There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Record industry puts gun to own head, shoots

Joey de Villa, The Accordion Guy, has a nice summary of the whole Death of Internet Radio thing, including a quote from former Broadcast.com owner Mark Cuban where he says that the RIAA/Yahoo deal on webcasting (Yahoo bought Broadcast.com, so he was involved in the negotiations) that the Library of Congress decision was based on was deliberately designed to drive out the small fry. Thanks to Cuban for pointing this out; no thanks for Cuban for negotiating the deal and working out the strategy in the first place.

Joey also goes into the subject of music copyright, and mentions something that I had forgotten. Music, by law, is defined as "work for hire", meaning that the music company is treated as the creator of the work and the actual creators never regain the copyright. I've written books as works for hire, but that made sense; they were manuals for products produced by a company, and I was a company employee. But musicians are basically independent contractors, not employees, and it seems just amazingly jaw-droppingly immoral for the record companies to usurp their ownership rights based on an amendment to a law that was slipped by Congress while they weren't looking.

I don't think the music industry understands the huge reservoir of bad karma they've built up over the years. Napster seems now like it was just the first example of payback. And just like there are pirate radio stations, I wouldn't be surprised to see pirate net stations spring up.

Posted at 7:23 AM

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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