Saturday, April 29, 2017

Premier League Asks Google to Take Down Facebook’s Homepage | TorrentFreak

Removing search results is nothing new for Google. The company has been cleaning up its search index for years, in response to complaints from copyright holders.

Every week the search engine processes millions of requests. In most cases these claims are legitimate, but every now and then innocent web pages are mistakenly targeted.

This week we stumbled upon a takedown notice that’s clearly not right. The request was sent by NetResult on behalf of the Premier League, and targets a wide variety of sports streaming related sites.

“The reported URLs are offering unauthored live streams of Premier League content,” it reads, listing the homepages of sites such as streamsarena.eu, letsfooty.com, tvlink.in and sportcategory.com.

While targeting the homepages of these sites is already quite broad, it also lists the main Facebook.com URL among the infringing domains, asking Google to remove it from the search engine entirely.

Premier League Takedown Notice

Google has investigated the claims, including the Facebook one, but decided not to comply with the notice in question, leaving Facebook’s homepage in search results.

In situations like this, we can see how easy erroneous takedown claims can easily lead to over-blocking. It’s good to know that, despite receiving millions of requests per day, the search engine is still able to spot most of these flaws.

Unfortunately, however, not all mistakes are easily caught, especially when they concern smaller sites.

Just a few days ago we noticed that a page from the copyright troll blog DieTrollDie was removed from Google’s search results because it mentioned a torrent hash of a Lionsgate film, and another blog had several court filings removed from the results for the same reason.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

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Certain Songs #864: The Kinks – “Lola” | Medialoper

Album: Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One
Year: 1970

The Kinks recorded better songs. The Kinks recorded more popular songs. But The Kinks never recorded a more iconic song.

Not “You Really Got Me,” which got co-opted by Van Halen for better and worse. Not “Celluloid Heroes,” even if I sing it to myself every time I walk down Hollywood Blvd. Not even “Waterloo Sunset,” no matter how beautiful it was.

No, it’s “Lola.” “El-oh-el-Ay, Lola.” From the percussive riff that anchors it to the sing-along fade out, “Lola” was the song that — more than any other — would forever be associated with The Kinks. Its unexpected popularity — their first top ten hit in the U.S. in 5 years (and their last one for 13) — was credited by Dave Davies for saving the band.

And in fact, while it didn’t really fit the concept album that Ray was working on about the evils of the music industry, it was so popular that not only did they slot “Lola” on the album, they made sure to put Lola in the album title, as well. Thus the sublimely silly Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Part One, the last of their four-of-the-greatest-albums-ever run.

And why not? At its heart, “Lola” is a massive folk-rock singalong that showcases just how clever of a songwriter Ray Davies had become. “See-Oh-El-Ay, Cola” in the first verse was just the beginning, as Ray mixes just the right amount of ambiguity, enthusiasm and confusion describing a night that probably didn’t go the way his character might have imagined.

Well, I’m not the world’s most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight
She nearly broke my spine
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

By this point, the quiet opening guitar has given way to the full band, Dave’s leads searing between nearly every line, and his high harmonies right there in the mix during the more rockier parts, and down in the mix during the quieter parts as “Lola” continued to keep you the dark where it was going musically, as well.

And so one iconic set of lyrics would be set to a quieter part:

Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world
Except for Lola
Lo lo lo lo Lola

And another iconic set of lyrics would be set to a noisier part:

Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man
But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
And so is Lola
Lo lo lo lo Lola
Lo lo lo lo Lola

And the exact meaning of both sets of lyrics could be debated until the end of time, and probably will be. But one thing was absolutely sure: “Lola,” both the song and the character, was a rousing good time, which is why we will all sing “Lo lo lo lo Lola” for the rest of our lives.

“Lola”

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Certain Songs #863: The Kinks – “Mindless Child of Motherhood” | Medialoper

Album: The Kink Kronikles
Year: 1969

I know that I’m spending over a month writing about the amazing oeuvre of The Kinks, because the songwriting of Raymond Douglas Davies has spoken so clearly to me for most of my life, but the irony is that my favorite Kinks song might not be “Till The End of The Day” or “Shangri-La” or “Waterloo Sunset” but rather this b-side written by David Russell Gordon Davies.

And I swear that I’m not even being contrary: that’s how beautiful, how powerful and how wonderful I think “Mindless Child of Motherhood” is. It can stand with pop songs that are universally acclaimed as being among the greatest ones ever written.

