Friday, June 30, 2006

msb-0031 Shouting Love at the Heart of the World

msb-0031 Shouting Love at the Heart of the World

Think of this as an "Homage" to Harlan Ellison.

He's still around, and "KICK"ing. ( )

His is a crusade, naw I hate that word and the religious and political connotations surrounding it.

His is a fight to get copyright works off the internet, without the authors' expressed permission.

Did you get that last part? "Without the author's expressed permission."

He's right in many ways, not the least of which is pecuniary.

In fact, he's at the vanguard. Because his opus can be acquired, legally or otherwise, over the internet.

Because it is so compact, a scant few megabytes as opposed of tens or hundreds of megabytes for audio, or multiple gigabytes for video, its is almost trivial to make off with somebody's, for want of a better word, content.

With all of my ranting about the various **AAs and ASCAP/BMI, you'd think I couldn't care less about intellectual property and you'd be so wrong.

I use the material I'm allowed to use for exactly this kind of a show. Its released by artists as part of a larger body of work. They do it to publicise themselves. Its out there as shameless self promotion.

In Harlan case, it would be like releasing some part of a book, possibly a chapter, to see the interest in it. I think that even Harlan would agree to this kind of a release if it was properly attributed and links were provided to his site so that people could purchase the work.

What Harlan objects to is taking the entire work and his getting nothing for it.

That is where DRM gets involved and there are a few schemes out there, like the FairPlay that Apple in using as well as some others, which could protect his interests.

I have nothing against DRM, just some implementations of it are too restrictive and aren't reality based.

Lets look at podcasting properly. As the kind of venture where:
  • artists put out some of their opus, regardless of the medium, to see if we as podcasters are interested, and
  • when we are, we are given their permission, through a contract with the Podcast Music Network, to use it, with proper credit given on the shows notes, in a show podcast to you, the audience
  • whereupon you, as a member of the audience, can decide wether or not to investigate further.
That's business of podcasting. Clean and simple.

We need access to a network of material that we can use to create derivative works, our podcasts.

You can't use Protected AAC song in a podcast... Apple is making its tunes available as Protected AAC and they are unusable even when I was given explicit permission to do so by the creators of the work.

The iTunes Music Store is a 'final consumer' delivery service and every piece of music acquired through iTunes is a 'final consumer' product. However, when I am putting these broadcasts together I am not a 'final consumer.'

I have to use something else and the sources are very different. Hence, the podcasts will likely not sound like the record companies product and the radio output.

And to be honest, after discovering that Tom Waits has four songs on the PMN, I feel that it won't be too long before the PMN picks up every 'commercially problematic' artist out there for use in podcasts.

The RIAA may have protection rights over a huge back catalog owned by the recording companies, and ASCAP/BMI may be part of the enforcement arm, but the industry habit of 'discovering new artists' and then throwing them away like use condoms, is leaving an awful lot of people who are saying "You screwed me once, shame on you."

To paraphrase Bush: 'Screw me twice... Maw... Hmm. You won't get to do that again.'"

To paraphrase Johnny Paycheck now: "Take this recording contract and shove it."

And the PMN is happy to take the discards from the commercial world.

The commercial world has no memory and no loyalty; and their vision of the future doesn't extend beyond the next fiscal quarter.

That makes for an awful lot of pissed off artists and other content producers, and there's a new game in town, the PMN.

Every podcast has associated show notes, mine are at, listing the music and other media used and where to get it. (I'm such a fan-boy, I even include the show notes in the episode [which screws up handing them off to iTunes] and under the lyrics tab in iTunes.)


That's fine, but it doesn't pay the rent.

Podcasting is rarely done professionally. And its just as rarely profesionally done.

Getting it done at all used to be extremely expensive.
  • The guys who owned the transmission towers had the broadcasters by the short and curlies,
  • the broadcasters had the record companies by the short and curlies,
  • the record companies had the artists by the short and curlies
  • and so on.
Its the war between economic models: scarsity versus plenty (and everything gets scarse at some point) and oligopolistic protectionism versus "laisser faire" competition.

With computerization, the costs have shrunk to such an extent that even a handicapped person like me with a little money and some interest in a topic and in music can produce a podcast.

In further reflection on the economic model of scarsity, I am trying to get the message out to advertisers that can't possibly afford or justify advertising in the traditional media for drugs, goods and services dealing with MS.

This podcast doesn't cost them much.

Its by $50/thousand downloads.

I'm definitely not there yet and with a maximum of 350,000 MSers as my downloaders, even if I hit 100% of them, it would cost at most $17,500 to run an ad of unlimited length. Its a podcast, if you need time, you've got time.

Compare that with mass media advertising, with budgets of $10,000,000 to introduce a new brand of dog food. When they can't even be sure that the listener or viewer even has a dog.

Is it any wonder that advertising companies are taking a serious, hard look at podcasting as a means of cutting out the waste inherent in broadcasting.

I could write a song about this:

"Are you there?
Do you care?
Will you remember when and where?"

Enough waxing lyrical.

In fact, with web site banner exchanges for Associations and for small and family owned businesses, it doesn't have to cost them a thing.

By virtue of who will download these episodes, us MSers, they are extremely likely to be in the specific market niche that they want to hit: us MSers.

And we get to find out what's out there for us and our needs.

That's the message I'm trying to send out there.

It'll happen.

Its too inefficient to operate in any other way.

And industry hates inefficiency.

No comments: