As the Rolling Stones began their tour while welching on the more than quarter of a million dollar deal they made with my Friend, I started this e-Blogazine journal to document some of my experience of the fallout, and to create a forum for discussion and resources to reform the Music Industry. May Artists, Musicians, and Free People everywhere find it useful.
Got Something to say? Are You a Musician, Artist, or Person with an opinion about the Music industry, music downloads, contracts or royalties? Are You concerned about the RIAA and other industries' assault on our cyber-Freedoms? Copyright and Intellectual Property law? Well?
GrepLaw.org, a Berkman Center for Society and Internet production of Harvard Law School (whose motto is "Geeks. Laws. Everything In Between."), gave a positive review of John Perry Barlow's article "Slouching Towards Hollywood" ( -archive -article ), saying it was a "Great read. A manifesto for the emerging digital future."
I checked out their site. They're using slashcode (the same code that runs slashdot) to run it. So they must be ok, right? : - |
It was an accident I found the place...I was just checking Yahoo to see if the Stoned Out Loud link submission had made it's way into it's categorical niche through their byzantine maze of silicate cybureaucracy. It hasn't. But this review came up. Great!
Just how much information do they get on what I'm doing?
One issue related to sharing our Music together in this great big room of the web is Individual Privacy. Those ad banners and hit counters, and even "invisible" single-dot images that don't even appear to the naked eye can tell advertisers and potential spammers and stalkers tons of private, personal data about You, where You go on the web, and where You have been.
Last night I started out looking for banner-ad rotation software (Yo! Advertisers! I'll give You some interesting stats in the next post, so stay tuned...You may want to advertise on Stoned Out Loud.).
My search took me far astray, first to a legal research site, then through several browser distributions, and finally I landed on GhostSurf (new window).
I downloaded it and am running it now. Wow! What an incredibly powerful tool! Here's a bit of the description from the GhostSurf site:
GhostSurf is designed to protect your personal information from ISPs, websites, other users of your computer, and malicious "spyware" software; in general, GhostSurf addresses each potential source of online privacy abuse.
GhostSurf tells You just how many packets have gone to a site, what cookies it sets, let's You decide whether or not to block in-page or pop-up ads (Note: Stoned Out Loud's commenting system depends on pop-ups being enabled. Disable pop-ups, and You will not be able to immediately Speak your Mind about an article in the main blogstream here -- this column.)
Using GhostSurf for a few minutes took me to Privacy.net, where my internet Privacy was analysed. Here is what it found when I did it through IE v.5.50.4134.0100: ---------------------------- The system attempted to place the following persistent cookies on your system. Reload to see if the cookies were accepted
Privacy.net = Privacy Analysis No Cookie from this site is on your system from prior visits. You linked from here (if you linked from another web page): (I typed it in directly as soon as I fired-up the browser, whose default page is "about:blank")
Your Browser Type and Operating System: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90)
All information sent by your web browser when requesting this web page: Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, application/vnd.ms-excel, application/msword, */* Accept-Language: en-us Host: www.privacy.net User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90) Cache-Control: max-stale=0
CPU type: x86 Screen Width: 800 Screen Height: 600 Screen Available Width: 800 Screen Available Height: 600 Screen Color Depth: 24
You have vistited this many web pages this session in this window: 0 The date/time on your computer and time zone is: Fri Aug 23 07:40:20 PDT 2002 Time/date in your locale format: Friday, August 23, 2002 7:40:20 AM
VBScript is enabled and working.
