Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 2

It’s time to get to the 2nd Pinterest post finished.  This post was nearly complete the day I delivered my presentation but I let things get in the way and fell for every distraction I could.

I began this Pinterest presentation (at SAE Nashville, Friday, July 18, 2014) by outlining my social media activity.  As of this morning, my social media numbers:

My website   (112 blog posts)

Facebook (2,926 friends) 

Twitter (2,339 followers, 22,100+ tweets)

Pinterest (2,253 pins on my 28 boards)

LinkedIn (2,555 contacts) 






Foursquare  (6,551+ check-ins, 63 badges)

(I’ve also been only moderately active on Reddit, Digg and StumbledUpon and not enough to mention.)

I showed the above social media so as to preach to young minds (an audience of mostly students) that they MUST be active in social media in order to learn about events, creations, creators, ideas and expressions of ideas, the dissemination of the expression of ideas, the proximity of a tornado when inclement weather is present and much more.  Social media, especially Twitter, is my newspaper / updater / life leader.

(My new social media playgrounds are Ello and Super.  On Super, I will be “emh” and not my usual, “emh2625.”)

Some Advantages to Using Pinterest

1.  It is always online and available unless you are a Comcast customer.  In that case, Internet access is always a concern.

2.  Memory for the number of pins and boards seems to be limitless.  I don’t expect to see a negative number, such as -8, come up as they do when a tweet exceeds 140 characters.  Pinterest still does not tell you you’ve exceeded length, space, time or width (except for text characters under a pin).

3.  Graphic/Pictorial Nature is extremely appealing.  For those of us who live in the invisible world, i.e. “music,” it is so important to incorporate visual and become far more visual.  One of my preaching points pertaining to helping unknown musicians become known is that for musicians to be heard, they need to be seen.  An intelligent and widespread online presence is essential for developing many careers.

4.  There is room for text underneath every photo (pin) and the quality of the text will improve the quality of the pin.

5.  Many Links can be added to each pin – the restrictions only come with respect to the 500-character limit of the text of each pin.  Occasionally Pinterest will block the link to a video within the pin to work.   One can, however, copy and paste the link.  I’ve found it a good practice to add such a warning before or after a link I have inserted into a pin.  (It is unfortunate that Pinterest simply sees a link and thinks “this could take you to porn!”)

6.  Pinterest is an open-source sharing community.  Pins can be re-pinned to other boards.  Therefore, one pin with text and links, can be easily re-purposed for another board, i.e., course material can be transferred to other courses.

7.  It is very easy to become friends with those of similar interest.  I need to make the time to look at whats others do and connect with those who share similar passions.

8.  It is very easy to develop your brand this way.  (Twitter has an advantage on Pinterest re recognition for one’s expertise in a subject because more people seem to tweet more often than pin and Pinterest is still not considered a place to display’s one’s intellectual heft.)

9.  A course can be modified as quickly as one can pin, type and re-pin.  My Intellectual Property class will have some overlap with other classes of mine – Publishing, Licensing, Survey of the Music & Entertainment Industry, Advertising, Music & Social Media, etc.

10.  A pin can be many things at once – for my purposes, a pin can be appropriate in many different boards simultaneously.   For example, pins from one lecture or class can work very well in another.  Advertising to IP, Comedy to IP, IP to Comedy, etc.

11.  My Pinterest boards, collectively, serve as a sort of easy-to-view resume although a more traditional untraditional resume already occupies cyberspace at  My resume – where I’ve spoken including geography & photo – occupies some of my Pinterest boards.

12.  Like the majority of Pinterest users, my personal/non-professional interests – bicycling, where I’ve lived, comedy, food/recipes, etc. – can be shared as well.

13.  All classes, subjects, special lectures, links to video, music, readings, etc. all belong on Pinterest.  I am surprised that at least 3 years after I first knew Pinterest (20111), Pinterest is not used more creatively and educationally.

14.  Pinterest has helped musicians and those not inclined to think visually.   If, to quote the Faber College (Animal House) motto, “Knowledge is Good,” then Good Looks Are Good Too.

15.  A fun opportunity/challenge is which side will win – will photographs, the visually stunning, always be more attractive than un-stunning text?  Is the posted photograph much more important the text that surrounds the photograph?  For me one of the fun challenges is to make the surrounding text as or more important than the photograph.  As a composer who composed a lot of music using traditional centuries old black and white notation, I find some musical scores to be nearly as great as the invisible music and sounds the black and white notation symbols describe or prescribe.  Pinterest though can change the paradigm.

More Pinterest in a future post….

Twitter In The Classes I Am Creating

The Almost-100, Arnold Schoenberg, and the not-so-sad omission of business, communications and the arts

One of my pursuits these days (August 2014) is creating, designing, reconfiguring, ratcheting up a few new courses in intellectual property, a survey of the music & entertainment industry, social media & marketing in music/video/IP, and business and legal issues helping and hindering music get created, disseminated and experienced.

