Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Help Musicians UK CEO Richard Robinson exits | Music Business Worldwide


The CEO of UK music charity Help Musicians (HMUK), Richard Robinson, has stepped down from the organisation.

Robinson is leaving with immediate effect for personal reasons, according to an email seen by MBW sent to staff from HMUK Chairman Graham Sheffield.

He joined the charity in 2015 after serving over three years at Olympic charity The Legacy List.

James Ainscough – who was Chief Operating Officer at London venue Royal Albert Hall before joining HMUK as interim Finance Director earlier this year – is interim CEO until a permanent successor is found.

“On behalf of the Trustees, I would like to thank you all for your continued positivity and passion for the work of this great charity as we look to the future and strive together to make a difference for all those we support.”

graham sheffield, help musicians UK

In the email addressed to staff, Sheffield said: “On behalf of the Trustees, I would like to thank you all for your continued positivity and passion for the work of this great charity as we look to the future and strive together to make a difference for all those we support.”

A note from Ainscough reads: “It is a huge privilege to stay for longer and to step up as interim CEO. I do so with the utmost confidence in your talent and enthusiasm.

“Together we will continue to build on the charity’s strong foundations, moving forwards with a strong spirit of trust and collaboration (with which we will also embrace our many friends throughout the world of music).”

james ainscough, help musicians UK

“Together we will continue to build on the charity’s strong foundations, moving forwards with a strong spirit of trust and collaboration (with which we will also embrace our many friends throughout the world of music).

“I will do my best to embody our collective values and, together with the Directors, provide you with visible leadership and encouragement.”

Founded in 1921, HMUK helps musicians in need throughout their careers with financial grants, health care and career support.Music Business Worldwide

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Certain Songs #1266: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Cortez The Killer (St. Paul 10-15-1978)” | Medialoper

Album: Live Rust
Year: 1979

Recorded at St Paul Civic Center on October 15, 1978

Tim and I saw the film of Rust Never Sleeps for the first time at some point during senior year. It was playing as a double bill with Rock n Roll High School. We think it was out at the Moon-Glo Drive-In, I’m pretty sure that there was at least a six-pack of beer involved, and I’m absolutely certain that one of the highlights was the epic version of “Cortez The Killer.”

Whereas the original studio version of “Cortez The Killer” on Zuma always felt like a sketch, almost a demo, especially when compared to the versions that were put on the Live Rust (from St. Paul) album and Rust Never Sleeps film (from San Francisco).

On the studio version, it’s just Young singing by himself, but for these live versions, there were backing vocals, Crazy Horse tossing harmonies on lines “the women all were beautiful” and “ahhhhhhs” throughout, while Neil sings about an entire civilization on the unknowing brink of extinction.

He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun
On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wondered
With the secrets of the worlds
And his subjects
Gathered around him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see

I’m not gonna lie: “he came dancing across the water” is beautiful and brutal in its depiction of white man conquistador arrogance, and it’s of course contrasted with creating a depiction of the Aztec civilization as a paradise where their benevolent leader got wired on coke and was totally tied into the life force.

And the thing, of course, is that “Cortez The Killer” is so spooky and ominous that you almost believe every word he’s singing, even though you know he’s exaggerating.

And his subjects
Gathered around him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see
And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood
Straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on

And of course, because this is Neil Young, there is still some darkness in paradise. Unless you think that ritual sacrifice to appease your angry gods is a good thing. Or forcing people to build pyramids. But then again with all of that arcing, skyrocketing guitar between the verses, you might not pay attention, because every single guitar solo in “Cortez The Killer” is a master class in showing how walking down the hill instead of running often yields greater results.

Because of the things about “Cortez The Killer” is that it is extremely slow: it takes time to conquer an entire civilization, and with Ralph Molina continually sabotaging any kind of momentum with his drum fills, “Cortez The Killer” saunters like a conquistador surveying his newly conquered territory.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones
They carried them
To the flat lands
And they died along the way
But they built up
With their bare hands
What we still can’t do today
And I know she’s living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can’t remember when
Or how I lost my way

In the end, “Cortez The Killer” jumps space and time, and inserts Neil himself into the song for . . . reasons. Neil himself didn’t know. When asked about the autobiographical element in his songs, he of course, played down any biographical elements in any of his song by referring to this one:

What the fuck am I doing writing about Aztecs in “Cortez the Killer” like I was there, wandering around? ‘Cause I only read about it in a few books. A lotta shit I just made up because it came to me.

