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GearAndGuitars 30th December 2013 08:17 AM
Rap Genius Traffic Tanked After Google Smacked It Down for Spamming

Quantcast shows that the number of unique visitors to Rap Genius has dropped 60 percent since Google punished the startup for its questionable SEO scheme. Last year, unique visitors to Rap Genius only dropped about 15 percent from Christmas Eve to Christmas. Rap Genius has not responded to request for comment from Valleywag sent yesterday and today.

GearAndGuitars 28th December 2013 06:44 AM
How A Fabricated Story About Iron Maiden’s Love Of Music Pirates Became Internet Truth | Techcrunch

Wouldn’t it be awesome if heavy metal icons Iron Maiden leveraged data about which regions of the world pirated their music to plan a multi-million dollar global concert tour? Yeah, it’d be awesome, if it were true.

So awesome to my anarchistic ears that I was halfway through reblogging the reblog of a Rolling Stone story before I learned that I couldn’t actually verify any of the facts...

GearAndGuitars 26th December 2013 11:51 PM
Is Rap Genius ****ed?

We effed up, lyrics annotation supersite Rap Genius admitted this week after its SEO cheating was revealed. They sure did. And there's good reason to believe this isn't just a gaffe for the cartoonish startup posse: a Google eff up could haunt them forever--but no one search should have all that power.

"Rap Genius will never be safe on the internet again, because as far as they're concerned, Google is the internet. The search engine functions like public infrastructure, a road that takes anyone who wants to look up lyrics to the internet lyrics store, but it thinks like any Walmart or Exxon. It has its own secret rules, its own private penalties, and its own willingness to harm any company that dares make it look stupid."

GearAndGuitars 25th December 2013 01:36 AM
The case against Kim Dotcom, finally revealed | Ars Technica

Feds lay it all out: Megaupload made $150+ million, and Dotcom must stand trial.

The government's 191-page "Summary of Evidence" also details the stunning sums that Dotcom and his colleagues made running their site. Dotcom, who owned 68 percent of Megaupload and all of sister site Megavideo, made more than $42 million in calendar year 2010. CTO Mathias Ortmann, who owned 25 percent share of Megaupload, made more than $9 million that same year; designer Julius Bencko (2.5 percent) made more than $1 million, and programmer Bram Van Der Kolk (also 2.5 percent) made more than $2 million. Chief Marketing Officer Finn Batato, who was not a shareholder, made $400,000. And no perk was too excessive: the company spent $616,000 renting Mediterranean yachts.

GearAndGuitars 23rd December 2013 03:57 AM
The Recording Academy® To Host Register Of Copyrights For Creator Roundtables - Yaho

From Yahoo Finance: SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --*The Recording Academy® has announced a new initiative to facilitate leadership roundtables between music creators and Maria Pallante, the Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. The initiative is a response to Pallante's stated goal of hearing from stakeholders on all sides of the copyright discussion. The Academy initiative, which will begin in New York on Jan. 14, 2014, and continue to other Academy Chapters whenever the Register or her senior team are in town, will feature roundtables with leading performers, songwriters and studio professionals.* Appointed to lead the Copyright Office in 2011, Pallante serves as a key advisor to Congress during its review of copyright law.

GearAndGuitars 22nd December 2013 05:13 PM
David Byrne: “Do you really think people are going to keep putting time and effort into this, if no one is making any money?”

The musical genius shares his songwriting secrets, opens up his finances and ponders the future of art and the Web

Lots of us believe that musicians, along with other artists, are struck by inspiration and have this emotion which they must express and share. But you argue in your book that it is actually the opposite — that the idea of the songwriter pouring heart, soul and autobiography into his or her music is wrong-headed. “The accepted narrative,” you write, “that the rock and roll singer is driven by desire and demons, and out bursts this amazing, perfectly shaped song that had to be three minutes and 12 seconds. This is the romantic notion of how creative work comes to be, but I think the path of creation is almost 180 degrees from this model.”

GearAndGuitars 22nd December 2013 06:59 AM
Pandora's Royalty Reduction Plan Fails, Artist Advocates Rejoice | SPIN | Newswire

Rihanna and Brian Wilson were among those opposing a bill that would've cut Internet pay-rates

There's no end in sight to the online music streaming debate, but musician groups can claim victory in one of the more contentious arguments — at least for now. Pandora is abandoning its push for a bill that would have cut the music royalties paid by Internet radio services.