All of these classes will deal significantly with technology, business, law and music (how could they not?).  I could add words like “communication” and “arts” too but I often use words like “technology” to subsume “business” and “communication,” and “entertainment” to subsume “art” and “arts.”  (With my classical music pedigree, I should NEVER associate “art” or “arts” with “entertainment.”  One of my heroes, Arnold Schoenberg, in his past writings set me straight on that (but I veered off the ranch twenty + years ago):

“If it is art it is not for all and if it is for all it is not art”

or something similar but identical in sentiment.)  (One of my favorite Schoenberg compositions is “Summer Morning By A Lake,” the third of his “Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16” from 1909.


In my Twitter account, I have created eleven (11) lists that cover all of my interests.  Since 2008 I have required students to read what certain Twitter users post.  I provide a list of these Twitterers in each syllabus.  What I want to do now is create a shortened master list of Twitterers from which I can extract subsets that would work in any one, two, three or more of seven or eight classes.

The “rules” and “preconditions that must be met” in order to fall into this list of less-than-100-favorite Twitter authors include:

1.  It intrigues me.

2.  I find it compelling (out of Spinal Tap context, “compelling” can have positive associations).

3.  I’m inspired to act and think (refined people “think ” and then “act”).

4.  I might disagree with what is expressed but it is original and/or important.

5.  It came to mind first when I thought to compile a list of less-than-100.  (Spontaneity, impulse and fast matter when it comes to action, wonderment and ponder-ment.)

(However:  A few of these Twitterers are not at all inspiring (and perhaps pompous and verbose) but most people of a field seem to read these and it is OK sometimes to have some things in common with most people – these form a sort of vernacular canon.)

Here are The Almost-100:


And with extra-special secret code placed to the right, The Almost-100 looks like this: Tech Tech IP MusEnt Tech IP Tech Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech IP MusEnt IP A MT MusEnt A 3 Tech IP A 3 MusEnt Tech MusEnt Tech Tech MusEnt Tech IP Tech IP A MT MusEnt IP IP IP IP Tech IP MusEnt Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech Tech IP Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech Tech MusEnt Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech Tech A MT Tech MusEnt MusEnt A MT A 3 MusEnt A MT A MT Tech A 3 MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt A 3 MusEnt MusEnt A 3 MusEnt A MT Tech Tech Tech Tech A 3

Perhaps the above should be annotated so as to make for more clarity.  In fact, I began but never finished or published an annotated post about great Twitterers to follow more than a year ago.  I think I will save those thoughts for class and spend that writing-annotating time better.

I can imagine negative reactions to a few of The Almost-100 above:

Just why should anyone read Taylor Swift?

Doesn’t Bob Lefsetz assault us enough every day?

Why read a young lawyer who has not even passed the bar?

Read Torrentfreak?  Are you pushing crime or somethin’?


Wishing everyone everywhere a happy Sunday.  Annuit Coeptis.

Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 1

How I Fell In Love With Pinterest (and Why You Should Too)

Cloud Branding Using Pinterest, Part 1

(I am giving a talk about my use of Pinterest today – 2 PM Friday, July 18, 2014 at SAE Institute Nashville, 7 Music Circle N.)

In early January 2012, while teaching my Music & Social Media II class, I stumbled upon a new social media company/site/service called, “Pinterest.”  Because, like Kip Dynamite, I love technology (and social media) and always jump into all things iPad, iPhone, iPod, and SM (social media).

I decided, as usual, that the best thing to do would be to discover and delve into this new social media company quickly, recklessly and this time in front of my students.  I would visit the site, register at the site, explore, react, learn Pinterest’s features, organization, layout, capabilities, limits, make decisions and more in front of my students.  We would be learning it at the same time – bring on the unexpected and unplanned – raise the entropy!  A truly I’m gonna wave my entropy freak flag high, high (to paraphrase Jimi Hendrix) series of moments.

It is worth noting that the class consisted of 17 students – 15 males and 2 females – because what we encountered on Pinterest that afternoon were items heavily geared towards women.  It was as if we had left the classroom and been transported to the most upscale women’s fashion retail store on 5th Avenue.  The 15 males and I did not belong in this cyber uber upscale Pinterest Parlor.

We learned that Pinterest consists of “boards” – electronic rectangles that were filled with “pins” of photographs “pinned” by users.  Below each pinned photo is space for text and in order to post a pin, one must add text.

I was shocked that for the first time I was confronted by a technology that screamed, “FEMALE.”   I saw Boards named, “Things For My Wedding,”  “It’s Wedding Season,” “Shoes,” “My Style,” “Things I’ve Crocheted,” “Yummy Delicious,” “For The Home,” “Hair/Beauty,” “Heavenly Heels,” “Bikini Season Inspiration,” “My Future Hunk Husband” and more.  I always thought of technology as gender-neutral until the Dawn of My Age of Pinterest.

Yikes, I thought.  Failing some unexpected trauma, falling in love with Pinterest will likely not happen anytime soon.

And for my class of 15 males and 2 females, the immediate challenge was to see if the 15 guys could transition from…

being appalled and horrified at shoes and weddings


a neutral acceptance of Pinterest


creating a board or two


becoming passionate pinners.


I think our efforts were successful – the women in the class were already there (way beyond acceptance as they were already at Level Giddy) and the guys went from mild acceptance to “Let’s Find Pictures of BACON!

