Sunday, May 29, 2005

Ripley in Berlin, Monday - WAF salon

Last minute, was invited by Chris society suckerz to play at the WAF salon (Rigaer str 77) on Monday. woohoo!

With Duranduranduran, End, and many other good people including a genius japanes guy off peace off whose name I keep forgetting + special secret guest djs.

come out!

Friday, May 20, 2005

more on ownership

This is interesting.. I've written a bit before (in my academic life as well) about the way the whole concept of dubmusic and the engineer as creator (and the mixing board as a creative tool) confounds concepts of ownership. When people buy a Scientist album, or a Lee "Scratch" Perry album, it's because of his role as producer, no? dub artists are engineers, wizards of the mixing board (are there any female dub producers?)

so in that way why isn't the engineer like an author? what is the engineer entitled to? Notice that Greensleeves don't say why they are entitled to own the copyrights, they simply mock the idea that an engineer could be the owner. NObody's talking about the musicians who played the instruments, or the authors of the tunes.. where are they? why aren't any of them the owner?

This silence also implies that there is something more natural about a record label being the copyright owner --more natural than the engineer being the owner.

But of course there's nothing natural about it at all - it's all negotiation, and despite what many economists like to assume, such negotiation, such bargaining, is never free.

From the Gleaner
"Hopeton Browne, known in the business as the 'Scientist', lost his bid after an approximate two-year fight in U.S. courts. Browne had challenged Greensleeves for the recording and composition copyrights of five tracks which he worked on for the video game, 'Grand Theft Auto 3.'

"A release from Greensleeves stated that the tracks come from the album Scientist Rids The World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires, which was released in 1981, and which is now available as part of the Greensleeves Reggae Classics series.

"The tracks were produced by the renowned Henry 'Junjo' Laws, and had been reportedly licensed by him to Greensleeves. All five tracks, Dance Of The Vampires, The Mummy's Shroud, The Corpse Rises, Your Teeth In My Neck, and Plague Of Zombies, were mixed at King Tubby's Studios back then.

"Both Lawes and King Tubby are deceased, so that meant that Browne's claims could not be validated.

"According to Greensleeves Records, the court found that Browne was not the owner of either the recording or composition copyrights. Greensleeves' Managing Director, Chris Sedgwick, claimed that the company went to trial because Browne's claims were unreasonable.

"Basically, Scientist was claiming to own copyrights in songs and recordings as a result of being the mixing engineer. Although we always felt these claims were ridiculous, we had to defend ourselves all the way to trial and are delighted to have got the right result," he said in a release."

and ps. stupid new york courts - why are they never on the sensible side of these copyright claims?

Friday, May 13, 2005

for the pro-p2p producers

For all y'all that are more interested in getting your music spread as far as possible
(or your dj mixes, or your pictures, videos, whatever).. 53x11 have made a sticker you can put on your work (on the cd case or whatnot) to counteract the Federal Anti-Priacy sticker..


At the site, there are nnumerous version, black and white and color, in various resolutions, so you can print out your own.

the concept of fair use is being defined out of the p2p discussion, yet again. Remember all files on p2p networks aren't copyrighted, and all uses of copyrighted work without being paid are not illegal - people were always allowed to use it for educational purposes, for example. But if the law makes all p2p de facto illegal, or builds technical controls in to the files or the software, who will make sure those exceptions remain?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

ripley in Europe

So, along with school madness (100 pages due in 4 days! plus a statistics exam! blechhh!)

there's been a little tour brewing. I'm still looking for gigs in Berlin, so feel free to get in touch - djripley at gmail is the contact address or leave me a comment here.

The schedule so far:

Arrive in Berlin May 28th in the morning, no gigs yet in Berlin (hook me up!)
Leaving Berlin May 31.

Brussels - June 1 at FOtones:
Beursschouwburg, rue Ortsstraat 20-28 - 1000 Brussels - Belgium
22:00, Free entrance.
Xingu Hill: literary sound performance (CAN/B - Ant-Zen, Hymen, Mirex,
Nova Zembla)
Urawa: cinematographic frequency extremes (B - Foton, Falling Elevators,
Nova Zembla)
The Joint between Ultraphonist: psychedelic subbass obsession (B - Vacuum,
Imminent: power electronics pioneer (B - Ant-Zen, Hymen)
Foton Wreckords Crew - Lowdjo / Vanno / Antz: scapes, breaks & core a gogo
(B - Foton)
DJ Ripley: female junglecore tactics (USA - Death$ucker Records)
[ƒoam]: transient realities in visual atmospheres and soft architecture
... stumbling upon a tangle of knots in a hyperdimensional tornado - (B,
AUS, HR, LT, etc+ - )

Halle - June 3 at the Electric-Renaissance Festival
Am Markt, Halle
ripley plays with
-ButterknifeKrüsh / USA/KOR - "Ottone Re di Germania"
- Funkstörung / D
- VJ-Herr Vogel /

Leipzig - June 4
At Keller Antik, With Society Suckers (Lux Nigra Mental Ind. Karl-Marx-Stadt), and VJ MFO. 2nd floor with reggae & dub by Royal Records Sound.
See the online flyer at:

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

another slightly revised cross-post

this was in a response to a post on my p2p/policy class about business models and the consumers relationship to products , can you call that "ownership?" Underlying my response is a basic discomfort - but more of a doubt- that "consuming" really describes what happens when people acquire music (whether they pay or not). What function does paying for it serve - do people's feelings about music change when they pay or not? Whoah a whole nother train of thought there..