GearAndGuitars 22nd December 2013 06:55 AM
Pandora loses BMI court battle over music licensing | Circa News

Pandora has spent more than a year in legal battles with music publishers over exactly what songs the online radio service has access to.

A federal judge in New York has ruled that Broadcast Music Inc., a performance rights organization, may allow its members to prevent their music from being licensed to Pandora. The Dec. 18 decision means that Pandora may soon lose access to music from publishers like Universal and BMG.

GearAndGuitars 20th December 2013 01:30 AM
Goldie Blox - SPIN's 2013 Hall of Shame | SPIN | Discover | SPIN Lists

Though the rap legends had suggested it was copyright infringement, in a tender letter to the company they mentioned that the late Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys had a "no advertising" clause in his will. Whether Goldie Blox made a parody or not, really shouldn't matter. Contriving a viral moment (their CEO has made other controversy-baiting spoofs before) with a riff on a song from a man whose will explicitly asked that his music not be used in commercials is just plain gross.

GearAndGuitars 19th December 2013 07:12 AM
Pussy Riot Members Set for Release as Early as Thursday - The Hollywood Reporter

MOSCOW – Jailed Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are expected to be released as early as Thursday under an amnesty marking the 20th anniversary of Russia's post-Soviet Constitution, which the Russian parliament passed Wednesday.

GearAndGuitars 19th December 2013 07:05 AM
Graham Henderson: “Of what is and is not broken…”

The Canadian Independent Music Association just completed a study that pegs the average musician’s income in Canada at $7,228. This echoes an earlier study undertaken by Professor Doug Hyatt of Rotman which put the number at $16,491. Income at these absurdly low levels render it virtually impossible to pursue music as a profession. It starts to look and feel more like a hobby. And let me tell you that this is a far cry from the conditions that could be obtained prior to 1999.

The “middle class” for want of a better term is in a state of what appears to be terminal decline. This is a phenomena that has been remarked on and discussed in many fora but rarely as it applies to the creative class. We now live in a world where a very few musicians have become fabulously wealthy, leaving almost everyone else with very little on the table. Was not digital technology supposed to have done EXACTLY to opposite? Successful bands today have become more brand than band, diversifying into luxury goods, film, television and beyond. This is in strident contrast to musicians of the past who would have been horrified beyond imagining to have their art, their political speech, associated with mere products. I knew artists who turned down absolutely fabulous sums rather than shill for an advertisement.

GearAndGuitars 19th December 2013 06:56 AM
Art and Music Are Professions Worth Fighting for | Blake Morgan

In music specifically, 2013 has been a year unlike any other in recent memory. It's been a year that has seen musicians stand up and speak out on behalf of their profession like never before. And the results have been historic. Internet radio giant Pandora has announced it's abandoning its pursuit of legislation that would lower artists' royalties. Congress is now taking another look at copyright reform. Spotify has responded to broad criticism and made their operations more transparent. And perhaps most significant, music lovers are now standing with music makers to help push these issues forward.

For the first time in a long time, there's a lot to be hopeful about if you're a musician. There are tremendous fights ahead, against powerful forces, on many fronts. But we have something those forces don't have. We have something worth fighting for.

GearAndGuitars 18th December 2013 10:25 PM
Bills to Eliminate Pirate Sites like The Pirate Bay get Unanimous Approval - IBT

AGCOM, an independent Electronic Communications Authority of Italy, devised various measures to bring down the pirate websites and their owners. The measures put forward have been unanimously approved. The new system that ensures the fast removal of copyrighted content by hosts and blocking of various file-sharing websites will be implemented on March 31, 2014.

Whitecat 17th December 2013 12:17 PM
As Music Downloads Decline, Expect More Anti-Spotify Anxiety

We're officially buying and downloading less digital music year by year.

Whitecat 16th December 2013 11:57 AM
Music Industry Worth £3.5bn To British Economy

A new report reveals Britain's music industry is worth billions of pounds, helped by home-grown talent like Emeli Sande and Adele.

Whitecat 16th December 2013 11:11 AM
BBC spent £360,000 on music fee row

The BBC spent more than £360,000 taking Welsh language composers and publishers to a copyright tribunal to settle a royalty payments row, it is revealed.

GearAndGuitars 16th December 2013 06:16 AM
Google Slammed by Attorney General for “Inaction” on Piracy | Variety

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is pressing Google to take greater measures to tackle online piracy and other illegal Web activity, saying that the company’s “inaction” is “not merely a failure to do the right thing” but “raises serious questions as to whether Google is engaged in unlawful conduct itself.”