As for me….

I went at it with different thoughts in mind.

I knew that I didn’t want to see anymore handbags, lovely women’s legs (like at the top of this post), shoes with or without legs, chocolate, recipes, dream dates or furniture for the baby’s room.  So I was left with these thoughts –

I do not normally approach creativity by envisioning a visual image or photograph but now I would be forced to do that.  My instinct and bias was to find a photo that served my thoughts which is mostly the opposite of how Pinterest seemed to have been designed and/or evolved – I wanted to have ideas to express which would be followed by a photograph which would be followed by text.

Here is how I did Pinterest for the first time.  For me, visual would come SECOND and AFTER the idea):

1.  Learn to create a “Pinterest Board.”

2.  Name the Pinterest board.  The first board I created was, not surprisingly, “Music.”

3.  Select the overall category of the Pinterest board from a menu of thirty-two (32) options that begins with  “Animals,” “Architecture,” “Art” and includes “DIY,” “Education,” “Film, Music & Books,” and concludes with “Weddings,” Women’s Fashion” and “Other.”  (I’ve forgotten about this “Category” section – perhaps I’ll revisit how I have categorized my boards soon.  I am certain that I won’t use “Celebrities,” Cars & Motorcycles,” “Men’s Fashion” or “Tattoos” categories anytime soon.)

4.  Learn how to “pin” onto a Pinterest board.

5.  Determine/choose what I am thinking and want to express.  Can it be expressed in words?  Will I be able to find a photo that  –

relates perfectly


not at all

is at odds with or parodies and/or satirizes

with/to my thoughts to express?

6.  Find a photo.

7.  “Pin” the photo to the board.

8.  Write text under the pin, i.e., the photo that was just pinned.

9.  Repeat steps 5 through 8 to add to the board.  When the NEXT BIG IDEA comes along, create and name a new Board and repeat steps 3 and 5 through 8.

10.  Another option is the reverse of the above – find a photo, categorize the board destination of the photo, pin that photo and add text.  Surprisingly, Pinterest has had a strong influence on me in this way.  I see therefore I am inspired.  Many times the visual will trigger my next thoughts.


As I recall, the class and I left our modest, maiden little Pinterest adventure after a few minutes and covered the course material scheduled for that day.  We decided that we should do Pinterest over the weekend and then see where this new technology had lead us by the following week, as well as throughout the semester.

My first idea was to start with stuff I love that had had important meaning in my life.  What were the most influential and inspirational ideas?  MUSIC and several styles of music.  My first board would therefore unsurprisingly be called –


and my first pins would include the most important and most important musical influences in my life:

J. S. Bach

Igor Stravinsky

Edgard Varese

Weather Report

a thick E Major 13 chord (although many other thick chords on “E” or other pitches would have worked too, I like big chords and I cannot lie…)

Iannis Xenakis

The Doors

The Band

The Flying Burrito Brothers

Thomas Mapfumo

and than many more (as of this minute, there are 131 pins on my Music board).  (Pinterest boards are built from the bottom up.  As of July 2014, that seems to still be the case.  One can rearrange boards but one cannot rearrange the pins within a board – they maintain their order of origin.)

In my next post, I will delve further into Pinterest and Pinterest as a brand for the user, Pinterest as a cloud and pinning as Cloud Branding.


(Music of Kip Dynamite and Jimi Hendrix.)


Dexter Not Only Murders, He Steals Intellectual Property – Part 1


Referencing Song Titles in Dexter

Dexter Not Only Murders, He Steals Intellectual Property (“IP” to its friends) – Part 1

Everything, Everywhere, Anytime, Anyway

Publishers Might Not Mind Murder but Theft Of Intellectual Property?  That Should Lead To Murder.  (Theft of IP – now we’re talking real crime!)

I am very new to the great Showtime original series, DEXTER.  I “cut the cord,” got Netflix and am now a proud Netflix sheep/minion who watches television based to a large degree on what’s available on Netflix.

I was attracted to Netflix because I loved the nature of the Netflix beast  –  for a reasonable monthly fee, we could watch/ingest anything and everything we wanted, when, where and how we wanted  – via 55 inch television, 27 inch iMac, iPad with or without retina display, iPhone, Google Glass or wrist watch, although those latter two are not widely available on Earth as of late December 2013.  But Netflix is part of what’s right about my intellectual property (IP) demands for life in the 21st century.  My demands are fourfold:

  1. E V E R Y T H I N G
  2. E V E R Y W H E R E
  3. A N Y T I M E
  4. A N Y W A Y

Netflix does not provide EVERYTHING – every piece of intellectual property (IP) – but it does provide a reasonable amount of IP/visual/audio programming aka works of authorship.

Netflix does very well at fulfilling the EVERYWHERE of my demand at least in that my EVERYWHERE demand is limited to perceiving Netflix everywhere in the United States.

Netflix is nearly perfect at fulfilling the ANYTIME.  If Netflix has it, I can view it at ANYTIME.  One of the problems, however, is that some of their streamed IP/works of authorship that are available have an artificially-imposed limited shelf life.  Many Netflix movies, for example, are scheduled to die/evaporate/shrivel up on January 1, 2014.  There are probably typical business and licensing reasons for the shriveling/evaporation/death-ing and the reasons for these non-essential, human-ordained killings are likely to make sense to Netflix’ shareholders, but in my role as demanding and don’t-tell-me-no customer, I don’t care.  It is the 21st century and those excuses need to be as obsolete as premature death of something that needn’t die.  If Netflix or any other company will not give the customer what s/he wants, someone else will or another avenue, or four or five avenues to that IP, will open.

Netflix is doing very well with respect to ANYWAY as Netflix makes their content available across many platforms.  I have blithely and propitiously watched Netflix programming on my

55 inch

27 inch

13 inch

9.7 inch

4 inch


(The numbers above correspond respectively to the following gadgets in this room:  my JVC TV, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad 5, iPhone 5.)


The Showtime original series, DEXTER, lasted for eight (8) seasons – each season featured twelve (12) episodes.

I was immediately intrigued by the series because of its extremely original setting and theme – a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, Dexter Morgan, a hard working, principled but troubled protagonist who always operates with a “dark passenger” by his side (Dexter’s evil inner being).  In most episodes, Dexter acted as a vigilante who would capture bad people who seemed guilty of one or more murders (or child abuse, etc.).  Often these seemingly guilty murderers had been found not guilty for what is commonly known in popular society/popular media (not by lawyers!) as “technicalities” – evidence was obtained illegally, the search warrant contained a misspelling, etc.

During the first season, I was amused by the titles of episodes especially because many were references to songs, lyrics or movies.  I feel strongly that creators in contemporary cultures should feel free to acknowledge, borrow, reference, copy and transform preexisting material – in these examples, lyrics or text.  The titles of episodes in DEXTER that have been referenced do not constitute any type of legal problem.  The specifics of copyright/intellectual property law, with respect to referencing of titles, need not and will not be addressed in this post.


S O N G S   (and  Dexter)

Many episodes of DEXTER are titled after titles and/or lyrics from popular music songs.  Stated a few other ways:

DEXTER references song titles

DEXTER copies song titles

DEXTER steals song titles

DEXTER misappropriates song titles

DEXTER appropriates song titles

DEXTER plunders song titles

DEXTER rips off song titles

DEXTER thieves song titles

(I use the word, “thieves,” as a verb above, humorously, knowing that “thieves” is NOT a verb.)

“Referencing” song titles is the most appropriate verb above.

What follows is my take on DEXTER episodes that reference song titles.


DEXTER – Season 1 Episode 4 –  Let’s Give The Boy A Hand.   “Let’s give the boy a hand” was a lyric/phrase from the 1984 song, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” recorded by Deniece Williams.

Deniece Williams  –  Let’s Hear It For The Boy  (1984)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all six (6) words of the Dexter title are the same as the lyric of the song.

Many would sue for copyright infringement because two (2) of the three (3) words are the same, and the title of this film.


DEXTER – Season 1 Episode 5 –  Love American Style.  “Love American Style” was a television show that aired from 1969-1974.

The Love American Style theme song  (1969)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all three (3) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song (and television show).


DEXTER – Season 1 Episode 6 – Return To Sender.   “Return To Sender” was a 1962 Elvis Presley hit song.

Elvis Presley  –  Return To Sender  (1962)

“…(using a forever stamp), I gave a letter to the postman, he put it in his sack, bright and early next morning he brought my letter back…”

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all three (3) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 3 Episode 3 –  The Lion Sleeps Tonight.  The long, rich and complex history of  “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is discussed in the Wikipedia entry.

Well-known versions of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” include:

The Tokens  –  The Lion Sleeps Tonight  (1961)

Robert John  –  The Lion Sleeps Tonight  (1972)

They Might Be Giants  –  The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)  (1992)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 3 Episode 10  –  Go Your Own Way.  “Go Your Own Way” is likely in reference/deference to the Fleetwood Mac song about the breakup of a romantic couple as this Dexter episode is about the pending breakup of “Dexter Morgan” and “Miguel Prado,” Dexter’s brief murder accomplice, in this pivotal DEXTER episode.

Fleetwood Mac  –  Go Your Own Way  (1976)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 4 Episode 3  –  Blinded By The Light. 

Manfred Mann  –  Blinded By The Light  (1976)

Bruce Springsteen  –  Blinded By The Light  (1973)

“Blinded By The Light” was written and recorded initially by Bruce Springsteen.  Manfred Mann’s cover of Blinded By The Light was more commercially successful, as well as an example of pretentious art-rock, for which you can thank Manfred Mann or not.)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 4 Episode 6 – If I Had A Hammer.  “If I Had A Hammer” was written in 1949  by the great American folksinger/activist/humanist Pete Seeger.  Below are two (2) famous versions – the Peter, Paul & Mary 1963 live performance at the Newport Folk Festival, and the original 1950 recording by Pete Seeger & The Weavers:

Pete Seeger/The Weavers  –  If I Had A Hammer (1950)

Peter, Paul & Mary  –  If I Had A Hammer  (1963)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all five (5) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.