Your screen width is : 800 pixels Your screen height is : 600 pixels Your viewable Width is : 783 pixels Your viewable Height is : 478 pixels
javaVersion = 1.1.4 javaVendor = Microsoft Corp. javaVendorUrl = http://www.microsoft.com/ javaClassVersion = 45.3 osName = Windows 98 (actually, this box is ME - a cosmetic facelift grafted onto 95, after 98 was same) osArchitecture = x86 osVersion = 4.90
redMask = 255 greenMask = 65280 blueMask = 16711680 Screen: width x height = 800 x 600 Screen: Bits per pixel = 24 ("16777216 colors")
#bits red = 8 (7 .. 0) #bits green = 8 (15 .. 8) #bits blue = 8 ( 23 .. 16)
Applet Panel getBackground() = java.awt.Color[r=192,g=192,b=192] Applet Panel width x height = 500 x 400
freeMemory() = 72936 totalMemory() = 388240
ShockWave Flash Plug-in - ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash is installed ShockWave Director Plug-in - SWCtl.SWCtl.1 is installed ShockWave ActiveX Control Plug-in - SWCtl.SWCtl.7 is installed Active Shockwave Plug-in - Macromedia.ActiveShockwave.1 is installed Real Player Plug-in - rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control is installed Media Player - MediaPlayer.MediaPlayer.1 is not installed Adobe Acrobat Reader Plug-in - PDF.PdfCtrl.1 is installed MS Agent 1.5 - <...i left this out...> MS Agent 2.0 - <...i left this out, too :-| > MS DirectAnimation Control - DirectAnimation.DirectAnimationIntegratedMediaControl.1 is installed ----------------------------
(aside -- isn't it sort of interesting that Microsoft's browser feels it necessary to identify itself as Mozilla...Netscape's browser whose source code is available to everyone, and to which anybody can contribute code enhancements?)
Isn't it amazing how much information You broadcast about when You go online?
Ever wish You could send an email anonymously? Say You work on a construction project (or building a nuclear submarine or power plant) and You find out they're falsifying weld x-rays so they can go ahead and get their licenses...and You would blow the whistle, but are just plain scared shitless of what would happen to You and Your Family because these guys are Big and Powerful and Mean and have been known to play really dirty (remember Karen Silkwood?)?
Here are the links on that page (I just used the ChazBrowza's ability to grab the links from a page all at once...hit control-J, and choose to copy - copy all - as text, html, or hotlist items...i chose copy all - html, and boom...here You are...):
So. There's a few anonymous remailers. I haven't checked the links, but there's probably at least one or two that will do what You want them to. Whistleblowers, take a deep breath, and...Good Luck!
A word about URLgrabbing
I know I posted Richard M. Stallman's page's URLs a couple of days ago (because I thought his links were phat.) And I just grabbed the links from the privacy.net site, above. But I want to say something about the practice, here and now, just so there are no misunderstandings.
I do not condone just going out and hijacking other People's links, necessarily. If somebody has put a lot of sweat into assembling a nice resource, why not go to that resource and use it!!!?
"But I'm scared that site will disappear! It happens, y'know!" Yeah, I know, I know. So, make a backup copy of the page for Yourself, just in case. Or go the the links You want and bookmark'em...add them to Your favourites...hotlist. But don't just go around hijacking links. It's rude.
(...and I never claimed not to be a hypocrite ;-^) )
BTW, Michal at Cornerhost wondered to me yesterday why my pages were starting to load so slowly. I think I know why now. It's those damn fat png files I used for the ChazBrowza Skins. If the download page loads slowly, that's why. You know what I have to do? I have to save them each as jpg's or gifs, optimise (reduce file size), then convert back to .png's (cause I like pngs.) I'm gonna do that now.
Enjoy the Privacy, Anonymous, Emailer links, Download ChazBrowza, Share Music and other good stuff, and let's reform the music industry (and other ones) so we don't keep getting screwed out of our work! :out
Linux - here is every version I could build at the moment. All are ChazBrowza v0.01 - no skins, English, German, and Chinese Language Support.
There's a static, vanilla version that should run on most distros, a couple in Debian packaging, a couple of zips, some rpm's and some bz2 archives. Be sure to carefully examine the QT part of the filename, as it should match up with the library versions in Your distribution/installation.
Email ChazLinux@stoned-out-loud.org if You have any problems or suggestions,
Note that once installed, the ChazBrowza uses the Opera default skins. Just say "Alt-P" or Choose (menu) File | Preferences. Once in Preferences, choose "Browser Look" on the left, then select (in the center) "Foreground Skin" - and You'll see all the cool custom skins I made. Use'em. It really spruces up my time on the web, I hope it will Yours, too.
My Time on this Box is Up, Now.