Hood accused Google of being “unwilling to take basic actions to make the Internet safe from unlawful and predatory conduct, and it has refused to modify its own behavior that facilitates and profits from unlawful conduct.” His letter cites not just piracy of movies, TV shows and music but the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and sex trafficking.

He also pointed out several instances in which Google has screened out criminal content, like child pornography. ****-related content, he noted, was removed from search results in Germany, and spam and malware are blocked because they can be damaging to users.

“Google can and does take action against unlawful or offensive conduct — when Google determines it is in its business interests to do so,” Hood wrote.

GearAndGuitars 14th December 2013 06:50 AM
The Best Of The Internet's Reaction To Beyonce's New Album

Beyonc? basically destroyed the entire internet. Shut it down...

GearAndGuitars 13th December 2013 11:10 PM
“Walking Dead” Producer Hurd Speaks Out on Piracy | Creative America Blog

"There’s a mistaken belief by many of my peers that piracy is somehow good, that viewers will develop a habit to pay for it,” Hurd told Variety’s Ted Johnson in a Q&A at the event. “I’m not sure they really understand other than anecdotal evidence that their ratings go up that the people who pirate are not then going to choose legal downloads or legal viewing in the future.

Part of the problem, she said, lies in the enablement of these illegal sites. Google can block child porn and malware, but let’s illegal streaming sites show up all the time. And Fortune 500 companies aren’t doing their part, by continuing to allow their advertising to appear on those sites, she said."

GearAndGuitars 12th December 2013 07:42 PM
Artists help homeless on ‘Compassion Through Action’ - American Live Wire

Musicians help the homeless

Artists have united to help the homeless with a new digital-only charity compilation album titled Compassion Through Action. Released this week on, the ten-track collection is the first of a two-volume set. The project is essentially a group of select songs “curated for the purpose of assisting the work of Compassion Through Action, a Los Angeles based homeless aid organization.”

The digital release was produced by L.A. native singer-songwriter Manda Mosher. Mosher, one of the organizers behind the “Sandy Hook: A Benefit Concert”, was been moved into action once more.

Compassion Through Action: A Benefit Album Vol. 1

1. Lucinda Williams - Born To Be Loved 04:37

2. Chris Laterzo - False Kings Reign 04:02

3. Pete Droge - First Kiss 03:27

4. Ted Russell Kamp - Right Down To The Wire 04:03

5. Amelia White (feat. A.J. Croce & The McCrary Sisters) - Mercy 03:58

6. Shane Alexander - Skyway Drive-In 03:17

7. Manda Mosher (feat. Rami Jaffee) - One Of These Days 03:46

8. John Ramey & Kirsten Proffit - Get It Right Tonight 03:47

9. Zach Brooke - Hallelujah 04:04

10. D Henry Fenton - Transcending 02:03

GearAndGuitars 12th December 2013 07:39 PM
Beastie Boys Sue GoldieBlox For Acting With "Oppression, Fraud, And Malice": Gothamist

The lawsuit (below) alleges that GoldieBlox "has acted intentionally and despicably with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Beastie Boys" and that the "Girls" ad "directly coincided with and directly resulted in a massive increase in the sales of GoldieBlox products." Products which, by some accounts, are pretty crappy.

The lawsuit argues that the "Beastie Boys and the group's members have suffered injury to their business, goodwill, and property, in an amount to be determined at trial, and are entitled to recover from GoldieBlox the gains, profits, and advantages that GoldieBlox has obtained as a result of the wrongful conduct alleged herein." In other words, **** you, my man.

GearAndGuitars 11th December 2013 08:55 PM
GoldieBlox backs off the Beasties — badly -

The toy company calls for a truce, but still gets a lot wrong

Maybe it doesn’t matter to GoldieBlox, which thanks to all the attention currently has one of the top-selling toys on Amazon. But you don’t create positive change in the world by cavalierly stepping all over the hard work of others.

Most gallingly of all, after lawyering up all over the band just two days ago, GoldieBlox ends its letter with a “Let’s be friends” message. What, no self-absolving smiley thrown in for good measure? If I were the Beastie Boys, I’d tell you to go ahead and hold your breath on that one, GoldieBlox. And I’d say that if you really want to “inspire the next generation” and “be good role models,” you would own up to your mistakes and apologize for them.

GearAndGuitars 11th December 2013 06:00 PM
Bloomberg ALMOST get’s it right about Spotify and Streaming… ALMOST…

Bloomberg almost gets it right. While Megan McArdle correctly identifies the problem with Spotify in the context of current market economics she fails to recognize the source of the downward pressure on online music distribution, Ad Funded Piracy.