And in fact, he slyly acknowledges this at the end of the Live Rust version by singing “he came dancing across the water, mon” in a faux-reggae accent while Crazy Horse does their approximation of reggae. No, not really. While Crazy Horse does join in with with the backing vocals, they continue to play the song like Crazy Horse. Meaning like nobody else could possibly play it.

And a lot of people have: Both The Church and Matthew Sweet covered it, and because it lends itself to long jams, so have a whole bunch of jam bands. Built to Spill tossed out a 20 minute version on their live album, and near the end of their run, it was a go-to set closer for my close personal friends The Miss Alans, though we never attempted it in Sedan Delivery, for some reason.

And of course, Neil recognized that it was an audience favorite — as well as an ideal setting for long, probing guitar excursions — and never stopped playing it. In fact, my guess is that, along with “Like a Hurricane” it’s the Neil Young song that Neil Young & Crazy Horse fans most want to see him shred on.

“Cortez The Killer” from Live Rust (St. Paul 1978)

“Cortez The Killer” from Rust Never Sleeps (San Francisco, 1978)

“Cortez The Killer” from Zuma

“Cortez The Killer” live in London 1976

“Cortez The Killer live in San Francisco 1986

“Cortez The Killer” from Weld, 1991

Cortez The Killer live in Rio, 2001

“Cortez The Killer” live in Fresno, 2018

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Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court | The Register

In a victory for those supporting open access to technical specifications, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday vacated injunctions [PDF] that prohibited Public.Resource.Org (PRO) from publishing copyrighted technical standards online.

The appeals court reversed a partial grant of summary judgement against the non-profit organization and returned the case to the US District Court for the District of Columbia to decide whether PRO's distribution of technical standards qualifies for the fair use defense against copyright claims.

PRO, run by public domain advocate Carl Malamud, gathers and publishes various government documents to make them more easily accessible. These include rules created and copyrighted by private standards organizations that get incorporated into federal law.

An example might be the technical specifications for the power source a tank barge would need to run the cargo tank’s legally required liquid overfill protection system.

The required power source, as described in the court ruling, turns out to be "a 120-volt, 20-ampere explosion-proof plug that meets ... NFPA 70, Articles 406.9 and 501-145."

This rule was developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a private organization, and incorporated into the National Electrical Code.

PRO purchased and uploaded hundreds of these technical standards from 2012 to 2014, in order to make the rules available to the public at no charge and to make them more accessible, through text-to-speech readers, for example.

management regulation2

US State of Georgia sues 'terrorist' for publishing its own laws ... on the internet

READ MORE

It was sued for intellectual property violations in mid-2013 by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). When PRO refused to remove the standards docs from its website, ASTM, NFPA and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) pressed their copyright and trademark claims (1:13-cv-01215-TSC).

Around the same time, the American Educational Research Association filed a similar lawsuit (1:14-cv-00857) after PRO published its standards for educational and psychological testing.

The district court last year sided with the standards groups and issued a partial summary judgement.

The appeals court has now undone that ruling, allowing for the possibility that PRO's publication of the specs is defensible as fair use while ducking the larger question of whether federal law can be copyrighted.

"Although PRO raises a serious constitutional concern with permitting private ownership of standards essential to understanding legal obligations, we think it best at this juncture to address only the statutory fair use issue – which may provide a full defense to some, if not all, of the SDO’s infringement claims in this case – and leave for another day the question of whether the Constitution permits copyright to persist in works incorporated by reference into law," the ruling states.

"We’re very pleased with today’s ruling, which represents a victory for the public as well as for Public Resource," said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry in a statement emailed to The Register. "It would thwart the purposes of copyright, not to mention due process, to allow a copyright claim to prohibit sharing the law for purely noncommercial purposes."

A similar fight between the State of Georgia and PRO has yet to be resolved. Last year, the State of Georgia won its 2015 case against PRO for publishing the state's laws online. That decision remains under appeal. ®

Sponsored: Minds Mastering Machines - Call for papers now open

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Appeals court rules publishing tech specs is legal and fair use | The Register

In a victory for those supporting open access to technical specifications, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday vacated injunctions [PDF] that prohibited Public.Resource.Org (PRO) from publishing copyrighted technical standards online.

The appeals court reversed a partial grant of summary judgement against the non-profit organization and returned the case to the US District Court for the District of Columbia to decide whether PRO's distribution of technical standards qualifies for the fair use defense against copyright claims.

PRO, run by public domain advocate Carl Malamud, gathers and publishes various government documents to make them more easily accessible. These include rules created and copyrighted by private standards organizations that get incorporated into federal law.

An example might be the technical specifications for the power source a tank barge would need to run the cargo tank’s legally required liquid overfill protection system.

