Recording Tech

Patents: How to Take the Concert Home

Digital technology has put the “instant” into many forms of instant gratification. Instant messaging, instant photography via cellphones and instant-answer Web sites are just a few areas where people no longer have to wait for real-time satisfaction.

And now, in a growing number of nightclubs and music arenas, audiences leaving a performance can buy a CD recording of the live concert that is still ringing in their ears

[…] Mr. [David] Griner and his brother, James, have received the first patent for “creating digital recordings of live performances.” Their process uses microphones, recording and audio mixing hardware and software, CD burners and a method of executing the recording and burning process to make it unique.

[…] But the Griners’ system is not the only one for churning out instant CD’s for jazz musicians, independent bands and classic rock acts. Several companies are licensed to record live performances and sell the CD’s to audiences immediately afterward. Some also offer them for delivery within a couple of days, and several say they have patents pending. The two largest use huge trucks to move their recording and CD-burning operations from venue to venue.

[…] “The genesis of the idea is that I’m a big live music fan, and always have been, especially for some of the lesser-known bands,” David Griner explained. “With bands at that level, a lot of what goes into a concert and what you go to see can’t ever be captured again. A lot of it comes across in what they say and do. It doesn’t come out on the studio CD or live recordings. I’ve always been bothered that it was lost forever. I wished I could bottle it and carry it home.”

He and his younger brother James, 40, an electrical engineer who lives outside Seattle, also wanted their invention to combat bootlegging.

[…] “Bootlegs are less appealing because someone else gets the money, and the artist is not getting anything,” David Griner said. “Especially for the people I go see. Most are starving to death anyway. So I didn’t want to take away their money.”

Media Consolidation — Wire Service Photography

A followup to an earlier posting (Media Consolidation: A Different Venue, Same Problems): A Photo Agency’s Partnerships Leave Some Editors Uneasy

The critics and competitors of Getty Images can tick off examples of supposed conflicts of interest like rapid-fire photographs:

The race car driver Alex Zanardi’s violent crash in 2001. A preseason basketball fistfight between Rick Fox of the Los Angeles Lakers and Doug Christie of the Sacramento Kings in 2002. The Vancouver Canucks star Todd Bertuzzi’s sucker punch of the Colorado Avalanche rookie Steve Moore in a hockey game in March, breaking Mr. Moore’s neck and ending his season.

These newsworthy sports events produced some of the most memorable, if grim, photojournalism of the last few years. But the clients of Getty, a growing stock photo agency that also produces a wire service for news organizations, were not offered any photos of the incidents.

To some newspaper editors who have stopped using Getty for sports photography – and even to some who still use Getty – the omissions raised questions about Getty’s objectivity. In the last few years, Getty has formed exclusive, lucrative relationships with the professional sports leagues it also covers as a wire service.

EU Steps Into The Breach

Europe Worried About Music Licensing Systems

The European Union launched a probe Monday into 16 national organizations that collect royalties for composers and songwriters, charging that their system for licensing music is hampering the rollout of Internet downloading services across Europe.

Record companies in Europe say they are willing to license downloads on a pan-European basis, but the royalty-collecting societies insist on licensing music authors’ work country by country, the way they do for concerts, radio and compact discs.

In its statement of objections, the EU’s trustbuster said a preliminary assessment found the royalties societies’ cross-licensing arrangements are extending the organizations’ monopolies onto the Internet.

Such exclusivity, the European Commission said, “is not justified by technical reasons and is irreconcilable with the worldwide reach of the Internet. The commission added that the situation is “to the ultimate detriment of consumers.”

The commission wants collecting societies to compete with one another in offering pan-European licenses, which would let Internet services sell music downloads anywhere in the 25-nation bloc and could lead to big commercial song services like those that have emerged in the United States.

The licensing societies were given 10 weeks to respond and will be allowed to defend themselves at a hearing. There are no deadlines for investigations in such cases, which can take years.

If the EU rejects the groups’ licensing system, they would be vulnerable to lawsuits.

A Look At Digital Distribution Economics

From the Washington Post [via Scrivener’s Error] Hollywood Writers and Producers End Talks

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers met Saturday for the sixth straight day to try to resolve their differences over writers’ efforts to gain a larger share of profits from the $15 billion DVD market.

[…] In a recent mailing to members, the union said a typical DVD sells for $16. The studios make a $10.55 profit on the sale, while writers get 5 cents, the union said.

Producers concede they have reaped millions of dollars from home video sales and that DVDs have become a major source of revenue.

They argue that on the TV side, DVD revenue is merely replacing money that had come from international markets that have dried up, syndication deals and licensing fees that had been increased after shows became hits.

