Target reached (and exceeded) for the Set Chopin Free crowdfunding campaign, a new initiative by the Musopen non-profit organization aiming at preserving the music of Frédéric Chopin with high-quality recordings available to the public without copyright-enforced limits: the funds collected on the Kickstarter platform have reached the final sum of $92,452, namely 123% of the 75,000 dollars requested by founder Aaron Dunn and the other Musopen volunteers.
More than four years have passed since the last time Sir Arthur’s Den dealt with the war against digital “piracy” on P2P networks, and in these few years the clash between the contents industry, users and promoters of the aforementioned contents free sharing became worse and worse. The united lobby of MAFIAA (and ideal yet scary fusion of RIAA and MPAA) did its worst by asking for monstrous monetary compensations, by throwing the releasers in jail and by trying to affirm the idea that “crime” against copyright doesn’t pay anymore.
Recently I received a mail by Ben G., a volunteer of the Musopen.org project, which reminded me their new initiative: after having freed the great classical symphonies from copyright, this time the non-profit organization is turning to the complete works of Frédéric Chopin. The target is always the same - to record high-quality versions of the works by the renowned Polish composer for everyone to listen - just as the tool chosen to reach it, ie a crowdfunding campaign on the Kickstarter platform.
The ambitious target set by Musopen founder has been reached and widely exceeded: Aaron Dunn succeeded in collecting more than 68,000 dollars for his project of freeing the great symphonies, a project that needed 11,000 dollars to be covered and that became extremely popular during the last two weeks leading to the aforementioned outstanding result. Dunn thanks the many who supported his idea and promises further initiatives with the same aim: give classical music back to the public domain.
A few days ago, while summing up the many efforts made by Italian politicians to censor Internet and demolish netizens’ civil rights, I also took the occasion to foresee what could have been happened in the future after the final approval of the infamous three strike law by the French Parliament. What happened in the past days simply confirms the legitimacy of those anticipations and opens the doors, in Italy too, to the ultimate surrender of law and common good to the partisan interests of copyright parasites.
Surely 2009 is the most sensitive year for peer-to-peer and the industry crusade against free on-line contents sharing. In Italy we have the previously discussed issues with the incompetence and obscene servility of our representatives, and moving the attention toward Europe things get even worse if possible. Two in particular are the noticeable questions of these weeks in Europe, the conviction of The Pirate Bay crew and the approval in France of the Sarkozy doctrine also known as three strike law or HADOPI law.
The past weeks have marked an unparalleled escalation of the well known inadequacy and inability of the Italian institutions to deal with the Internet, to live their relation with digital technologies by following logic and rationality rather then emotionalism and violence. Conversely our “dear” rulers and members of Parliament have recently shot out a series of amendments, law drafts and opinions to make you goggle if you believe in the importance of Internet as a democratic tool.
No, SIAE has nothing to do with the draft of the bill released by Altroconsumo in the past days. Replying to the clamour provoked by the document floating on-line, a supposed anticipation of the final work of an anti-piracy committee that has just been established, the organization now denies any authorship on it. The denial, anyway, does not explain anything about who wrote that document nor why it is so ostentatiously unbalanced in favour of the interests of SIAE itself.
Congratulations, congratulations, the Technical committee against digital and multimedia piracy is born in the Italian ruling rooms, seriously determined to defeat the file sharing phenomenon and above all to have a special care for the industry associations’ desires, whose only purpose has always been to pull out money from any single bit moved on-line. SIAE (the Italian RIAA) is already giving rigorous orders on what to do, so much for the good intentions on the will to listen to representatives of all the parts interested to the matter.
RIAA and the recording majors have said it pretty clearly, that they plan to abandon the path of the legal persecution of single file sharing users to focus on the direct cooperation of ISPs. Waiting to see what such strategy shift will actually mean, for now the USA labels association is engaged on more fronts including those courts which have served for its crusade against P2P.
