Rough Trade NYC – Record Store Revival?

25 Nov

ImageOpening today on a dodgy block of Brooklyn near the East River, Rough Trade NYC is a 15,000 square foot emporium where CDs, vinyl, coffee, and live shows can be purchased and enjoyed. Its parent company, Rough Trade, has been an independent music tastemaker since it opened in London in 1976. Aided by cultivating an anti-corporate, fan-centered attitude, indie record stores like Amoeba Music in California and Other Music in NYC’s East Village have become thriving social spots that serve a small but earnest niche. Rough Trade now joins this esteemed group. Read more about it here.

App Suggests Paint Colors Based On Your Music

29 Oct


Need some advice on what color to paint your bedroom?  Paintlist, a smartphone app from the Dutch Boy paint brand, evaluates music provided by users to suggest colors that it says evoke similar moods. In a recent test using the song “Towers” by Bon Iver, the app suggested a slate-blue shade called Baltic Sea for walls and, for trim, Pale Blue Spring and black.

According to Patricia Macko, director of brand marketing at Dutch Boy, the goal of the new app is to reach consumers from their late teens through early 30s. Marcus Thomas is the ad agency who dreamed up this campaign.

The app incorporates a song-identification technology service that recognizes more than 10 million songs, MusicDNA ID It, whose producer also makes a music-recognition app, MusicDNA.

UK Music Asks Government to Create Live Music Tourism Strategy

17 Oct

ukmusic-1A focused strategy on getting more international tourists to visit the UK should include music tourism, claims UK Music, an umbrella organization that includes members from all facets of the music industry.  In a 44-page report issued this month by Oxford Economics and UK Music, a compelling argument is made for a hearty weaving of live music into VisitBritain’s overall goal of attracting 40 million overseas visitors by 2020.


Philadelphia Orchestra’s Brilliant and Fun Adventure

15 Oct


They could have just gone home and watched TV. That’s what Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin told the full house at Verizon Hall last week. But instead, this great orchestra offered a pop-up concert to its hometown, with only a few hours’ notice and free admission for all. If Carnegie Hall couldn’t solve its stage union strike, thus cancelling the season’s opening night, the Orchestra showed there are other ways to celebrate.

Dressed informally and wearing brightly colored shirts, the orchestra musicians showed the audience – many of whom clearly had never been to an orchestral performance – that they are just regular folks, too. It was a love-fest all around. This risky and brilliant idea, throwing a concert with less than a day’s notice, is a heads-up for orchestras around the country. The Philadelphia public showed up to support the home team and demonstrated how much they care about classical music.

Here’s the full account, courtesy of Greg Sandow.


Fight! Copyright Guru Lawrence Lessig Sues Australian Record Label

30 Sep



An Australian record label may have picked a fight with the wrong guy. The label Liberation, part of the Australian music and entertainment company Mushroom Group,  sent a standard takedown notice threatening to sue after YouTube computers spotted its music in a video.

It turns out that video was posted by one of the most famous copyright attorneys in the world, and Lawrence Lessig is suing back.

Read all about it (and listen to the story!) on NPR’s All Tech Considered.

Pink Floyd vs Pandora – In Case You Missed The Fuss in June

26 Sep



Here’s an easy-to-read Q&A to explain the issues of the mud-slinging between the radio service Pandora and musicians who feel they are being ripped-off. The problem, of course, is money: how royalties rates are paid in digital services like Pandora.

Jeff John Roberts of GigaOM penned this excellent, easy-to-follow description of the situation back in June. Here it is again, just in case you were on summer holiday and missed it.


Judge Denies Vimeo ‘Safe Harbor’ on Videos

23 Sep



A recent posting by Jeff John Roberts of GigaOM describes the latest in a long-running fight over who is responsible for removing copyrighted content on video sites: a New York federal judge refused to throw out a case against Vimeo,  a popular site that lets users share clips.

In a ruling this week, US District Judge Ronnie Abrams held that so-called “safe harbor” laws — which can help internet sites avoid liability for the actions of their uses — may not shield Vimeo since its employees may have known that users were uploading infringing works by the likes of the Beatles and Jay-Z.

The Vimeo case is part of a long-running attempt by the entertainment industry to bend copyright law so that websites are required to take an active role in patrolling for piracy. Under the current law, which is intended to protect copyright holders without smothering the internet economy, sites are not responsible for their users so long as they respond to takedown requests — and are not complicit in the infringement.

In order to preserve their safe harbors, sites must also show that they don’t “control” the content that appears. In the Vimeo case, the music industry argued that the site’s monitoring system, under which employees sometimes promoted or “liked” pieces of content, meant that Vimeo had an active role in controlling the content.

The judge rejected that concept, and said a monitoring system — even one in which a site’s employees could create a “Staff Picks” list or comment on videos — did not mean the site forfeited its safe harbor.

As a result, the case will now look more closely at 55 specific videos in which Vimeo might have had actual or red flag knowledge; the court threw out 144 copyright claims related to other videos on the grounds Vimeo was covered by the safe harbor rules in these cases.


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