Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Fightback Begins

As I wrote a couple of days ago, I had a post removed a few days ago.

This was not just of a handful of mp3s but of the entire interview of Glasvegas, a band I have given a lot of positive coverage to, not just when they were a small band, but as they signed to a major. I have tried, also, to be very tactful when writing about Glasvegas not to criticise them, and my tact has been commented upon.

To say I have been angry and frustrated would be an understatement. As I have made clear right from the very beginning, the point about this blog was the promotion of music and certinaly not deprive musicians of their earnings. To be made to feel like a criminal by an organisation that has the moral highground of nothing is pretty sickening.

I'm certainly not the only one who's been affected. Coxon Le Woof at To Die By Your Side had a similar thing happen to him earlier in the month, and Steve at Teenage Kicks had the same thing the day after me, as did Chad at Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands.

There have been supportive posts at The Vinyl Villain, and Song By Toad as well as a lot of supportive comments, from readers, musicans and people who do run record companies. It's been discussed on websites -and I've had more comments about this than any other. To my horror, Steve is talking about jacking it in. It will be a sad loss to the blogging world if he does.

I have certainly considered it, but I have decided that I can either let these bullies win, or I can stand up to them, in the hope that they leave us alone.

So, if you're up for helping fight it, then that would be great. Because, frankly, to take down posts without warning is bordering on extremely dangerous behaviour. The law should be there to protect everyone. The law is not there simply as a tool of the rich and powerful.

Some artists have been very supportive of the stuff I have written about them.

This guy is one of them.

Dom De Luca -'It's A Sad, Sad Day.' mp3

39 comments:

Toby said...

from teacher to teacher, from music fan to music fan, pleeeease continue your awesome blog! if it wasn't for this place i'd never bought at least twelve cds. consider this company-airheads!

entrailicus said...

If Steve jacks it in, U think I probably will, too.

So It Goes said...

Thanks for that, my friend. It's not just about the DMCA, as you know, but that was certainly the catalyst, and I'm still in two minds. I don't want to spend a great deal of time writing a piece just for some wanker to scrub it. I'll let you know what I decide.

Ed said...

Toby, thanks for your support,
Steve and Adam, please keep going.


We all have support out there, we just need to stick to our guns and let let them grind us down.

Ed

eyevocal said...

I have a friend who has boycotted everything Sony (including electronic equipment) ever since their muckleism with the rootkits on their music division's Copy Control discs (my policy: Do not buy any discs with the Sign of Macrovision's Beast on them). Now, given this, I'm very tempted to join him. Considering that I'd like to actually buy the Glasvegas album when/if it comes out in North America (with bonus R1/NTSC DVD), I'd like to see those twunts at Columbia choke on this.

Keep up the great work, don't drop this out of your teeth until you get your answers, and Illegitimi Non Carborundum.

neveroddoreven said...

Hi Ed,

Ian from previous Glavegas-related thread here - signed-up and no longer anonymous as promised!

This whole episode has got me thinking, and the closest I've come to a solution is: I'm considering starting a blog where I only post/talk about music which I have permission to use. I would request use of music from bands I'm interested in (via a form email to hundreds of bands/managers etc.), and use my blog to promote/share the music of those who want to be heard.

I've never done a blog before but the more I've thought about this the more I think it could work. I don't expect much luck from the majors, obviously, but my thinking is that this way, it's their loss, and the blogger would be in control. What do you think? (Ed or anyone else?)

Above all else, don't give up what you do. I couldn't do justice to the list of songs/artists that this blog has introduced to me, and who I've gone to buy music by. You don't sound like a man about to quit and I hope you choose not to.

(Oh, and Toby: I'm a teacher too. What is it about this particular profession?!)

Best
Ian.

JC said...

Ian:-

"I'm considering starting a blog where I only post/talk about music which I have permission to use. I would request use of music from bands I'm interested in (via a form email to hundreds of bands/managers etc.), and use my blog to promote/share the music of those who want to be heard."

The thing that is angering most folk just now is that Ed had all sorts of permissions and agreements from the band its management.....but he still got a boot in the gonads...

So a blog under the conditions you suggest cant ever 100% guarantee against the same thing happening.

Ed said...

Eyevocal - cheers for your support too (I know I keep putting this in, but it really is meant sincerely). It would be interesting to see if this backfires on Sony/Columbia.

