The new iPod plays video. Within 20 days, one million video files were downloaded from their site. The hardware and software companies are forcing consumers into the copyright wars as nearly 20,000 fans have been served legal letters by the music industry. Part 3 of a four-part series.

 

Patti Smith paces the stage at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome. She’s performing and reading poetry against a large backdrop of Pasolini. The date, November 3, 2005.

Conan O’Brien, celebrated talk show host in New York, again introduces his guest Neil Young. The sexagenarian rocker is about to sing his final song in a weeklong stand November 2-5 as Conan’s special guest. This is the first time Young has worked television with such intensity for his Priarie Winds album.

A rare three-disc collection, The Velvet Underground’s Ultimate Mono and Acetates Collection, has surfaced just months ago in Japan in a limited edition of 500 sets. It includes acetate versions or first versions of the group’s first album The Velvet Underground & Nico. The second disc is the white label promo copy to DJs of their second album White Light/ White Heat. CD 3 is a test pressing sent to DJs to promote their fourth album, Loaded. What’s fascinating is that the source for some of these acetates were found in Sterling Morrison’s closet, discovered after his death.

The internet has made it possible to share all these shows, sometimes mere hours after their performance or broadcast, as digital downloads via broadband connections at high speed. In the comfort of your room, you can watch or listen at your leisure. Shows that are thousands of miles far from where you are. Concerts that were performed 20 or 30 years ago on a long forgotten stage. With the click of a button, you are there.

Every quarter of every year, new hardware and software rolls out to make copying of digital files easier and faster. What was once too large, can now be compressed and transferred efficiently from computer to computer. Nowadays, complete concerts with audio and video takes just a day or two to download. And in a lossless format.

Just a month ago, Apple launched a new iPod that plays video. Within 20 days, one million video files were downloaded from their site. Within seven days, SuicideGirls.com hit the one million mark for downloads of its nude pictures to iPods. The large numbers indicate the widespread use of software and hardware for copying and transferring data on the net.

Every computer you buy automatically comes with either a CD or DVD burner on board. Every computer owner has access or can have access to the internet, more and more are using faster broadband connections. Software writers are churning out programs to help you copy music and videos with ease. There’s even software that can rip streaming audio files, files that are not meant to be downloaded into your computer. Once inside your computer, audio files can be transferred onto blank CDs, video files can be burnt onto blank DVDs. Data files can be printed as text or photos.

The computer industry has made copying an important function of their products. While the internet allows for a connectivity undreamed of. We can now share almost anything with anyone, anywhere who has a computer and the necessary net access.

Meanwhile, the record industry, going in the opposite direction, is equally determined to dissuade consumers from doing so. Nearly 20,000 music fans have been given legal letters or been sued by the record industry. P2P networks have been forced by U.S. courts to close. Yet no one is pointing a single finger at the industries that make this work, from the telephone networks who hold up the internet to the computer companies that make the duplicators to the software writers who write the programs that complete the circle.

It’s a fact that telephone companies and hardware manufacturers are not small, ineffective setups like Napster or Grokster. They’ve got deep pockets, strong links with the rich and powerful lawmakers and are a force to reckon with that the record industry must take a measure of.

So we are now in a quandary - we own computers ready to rip and burn but are told it is illegal, nevermind that the CD you want to share is bought from the store or that a performance has never been officially released. But only the ignorant can conclude that these computers can be stopped from doing what they are meant to. Just like weapons of war. If you don’t want a big war, don’t make big weapons.

For the months of July to September, the BigO Audio Archive continued to grow its collection of unreleased recordings via sharing through mail trades and digital downloads. We added another 290 albums totaling 420 CDs. None of these albums have been officially released while a few are recordings that are long out-of-print.
- The Little Chicken

For a complete list of all 290 albums, click here:

Part 1: Is Piracy Or The Music Industry That Is Really Killing The Music?
Part II: Stop Protecting The Music Industry With Copyright


Click here




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