The required power source, as described in the court ruling, turns out to be "a 120-volt, 20-ampere explosion-proof plug that meets ... NFPA 70, Articles 406.9 and 501-145."

This rule was developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a private organization, and incorporated into the National Electrical Code.

PRO purchased and uploaded hundreds of these technical standards from 2012 to 2014, in order to make the rules available to the public at no charge and to make them more accessible, through text-to-speech readers, for example.

management regulation2

US State of Georgia sues 'terrorist' for publishing its own laws ... on the internet

READ MORE

It was sued for intellectual property violations in mid-2013 by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). When PRO refused to remove the standards docs from its website, ASTM, NFPA and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) pressed their copyright and trademark claims (1:13-cv-01215-TSC).

Around the same time, the American Educational Research Association filed a similar lawsuit (1:14-cv-00857) after PRO published its standards for educational and psychological testing.

The district court last year sided with the standards groups and issued a partial summary judgement.

The appeals court has now undone that ruling, allowing for the possibility that PRO's publication of the specs is defensible as fair use while ducking the larger question of whether federal law can be copyrighted.

"Although PRO raises a serious constitutional concern with permitting private ownership of standards essential to understanding legal obligations, we think it best at this juncture to address only the statutory fair use issue – which may provide a full defense to some, if not all, of the SDO’s infringement claims in this case – and leave for another day the question of whether the Constitution permits copyright to persist in works incorporated by reference into law," the ruling states.

"We’re very pleased with today’s ruling, which represents a victory for the public as well as for Public Resource," said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry in a statement emailed to The Register. "It would thwart the purposes of copyright, not to mention due process, to allow a copyright claim to prohibit sharing the law for purely noncommercial purposes."

A similar fight between the State of Georgia and PRO has yet to be resolved. Last year, the State of Georgia won its 2015 case against PRO for publishing the state's laws online. That decision remains under appeal. ®

Sponsored: Minds Mastering Machines - Call for papers now open

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Pirates Punish Denuvo-Protected Games With Poor Ratings | TorrentFreak

The Denuvo anti-piracy system has been a sworn enemy of many gaming pirates for years.

Early on, the anti-tampering system appeared to be unbreakable. While it’s getting cracked more easily nowadays, it’s still seen as a major roadblock.

Denuvo leaves the average game pirate powerless. While they wait for crackers to find a patch, there’s little they can do, aside from bickering and complaining perhaps, which is quite common and not without consequence.

According to new research published by Dr. Zike Cao of the Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management, game pirates are retaliating against Denuvo-protected games by posting fake negative ratings.

In a paper titled “Revenge after ‘Freebies’ Are Gone? Effects of Curbing Piracy on Online User Ratings” Cao researched the effect of Denuvo protection on user comments posted on the review site Metacritic. The results suggest that Denuvo protection leads to significantly lower ratings across the board.

The researcher compared reviews of protected PC games with non-Denuvo protected console versions of the same games, showing that the former get a significantly lower rating on average.

After ruling out several alternative explanations, including the suggestion that Denuvo hurts gameplay, he sees only one explanation for this finding.

“In summary, the results from multiple identification tests consistently point to one conclusion: The decreases in mean PC user ratings of Denuvo games are likely due to deliberate posting of extremely negative ratings from illegal gamers out of retaliation for being deprived of the opportunity to play free cracked games.”

“Moreover, those retaliating illegal gamers are more likely to write textual comments along with the extremely negative ratings, but they seem to write significantly shorter than genuine reviewers do,” Cao adds.

Denuvo vs non-Denuvo

The decrease in ratings is quite substantial. The estimates suggest that a Denuvo-protected game suffers, on average, a decrease of 0.5 to 0.9 points on a ten point scale. This difference is mostly driven by extremely negative reviews, where ‘users’ rate games with a 0 or 1.

This negative effect remains and is even more pronounced when reviews from professional critics (Metascores) are exactly the same for Denuvo-protected (PC) and unprotected (console) versions.

“Interestingly, the estimate using the 100 titles with identical Metascores across platforms indicates the effect of Denuvo adoption is notably larger,” Cao writes.

The paper suggests, following a battery of additional tests, that these ratings are purely driven by revenge. In other words, pirates who are frustrated by the fact that they can’t play the game for free because there’s no working crack available.

Dr. Cao notes that this is the first empirical evidence which reveals this revenge strategy. Going forward, this may be something both developers and review sites may want to pay close attention to.

“The findings thus offer digital-good providers a caveat to adopt advanced anti-piracy technologies to crack down on piracy in a hard way,” Cao writes.

“More importantly, the study documents, to my knowledge, the first piece of empirical evidence that online user-generated content can be significantly distorted by user sabotage out of revenge.”

