Showing posts with label copyright. Show all posts
Showing posts with label copyright. Show all posts

Sunday 10 November 2013

Music Today 2013

The biggest issue we have today in music is to be able to keep pace with change, as the formats by which music is delivered keeps changing at a rapid pace. Along with this is the hankering for the past with the re-emergence of aisles of vinyls. 
The Album Rebirth. Artists today feel that 'music streaming' (such as on Spotify) is limiting for them artistically - while the album format offers them the more classic format to display their craft and the sales of vinyl have surged in recent years.
Live Music. People today are also listening to more music than ever and the live gig scene is meeting a growing demand, maybe in part because at a live performance we are able to hear the full rich dynamic range of sound - from the deepest bass to the highest vocal detail.

By comparison the drawback with the compressed MP3 sound that most of us travel with, is that we only get to hear about 5% of the sound. The problem is that producers yank up the sound to full blast, so that when we listen to recorded music on the MP3 format it becomes distorted to our ears.

Often it makes me long for the quality richness and depth of a full orchestra - with the violins at the front and the brass and percussion behind. I had the wonderful pleasure of this in January at the City halls when the Scottish Chamber Orchestra played with Cara Dillon’s beautiful voice. The sound was cinematic and blew your senses away.    

The Big Question. Is the music industry shrinking as a whole while the demand for live gigs are flourishing - and as the demand for music for games, apps, movies and tv productions continues to grow too.

New artists these days have to build a base online – and then decide do they take that on to a label or stay independent?  Good management is essential. When is an artist ready and are they good enough? I have seen several young talent in recent years get picked up and signed by the industry and then sidelined and no one can afford to take chances these days. The BBC Sound of the year makes its predictions.  

My son, who is a musician, remarked at a large stadium gig for one of the old-time rockers holding thousands, how hard it was for young musicians these days to fill those large stadiums with the older demographic top heavy audiences.  
 For the future we need the new life blood of the younger generation. Our older heads offer experience but the young bring their fresh outlook and energy and enthusiasms. I'd like to see more older artists work with and encourage new talents.   
 As song copyright gets extended to 75 years, we have to wonder why and no other art form has such an extended copyright. A songwriter and his children can now live for decades off a successful composers work (example Schumann). It means the Labels can live off their Song Back Catalogues - which means they don't need new artists. And while outfits like iTunes gives nothing back to the artists or to music..  

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Copyright Debate at EIBF #edbooksfest

The speakers were Colin Firth, music journalist and judge Mercury award, and Debi Gliori, children’s author Tobermory Cat,

Question: Does copyright do more harm than good to creativity?

Firth spoke of the tension between the copyright owner and the use of copyright, and he said that the owners are anxious. The Publishers are suffering too and see copyright as essential for creativity.

The Music Industry. Digital media makes copyright unnecessary as author can go direct now to the audience and therefore no longer need retail distribution. However publishers have quality control and there are also the curators who create the audience. There is more music than ever but much is not listened to.

Also digital distribution is not ‘free’. There is little infrastructure now to support new artists. One in ten in the record industry make money - supported by the control of copyright and what of those making money, such as the giants iTunes or Amazon and their not paying tax and giving nothing back?  And is music downloading simply publicity for live performing?

The Writers. Debi Gliori spoke of her situation as a children’s author and loosing money these days due to piracy.

She said she believed that the author's copyright should stand for the first twelve months past publication and after this there could then be free access so the author still made money from their work. She thought that education was the key thing.

She said that the loss of control of copyright meant these forces were ‘stealing the author’s futures’ and that the industry was turning itself inside out.
She spoke of artists ‘drawing from the realm of ideas’ and that it is what you did with your ideas that matters. 

And what of Academic Papers which are a valuable research tool and require open access?  The creative arts require the free expression and transmission of ideas. 
The US has stronger copyright Laws, which are mostly driven by the motion picture industry.  Meanwhile the pirates make their millions and there seems not enough protection for the artists.

There also needs to be a balance between the need for the survival of even the big book sellers. 
Someone said that they looked up Amazon for details on books and then purchased their books at their local bookshop.
As consumers we have a choice. Do we want faceless superstores or the personal smaller store who care about their product? Amazon and iTunes are convenient – but these businesses can be too big and we need to adjust models.
The VOTE went for copyright being good for creativity, after all artists do need to eat! I believe that it is vitally important that societies and those in power (as royalty used to do) should value the creative arts.

On the other views.
This was an interesting and informed debate. There is also the question of the US now setting Copyright Laws to such lengthy time periods it can hinder the creativity of new artists. That is, it becomes more profitable to recycle old music than encourage new music, and the Labels can rely too heavily on their back catalogues.

And the enforcement of copyright for example would have prevented the use of the well used ‘Amen Break’ drum beat, which has led to a great deal of creativity in music.  

It seems like we need new models around how we view the need for artist's copyright ownership in our digital age - both protection and the freedoms to create. 

Thursday 12 January 2012

The Most Important Drumbeat Ever

Copyright Laws.
Too strict copyright is as bad as too little copyright laws.
Restrictive copyright laws stifle creativity and the freedom required for the progression of music.

The History of the ‘Amen Break’. Samples of this drum beats were used in hip hop and club dance music that has led to a massive industry and money maker for the music industry.  The industry ignored the sampling in the 80s...perhaps things simply need to renew.

As regulators in the US seeks to tighten copyright laws we should reflect that our culture is richer if our copyright laws are less strict. (and PS why do artists wish to ban fans from supporting their work, what is that about?)