Lou Reed and Dead Kennedys Go Public Against Ad Funded Piracy with Facebook Posts

We have a suggestion for any streaming music company executives who should happen across this post – if you really want to help musicians, why not start educating the media and musicians about the cause and source of why streaming economics are really so bad, Ad Funded Piracy.

Let’s join forces and aggregate the power of the community to restore a fair, ethical and balanced marketplace to music so that artists, songwriters and performers can have sustainable careers, and you too.

GearAndGuitars 11th December 2013 03:55 AM
Copyright suddenly becomes important when there’s something at stake | Vox Indie

For those who denigrate copyright enforcement as antiquated and unworkable, it’s worth looking at the issue from the creator’s (or licensee’s) perspective. When that happens attitudes can shift quickly–and not just for companies.

When Instagram attempted to change its terms of service to “sell users’ photos without payment or notification,” its users were outraged and and posted comments like:

“You DO NOT have permission to use my stuff just because it’s hosted on your servers,”
“My photos will not sell without my knowledge and compensation. I spend time on my pictures.”

Grahamdwc 10th December 2013 05:48 PM
Beats Electronics backing Muscle Shoals upgrades - The Washington Post

Jimmy Iovine and Luke Wood were so moved by the “Muscle Shoals” documentary, they’re putting up money to make sure the unique spirit of the Alabama music haven lives on.

GearAndGuitars 9th December 2013 06:06 PM
French court orders search firms to block pirate sites | BBC

A court in France has ordered Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to block 16 video-streaming sites from their search results.

The High Court in Paris ruled the websites were dedicated to the "distribution of works without consent of their creators".

"Search engines are incredibly skilful, yet they are still leading consumers to illegal money-making sites even when the searcher is seeking legal content online," said Chris Marcich, president of MPA in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"The present situation is confusing for consumers, damaging the legal download market and legitimising copyright theft. The decision in France clearly is a step in this direction."

Several internet service providers were also ordered to block the sites.

Whitecat 9th December 2013 04:26 PM
Police crackdown on pirate site ads

City of London Police crack down on pirate sites and ask companies to stop advertising on them.

Whitecat 9th December 2013 02:54 PM
Music Business Association Launches Music Tech Startup Network - hypebot

The trade group formerly known as NARM, is launching resources and a network to help music tech startups. It is the first product that the Music Business Association (Music Biz) has introduced since its rebranding and reorganization in early October. The Music Startup Network will connect entrepreneurs looking for licensing, marketing, or mentoring relationships for their web, mobile, tablet, or enterprise apps with content players from record labels, publishers, performing rights organizations, artist managers, and other rights-holders. It will also gives content companies an easy way tod filter the large number of potential partners to find the best match. Entrepreneurs...

GearAndGuitars 8th December 2013 08:05 PM
Internet firms ordered to block file-share sites -

THREE major music companies have been granted orders which will allow internet service providers here to block access to a file-sharing website as part of efforts to prevent "wholesale copyright theft" on "a grand scale".

The judge was satisfied many of those were engaged in copyright infringement, devastating the ability of a generation of creative people to make a living from their talents.

GearAndGuitars 8th December 2013 03:47 AM
What Does Hotfile's Closure Mean to You? - Plagiarism Today

With the closure of Hotfile, questions are raised about what this means for content creators and the cyberlocker industry. Here are a few likely outcomes.

The judge in the case also ordered Hotfile that, if it wishes to remain open, it has to use “digital fingerprinting” to filter out infringing works. However, Hotfile, either unable or unwilling to comply with that request, has decided to shut down its site, effective immediately.

Hotfile’s closure is easily the biggest case of a cyberlocker being forced offline through legal action since Megaupload in January 2012. However, with nearly two years passed since Megaupload’s shuttering, the Web, especially for illegal downloads, is already a very different place.

GearAndGuitars 8th December 2013 03:42 AM
Get Ready For The Streaming-Music Die-Off; ReadWrite

The streaming era is the next music industry ice age.

Beyond their broken business model, these companies share a lot of dubious promises to investors, shareholders and artists. Rdio hopes to get in the black by luring in more ad-supported subscribers. Spotify promises that when it scales up to 40 million paid users—it’s currently at 6 million—that artists will get paid five times what they make from the service today (the math works out, but that 40 million figure is a big “if"). Pandora, unprofitable and crippled by royalty fees as its user base grows, promises that mobile ad revenue can offset the revenue it’s hemorrhaging.

