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June 16, 2006


Cory Doctorow

If by "piling on," you mean, "questioning the veracity of the rumor," then you've got a point.


From the Boing Boing post: "The RIAA is reportedly sending letters to YouTube users demanding that they take down videos of kids singing along and dancing to their favorite songs. This is pretty crazy, of course -- as Battelle says, 'Wake up. This is how we use music in the real world. Get over yourselves.'

You did couch the subject by saying it was a rumor and then you generally put the onus on the RIAA to clear things up.

But, yes, when Boing Boing adds fuel to a rumor (even while clearly noting its status as a rumor), that could be construed as piling on.

This isn't the DaVinci Code. Someone read a Wall Street Journal piece (or a portion of it) about the the labels worrying about the use of their content on video sites. (After all, we note in out other post on this, that they almost directly pulled a quote from the story about Universal.) They probably also read that the labels *have* been requesting take downs of artist videos. Then they likely somehow merged the two stories and out came that Project Opus piece. Then came the reaction to it.

On a tangential note.... Isn't it remarkable that a blog posting on something called Project Opus got more attention than a A1 Wall Street Journal story about the very same thing? Says something about the liquidity of blog content versus words behind firewalls.

Cory Doctorow

The real problems are:

1. The RIAA and MPAA created a rule (the DMCA) that makes it trivial to have material removed from the Web merely by sending a takedown notice, so it's easy to impersonate them or anyone else if you want to prank or censor a site.

2. The RIAA refuses to post any kind of policy about its position on the incidental use of copyrighted music in the course noncommercial fan videos. As we lack any information about the RIAA's view of these videos, it's hard to understand whether rumors are credible or not.

3. The RIAA's litigation strategy has included genuinely dire and evil stuff, like suing children, dead people, grannies, etc -- even demanding as terms of a settlement that two computer science majors give up studying comp sci and never try to work in the industry. This makes over-the-top rumors seem true.

Thus, there are three ways that the RIAA could keep rumors like this from circulating:

1. Support DMCA reform to inject even a modicum of evidence, due process and authentication into the takedown process. This would be the world's easiest-to-pass copyright law. Everyone (except the RIAA) wants this.

2. Publish a coherent policy on the use of music in fan films.

3. Stop suing children, grannies, and others.

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what are some websites that u can make free playlists of music without having to download them? like i could just go to the website and listen to it while im on the computer. any answers?

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My father used to play this to me when I was a child. You might think this was qaubtionesle, but I do not believe that he meant to encourage misbehaviour ;-)It always had me in stitches, and as you know, the damned thing squirrels around in you head long after listening. Thanks for reminding me. Either you are not mad, or we both are.


the end . . . Whate28099s real and what is not real? How does one prioritize all this? Your list of thaerts can be broken down into three categories: systemic; environmental; and ideological.Systemic: your (1) (4) (all describing the same problem of a broken social contract, some identifying responsible agencies, others not)Environmental: your (6) and (11) (e.g., global warming, peak oil, etc.)Ideological: your (5) and (7)-(10) (e.g. blame casting or policy prescribing)I'd argue that the systemic thaerts are the most difficult in the short term because they are preventing us from tackling the environmental thaerts, which are the long term issue (Max's eco-eco axis). The ideological stuff can largely be ignored because they attempt to address symptoms of the underlying systemic problem while missing the bigger picture. Do I just unplug? Please don't. The primary reason we find ourselves where we are today is people have abrogated their responsibility to be citizens who hold their governments responsible for good governance. The problem is particularly acute in America, where we've allowed ourselves to be herded into a bunch of false choices between bumper sticker slogans and convenient but misleading labels that we blithely apply to ourselves and the other tribe (e.g., conservative, liberal, socialist, etc.). Regardless of how conspiratorial your version of the systemic problem, these are intentional distractions designed to prevent us from seeing that America is no longer a sovereign nation and that the American people no longer really have a say in how their country is run. You are free to choose between the choices provided, which is really no choice. Thanks, Hayek and Friedman!I highly recommend checking out Damon Vrabel's full set of video tutorials describing the systemic problem. As somebody who, like Damon, has worked within the elite power structure, I find his explanation both practical and compelling, although at times he veers a bit closer to the Alex Jones view of the wolrd than I'd like.


Ha I read that one. Also read one about a guy who bought a moekny out of a comic. I never ordered anything from a comic, but one time I ordered a throwing star'. When I got it it was dull and about the size of a silver dollar. I accidentally threw it and stuck it into the side of Chip's head.


in my comments poicly, it is not my role to serve as an educator on gender and sexuality issues and feminist issues. In order to explain why I believe rape culture should be distinguished from a general culture of violence, I would have to explain the history of oppression against women. I would have to explain what sexism actually is, because a lot of people who, in principle think sexism is bad, really don't understand it. I would have to explain misogyny and I would have to explain what the patriarchy is and how rape culture fits into it. Explaining these issues to well-meaning, but clueless people who just don't get it is extremely stressful and extremely draining, both mentally and emotionally. It inevitably turns out into a long, drawn out debate, verging on a flame war, because non-feminists are not interested in challenging their perspectives. At. All. Quite honestly, the thought of trying to explain these issues to you in the context of rape and rape culture is a wearying prospect. Whilst you say you are interested in exploring the issue (which is fantastic), I am not interested in educating you or expanding your knowledge, when you are perfectly able to do that on your own (as I have done on my own). I have been in similar situations way too many times before, and all I end up is frustrated and pissed off for days.I realise you may be annoyed that I don't want to engage in discussion with you on this issue. You may think that I'm just trying to avoid debate because I can't explain my position. I have debated on this blog many times before, so arguing my position isn't really a problem for me (please see for an example). What it is is draining. I have been involved in too many stressful internet debates with strangers to relish these opportunities. Frankly, I'm not in the mood for this right now.What I would suggest to you is, if you are truly interested in exploring this and discovering the flaws in your reasoning then you should take responsibility for your own education before you enter into a discussion completely unprepared, which is what you are doing here. Go read some feminist blogs that discuss rape and sexual violence, but do so with full awareness of your male . Don't comment on any of those sites until you're completely sure you grasp the issues, because you'll look really ignorant. Read, understand, and absorb. Google rape culture like oliemoon suggested, and start educating yourself. is a good place to start. is another good place to start, and their might be another good starting point.


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I'm fairly sure the raosen for the growth-over-time of the box office receipts (even after adjusting for inflation) can be explained by adjusting for population and theatrical saturation. Adjusting for ticket price doesn't account for the fact that the population of the US has grown by 25% since 1986, which means more tickets sold.Additionally, I remember the 90s as a period in which big movie theaters (especially chain movie theaters) seemed to be opening every few months. I suspect a lot of suburban areas got their first multiplex theaters during this period, as strip malls popped up everywhere. Being chain theaters, the 12 screens would still be showing the same 8 movies, which also helps explain the heavy skew toward a handful of blockbusters, with smaller and independent movies showing considerably less growth by comparison.


I have a question rreigdang how you upload your videos to YouTube. In QuickTime I export Movie to QuickTime movie using H.264 compression, high quality, frame rate 15, key frame rate 75, bitrate 220 kbits/sec, frame reordering set to yes, multi-pass encoding and 320 240 dimensions. And they look like poop when they are finally processed by YouTube. Far worse than when I sent them. What settings do you use?


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