Ian -welcome on board. I think teachers maybe get drawn to this as an outlet for creativity. As for your idea -worth trying, but it may take a lot of time. That's certainly not to say don't do it, go for it!
The funny thing is that many artists and record companies and PR companies HAVE got in touch with me about posting mp3s. There is a wide variety of attitudes to all this. I genuinely believe that the posting of mp3s does lead to people buying more music, and that we are doing the record companies a favour (which if we were posting entire albums we couldn't really argue that we were). Many folk are coming out of the woodwork to say they have bought things because they've read about them on here and heard mp3s, which sort of proves my point I feel!

Cheers, both!

Ed

Ed said...

Hi JC -was writing my reply at the same time you were writing your comment; this is an extremely good point.

As for the record companies ordering their staff to blog, as i believe is happening over at Sony BMG if I've got the right end of the stick, this is not impartial. The thing about many blogs, including this is we are not employees of major labels, therefore we are far less biased, I would like to think...

Chad said...

I'm considering starting a blog where I only post/talk about music which I have permission to use. I would request use of music from bands I'm interested in (via a form email to hundreds of bands/managers etc.), and use my blog to promote/share the music of those who want to be heard.

I do this NOW, and have for years, and I still got hit with a DMCA email and automatically deleted post this week. It's frustrating because I do take the time and hassle to get permission for everything, and then this still happens. And THAT should frighten anyone running a music blog...

Ed said...

Believe me, it does...what can we do? Any ideas, folks?

JC said...

I'm still tempted by the idea that came to me yesterday when I was pissed.

You keep the blog going, but dont post mp3s on the blog.

Instead, you e-mail mail them out to subscribers...

neveroddoreven said...

Thanks for replies. Hope I didn't come off criticising any current bloggers or suggesting that this action was invited - I think what is happening across blogs is outrageous, and that those in the know have to protect themselves. I may yet be tempted to give it a go, though in light of Chad's response my early enthusiasm has been somewhat dampened.

Sheherazade said...

Please, please, please don't let them win. I don't post a lot on blogs but I read them every day. As a fledgling band manager I can only say that I learn a lot from you guys and I try to tell my band that blogs are your friend.

I know it can be frustrating, try flogging a bands music to a record company especially Canadian or try getting an independent on the radio, you would think you were asking them to play music directly from Satan. That is why blogs are so important, it gives musicians one more way to let people know about them.

Don't give up, please.

Anonymous said...

i'm posting here having seen a general picture of legal threats from certain organisations, i think the solution is to promote those that need it, want it and/or deserve it, if Glasvegas (to name one act) want to play at being the rolling stones and sue anyone who dares to infringe on their copyright, well fuck 'em. Does anyone know whether The Jesus And Mary Chain have sent copyright warnings to Glasvegas?
A.J

Ed said...

nevroddoreven - no criticism or offence taken here, what happened with Chad is an example of how even toing the line seems to be risky now.

Sheherazade - thank you, proves my point about what bloggers are trying to do, which is why it hurts when the majors do us over.

A.J. Given how annoyed i feel, i might have disagreed with that last week, this week i feel like i agree.

Sleep well, all

david said...

Ed, I admire and applaud your resilience.
I'm no techie - just a humble English teacher - but as I understand it, there's a fairly easy fix/workaround. For fairly obvious reasons, I'll email the details to you.

Over here in La Bella Italia, there's been another unwelcome (and almost certainly illegal) development.
Bloggers have found the police at their door, complete with paperwork, who then proceed to carry off computers, giving as the reason that their has been a complaint of illegal activity from the ISP ie breach of copyright. The police then disappear into the night with the computer to 'make investigations'. Nobody has been charged, but bureaucracy here being what it is, in reality it means kissing your 'puter goodbye.

I really hope you can get the ball rolling here Ed. Has anyone spoken to The Grauniad yet? Sounds like their kind of story.

Forgive my outbursts over the last couple of days, but when people like you who do everything possible to support bands, and in your case new bands in particular, are treated with such contempt, I rage at the injustice of it all.

I'm an amateur at rage compared to Mathew at Song By Toad though :D

entrailicus said...

David - nothing humble about being an English teacher!

Guys, I'm glad we're discussing this so much as it's a real kick in a place that shouldn't be kicked when you first find one of your posts removed from the face of the blogosphere.

For those of you who don't get the number of comments your fine work deserves, consider this: my record is 1256 downloads (of a certain Peel show) without a single bloody comment.

While we're at it, the Turkish government has now banned blogger, so it's a real pain for me to even access the bloody blog, never mind have my work deleted.

david said...