Whitecat 6th December 2013 05:54 PM
Boxing clever at Christmas: why the music industry needs deluxe reissues | Music | t

Get ready for the Christmas spate of deluxe CD editions and box sets. But is there really a market for unreleased material by artists who weren't superstars?

Whitecat 6th December 2013 05:53 PM
Jared Leto Wages War On The Music Industry - Forbes

Actor Jared Leto’s band, 30 Seconds To Mars, has recorded four albums, sold over 10 million copies worldwide and set the Guinness World Record for most shows on an album cycle. In 2008, they were also sued $30 million for breach of contract by their record label, Virgin/EMI. Now bandmates [...]

GearAndGuitars 5th December 2013 10:30 PM
David Lowery: Silicon Valley must be stopped, or creativity will be destroyed - Salon

Silicon Valley's making money off the work of others. David Lowery is on a crusade for copyright, fairness and art

People sometimes use the Industrial Revolution metaphor. They talk about how factories replaced the artisan and the farmer, and it took decades for things like child labor, dangerous working conditions, and pollution and all the stuff that industry brought to Britain and the U.S. to be eradicated, or made humane and sustainable.

But whenever anybody — I mean, you’ve just brought up David Allen, and we’ve just posted this idea on my Trichordist blog that we should have an ethical, fair-trade Internet, but you’ve got people like David Allen saying you can’t have that. That would be like in the Industrial Revolution saying, “You can’t have a non-polluting factory; you can’t have a factory that doesn’t have child labor; you can’t have a factory that’s safe to work in.” Of course you can!

We’re the ****ing masters of our own destiny, we pass the laws for this country, we create this country, we decide what kind of a society we’re going to have — not the Internet. And, besides, the Internet is coded by humans. We can make the Internet do what it needs to do. I’m a technologist. I program computers. This is what I did before I played in bands.

There is nothing deterministic about the Internet. Basically, what these people are saying is that this is the first technology whereby we must change our principles to match the technology — that’s what these people are saying. Do you want to live in a world like that, with these people running it?

GearAndGuitars 5th December 2013 08:02 AM
Goldieblox: erasing the line between "disruptive" and "*********gery&q

The dust hadn't settled yet from when Goldieblox declared "you gotta fight for your right to infringe" last week - and now Goldieblox have issued a non-apology for infringing Beastie Boys song.

Yesterday Felix Simon joined in opining in GoldieBlox, fair use, and the cult of disruption. Disruption? Yes, we all know that to get angel funders to throw money at you as if you're the last stripper in town, you have to promise disruption. Disruption is changing the status quo by blowing up an old market, and in the new market created a land rush like Oklahoma takes place. Forget those who were on the land before, they need to adapt. Most of all, disruption is really close to *********gery if you're not careful. Creating a keyboardless phone that is just a screen in a market full of indestructible Nokias is proper disruption. Picking fights just to get attention is destruction.

Read more at*********gery/

GearAndGuitars 5th December 2013 02:16 AM
Aimee Mann Wins First Round of Digital Music Lawsuit | Billboard

The singer wins the first round in her lawsuit against MediaNet, which she claims infringed 120 of her songs.

Her lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that the lawsuit served "as a call to other artists to follow the lead set by Radiohead and Pink Floyd to put an end to the unlicensed, uncompensated use of their music by online services."

GearAndGuitars 4th December 2013 01:27 AM


If you spoke up about this, if you posted about it on Facebook or Tweeted about it to your friends, if you added your voice to the courageous chorus who stood up and spoke out, you helped win this fight.

This victory belongs to you.

Whitecat 3rd December 2013 11:06 PM
Spotify Serenades Artists With Data, Commerce | Billboard

Amid a growing chorus of debate about how much streaming services pay artists, Spotify on Tuesday tried to present its own side of the argument, outlining in a new website how it has paid out $1 billion in music royalties since its launch five years ago.

GearAndGuitars 3rd December 2013 08:59 PM
Pandora Stops Internet Radio Fairness Act Legislation Efforts, To Focus on CRB (From

Pandora has given up its efforts to seek legislation that would help reduce the royalties paid to rights holders, a source knowledgeable with the decision tells Billboard.

IRFA opponents hail Pandora’s decision. RIAA chairman/CEO Cary Sherman calls the demise of IRFA “a historic moment” for the music industry. A coalition of labels, managers, artists, unions and trade groups like SoundExchange and the RIAA fought vociferously against the legislation. The op-ed articles, public statements, advertisements, email blasts and social media efforts “clearly moved the needle,” Sherman says.