The holidays between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 haven’t been particularly pleasant for RIAA and the music majors: the America most hated organization (at least as of Internet) is (supposedly) about to change its legal strategy against file sharing by directly engaging providers, but meanwhile one of these ISP raises a monetary issue that does not promise an easy start for the bizarre joint venture between copyright owners and connectivity providers.
In what sounds as an unexpected and dangerous development of the lasting industry’s war against the P2P users, last Friday the Wall Street Journal has reported that RIAA, after years of intimidations, mistakes, twistings and abuses of the USA judiciary system now wants to change strategy, dismissing its mass lawsuits campaign to focus on the “next level” of the prearranged plan with which the majors would like to survive to the technological progress while keeping forever the privileges from a past (anyone should have this clearly in mind) that will never come back.
This new round up of sparse suggestions has heterogeneity as its distinctive mark. I mean, here we’re trying to keep together a zombiecon with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Google fiascos with the possible future ones by Microsoft, the usual crap on P2P and even the ostracism by Western Digital for the SSD technology! I need a 36 hours-long day, definitely
That the legal crusade of USA recording companies against P2P haven’t obtained any practical result until now is an hardly refutable matter of fact. If this wouldn’t be enough RIAA, the well-known labels organization and the most active in the harsh defense of copyright at the cost of repeatedly charging the dead and innocent people, will soon have to face daunting judicial adventures, potentially able to bury the massive lawsuits campaign under accusations of unconstitutionality, conspiracy, abuses, fraud and more.
When, in the night between the 4th and 5th of November, Barack Hussein Obama II has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America, the world has suddenly stopped. It has been crystallized in the thing by itself, feeling the whole gravity and the importance of an historic moment, and then it has started over to whirling run accelerating and burning down lives and stock markets. What remains is the hope that the promises by Mr.President haven’t been useful only to harangue the crowd, and looking at the matter from the poor Italy in ruin I can’t help to make some considerations also and above all in regard of technology and computing.
The Italian Pirate Party, a non-profit association born in the wake of the broader European initiative to reform the intellectual property, wants to look very closely at the investigations occurred during the Pirate Bay block, turning away the many, still lasting doubts on the behaviour of the tax police agents thereupon the connections redirection toward an Internet address owned by the recording labels.
The USA recording companies organization is upset that Michael Davis, District Judge involved in the only case from the legal crusade against file sharing ever gone to court, have reconsidered his decisions ruling for a retrial. RIAA now asks that the Capitol v. Thomas case, being defendant the single mother of three Jammie Thomas, isn’t reopened before the judge have taken into consideration the majors’ appeal request.
Roberto Maroni’s occupation is Minister of the Interior for the Italian government, but in his spare time he enjoys to listen to music and, above all, to download it on the P2P. He has never hided it, and he has confirmed this attitude in the last days too, during a meeting with the press at Varese, where he has attended before his participation to Il Festival del Racconto. Accidentally but not too much, the Minister statements come after the establishment of the well known committee against digital piracy under the Prime Minister’s Office, which would like just to fight the file sharing that Maroni periodically advocates.
As widely reported in the news, the preventive seizure (call it “censorship”, “block”, or whatever) of the access to The Pirate Bay from the Italian territory has finally been revoked by a decree of Bergamo Court. Called upon by the Bay admins’ lawyers, the Reexamination Judges have reconsidered the legitimacy of the previous ruling of the Court, deciding that the seizure was essentially illegal. Many, almost anyone have rushed to crow for TPB and the P2P in general, clearly having no clues on the fact that a new storm is about to appear on the horizon, a storm even more dangerous of the simple block of a single website, potentially capable of making, if possible, more tightening and unfair the yet absurd law against file sharing effective in Italy.
After five years of legal threats against tens of thousands of American music consumers, the hands of RIAA, the USA recording labels organization, remain empty or barely over: from any standpoint you look at the matter, states the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the majors have lost the bet to reestablish the control on digital contents delivery while succeeding in antagonizing a huge amount of potential customers, pretty happy to not to give a single cent to those viewing them as “pirates” dangerous for business, artists, music and the entire damn world.