When it comes to DEXTER, a hammer can be an effective killing weapon, not just a metaphorical hammer that bludgeons one’s competitors (think AppleSamsung and other litigating bodies) but the REAL thing  –  the means by which one human murders another human.


DEXTER – Season 5 Episode 9 – Teenage Wasteland.  “Teenage Wasteland” refers to the 1971 song by The Who entitled, “Baba O’Riley,” with its chorus phrase, “it’s only teenage wasteland.”

The Who  –  Baba O’Riley  (1971)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because both words of the Dexter episode are the same as the lyrics of Baba O’Riley.


DEXTER – Season 6 Episode 5 – The Angel Of Death.  “The Angel Of Death,” is most likely a reference to the famous Hank Williams song.

Hank Williams  –  Angel Of Death  (posthumously released in 1954)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all four (4) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


DEXTER – Season 7 Episode 9 – Helter Skelter.

“Helter Skelter” most likely refers to the 1968 Beatles song Helter Skelter from “The Beatles” better known as The White Album.

“Helter Skelter” is also the name of a carnival ride – an “amusement park ride with a slide built in a spiral around a high tower.

In 1713, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the poem, Helter Skelter.

Many would sue for copyright infringement because both words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the Beatles song.


DEXTER – Season 7 Episode 11 – Do You See What I See?  “Do You See What I See?” likely refers to the 1962 Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Bing Crosby  –  Do You Hear What I Hear  (1962)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because four (4) of the six (6) words of the Dexter episode are the same, and the title of this song.


DEXTER – Season 8 Episode 9 – Make Your Own Kind Of Music.  “Make Your Own Kind Of Music” likely refers to the 1969 “Mama” Cass Elliot song, “Make Your Own Kind Of Music.”

“Mama” Cass Elliot  –  Make Your Own Kind Of Music  (1969)

Many would sue for copyright infringement because all six (6) words of the Dexter episode are the same as the title of the song.


In future posts about DEXTER, I will discuss the referencing of movies, television shows and other cultural artifacts.


2013 Future of Music Coalition – My Tweets, Rants & Reactions (Part 1 of 2)


I thought before too much time passes, I should collect my tweets and comments about The 2013 Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit held in Washington DC October 28-29, 2013.  The 2013 World Series was happening at the same time, so FMC was not my top priority.  Taking notes and tweeting about an event is also not my favorite activity but one that I occasionally delve into. (Grammar Girl believes we should be able to end sentences with prepositions, in case you were wondering abut that last sentence.)

This will be fun to collect and NUMBER tweets.  I had no idea that I wrote 75 tweets (shown below) and more in the next posts.  I wrote more at one part of the program but will not include these as I was writing about the worst presentation I had ever seen at an FMC event.  (If you are curious about it, you could go search my tweets from October 28-29, 2013.  I won’t and I don’t think you should either.)

It is important to note when reading tweets below that Peter Jenner has a great British accent and would usually be the smartest guy in the room.

1.  Peter Jenner is dead on. It has to be made easier to access music. The scandal is that Spotify is the only best access to music #fmc13

2.  Peter Jenner: “Anyone who thinks that we can control the Internet is up their ass.” #FMC13

3.  Peter Jenner – we have to think “collective” in order to create a means by which more are paid. (Socialism! Hah hah!) #fmc13

Like I said. The man’s lovable RT @emh2625: Peter Jenner: “Anyone who thinks that we can control the Internet is up their ass.” #FMC13

4.  Peter Jenner: “Anyone who thinks that we can control the Internet is up their ass.” #FMC13

5.  Peter Jenner – we have to think “collective” in order to create a means by which more are paid. (Socialism! Hah hah!) #fmc13

6.  Are you sure you want to be in the music biz? Be extraordinary. Do not sharecrop. Don’t sell copyright unless price is high. #fmc13

7.  Make community, support & be supported. Learn to pay fair wage & get fair wage. If you don’t like status quo, change it. #fmc13

8.  Learn you’ll be popular & not know why. Learn you’ll be UN-popular & not know why. Love music. (Erin McKeown) #fmc13

9.  Music business should be a part of music instruction. (EMH – do 4 hrs, not 8, 2 not 4 in a practice room-Learn Business & more) #fmc13

I had to add that ditty to my tweet as I think time has long passed when musicians, songwriters, and music students in music colleges and conservatories can expect to work 100% on their craft and the gorgeous invisible substance of sound and music.  Musicians, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, are involved in the world of business (who pays for these habits of theirs?) and technology (the body is tech, instruments are tech, electronics are tech, computers are tech, etc.).  Musicians need to develop their skills of conning people into thinking they (the musicians) are needed and should receive money for playing and/or writing music.  These skills have to be developed with an eye and ear for social media, business, technology, government and new means of touching the world.  I added “government” in that sentence because if it wasn’t for a very large and powerful central federal government and its blueprint plans, i.e., the Constitution, there would be no copyright law and no basis for federal support for authors and inventors.  And with the status of laws and litigation always in flux, interested parties need to continue to lobby their government to keep acting on their behalf.

