Archive for August, 2008

And what you gonna say in private?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

The ridiculously widely publicised default judgement against a filesharer has attracted the sort of attention they’d probably rather it hadn’t. Michael Coyle of Lawdit Solicitors has offered to defend fileshares targeted by Davenport Lyons pro bono.

Of course, it’ll probably help if you’re not a dickhead.

(KaZaA is so 2001, darling.)

The Wall of Hair.

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Modern American Media Martyr Phil Spector Hand-Painted On Black Velvet In Tijuana Mexico for The American Tabloid Heroes Collection of Indignico Inc.

From the same company that brought you the Black Velvet Wesley Crusher.

I love MySQL with a love only Hans Reiser could understand.

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I got sick enough of this with Squishdot. MySQL just ate itself all by itself and had to be restored from backups. Fortunately, I recovered both the last two posts from the LiveJournal feed. Next: taking a daily backup myself. At least I’m not actually paying for this hosting …

Bono disappears up his own arse (again).

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

In a response to Rolling Stone’s review of the reissue of U2’s early album Boy, Bono likens The Edge to Van Gogh and recording the album to the protagonist’s growing up in The Tin Drum.

Thanks to Joel Silbersher for the heads up.

Woman fined £16,000 in apparently nonexistent court case.

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Davenport Lyons, “a leading London law firm,” has put out a press release, which has been run as-is by large chunks of the press, speaking of the Patents County Court in London having ruled that the unnamed woman “should pay Topware Interactive, owner of the computer game Dream Pinball 3D, damages of £6,086.56 plus costs and disbursements of £10,000.”

The only problem is that no trace of the case’s existence can be found. Several posters to the Open Rights Group mailing list have failed to find any mention of such a case in court lists. Neil Dunbar of the list notes that the Patents County Court Diary will publish all cases as of October 2007. The Patent Courts Diary (PDF) “has no listing for this trial, although it does reference other trials for 22 July, when DL claim the judgment was handed down.”

A mysterious missing judgement, and a press release reprinted without the faintest nod to fact-checking? It’s August.

Update: Actual journalism found in the Daily Mail! (Warning: Daily Mail.) It appears to be a default judgement against an unemployed single mother, Isabella Barwinska, who didn’t show up to court (despite BBC report to the contrary). Lotsa luck collecting.

My memory has just been sold.

Monday, August 18th, 2008

The zombie technology of the magazine suffers the final insult:, a magazine-sharing site. The hard part in nailing them for this blatant copyright violation is that they’re trying the corporate ownership passed around by p2p trick. As it happens, the magazines are uploaded with all original advertisements, so what the publishers would need is auditable views on the site that their advertisers would believe. I really should get the old Party Fears up.

Never mind the money, you’re not getting paid anyway.

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Radiohead’s In Rainbows did zillions of copies through bittorrents and filesharing, suggesting they’re replacing the radio, not the CD. Not that the death of the CD is a worry for musicians; ask Lyle Lovett, who’s “never seen a dime” from 4.6 million album sales in two decades.

Sister Morphine grown up.

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Amy Winehouse should be so lucky to survive, and thrive, as Marianne Faithfull has done.

Join us now and free the photos.

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

One of my other pastimes is Wikipedia. We’re all about the free-as-in-freedom content — not just no-cost with-permission, but wide-open to reuse, including commercially. This concept makes culture industry people’s heads explode, but we did make #8 website in the world that way.

The hard part is photos of entertainers. Bad live shots, fan snapshots and so forth under a proper free content licence always supersede something that isn’t free content. (Looking pretty isn’t the mission — reusable and remixable content is. So we’re hardarses about it.)

I’m wondering a useful way to reliably get entertainment industry promo photos to flock to us. The third-best shot of the shoot, say. I suspect the worst fan snaps would be an incentive. So where and how do we publicise this? (I’ve asked this before.)

(If you’ve taken decent photos of someone with a Wikipedia article but no good pic, we’d love ’em. I’m slowly going through my own twenty years’ photos. CC by-sa is fine, and requires your name staying attached to the image details page. Follow in the steps of Joichi Ito.)

There’s a ghost in my house.

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I stopped by the Wayback Machine yesterday and found a pile of classic Rocknerd. This is slowly being hand-restored. (Mostly my own stuff first.) 2001, 2002, 2003! Comments not restored yet (if ever).

The deaf watchmaker.