Gotta get off and let Delene (my housemate) check her email now...The Stones still haven't paid her. Mike "Mick" Decaro called her down there to Stamford the other day (I can't believe she actually went.) to help with some clerical/secretarial stuff,and (he said) to get paid some money for her efforts since March.
Guess what? He was going to pay her with the money he got from WAAF for procuring an interview with Keith Richards after the soundcheck before the Opening show at Fleet Center in Boston. But (this time the excuse was) when she got there, he had (get this)_ "lost my wallet." Suuurrre "Mick." And what about the website Delene designed and put up as a mock up for the commercial site You wanted? Where's the cash for Hosting? Where's the cash You promised to pay the contractor, My Friend Delene?
ChazBrowza! Stoned Out Loud offers a Free Browser with Email
Get the Free Stoned Out Loud Browser-Email: ChazBrowza!
Alert! Stoned Out Loud now has it's own Browser with Email, Chazbrowza ( a branded and customised version of Opera 6.05). Windows Users can get their FREE download from our Sister organisation, StonedOutLoud.org. Download from http://www.stoned-out-loud.org/download/ChazBrowzaWin_v0.02_en_32671.exe . Linux versions should be online by late tonight or early tomorrow (Thursday) morning. - g.moss.
Napster and the Death of the Music Industry - John Perry Barlow
I finally got to prepare this article last night for publication here, so after an absence of some months, it is now back on the web. Originally it appeared on Technocrat.net (now on hiatus...but it'll re-emerge I would surmise, what with publisher Bruce Perens leaving HP for what the pundits have variously termed "politics" and "a more activist role" serving the cause of software Freedom). It was a pleasure getting this ready to go. Enjoy. Read it aloud. -dcm
Note: a non-Blogicised version is in our Articles section. Just click on the link above.
Napster and the Death of the Music Industry "By" John Perry Barlow
I expect most of you are aware that the Recording Industry Association of America has been fighting a desperate struggle against technologies that would end its century-long enslavement and exploitation of musicians. One of these developments is something called Napster.com, a system that indexes and makes available digital music files that are stored on the private hard disks of its subscribers.
About a month ago, the New York Times asked me to write an editorial about Napster and the general state of copyright in the world of music. I jumped at the chance and only after nine drafts and a lot of nocturnal hair-tearing did I realize how impossible it would be to both describe the situation in sufficient detail and comment on it in no more than 700 words. I eventually gave up, but I did write something that I would like to pass on to you, in the interest of stimulating your thoughts on the subject. (If it resonates, feel free to pass it further on.)
Of course, things have been moving very rapidly. In the time since I wrote this piece, something called Gnutella has emerged. Gnutella is a distributed indexing system for any kind of on-line content. The fact that it has no central server nor identifiable individual in charge means that it can't be shut down or sued.
Furthermore, I heard today of another development called Freenet. Freenet, the work of a 23 year old Irish copyright anarchist named Ian Clarke, is a system that makes it possible to exchange any copyrighted material anonymously. Freenet would also make the storage location(s) of the material impossible to locate, thus frustrating such efforts as Metallica's current crack-down on Napster subscribers who have stored their songs.
(You gotta love Metallica. There were a pain in the ass to their parents. Now they're going to be a pain in the ass to their kids.)
There's plenty of action in this zone, and since one of my current missions in life is to kill the music business and midwife the birth of the musician business and audience business, I'm keeping plenty busy.
In any event, here's what I had to say about it a month ago:
NAPSTER'S ENORMOUS MUSIC ROOM
An Op-Ed Piece for the New York Times
By John Perry Barlow
Last fall, an obscure 19 year old student named Shawn Fanning quietly inflicted the wound that I believe will eventually kill the music business as we know it. He set up a Web site called Napster.com.
Of course, the recording industry, like other traditional publication media, was already suffering a likely terminal illness. Because of the Internet, almost any informational product can be infinitely reproduced and instantaneously distributed all over the planet without cost. This obsoletes the material containers previously necessary for information transport as well as most of the industries that manufactured them. The biggest remaining obstacle to this free flow of digital liquid is legal, not practical.