10.  Jeremy Peters: Copyright is broken but other than Creative Commons, what is being done to fix it? #fmc13

11.  We’re moving from culture of owners to that of renters (of intellectual property – IP) #FMC13

12.  The conversation of “you are all thieves” to those not paying for IP is useless. Reminsicent of Federal government shutdown. #fmc13

13.  Artists who have been burned so badly by the miscreants in the music business – go out on their own is an option #fmc13

14.  Stream of income helps buy new gear, but this is not a solution, just an income stream #fmc13

15.  Get rid of minimal fee (for mechanical royalty) & concentrate on the amount of time is used in a composition or film #fmc13

16.  Methodology that can fairly compensate artists, writers. Amount of time is more realistic and fairer. #fmc13

17.  A new mechanical license proposal that is clear to artists, publishers, lawyers & the courts is needed. Modernization. #fmc13

18.  Songwriters Assn of Canada Prez has introduced himself as “sad Eddie.” Because of the Cardinals WS loss? Songwriters’ prospects? #fmc13

19.  New models gaining traction (Spotify). Legit, paid. Pandora too. Music creators embrace these models (EMH: not the RIAA) #fmc13

I think it is very bad to always ignore, then underestimate, misunderstand, litigate and then try to legislate against new technologies (a la RIAA & MPAA versus every new tech toy). The technologies always win.  

20.  Uh-oh. We’re hearing “I love the Internet” (“some of my best friends are black” comes to mind…) Then comes the HOWEVER. #fmc13

21.  “However” is Canadian for “but.” Some arithmetic is coming “the nitty gritty.” What’ll follow is lots of Internet plays & tiny money #fmc13

22.  For the umpteenth time & to paraphrase Carl Sagan “billions & billions of” music spins & zero money. #fmc13

23.  To legitimate creators there is no difference between piracy & the legitimate new services. (Oh God) That attitude will help. #fmc13

24.  Rich people get richer by these new legit services while musicians stay poor. Music creators need a new narrative & new initiative #fmc13

25.  “Adopt fair trade” principles for musicians. (Good!) Next he describes the new categories. Now he’s bemoaning SOPA. (Glad it lost!) #fmc13

26.  To put all our eggs into the US Congress basket is a bad idea. They were crushed by the crushing of SOPA. #fmc13

27.  Fair trade criteria that is fair to consumers & businesses. Certify biz as fair trade coffee is done. Fair principles for creators #fmc13

28.  What is fair compensation for creators? “fair & sustainable” Need for transparency in all collective societies, pubs, labels. #fmc13

29.  Shouldn’t everyone be transparent in all the facets? (Yes, but keep dreaming, I’m afraid. This is the music industry…) #fmc13

29.  Want transparency? Good but when did that ever happen in the past? Too many speak as if the past was great & now is Evil Google #FMC13

30.  Canadians are not calling for new legislation or regulation. They are being pro-active. But pro-active in what way? Huh? #fmc13

31.  Canadians songwriting group is being pro-active. But pro-active in what way? By applying a “fair trade” sticker? No law, no reg? #fmc13

32.  Music Creators Alliance & Songwriters Guild of America are behind these past ideas (from my tweets). #FMC13

@future_of_music Thank you! I hadn’t heard the Happy and Sads from earlier! Being a Bostonian, first I think baseball & Boston & St. Louis!

I appreciated the FMC informing me of the “Happy” and “Sad” humorous labels from earlier.  (This was only the second FMC Policy Summit I’ve missed.  They are great events – much better in person –  and I hope to be at the next one.)

33.  Now we are able to hear the audio of FMC stream. Thank you, you tech people who turned it up to 11. #FMC13

34.  Small broadcasters have no clout when it comes to licensing. One-stop shopping (licenses) is essential to run music services/streams #FMC13

35.  Are exclusive deals (direct licensing) harmful to smaller broadcasters (I think so). Can anti-trust issues get in the way? #FMC13

36.  Good news about direct licensing – they can license around the consent decree. #FMC13

37.  Direct licenses problem – transparency! Usually there are non-disclosure agreements. Songwriters are kept in the dark. #FMC13

38.  Publisher can cut off payments to a songwriter during a dispute.” – Sad Eddie (of Canada) #FMC13

39.  Non-disclosure agreements hurt (prevent) transparency. #FMC13

And now, Jim Griffin.  When Jim Griffin speaks, I listen.  Only fools wouldn’t.

40.  What would direct licensing be on the entire music atmosphere? “Fragmentation is cancer.” – Jim Griffin #FMC13

41.  There needs to be a draft-draft musicians into publishing agreements like athletes are drafted by teams! – Jim Griffin #FMC13

42.  Jim Griffin is joking (somewhat) but his point is that there is power in unity. (Sounds like pro-union too.) #FMC13

43.  When athletes work together to get as much money as they can, musicians should do the same. But there’s antirust to prevent it! #FMC13

44.  Why is there only one (1) antitrust department? Excellent funny question relayed by Jim Griffin! (power via unity is the point!) #FMC13

45.  Musicians especially those early in career need better legal representation. – Sad Eddie (of Canada) #FMC13

46.  Why someone who has significant part of market then pulls out is now exempt from legal restraints? (issue in direct licensing) #FMC13

47.  Excellent and educational analogies with sports teams and unions presented. #FMC13 (EMH – We have to think this through and change.)