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Sorry, EMI — fair use is possible in sound recordings. Even for duplicitous creationist nutters no sane person would want to be associated with. This may have just blown the bottom out of sample licensing.

It’s not surprising we’re misunderstood, with this Somerset accent.

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Cliff Harris from small game company Positech asked why people pirate his games. In what could be a shining example to anyone in music with a clue, he’s acted on the results — no DRM, better demos, lower price, slicker content. And no DRM. Also, no DRM. Who’da thunk?

Au clair de la lune.

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Hard disks are cheap; cultural preservation is forever.

(Mind you, I still so so so want one of these.)

Bonus: The earliest known sound recording — 1860, seventeen years before Edison.

Gets you jumping like a real live wire.

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

When Uwe Boll* calls [*may not be 100% true], Richard O’Brien listens. (Or not.) ‘Cos adaptations make the world go round.

(1944 Marxist sociology is often indistinguishable from rock journalism. Or how-tos.)

Magnetically-energised oxygenated mineral water for dogs.

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

The drink of audiophiles. The only thing I can see wrong is it’s far too cheap. (Spotted by Wechsler.)

(Bonus link: a magnetic thing that actually does something useful.)

Yak Shaving Day!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Exact Audio Copy is the Chuck Norris of CD rippers. It turned a rotted old demo CD-R by the Deadites (from back when CD-Rs were blue) that wouldn’t even play as an audio CD into playable music in just seven hours. I think one second of the original 17-minute EP went astray. And the DVD drive didn’t melt. Linux and Macintosh users will be pleased to know that EAC works flawlessly in Wine, and of course the Linux users can still alternate with cdparanoia.

(My current yak shaving is reripping all my CDs as FLAC. Disk is so cheap.)

There is nothing more irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ethernet binge.

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I can’t wait for peer-to-peer drug networks. Those headphone audiophools were onto something. If only Anthony Burgess had thought of “personal stereos.”

(spotted by Jed)

Quis indagator Æthiopicus qui sicut mechana futuit?

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Obituary of the year.

You don’t own me.

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

It’s scientifically proven: keeping everything in copyright forever leads to a tragedy of the anticommons. (Despite Cliff Richard’s pleas on behalf of continuing royalties for session musicians … er, hold on.)

Just spell my name right.

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

The general public just refuse to see copying as morally wrong if it’s not for money. But attribution is another matter. (Look at the drama when someone STEALS a LiveJournal icon from the original thief.)

The power of a nation lies in its youth.

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Fiction about rock’n’roll is usually dire. I think John Hawkes-Reed has nailed it, though.

Rewind before return.

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

While you’re saving up for your cable.

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore, waiting to take you away.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Magazines and newspapers are a zombie technology. But Esquire is trying to work past that. I give it three hours after hitting the stands that the cover’s repurposed as a general e-book reader, media player, game device, PDA, mobile phone, Linux desktop and probably coffee maker. Take that, Amazon Zune.

Fairy gold.

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Yahoo is reimbursing its fairy gold victims, but people have finally noticed that just the same applies to iTunes. Apple are already messing about the iPhone customers, and the Wizard is very good indeed but not in fact immortal.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Poochie.

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

In the MPAA’s consumer assault, consider the shiny 5¼” disk the Maginot Line. DVD sales are slipping for the first time since 1997. And Blu-Ray “won” the format battle but is losing the war against the Great Slight Economic Downturn. Because statistically, no-one gives a hoot about high resolution, going for convenience every time.

Someone must be making a packet convincing executives that customers will buy what you tell them to, not what they want to. What’s the killer feature on the Blu-Ray release of Sleeping Beauty? Chat, messaging to and from phones, video greeting cards and quizzes for loyalty programme points! ‘Cos there’s vast untapped consumer demand for expensive stuff that’s like the Internet except shit.

At least Pixar’s been allowed to tell the rest of Disney that if you make a sequel, it’s gotta, y’know, not suck.

The alcohol loves you whilst turning you blue.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Lots more old Party Fears scans up, courtesy Nick Potter, who decided I was being a slackarse and so got on with it himself. Including #16½, which even I didn’t have a copy of. Cheers, mate. *pint* I don’t suppose there’s anyone with too much time on their hands interested in transcribing any of that small print?

Shake the disease.

Friday, August 1st, 2008

If you keep doing obnoxious things to lots and lots of people, they may start talking. And then you discover some of them are high-powered lawyers who maintain high-quality documentation of your obnoxiousness … and then write journal articles for judges to learn all about you. Whoops.