But so far this impediment - copyright law - has been sufficient to make most of the 20th Century's best musical creations and performances very hard to find online. Nearly all of this material has been commercially released and is therefore in the white-knuckled grip of the companies that recorded it. Commercial MP3 sites are too visible to risk legal assault by copyright patrols from the RIAA (or Recording Industry Association of America.), so they traffic mostly in recent or insignificant works.
But Fanning realized there is a lot more digitized music in Cyberspace than one might think. This is because millions of ordinary listeners have converted portions of their purchased music collections into the MP3 format and copied them onto their hard drives. He further realized that many of these personal hard disks are continuously connected to the Internet, generally because their owners, mostly students, hold accounts on academic networks.
Fanning also knew that people have an old and deep impulse to share music with one another, so, in essence, he designed an immense and growing virtual space, Napster.com, where they could do so. Napster creates a vast community of folks who can play music directly from one another's PC's, rather as they might play one of their roommate's CD's on the stereo in their dorm room.
But of course, in this environment, what can be played can also be copied. When I reach through Napster to the hard disk of some kid in Ohio and grab his copy of, say, Cassidy by the Grateful Dead, I can also place it on my hard disk as I listen to it.
It is this characteristic of Napster that so haunts the RIAA . They believe that making this copy is as clear a case of theft as if I'd shop-lifted a CD from Walmart..
But what is being "stolen?" And from whom? Speaking as the fellow who co-wrote Cassidy, I don't believe that the kid in Ohio is injuring my economic interests by sharing it with others. Deadheads have been sharing our songs with each other for decades and it's done nothing but increase the demand for our work.
Of course, the RIAA takes a very different view and has lately been laboring by means, both legal and technical, to eliminate fair use, requiring payment to be made every time someone hears the music they claim to own. They regard Napster to be a global thief's bazaar.
But what can they do about it? Nothing, I'd say. Napster is legally safe from them because no copyrighted material is actually stored there. Nor is there any practical way to prosecute the burgeoning multitudes who have already made over 380, 000 musical pieces available there.
Appeals based on moral principles will avail them little. Cyberspace is and always has been a "gift economy" where sharing is considered a virtue, not a crime. The music industry is generally despised by both music-lovers and musicians, to whom they've been returning about five percent of the retail value of their works.
Further, most musicians agree with Public Enemy rapster Chuck D, who recently said that the recording industry's legal assertion that they own the music they distribute is as senseless as would be a claim by Federal Express that they should own the contents of the packages they ship.
Also, from an economic standpoint, many musicians have discovered, as the Grateful Dead did, that the best way to make money from music is to give it away. While scarcity may increase the value of physical goods, such as CD's, the opposite applies to information. In a dematerialized information economy, there is an equally strong relationship between familiarity and value. If your work is good, allowing what you've done to self-replicate freely increases demand for what you haven't done yet, whether by live performances or by charging online for the download of new work.
For these, and far more reasons than I can state here, I'm convinced that the traditional music business is finished. Napster and other environments like it will polish off the likes of BMG and Tower Records within five years.
Personally, I can't say I'll miss it. For over a century, it has exploited both musicians and audiences. By its proprietary practices and crass insistence on mass appeal, it has desertified the ecology of auditory epiphany, impoverished genius, fattened lawyers, turned plastic into gold, and offered gilded plastic in return.
Music expresses the soul of a society. It is perhaps the most singularly human activity of our peculiar species, since, unlike the rest of our major endeavors, it doesn't support our physical survival. But the 20th Century music business has transformed the deepest currents of our culture into mere currency.
To be fair, I will confess that it had its purposes and time. Without the record industry, I would never have heard The Rolling Stones, Stockhausen, Handel, Billy Holiday, Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson, Ravi Shankar, or Balinese Monkey Chants. Nor, more importantly, would they have been able to hear - and thus build upon - each other.
I also recognize that some percentage of those who work in it appear to be human beings. As a former cattle rancher, I feel a pang of compassion at their economic demise. But history is littered with such casualties. The people who worked in them found other jobs.
The graceful industries go down gently when they've outlived their utility, but doesn't appear that this one is going to. They appear prepared to bury with themselves an entire epoch of music under a thick crust of copyright law, leaving a century-sized hole in the history of music.
