Saturday, October 11, 2014

Citizens should have lessons in copyright morals and ethics

MP for Hove Actually Mark Weatherley, who somehow has been entrusted with advising David Cameron on matters relating to intellectual property, wants kids to be taught copyright morality in schools:

In a 51-page report that was just released Weatherley stresses the importance of copyright awareness and education, especially for the younger generation. This is needed as respect for copyright has declined in recent years and some even believe that sharing copyrighted material without permission is not a big deal.

“There is … a certain level of tolerance for the idea that IP infringements could be considered legitimate. Some believe that illegal activity online is a social norm, with no moral implications,” Weatherley writes.

“We are at risk of an entire generation growing up with different levels of respect for IP and copyright in particular. Should this social contract disappear, there could be longer-term consequences beyond the immediate, short-term negative impacts experienced by the creative sector,” he adds.
We would quote some chunks of his report, but, hey, let's respect the guy's right to be wrong in private, yes?

The idea of schools having honest education about the morality and ethics of the copyright industry isn't all bad - getting teenagers to explore the reasons why copyright used to expire after a sensible period, and debating the consistent push back of that expiration as MPs like Weatherley do the bidding of multinational corporations could make for lively lessons and an aware populace.

However, what Weatherley is actually suggesting isn't that the ethics and morality of the copyright industry be taught at all; he just wants lessons based on that awful thing they make you watch at the start of DVDs.

Sidenote: Mike Weatherley, besides being an MP, has found time in his busy routine to be director of a bunch of companies associated with MPLC, a company that exists to "help" people with copyright licences. You might think that this exciting hinterland means that Weatherley is something of an expert in the field, which he is sharing with the rest of the coalition. Equally, though, you might wonder if this means he might not have started his report with the most open of minds.

Listen with No Rock: Tweeter's Tales

If you've ever been seized with a desire to want to know what I sound like, and don't have the sort of unfettered access to people's phones only available to News International journalists and the Met Police, good news: I've been given the honour of featuring in an episode of Tweeter's Tales, in which Rick and I swap tales of Tony Hadley, Alan McGee, and - inevitably - Bono.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Kim Gordon: Coming next year

Kim Gordon's Girl In A Band Memoir. Taking preorders; publishing February next year.

Crystal Castles split. Maybe.

So it's all over for Crystal Castles, then:

The band last played together on October 5th, 2013, so it's almost as if Glass has invoked some sort of 'if you're on the run for a year and a day you're a free person' clause.

It's too bad they've split; what's worse is that Crystal Castles might struggle on without Alice:
Speaking to NME the duo's manager commented: "There will be twists and turns ahead for Crystal Castles, I wouldn't bury the dead just yet!"
Glass' comments don't sound like she's biddable for a return; the management's line seems to be that she's replaceable. Which probably tells you as much as you need to know about the split.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Man doesn't know who Jay-Z is; MTV literally can't believe it

Beyonce and Jay-Z are in Paris and are surrounded by a hullabaloo. The hullabaloo has, in turn, attracted its own hullabaloo, in the midst of which was someone interested, but not sure what he was witnessing.

MTV's Maurice Bobb just doesn't believe this:

Free life lesson: if you’re going to film Jay Z and Beyoncé taking daughter Blue Ivy on a private tour of The Louvre in Paris, you should at least know who they are.
I suppose that's sort-of true; but it's not true if all you're doing is filming a hubbub, you might only need to know there's a hubbub.
A tourist-turned-wannabe paparazzo made a major faux pas when he tried to get footage of the On The Run Tour headliners making their way into the historic French museum.
Pleasetellmehedidn'tcallBeyonceKelly. Pleasetellmehedidn'tcallBeyonceKelly. Pleasetellmehedidn'tcallBeyonceKelly. Pleasetellmehedidn'tcallBeyonceKelly.

Oh, hang on, he didn't. As his "major faux pas" was "not recognising some people":
“Who is he?” the cameraman asked about the world-renowned rapper from Brooklyn.
There's something happening. Asking what's happening doesn't seem to be a faux pas; it seems to be a sensible thing to do. It's not like recognising Jay-Z is - yet - taught to every school child on the planet.
The Magna Carta… Holy Grail MC then gave the best response ever as he walked by with his daughter in his arms and his super-famous wife — who was busy taking photos of her own — trailing behind.
Hold on. The best response ever? I'm really hoping this will be "I'm Solange Knowles' brother-in-law", or maybe "I dunno, the nurses told me, like, six times this morning, but it just won't stick", or "I'm Elvis, but don't tell anyone, they get over-excited", or "are you the only person who doesn't watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians?" But, hey, I'm an amateur. Jay-Z is a professional. Let's hear this zinging comeback - a comeback which, according to MTV's Maurice Bobb - outstrips anything Churchill, Parker or Wilde ever came up.
“Who are you?” he retorted with the steeliest gaze this side of Marcy Projects.