When he was 15, Dave Davies got a girl pregnant, followed by his mother lying to him by telling him that the girl wanted nothing to do with him, so he never saw his daughter. It was clearly a key incident in his life, as it came out in more than one song, notably “Funny Face,” from Something Else by The Kinks, the solo single “Susannah’s Still Alive” and finally, the crashing, cathartic “Mindless Child of Motherhood.”

Starting off with a rolling bass, rumbling guitar and delicate harpsichord, “Mindless Child of Motherhood” suddenly crashes into drum rolls and power chords as Dave pulls no punches about his pain, with his lead guitar — which will never abandon him! — echoing nearly every line.

I know that it’s not fair
To bear a bastard son
But why do you hide there
When we could have shared a love?

Then, during the pre-chorus Ray comes in, singing the low harmony — he knows what’s coming, and he just wants to be supportive of his little brother, who is clearly working through some issues.

How long must I travel on
To be just where you are?
How long must I travel on
To be just where you arrrrrrrrre?

And then, with a quick build, “Mindless Child of Motherhood” completely explodes into its chorus, with Mick Avory trying to talk Dave down of the ledge with crash cymbals, but failing at every turn.

And then there’s the eerie high-pitched harmony vocal on the chorus. Who is it? Is it Ray? Is it Rasa? Is it an overdubbed Dave? It’s so weird and incongruous that you almost get distracted from utter despair that Dave is venting on the harrowingly glorious chorus. Almost.

I was your friend
I was a fool
I feel for you, though we’re far apart
I see your face
Lost without trace
I see your mind, just an empty space

Mindless child of motherhood
You have lost the thing that’s good
Mindless child of motherhood
You have lost the thing that’s good

This is followed up with the most sublime music The Kinks have ever created — Dave’s guitars swirling in and around a keyboard (unless it’s another guitar) and Mick Avory stop-timing with his snare and crash and the whole thing is haunting and lovely and uplifting.

That’s what’s so amazing about “Mindless Child of Motherhood:” the vocals and lyrics are one long scream from hell, but the music sounds like the chimes of heaven itself. It’s that tension that makes “Mindless Child of Motherhood” infinitely listenable, sad and uplifting at the same time, and an absolute peak for one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands ever.

P.S. Wikipedia tells me that Dave finally met his daughter in 1993.

“Mindless Child of Motherhood”

Every Certain Song Ever
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Certain Songs #862: The Kinks – “Arthur” | Medialoper

Album: Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
Year: 1969

After a whole album that basically spanned the history of the U.K., the Kinks finish the album that they started off exhorting her majesty Queen Victoria with a paean to the titular character, about whom they’re worrying way more than the Queen.

Musically, “Arthur” is the simplest, least-cluttered song on the record — no keyboards, no horns, driven mostly a Dave Davies’ 12-string guitar riff that barely kept from tripping over itself.

But that was all they needed, of course, because “Arthur” is one last summing up of the story and themes of the rest of the album.

If only life were easy it would be such fun
Things would be more equal
And be plenty for everyone
Arthur the world’s gone and passed you by
Don’t you know it, don’t you know it
You can cry, cry all night but it won’t make it right
Don’t ya know it
Don’t ya know it

Of course, Ray Davies having sympathy for someone for whom the world has passed by is basically his sweet spot, so while at first, it might seem that he’s making fun of poor Arthur — like just about any any of his peers would be, if they even deigned to include someone like Arthur in their songs about decadence and pinball — he soon makes his feelings clear, bringing the entire band in on the chorus.

Arthur we know and we sympathize
Don’t ya know it, don’t ya know it
Arthur we like you and want to help you
Somebody loves you don’t you know it

And they hammer that point, asking Arthur “don’t you know it?” over and over and over, making sure that he gets it — The Kinks are on his side.

But not just his side. During the coda — over handclaps!! — first Ray, and eventually, the rest of the Kinks start chanting over the ringing guitars and rolling drums.

Oh! we love you and want to help you
Oh! we love you and want to help you
Oh! we love you and want to help you
Somebody loves you, don’t you know it?

By the third or fourth time around, it seems like it changes to “All, we love you and want to help you.” In other words, not just Arthur, but you and me, as well. And while I’m no doubt reading too much into this, I choose to believe the coda of “Arthur” turns into the most positive statement of love and support for their fanbase that The Kinks ever recorded.