48.  Sound recording (SR) is not an exclusive license It is statutory right. Recordings cannot be withheld. #FMC13

49.  Ann Chaitovitz explaining SR & Sound Exchange. Perf right is split 50/50 – 50% musicians, 50% record label/SR owner. Copyright basics #FMC13

50.  Direct licensing by a label could (would/will/does?) result in keeping money from the artist/performers. #FMC13

51.  Union musicians until digital performance right (DPRSRA) & Sound Exchange were never paid for their contribution to sound recording #FMC13

52.  USA still does not have a terrestrial right for musicians (musicians are not paid when music is played on AM/FM) unlike rest of world #FMC13

53.  Musicians should be wary of the “workaround” that big broadcasters are doing by direct licensing. Big Radio wants to keep govt out. #FMC13

54.  U.S. “Green Paper” recommends a terrestrial right for sound recordings (SR). Terrestrial radio has huge advantage over digital radio #FMC13

Do you want to read the aforementioned “Green Paper?”  It is called, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation In The Digital Economy” and was authored by the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force in July 2013.  (If you are still reading and still interested, click on the following link and the 112-page “Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation In The Digital Economy” will open. This enormous work is several other subjects for several other times.

55.  Is Pandora in favor of wanting a performance royalty for terrestrial radio? (Surely as it somewhat levels playing field) #FMC13

56.  Pandora might be paying over 50% of their revenues as opposed to others that pay much less. What is rationale for rate setting? #FMC13

57.  Exact same radio signal but different radio companies pay between 0 and 70% of revenue. Insane! What is the logic/rationale? #FMC13

58.  Argument about any study on this subject. Would be good to have written facts in front of the panel & audience. #FMC13

59.  For clarification, “Sad Eddie” as he has humorously been calling himself, is President-Songwriters Assn of Canada #FMC13

60.  Praise for US Copyright Law for Recapture Rights. YEA! Songwriters & musicians are able to recapture their copyright after 35 yrs #FMC13

61.  Recapture is the only country in the world that lets one change a contract after 35 years. #FMC13

62.  Better Call Saul! Ann Chaitovitz – 25 yrs after you’ve created something, call a lawyer (and get things fixed!) #FMC13

I use every possible occasion to mention Saul Goodman, an attorney who thinks quicker and acts more decisively than most and always has that 6th & 7th suggestion ready for you if you didn’t love the initial several.

63.  Best point yet – we’re in this mess because we deregulated radio in that damn awful Telecom Act of 1995 (bad Pres. Clinton bill) #FMC13

The Let’s Blow Up Clear Channel so that we can Homogenize the United States further and NEUTER Regional Radio and Music Act, i.e. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, did just what I described. 

64.  “Lifting the lid…”letting in antiseptic sunshine” (TRANSPARENCY) would be most helpful. #FMC13

65.  Best way to improve licensing- record & enumerate a globally-unique song identifier (VIN Vehicle Iden #) – Jim Griffin #FMC13

66.  If this (music) is property, why isn’t there a VIN or globally-unqiue identifier? Excellent idea by Jim Griffin (yea metadata!) #FMC13

67.  Musicians need level playing field. Can’t compete w/broadcasters. Musicians (serfs) must bow to broadcasters. #FMC13

68.  Both are true – musicians are not being paid via AM/FM radio and need the right, and some musicians fear testifying before Congress #FMC13

69.  It’s understandable that lowly musicians would fear speaking out against radio as radio can stop playing them. True? #FMC13

70.  Why is an audience member afraid to mention the huge radio station (for being against AM/FM performance license)? #FMC13

71.  Aud member: Many small club owners have stopped having live music b/c of high royalty rates via ASCAP, BMI, SESAC high rates. #FMC13

72.  You have to pay for the music or you won’t get much more of it. – Jim Griffin (last & great comments of panel) #FMC13

73.  The first Future of Music Honors dinner will be tonight. Sadly, I’ll be here in Nashville instead of Washington DC #FMC13

74.  4 bipartisan politicians have reauthorized FCC to create a new class of low power radio stations. Will be honored tonight at FMC #FMC13

75.  Congratulations to my friends Ann Chaitovitz & John Simson who will be honored tonight by Future of Music Coalition at Honors awards #FMC13

Soon I will publish

FMC – My Tweets, Rants & Reactions, Part 2

Ministry of Sound v. Spotify setlists, and Madness in Parrots


Ministry of Sound v. Spotify setlists, and Madness in Parrots

Ministry of Sound’s attorneys are bored and need something to do

This is one of the most absurd lawsuits I have ever seen.  Ministry of Sound want only THEIR set list(s) to be the set lists that can be accessed when listeners are on Spotify.  You can’t have your own.  Forbidden.  Verboten.  Our words were etched into tablets received by Charlton Heston.  Don’t mess with them.

Ministry of Sound in their thuggish action against Spotify remind me of a cranky Nigel Tufnel in This Is Spinal Tap when Nigel is getting overly emotional, territorial and protective of his guitars.  Remember this exchange?