I suppose to be fair, he is on holiday.
The uninformed videographer tried to laugh it off, but come on. Has this guy literally never seen or heard about hip-hop’s royal family?
It's hard to say, Maurice, but it's quite possible he's heard of Beyonce and Jay-Z, but not been interested enough to look at any photos.
Has he even heard of the Internet?
Maurice, not everyone has as the homepage on their laptops. Obviously, those AOL free sign-up CDs installed a rolling Jay-Z ticker on top of your Internet Explorer 4, but since they stopped shipping it has been possible to go online, often for minutes at a time, without ever once looking at anything to do with Beyonce.

Morrissey: Still ill

Morrissey's tours are, commonly, disrupted by poor health; the latest disruption is, however, slightly different as his European tour has suddenly been overshadowed by his announcement of cancerous tissue:

The ex-Smiths star has recently battled bouts of ill health but revealed the cancer news during an email interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

"I have had four cancer-scrapings, but so what. If I die, I die," he wrote. "If I don't, then I don't. As I sit here today I feel very well."

The singer started his latest European tour in Lisbon, Portugal, on Monday.

In the exchange with journalist Javier Blanquez, he wrote: "I know I look quite bad on recent photographs, but I am afraid this is what illness does to the overall countenance. I will save relaxation for when I'm dead."
There has been no further elaboration, but there is one oddity about this announcement.

Seasoned Morrissey watchers will know that the great man's main channel of communication is via True To You; but on that site, the news page hasn't been updated since September 25th, and then with a piece about an online shop, and DVD chart positions. It's a bit like the Vatican Bollettino not bothering to run a piece that day the Pope resigned.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Live Nation about to snaffle Lollapalooza

As if the last decade or so hasn't been enough to remove any sense of anything countercultural at all about Lollapalooza, Live Nation are about to take a controlling stake in its parent company, C3.

Yeah. Ticketmaster will soon be bringing you the 'Looza.

Geoff Tate thinks he's great

Yes, Geoff Tate is so brilliant, even if you explicitly exclude him from a list of best singers, he's still on the list.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Rockobit: Paul Revere

Paul Revere, 60s teen idol, has died.

I'd always assumed that Paul Revere was a cheesy stage name, but it turns out it was only half that - he'd been born Paul Revere Dick, and you can see why you might run the risk of adopting the name of a legend of your nation's history rather than going on under a "Paul Dick" banner.

Oddly, Revere was the titular hero of Paul Revere And The Raiders, despite being the organist rather than the singer. Vocals were provided by Mark Lindsay.

Lindsay had been a baker; Revere ran a few restaurants; it was hamburger baps that brought them together.

The band was successful, but not always a happy one - there was a painful split in the mid-60s; when one of the escapees, Drake Levin, returned he was punished. Although Levin had gone to serve in the National Guard, Revere believed he was responsible for other members quitting; when the band were booked to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, Levin was sidelined, and made to teach his replacement, Freddy Weller, the music.

Paul Revere and a form of the Raiders were still playing music - a tour had been booked for next month. Revere was 76; he died October 4th.

While the band were quite a big deal in the States, for kids growing up in the UK, they'd be best known for their dodgy political endorsements:

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Glastonbury tickets sell out "in record time"

The story everywhere about Glastonbury tickets selling out "in record time" actually should read "Glastonbury ticket sale more robust than previously". Doesn't look like the servers melted down in quite the traditional way - which is a step forward - although there are a number of complaints from people who somehow went from having tickets to not having tickets in the time it took them to enter their credit card numbers.

Annually, I ask this: why do Glastonbury turn what is already an increasingly elitist event into one which rewards people with the most resilient internet connections and highest number of devices? Why fetishise the 'ooh, we sold out in x minutes' when they could have an actual lottery.

This week just gone

The most-read stories published in October 2009 - five years ago now - were:

1. RIP: Taylor Mitchell
2. Glastonbury ticket sale, when the system collapses
3. RIP: Stephen Gately
4. XX Remix Florence And The Machine
5. Susan Boyle releases an album
6. Eric Clapton's gallstones
7. Air France remix Saint Etienne
8. Stephen Gately's death used for Jan Moir's bile
9. Mates of State download
10. Them Crooked Vultures hope to end people bringing cameras to gigs forever

This was interesting and released this week:

The Marmozets - The Weird And Wonderful...

Download The Weird And Wonderful...

Lucinda Williams - Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone

Download Down Where The Spirit...

Marianne Faithfull - Give My Love To London

Download Give My Love...

Kathryn Tickell & The Side - Kathryn Tickell and the Side

Download Kathryn Tickell and the Side

Tove Lo - Queen Of The Clouds