“Arthur”

Every Certain Song Ever
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Getting It Done: The Week In D.I.Y. & Indie Music | hypebot

 6a00d83451b36c69e201b8d1b7a6b9970c-150wiIn this edition of our tips and advice section we share industry navigation guidance for songwriters, the best way to convert interested fans into show attendees, how to build a visually appealing email, and much, much, more.

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What Now For ‘Pirate’ Boxes & Streaming Following the ECJ Ruling? | TorrentFreak

On Wednesday, the European Court of Justice handed down its decision in the long-running case between Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN and Filmspeler.nl.

Filmspeler sold Android-type devices with Kodi software installed. However, it augmented otherwise legal setups with third-party addons designed to deliver infringing content to customers.

Filmspeler’s owners felt that its pre-configured devices were legal, but both BREIN and ultimately the ECJ disagreed, with the latter noting that their sale amounted to a “communication to the public” in respect of infringing content.

So what does this decision mean for the sale of so-called “fully-loaded” devices in the EU? In the very short term, probably very little. Longer term, some changes probably lie ahead.

Suppliers

There can be little doubt that one of the first places people turn to for such devices are places like eBay. But despite some recent UK tabloid claims that the auction site had banned their sale, a cursory search today reveals hundreds of listings for devices that are clearly configured for piracy.

Over time – whether due to eBay tightening its policies, more aggressive reporting of infringing listings by rights holders, or increased caution on the part of sellers due to prosecutions – it’s likely that these kinds of blatant ‘pirate’ listings will become much less common. However, sellers will find subtle ways to get their message across, without attracting too much attention.

For instance, people hoping to watch satellite TV without paying for an expensive subscription can head over to eBay and pop the otherwise benign terms “satellite” and “gift” into the search box. Hundreds of listings appear, the majority of which offer a pirate subscription to an illegal card-sharing service. ‘Pirate’ box sellers are likely to employ similar tactics in future.

While sprawling, eBay is relatively easy to police but the same cannot be said of the listings that appear in local classified papers. These ads are often placed by regular people who have nurtured a small cottage industry selling a few boxes per week. These people could find themselves targeted by authorities, but sheer numbers will dictate that most fly under the radar.

For suppliers still intent on shifting volume, safer strategies exist.

Pirate addons? Get ready for a DIY boom

This week’s ECJ ruling has nothing to do with the sale of basic hardware and everything to do with infringing software. In other words, if box suppliers sell devices with little other than an operating system installed, they are not breaking the law. This presents a problem, however.

A typical ‘pirate’ box buyer hasn’t got the knowledge to turn an Android device into a piracy machine, that’s why he bought the thing off eBay in the first instance. This means that these kinds of people will be much less likely to buy if they have to mess around themselves. However, if they only have to click a couple of links to get going, that probably won’t be too much of a problem.

That’s certainly the case with native Android apps such as Showbox, Popcorn Time, Mobdro, and Terrarium TV, which are all installed to a set-top device with a couple of clicks, even by the complete novice. With this in mind, it’s likely that sellers will very gently direct customers to sites offering the software and tutorials, rather than take the risk themselves.

Custom installers for Kodi (such as TVAddons’ Fusion) are also widely available and will no doubt gain further traction if the availability of pre-configured ‘pirate’ boxes is restricted. Expect there to be a lot of innovation in this area, with an emphasis on making this as close to a ‘one-click’ process as possible.

But will users be breaking the law using these setups?

In a word – probably.

Up until this week, it was widely believed that users who merely stream pirated content are not breaking the law. It was a position even held by UK Trading Standards, who have an important prosecution pending against a box seller.

But the ECJ’s decision published on Wednesday appears to have removed all doubt, noting that a “copyright-protected work obtained by streaming from a website belonging to a third party offering that work without the consent of the copyright holder” does not qualify for exemption from reproduction rights.

In other words, streaming copyrighted content from an illicit source is now just as illegal in the EU as downloading from an illicit source. So what does this mean for the average ‘pirate’ box user? In the short term, probably not a great deal.

When a user downloads or streams infringing content, whether that’s from a file-hosting site, streaming portal, or even YouTube, no third parties are legally able to get in the way to monitor what’s going on. The user’s connection is directly communicating with the source, and unlike BitTorrent, there are no easily monitored and potentially risky uploads going on.

So yes, streaming is now apparently confirmed illegal but will remain a hidden offense carried out by dozens of millions of people all around the EU. Even in the face of an ECJ ruling, only their consciences will stand between them and illicit content, whether a box seller installed the addons, or if they did the deed themselves.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

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