GearAndGuitars 29th November 2013 03:44 PM
Goldieblox Pulls Beasties Video and Other YouTube Debacles | MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY •

For whatever reason–one can never rule out doing the right thing, even with a Stanford grad–Goldiblox has taken their rip off commercial…sorry, remix commercial…no, no, parody video, yes that’s the ticket–apparently the Goldiblox parody video has been taken “private” on YouTube. There’s also a new Goldieblox video without the Beasties up on Google’s monopoly video search platform, so let’s see how that one does.

So if Goldiblox wants to do something positive with their new found fame, maybe their CEO could have a word with Google about filtering out these exploitative videos that are being beamed into homes around the world for children to see. Right next to the “Femoral Fiesta” video playlist showing junkies how to hit the femoral artery.

Yes, right. Filtering, that’s the ticket. I’m sure GoldieBlox will get right on challenging Google to not be evil.

GearAndGuitars 27th November 2013 08:45 PM
Toy Company Pulls Beastie Boys' 'Girls' From Ad | Music News | Rolling Stone

The toy company GoldieBlox has pulled a parody version of the Beastie Boys' "Girls" from a viral advertising campaign, telling the rap group, "We don't want to fight with you." Use of the song to advertise construction toys aimed at young girls had prompted an inquiry from the band's lawyers, followed by a pre-emptive lawsuit from GoldieBlox.

GearAndGuitars 27th November 2013 05:34 AM
Did Goldieblox Use Beastie Boys’ ‘Girls’ Just to Drum Up Controvers

According to entertainment lawyer John Seay, Golieblox using "Girls" without asking for the band's permission could very well have been part of their plan to get the ad and its message to a larger audience.

Additionally, Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch, who succumbed to cancer in 2012, wrote into his will that none of his music ever be used in advertising: “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes,” reads a passage from the will (via Rolling Stone).

GearAndGuitars 26th November 2013 11:11 PM
Beastie Boys Fire Back at GoldieBlox in Fight Over 'Girls' | Commentary and analysis

Toy startup GoldieBlox thinks it has the legal right to adapt a Beastie Boys song for a parody to make a point. The Beasties beg to differ.

"Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial "GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys," we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.

We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.

As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song "Girls" had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US."

GearAndGuitars 26th November 2013 04:58 PM
Shut Up and Sing: Goldiblox Shows Silicon Valley’s Latest Strategy to Intimidate So

The Beasties (as well as their producer Rick Rubin) fell into the Goldieblox litigation strategy not because of what they did but because of what they said.

And this is the message that Goldieblox is also sending to anyone who wants to hear it, most concisely stated by Mary Elizabeth Williams writing in Salon:
The Beastie Boys spent a better part of their formidable career making it very clear to even the most casual observer that they were not, in fact, a pack of infantile misogynists. But even if they had been, that wouldn’t give anybody – even a company with a positive, girl-powery message – the right to steal from them. “Girls” is the Beastie Boys’ song, and they shouldn’t be expected to hand it over to anybody in some bizarre legal stab at public shaming.

That’s not the inventive, original thinking that GoldieBlox appears to espouse. Instead of hiding behind the thoroughly lame excuse that “The song was sexist, ergo we can take it to sell our toys,” GoldieBlox could instead put on its big girls pants and make something awesome now with its creative talent. The company could instead prove that when challenged, it’s crafty. And that’s just my type.

GearAndGuitars 26th November 2013 04:13 PM
GoldieBlox, fair use, and the cult of disruption | Felix Salmon

If all GoldieBlox wanted to do was get out a viral message about empowering girls, they could easily have done that without gratuitously antagonizing the Beastie Boys, or putting the Beasties in their current impossible situation.

Instead, however, GoldieBlox did exactly what you’d expect an entitled and well-lawyered Silicon Valley startup to do, which is pick a fight. It’s the way of the Valley — you can’t be winning unless some household-name dinosaur is losing. (The Beasties are actually the second big name to find themselves in the GoldieBlox crosshairs; the first was Toys R Us.) The real target of the GoldieBlox lawsuit, I’m quite sure, is not the Beastie Boys. Instead, it’s the set of investors who are currently being pitched to put money into a fast-growing, Stanford-incubated, web-native, viral, aggressive, disruptive company with massive room for future growth — a company which isn’t afraid to pick fights with any big name you care to mention.

Because in Silicon Valley, people will always prefer to invest in that kind of company, rather than in a toy company whose toys, in truth, aren’t actually very good.

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