We can't allow this to happen. If it does, it will cause the still-birth of what is presently gestating on Napster.com: the musician business. (And even, with luck, something one might call the audience business.)
In Napster's enormous room, music will arise in spontaneous and global abundance in the space between creators and listeners so interactively that it will be hard to tell which is which. No longer will we mistake music for a noun, as its containers have tempted us to do for a century. We will realize once more that music is a verb, a relationship, a constantly evolving life form.
But you can't own verbs, nor relationships, nor divine gifts. Whatever the current legalities, I personally find defining "my" songs to be a form of property to be as philosophically audacious and as impractical as would be a claim that I own "my" daughters, another blessing that just happened to pass into the world through me..
As with my daughters, I want to exercise some control over what happens to the songs for which I was the mere conduit. I don't want them to be altered, abused, exploited, or used by others for their own commercial purposes. Developing the proper legal and ethical instruments to assure me that ability will be tricky. But more than control, I want my songs, like my daughters, to be free to roam the world and be loved by as many as can appreciate their occasional beauty.
Whatever models evolve to protect the creation of music, I am not concerned that we will fail to economically support its makers after we quit calling it property. For some reason, humans absolutely require music, and they were providing for the material needs of musicians for tens of thousands of years before copyright law, just as they will do so for tens of thousands of years after this brief and anomalous period has been forgotten..
-- John Perry Barlow, Cognitive Dissident Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, Electronic Frontier Foundation Berkman Fellow, Harvard Law School
Richard M. Stallman (RMS) has one hell of a set of links on his page.
RMS is the Founder of the Free Software Foundation, the Gnu Project (without which we would not have the Gnu Public License (GPL) or Linux), and the George Washington of Open, Transparent Code, and I hold him in the highest regard. If it were not for his doing a lot of the unglamourous coding and grunt work that goes along with building a software infrastructure, we would not have the excellent Free software we have today.
I wandered on over to his page today, and all the worthy causes he is involved with just blew me away! My God! If only I could be HALF that effective.
Then when I upgraded, the bloggerPro software suddenly began insisting that someone else was there. So I picked / chose to publish to aich-tee-tee-pee-colon-slash-slash-stoned-dash-out-dash-loud-dot-blogspot-dot-com. (http://stoned-out-loud.blogspot.com).
Reluctantly, the BloggerPro software let me do this, but only if I used the interface to eff-tee-pee (FTP) it there and fail because I didn't know the right etiquette, i.e. probably some combo of path and servername and blogid and username that I never could get right.
Then, after it would fail, it would revert back to publishing me where I wanted to in the first place - even though somebody else had that Blog!!!
Bah! Computers. Networks. Software. Buncha upstart collection of electrons and sand.
Be sure and look for Stoned Out Loud at http://www.stoned-out-loud.com . It'll probably usually always be there.
ah. here's a good one. Internet Explorer just delivered to me http://stoned-out.blogspot.com/ while cheerfully acknowledging in the title bar "Cannot find server". And Look! Lot's and Lots of archives, not belonging to me!
No doubt You may notice a few changes to Stoned Out Loud. If this is Your first time here (and that's more likely than not, the way we've been growing :-) ), here's a quick synopsis of the changes made over the weekend.
- Now I have a template for articles.The first article published using this template is J.P.Barlow's "Slouching Towards Hollywood." It is now linked to it in several places:
..........From the eBlogazine post itself, where it originally appeared;
..........From the "Articles of Note" box;
..........From the URL just beneath the Title;:
..........And, of course, the Blogger software creates a link out of the time the item was posted, at the bottom of the entry.
- A Title field has been added to the entries here. It won't necessarily be above all of them, but now it is available to use, if we want to.
- A URL field is available for use by RSS feeds, in case someone wants to grab Stoned Out Loud articles for a newsfeed on their site. If You want'em, You got'em. We have been developing our e-Blogazine format here on the blogspot site, so site changes, and often new articles, get published here first.
Sometimes (depending I suppose on where You are), the "www" is optional.
