbed his computer and fled. RCMP Corporal Michele Paradis said
their investigation is continuing.

Is he worthy of months of investigations and judicial proceedings in the Canadian legal system for destroying the cash flow of these hundreds of uber-popular artists and their labels? Could it be that was what Jann was talking about when she said she was heartbroken, or was it the fact that he is a disabled man trying to support his family?

I do agree with Jann on this one though:

In England, a London bootlegger was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail yesterday for creating counterfeit CDs of artists like Oasis, the Beatles, Eminem and Madonna. The court was told Mark Purseglove, 33, pocketed £15 million (about $36 million Cdn.) between
1991 and 2002, using illicit recordings made by sound engineers and concert-goers.

That guy made $3.2 mil/year CDN, which is like $1.2 mil/year US.  I'm sure he wasn't hanging around at some scuzzy flea market in Hamilton, he was actually schmoozing the underpaid roadies in the bands.

After he was caught by Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman recording a Rolling Stones concert in 1992, the musicians pursued him through the High Court and he was put under a "perpetual restraining order" to halt his activities.

Now Mick and Bill are amazing businessmen.  That's how you get the job done.

Maybe it would make more sense for the artists rather than the criminal justice system or the RIAA/CRIA to take control of things like these. Make it a civil violation for first-time offenders. Seize all his assets from 'crime' and make the perpetrator work for a record label or an artist he stole from as a cheaply-paid intern, paid the same price as it would cost to house him in jail. Hey, indentured servitude sounds good! I'm sure the Rolling Stones could use someone to wash their yacht in the Caymans, or clean Mick's house in St. Maarten after he rents it out to the rich and famous.  Maybe Virgin Record's Richard Branson would like his airlines cleaned on a daily basis.  Sounds like pretty fitting and demeaning punishment to me, and much more productive than sticking him in a taxpayer funded cell so I have to pay for his bootlegging your concert footage.

Hey, he's a bootlegger, he's probably got good recording skills! Have the police or a designated civil appointee mail the artists back their bootlegs at his expense. At least then they could profit from these copyright infringements if they wanted to, or at least see a cool concert that they played 10 years ago but never thought was recorded, or redub it and offer good-quality bootlegs to their fans for $5 on their web sites, or get some free tapes in the mail so they could erase them and tape episodes of Friends on.

I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 a couple weeks ago.  Great movie, though Michael Moore is totally one-sided he gets his point across.  I think the moral of the movie was never trust the media, never trust politicians, only trust in yourself and empower yourself to know more.  I have to read Michael Moore's blog some more to get a better idea, and also the opposing sides of and I guess I could buy a Time Magazine now that he is on the cover.

Here is an interesting link about Saudi Arabia's legal system.  How about deafening one ear of the copyright infringer.  That would probably violate some Amnesty International agreement, but might be an effective deterrent for copyright infringers over there, plus they couldn't tell if their bootlegs are working or not. The US Military already has the technology to do this to fishes in the sea.  James Taylor tells me so.

Here's another Frank Zappa bootleg on eBay. Go get 'em RIAA!

You can donate to our wedding account to your left if you would like, Jann.  I'm trying to sell some stuff on e-Bay myself to make some extra cash too, since I heard this was the easiest way to earn money on the internet.  Hope I don't get busted for selling unlicensed Batman or Simpsons memorabilia I found at a yard sale or an auction or in my basement, or infringing royalty rights for that old Mini-Pops record my fiancee picked up.  I wonder if James Taylor is selling anything on eBay?  He has some interesting links.

Jann Arden's blog is here

My friend's legitimate Indie Pop music site,  is here.

My Disclaimer: I do not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, even though it is pretty much accurate from what I can see from Google™.

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