[rumori] Re: pho: RE: Question for Michael Robertson

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 22:52:31 PST

...Let radio be your guide in all things Internet. With all its
monopolistic and group focused faults, radio has generated more life,
liberty, and pursuits of happiness for this culture than any other mass
medium we are subjected to. It has done so by getting out of the national
agenda business (when TV supplanted it in that relm, and which then
immediately became choked by the "responsibilities" of cultural propriety
and national mass appeal) and by keeping its content free for the taking.

Radio remains our most forgotten potentially creative medium, and when all
the tycoons ruin the similarly positive potential of the Internet, I'm glad
radio will still be there, continuing to be forgotten, where I can play and
do anything I want, including about 17 kinds of blatant copyright
"infringements" per hour without me having to pay anyone or get anyone's
permission to do it. (Gee, is there something wrong with me? - listeners
seem to love it...) In over 20 years of broadcasting my own show, mixing
and remixing almost entirely "found sound" (but copyrighted) material, I
have never ONCE received a cease and disist letter from a law firm
representing someone who owns it, even though I do stuff with it every week
which would surely get me one of those were I to do the exact same thing on
CDs, in TV, in the movies, or soon, on the Internet. Even as rare as this
kind of totally unhindered and autonomous reuse or live mix creativity IS
in radio today, it in fact IS still possible there, (specifically at mostly
non-commercial stations) and nowhere else. However, just the fact that any
station can throw any song it wants to into its horribly uninspired
playlist without contacting the owner is a very minimal use of the huge
freedom to create with music that actually exists there.

I hope the Internet does draw even more commercial attention away from
broadcast radio as it legalizes itself to cultural death, as that will only
increase the availability of "left behind" radio for the kind of uniquely
unincumbered creative alternatives it alone will continue to allow. Radio
remains, apart from all its present commercial ugliness, the most artist
friendly mass medium there is to actually create within because
(ironically) nobody really cares what happens there!
If you're an artist, just get your own show (also still possible for
creative individuals at non-commercial stations) and you'll quickly see how
much you are free to do with any recorded sound at all in live broadcasting
which is strictly prohibited in any other medium without specific, per use
payment and permission, including within the rapidly closing Internet. And
as our culture moves more and more towards being a remix culture which
seeks to include what has gone before in new creativity, atmospheric radio
is the ONE AND ONLY medium which is set up perfectly to pursue it freely.
NO OTHER MEDIUM IS! If the Net seeks to discourage and prevent this as it
is presently doing, it will end up just as forever stuck in the esthetic
formulas of the past as TV is today, or, as when TV tries to be hip in this
way, the expenses for "rights" to do so completely prohibit all but the
already wealthy from creating in this way there.

All this is to praise the particular accomodation broadcast radio has
rather painlessly reached with copyright laws which, in radio's case, are
distinctly grass roots friendly and ever so usefully non-intrusive to the
medium's own creative process and inherent desires and unique abilities.
The Net COULD do the same, but is already being shaped by a lack of concern
for any of this.

>Pardon my ignorance, but how does that permission process work? You wrote
>that "if you set up a radio station with donated
>equipment and ran it out of your house for fun, you'd still have to get
>permission to use the copyrighted works you're broadcasting."
>I worked for labels for years and cannot recall once a radio station asking
>for permission to use any of the label's copyrighted works for broadcasting.
>Also, I know lots of people in radio, and worked at an FCC-licensed FM radio
>station set up with donated equipment and run out of our high school for fun
>(virtually identical to your example), and I cannot recall over four years
>even once hearing about a radio station that sought permission to use the
>copyrighted works we broadcast.
>I do, however, recall lots of record companies "servicing" the radio station
>(its program director was a football player named Tom Zutaut) and
>encouraging us to use any and all of their copyrighted works in our
>broadcasts. I cannot recall anyone ever mentioning a permission process.
>Clearly, had we been running a website we'd be behind bars for such
>behavior. Fortunately, we were born twenty years early, radio was our
>learning tool and so we got jobs in the music business.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: KarenphoATaol.com [mailto:KarenphoATaol.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 7:46 PM
>To: gpaoATloadmedia.com; griffinATonehouse.com; phoATonehouse.com
>Subject: Re: Question for Michael Robertson
>In a message dated 1/29/01 9:11:38 PM Pacific Standard Time,
>gpaoATloadmedia.com writes:
>> I thought the philosophy was this--if people are profitting from the use
>> intellectual property, then the copyright holder should be entitled to
>> compensation. Therfore, if MP3.com is profitting from providing this
>> service (subscription fee, advertising, etc.) then MP3.com should be
>> compensating the rightholders.
>profit doesn't really factor in. if you set up a radio station with donated
>equipment and ran it out of your house for fun, you'd still have to get
>permission to use the copyrighted works you're broadcasting.
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