- Several news feeds from NewsNow.co.uk have been added, as buttons in the left column. They pop-up windows with a newsfeed that refreshes itself about every 3 or 4 minutes with the latest news on the web in that category. Categories now on Stoned Out Loud include Music News, Freedom of Information, and Media Ownership. I have more, just have not had time yet to incorporate them. Also, I've made some custom buttons for them, also, same story, no time to install them em yet. I'll get to it.
- A custom site search has been added. It will search either this site and affiliated sites I have told it about, or the web. I was pretty impressed with it when I tried it. I hope it will help You find what You are seeking here. It needs to be told every few days to re-spider and re-index Stoned Out Loud as it grows, but I think I can set it up so it does it automatically. I'll look into it.
- Stoned Out Loud publishing has been upgraded to BloggerPro.This offers more functionality, and is overall a great improvement and of great utility-- but it has had a few kinks. If You see archives that belong to some swamp Yankee blues guitarist, that's a side effect of this upgrade. They should go away the next time I regenerate and republish the archives, a few minutes from now. But the upgrade did throw my publishing schedule back a few days. Even so, now we're pretty much back on track.
- There will be new content within 24 hours, according to my plans at the moment. I would like to add something new (in terms of content) every day, and I don't want the place to get too busy and distracting with counters and bells and whistles. But still I have a lot of resources I haven't added yet...more newsfeeds, search engines. I guess I'll have to branch out to a few other special purpose pages. Tell me what You think. comment on this post, at the bottom. (thanks)!
One thin Stoned Out Loud is, is a resource and forum for Artists to talk about how to fix the deflicted Music Industry (and the Law) so it doesn't continue to screw People out of a Living (like Mike Decaro and the Rolling Stones have done/are doing with my Friend Delene). It should be a place where You can come to kick back, catch up on the news, and participate in this ongoing embryonic thing as we figure out how we are going to preserve our First Amendment Freedoms while managing to respect Intellectual Property Rights. That's one of the reason's for Stoned Out Loud.
- Other updates this weekend:
- The Rolling Stones Tour newsfeed has been on and off with the edits to the site I have been making. I think it's fixed now. If it's broken, check the JPB article in the articles section...That one I know is working.
-the commenting system was offline temporarily this morning. It's back now (last I checked).
You might have noticed an "image hosted by tripod" image instead of Enetation's or Stoned Out Loud's logos. That was because I stupidly (I knew better, but was careless with my code editing) made references to images stored on the tripod version of SOL and Tripod has their webservers set so the swap their image for any image requested by a domain outside of their realm. If it isn't being served to a Tripod-hosted page, it won't be served. (Tripod, like Yahoo, doesn't like to serve images to web pages outside their corporate web of affiliation. Hardly in keeping with the tradition of the creation of the internet and hypertext/html , but whaddaygonnado? Capitalism/BottomLineIsm. ah, well...). So anyway...: All references to images served by tripod have been eliminated (I think :-| ) .
Well that about wraps it up. It's been a busy weekend for me. Oh, before I forget: the blogspot address for Stoned Out Loud has changed, as a side effect of the upgrade process. It was stoned-out.blogspot.com, but now, it is (more consistently) http://stoned-out-loud.blogspot.com .
Tell Your Friends!
Come back again and again. (I checked the stats today, and You have been!) Or, if You are just mulling over an idea for one, email me with a suggestion and I'll help You develop it. Like I've said before, there needs to be other voices than my own here, rants other than my own, too. As well as <ó¿¿“@Ë (a bit of line noise...Claude Shannon and Benoit Mandlebrot would have liked that...in fact Mandlebrot showed that it was present in no matter how small an interval one chose!) ahem As well as a few well-chosen voices of opposition...it is the creative tension that drives debate forward, sometimes, although in the current war the RIAA/MPAA is waging against the First Amendment, I have serious doubts any of that tribe will be convinced...Too often greed trumps rational disputation.
I hope You enjoy the changes, and look forward to any site suggestions You might care to offer. Thanks in Advance.
........Dave Manchester ........Publisher, ........Stoned Out Loud ........
-- "when innovation is outlawed, only outlaws will innovate. then will arise the day of secret sharing, and invention and community will be furtive and not talked about openly. That would be tragic." --dcm