Anyway, granting that you could maybe use the word "consumer" (I favor "fan," more because fans and fandom are totally ignored in discussions of incentive and contribution, but really there needs to be a better term).. ANYWAY, granting "consumer" (and "he"), the cat i'm responding to says that "Ownership has never been a part of a consumer’s relationship with the content he buys." This doesn't go far enough. The meaning of the word Ownership changes in various contexts, and can't be assumed.

“Ownership” is a confusing term - it seems to describe a relationship between you and an object, but it really is describing a relationship between you and other people - but it doesn’t reveal much about what is involved in that relationship. I want to know about the right to exclude, the right to include, the right to destroy, the right to manipulate, the right to copy, the right to distribute...

On the subject of artists, I seriously doubt most arguments about artists’ economic incentives for creating. When p2p and other art-sharing systems come up, someone always speaks up for how no matter what an artist wanted that was non-economic, they didn't make art as an altruistic gift to the world. Some do this. But there are more choices between charging by the piece for art (and breaking it into pieces to charge by) and pure altruism. there's fame, which can be converted into more than money, there's power, and reinforcing identity ("our music" "voices not heard enough"), and all kinds of other goals and motivations.

“Ownership” inadequately describes artists’ relationship to music, to the music they write, and the music they engage with. Some of what “ownership” means is that sense of identity, of connection.

And even more with consumers - here a sense of ownership could be partly about the relationship between the artist, other artists perceived as related, and other people who like that artists. ("our people" "*genre* fans")

I worry about the shorthand of economic incentive as used in copyright discussions -economic incentive as the mechanism by which copyright rewards creators, and the mechanism by which people value things (i.e. free automatically more desirable than pay). This masks the way that information and information-sharing is constitutive of many things, of identity, of culture(s), of democracy, of political plurality, of knowledge…

Ownership, for artists, is discussed in copyright terms as creating a situation where artists profit from their work. But the moral arguments behind it tend to shade into moral rights of authors to control how their work is framed (which our law basically doesn’t recognize) --artists see someone making use of their work and profiting by it which seems unfair or inauthentic-- and then usually follows a kind of statement that “people have a right to make a living.”

So, ownership is seen as the way for artists to make a living. But I think this is a false link. I agree that everyone wants to not be broke - everyone wants to have some level of material comfort. But I don’t see that as automatically tied to the incentive for music making. That’s just survival in general.

Folk may really mean that people have a right to a decent quality of life, but it’s not necessarily helpful to assume the best way to get to a quality of life. Maybe there’s a better way to get there than a metering system that parcels out money based on atomized bits of information.

for example, if we had a more generous welfare/dole system and free health care and education, would artists be so concerned about making money off of copyright? Especially the artists that gets everyone’s moral dander up - the small, struggling, independent artists? I don’t think the answer is clear. People make arguments about incentives to create art, but I don’t think being starving or living hand-to-mouth is that good for creativity.

For many other informational ‘goods’ there are network effects that are not captured by the concept of “ownership” - like the scientific article or software interface that is more useful the more people have it.

I’m not necessarily advocating a socialist system or welfare state.. I’m trying to emphasize that the current “business models” and to a great extent our copyright system itself assumes things about people’s engagement with information that may not be accurate.

There may be other ways to ensure people make a living (if that’s what we’re concerned about) than by atomizing information and charging per piece. And if we are concerned about all the non-economic, social values of easy transmission and transformation of information, there may be other ways to capture more of them as well.

Monday, May 02, 2005

survey time

not for me.. these cats are interested in the concept of people buying "shares" in a band.. so bands can raise money for recording.

Sounds intriguing, especially if they get a free digital copy (unrestricted rights to mash up as well, natch), in return. Of course, I'd be more likely to invest in a label than an individual artist, since for electronic music it's the labels that are the lifeblood (unlike live music where they are the parasites).

Anyway, in the interests of social science, and new business models, and general more-knowledge-creation - take the survey, help'em out!

I'm a african, and I know what's happenin

The mighty Junichi of poplicks reports:
"I love Ludacris, but I'm a bit embarrassed over the fact that he is the first American rapper to shoot a video in Africa for his new song -- wait for it -- Pimping All Over The World. I understand 'pimping' has multiple meanings, but to my ears, it sounds like Ludacris -- whose latest album is The Red Light District -- is promoting the enslavement of women for men's sexual pleasure to a continent that the US already shackled a few centuries ago. Ludacris says, "I wanted the video to be a true African experience." Indeed."

I have not much to add.

Except that the newspaper today reported on teh rise of popularity of Grills among Grills. I mean Girls. Teen girls in the East Bay. I'm not exactly shocked - even I was speculatively eyeing DropTheLime's tasteful and understated bling when last I saw him. But the line that caught me in the article was about a girl preparing to go prom, with a hand-embroidered dress, a grill, and a Pimp Cup. Oh, I'm so glad the girls can get our own Pimp Cups. It's like equality at last.