The full copy of Dr. CAO’s paper is available here.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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Factiness EU Style: A Dedicated Group of Like Minded People Carpet Bomb’s The European Parliament | MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

ALEX

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

from A Clockwork Orange, written by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel by Anthony Burgess

As we noted in Fair Copyright Canada and 100,000 Voters Who Don’t Exist back in 2009, the legitimate desire by governments to use the Internet to engage with the governed is to be admired.  But there have been incredible and probably illegal uses of the Internet to overwhelm elected officials with faux communications that reek of Google-style misinformation and central planning in the hive mind of the Googleplex.

We saw this again with the Article 13 vote in Europe last week with what clearly seems to be a Google-backed attack on the European Parliament for the purpose of policy indimidation.  That’s right–an American-based multinational corporation is trying to intimidate the very same European government that is currently investigating them for anticompetitive behavior and is staring down a multi-billion dollar fine.

Vindictive much?

Advocacy against Google’s interests on artist rights and copyright issues (not to mention human trafficking, advertising illegal drugs and counterfeit goods) can no longer be just about making a good argument to policy makers.  It has to anticipate that Google will pull these DDOS-type stunts capitalizing on what seems to be the element of surprise.

Except there shouldn’t be any surprise.

There is a real problem with policy-by-DDOS governing.  For example, Cass Sunstein, then the Administrator of the Obama Office of Management and Budget, issued a memo in 2010 to the heads of executive branch departments and regulatory agencies which dealt with the use of social media and web-based interactive technologies.

Specifically, the Sunstein memo warned that “[b]ecause, in general, the results of online rankings, ratings, and tagging (e.g., number of votes or top rank) are not statistically generalizable, they should not be used as the basis for policy or planning.”  Sunstein called for exercising caution with public consultations:

To engage the public, Federal agencies are expanding their use of social media and web- based interactive technologies. For example, agencies are increasingly using web-based technologies, such as blogs, wikis, and social networks, as a means of “publishing” solicitations for public comment and for conducting virtual public meetings.

The European Parliament would do well to take a page from Sunstein’s thinking and limit the amount of anonymous contact that anyone can have with MEPs when the European Parliament is suffering a DDOS-style attack.

But the most important thing for the European Commission to take into account is that a company that is the target of multiple investigations is using the very market place monopoly that caused the competition investigations to intimidate the European government into bending to its will on Article 13.  (That, of course, is the biggest difference between the Europeans and Article 13 and the Americans and SOPA–the US government had dropped the US antitrust investigation into Google and it had unparalleled access to the White House.  So the two are really nothing alike at all.)

The European Commission needs to launch a full-blown criminal investigation into exactly what happened on Article 13, particularly since there is another vote on the same subject coming in September.  Properly authorized law enforcement acting swiftly can set sufficient digital snares to track the next attack which surely is coming while they forensically try to figure out what happened.

Advocates need to understand that Google is a deadly force and this is the endless war.  Good arguments are clearly not enough anymore, partciularly as long as the government and law enforcement do nothing to protect democractic values from bully boy tactics.

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Grammy Awards 2019 to take place in Los Angeles on February 10 | Music Business Worldwide


The Recording Academy has announced key dates and deadlines for the 61st annual Grammy Awards, which return to Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, February 10 2019.

Nominations will be announced in all 84 categories on December 5, honoring recordings released between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

Earlier this year, the ceremony briefly moved to New York’s Madison Square Garden for its 60th anniversary after 14 years at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The event drew controversy over a lack of female representation, and six US power players in the music business delivered a missive to the Recording Academy (aka NARAS) calling for drastic changes to be made to its make-up.

Since then, a task force has formed to tackle diversity and inclusion which is chaired by Tina Tchen who was formerly chief of staff to Michelle Obama.

Amongst the sixteen names on the force are UMG EVP Michele Anthony, Sony Music EVP Julie Swidler, Sheryl Crow and Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder and director of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

The 2019 Grammys will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

The online entry process for nominations is open now and closes on August 22.

“We are delighted to host the world’s premier music event back in our hometown and look forward to celebrating the remarkable musical contributions made by songwriters, producers, engineers, mixers, and recording artists.”

neil portnow, the recording academy

Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said: “We are delighted to host the world’s premier music event back in our hometown and look forward to celebrating the remarkable musical contributions made by songwriters, producers, engineers, mixers, and recording artists.

“As always, Grammy season will kick off with a series of events that showcase various genres of music, educational programs, and our charitable initiatives.

“We look forward to working with our Los Angeles partners to produce some remarkable and unforgettable events.”Music Business Worldwide

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