Ooops..'their has been a complaint'.
From an English teacher too. The shame, the shame....

Blueback Hotrod said...

"Does anyone know whether The Jesus And Mary Chain have sent copyright warnings to Glasvegas?"

Haha!

Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Ed, the page may be deleted but the cached version isn't. Better save a copy while you can. Maybe you could repost it without the lawyer-attracting links?

Ed said...

Continued support means a lot. I thought those links were dead, as I haven't had a fileden account in months. But it confirms that they were demos.

Ed

Rob said...

Hello Ed
Just stumbled across this whole silly situation. Jeez, how the mainstream music industry has well and truely lost the plot. Keep doing what yr doing.

All the best
Rob

Ed said...

Cheers Rob, glad another musician recognises what we are doing.

looking forward to hearing your latest work!

Ed

So It Goes said...

anonymous, how did you find that cached link? Then maybe I could get MY fucking work back too.

Highlander said...

Bum, wish I'd read the comments here before linking to the cached page in the comments on the original post...

And "The law is not there simply as a tool of the rich and powerful"?!? Actually it is - they're the only ones who can afford it.

But keep on fighting all the same.

Ed said...

Eternally grateful for getting my interview back, will repost it.

Have heard NOTHING back from Glasvegas' management, which is making me very suspicious...

Anonymous said...

Steve (and others), try googling the name of your blog plus the title or keywords from your missing post(s) - then instead of following the main link in the results, click on the "cached" link underneath it. I just searched for "17 seconds glasvegas interview" (without any quotes around it, so it wouldn't try to match the whole phrase).

Depending on your browser, saving the page should give you all the necessary HTML to recreate the post - or you can copy and paste the text into another file.

Chris said...

Hi Ed, glad to see you are fighting the good fight. If I can help in any way, just ask.

Not sure if this is relevant or not but when it arrived in my email I thought of this situation...Sony BMG has sent me a PR email with a link to a Glasvegas iTunes single download (Geraldine). I don't use iTunes (for the privacy concerns it carries), but I'd be happy to forward it to you if you think it might be worth it.

In any case, you have my full support.

Ed said...

Cheers both, I'm sure Steve will check that out, anonymous!

Interesting to know that Glasvegas are doing that, I have the mp3, I would be interested to read the email...Ed

So It Goes said...

Thanks for that, anonymous: I had already worked it out, but it's good to have the extra advice, since it took me ages to do so.
I have saved my entire blog in pdf format, and I suggest others do the same, WHATEVER YOU POST, since they seem to be hitting everything from UB40 to Demis Roussos (for Christ's sake). This means that I can now repost my work without the links. Which I wouldn't even think of putting somewhere else on the blog. Oh no. Not me.

Ed said...

Might start employing the tactic too...

The Pop Cop said...

I've been watching developments with this Glasvegas story with interest. I've done up a post on The Pop Cop (http://thepopcop.blogspot.com) with my own take on it. Power to the people!

Anonymous said...

Solution: stop using these "free" blogging sites that are owned by companies who are in cahoots with the RIAA. I've got a pretty high-end hosting package that costs me less than £50 a year, and I'm hosting seven different websites on it, using Wordpress (one-click install, you'd have to be a complete idiot not to get it to work). You could probably find a pretty basic one for less than that.

Ed said...

i'm starting to think it might be the way forward.

Watch this space...

Chris said...

Hi Ed...just wondering if you received the email I sent last week?

Ed said...

Hi Chris
yes, i did receive your email, thanks very much. Sorry not to have replied earlier.

After not only the Glasvegas scandal, but also the Keane debacle am rethinking how I do stuff here. Interested to know that this is what they are doing....

Tim said...

Count me in (Radio Clash Podcast) on the fightback.

Used to having a pop at EMI, cos they are terrible, sad to see Sony BMG cold getting dumber also...irony is I know that at least the RNB department intentionally release white labels and parts to see what gets remixed so they know what is 'hot' - illegal or not, they court the DJs like they court the bloggers. Disgusting really cos as soon as the artists or lawyers find out it's DMCA and C&D all the way.

Sigh.

Keep on, I've survived EMI's crap attempt at a C&D years ago...and even doing many B**tl*s podcasts, which I was trying to do a Baitles on, LOL. Weirdly they don't come if they sense you're in a fighting mood!

http://www.mutantpop.net/radioclash/archives/2008/11/03/complete-control-or-how-glasvegas-and-colum/

Ed said...

Very touched by your post, will be trying to get in touch with Glasvegas soon.