Comcast and the DMCA

Slashdot (Comcast Warns Infringing Customers Of Abuse) discusses Comcast Tells Infringing Customers They’ve Been Bad (letter image)

Some comments:

Things that encourage less security are funny. (Score:5, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, @10:40AM (#9040187)

So, the moral of the story is, if I’m pirating media online, I should leave my access point totall unguarded, with no encryption, or passwords, or logging. That way, I can just blame evil phantom wireless hackers and never get in trouble.

Oh man…. (Score:5, Insightful)

by siokaos (107110) on Monday May 03, @10:40AM (#9040190)


Viruses? Fine by us.

Spam? Sure, go right ahead…

Non-DRMed p2p filetransfers? STOP IN THE NAME OF THE LAW

I guess this means I’d better clear out my queues/start encrypting things.

so… (Score:5, Interesting)

by ResQuad (243184) slashdot @kon[ ] [‘sol’ in gap] on Monday May 03, @10:41AM (#9040212)


So if you write back, give them a crapy excuse “sorry, I didnt know kazaa was bad” They have proof in writing. PROOF IN WRITING. That you admited to violating the law. Anyone see something wrong with this??

How this for a letter: “Yes, I might have said content, I apologize if I do. Why I have it? I plead the 5th”

[Ed note: The Comcast letter actually speaks of a “counter notification,” rather than a letter of apology. Either way, it is certainly the case that no one should submit such a document without consulting a legal professional, IMHO]

Primer Materials for the Future of Music Coalition Summit

[Via Current copyright readings]

The following electronic primer is an attempt to get you acquainted not only with some of the panelists and their organizations, but also with current technology news and studies that will be discussed throughout the summit. Hopefully this information will help further your participation in discussions. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of content; we just like to be thorough.

MI2N Points To A Hearing Last Week

The MI2N press release, Valenti Offers Specific Recommendations To Congress On Ways To Equip Federal Government With Resources To Fight Worldwide Piracy, is dated May 2, but the hearing appears to have been on April 29 before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on

Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary. Links to the testimony, from the usual suspects:

The thrust? More money is needed for our government agencies to protect these industries from IP theft — it’s more than the industry can afford to pay. Granted, the main point of this testimony seems to be directed at true piracy, but there’s an undercurrent here that shows where the rhetoric is going. In particular, the tying of piracy to terrorism is a recurrent theme in the testimony above. (Missed the link at Current Copyright Readings)

Missed This!

Tennessee rejects Napster/RIAA tax

More than 180,000 students will be free of a Napster/RIAA music tax thanks to the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The group has rejected a proposal to slap students with a mandatory fee for the Napster music download service. The agreement with Napster would have kept the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) off the backs of the 45 schools represented by the Tennessee Board of Regents but add to already massive uni costs. Despite bullying by the RIAA, Tennessee has decided that a $9.99 per student/per month fee is too high a price to pay to solve a not terribly important problem.

[…] So far, not a single school that we are aware of has agreed to pay full price for a music download service, as an option to push students away from downloading copyrighted files on peer-to-peer networks.

This fact eludes numerous media members who have been attracted to Napster’s deals with Penn State and the University of Rochester. The two schools provide Napster at no cost to students, giving them unlimited access to tethered downloads or “rented music.” (The students have to pay 99 cents per song to burn music onto a CD, put it on an MP3 player or keep it after their university time is done.)

The trick is that Napster has cut a sweet deal with Penn State and University of Rochester in order to promote the schools as models for others to follow. Both schools, because of their pilot status, receive Napster at massive discounts – close to free. And still, they warn student IT costs may go up in the future as a result of the service.

Pew Asks Musicians About The Internet & Policy

Preliminary findings from a Web survey of musicians and songwriters [pdf]

Musicians are sharply divided about the impact of file sharing on the music business

An online survey of 2,755 musicians and songwriters shows they are quite divided in their opinions about the impact of music file sharing by Internet users. There is no clear consensus regarding the effects of online file-sharing on artists.

Some 35% of this sample agree with the statement that file-sharing services are not bad for artists because they help promote and distribute an artist s work; 23% agree with the statement that file-sharing services are bad for artists because they allow people to copy an artist’s work without permission or payment. And 35% of those surveyed agree with both statements.

[…] 67% say artists should have complete control over material they copyright and they say copyright laws do a good job of protecting artists

[…] 83% have provided free samples of their work online and significant numbers say free downloading has helped them sell CDs and increase the crowds at concerts

[…] Many musicians and songwriters do not think the RIAA campaign against free file sharing on the Internet will benefit them