Nigel Tufnel:  “This is special too…Look…Don’t touch it…well, don’t POINT even…”

Marty DiBergi:  “Can I look at it?”

Nigel Tufnel:  “No.  No.  You’ve seen enough of that one…”


Ministry of Sound are cranky too, and their lawyers need something to do, so they fall back on their legal training, crank out some copyright law, extract parts that they’re convinced will ENABLE them to continue their crankiness, and then author (finally, something creative from them) and initiate a lawsuit.  Now, they’ve turned their boredom, frustration and schooling into something that will get them attention and hopefully stop the public from becoming too excited by their own passion for music and instead buy into the Ministry of Sound’s way of listening to songs.  Ministry of Sound:  “It’s our way, or else!”

There is coverage of Ministry of Sound v. Spotify in

The Guardian

Hollywood Reporter, Esq

The Wall Street Journal

And a please-pay-us-some-respect plea from Ministry of Sound:

The Guardian Technology Blog


Copyright is supposed to protect “original works of authorship.”  Copyright is NOT meant to protect a simple list or a simple list of song titles.  A list of song titles is not an original work of authorship.

Even if Ministry Of Sound claims that “a lot of research” went into compiling the list, what the public sees is only a list of nouns, nouns that Ministry of Sound did not create!

If Ministry of Sound published substantial, creative and original prose to describe all that went into their choice and sequential ordering of each song, only that “original prose” (which does not exist in this case) could potentially be protected by copyright, but not the list of proper nouns in and of themselves.


A    S H O P P I N G    S E T L I S T

Compiling a list of songs one likes in a specific order deserves as much copyright protection as compiling a list of things one did in Manhattan today:

“Shopped at Bergdorf, then Macy’s, then Bloomingdale’s, then tapas at Rock Center, then shopping at Saks, then Henri Bendel, then Armani and then Tiffany.  Then we shared a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity III.  Then came Trump Tower…”  [May I never use the word, “then,” that often in proximity again.]

I wonder if the Ministry Of Sound’s legal minds (lawyers employed by Ministry Of Sound) would consider the ITALICIZATION of my list above as a significant artistic addition that would result in an original work of authorship that should be subject to copyright protection.  Let’s try it now:

“Shopped at Bergdorf, then Macy’s, then Bloomingdale’s, then tapas at Rock Center, then shopping at Saks, then Henri Bendel, then Armani and then Tiffany.  Then we shared a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity III.  Then came Trump Tower…..”

It really does look different.  It is now an uncreative list but one that has been italicized.  Still, not something that can be copyrighted.

What if we turn the same list from a HORIZONTAL presentation into a VERTICAL presentation?  And let’s crank up the creativity even further – we’ll highlight the entire section, italicize and put it in BOLD font!  Will all of this “sweat of brow” labor heighten the case for copyright protection?  If “sweat of brow” won’t do it, perhaps the “creative” and “artistic” additions by means of highlighted, italicized and BOLD font will render this more worthy of copyright protection?  No.  It is still trivial and not subject to copyright protection.  From horizontal to vertical is also NOT a creative and original act that should be afforded copyright protection.




Rock Center (tapas)


Henri Bendel



Serendipity III (frozen hot chocolate)

Trump Tower

Ministry of Sound, despite their silly and intellectually impoverished wailings, do NOT deserve copyright protection for a song playlist.  The public also will never respect an edict which would attempt to oppress their enthusiasm about music and ability to shout out their taste in music (and branding as individuals).  People also want to experience the related fun from viewing friends’ and strangers’ recommendations and setlists  for music discovery and enjoyment.  We have become a society that is not primarily top-down when it comes to music choice.  User-generated lists and friends’ recommendations mean more than anything a group of ministers wants to dictate from above.


Although Ministry of Sound prefer their own authoritarian type of setlist model, one in which they dictate to the public along the lines of “we own it, this is how it is, this is your option, deal with it,” music fans and the ministers themselves live in a freer society where users exert their rights to express their artistic taste and preferences.

Ministry of Sound is, however, doing a good job of purchasing some very bad will by suing Spotify.


B O R E D O M  

The culling of copyright law by MOS attorneys led them to sue Spotify, I believe, because they were bored.  First, because they were bored and before launching a lawsuit, they should have done a simple search of the words, “Boredom can lead to.”  I conducted this exact search and immediately came upon “Tarique,” who in his “Tarique’s Travails,” warns of a dastardly potential problem for parrots or lawyers that are bored.  To comprehend the angst and misery that lie ahead, simply substitute “MOS lawyers” for “parrots” and “birds” and the warning becomes more momentous and worth heeding:

Boredom can lead to madness in parrots.  When caged by themselves and neglected for long periods of time, these intelligent, sociable birds can easily become mentally ill.  Many inflict wounds upon themselves, develop strange tics, and rip out their feather.”

Without having met them, I can imagine MOS attorneys as intelligent and sociable.  I hope the inflictions can be stopped before they begin.



The Amorphidity of the Organic Internet, Christian Tiger School, Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Singing A Song of Paranoia


The Amorphidity of the Organic Internet, Christian Tiger School, Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Singing A Song of Paranoia

I feel the need to recount two (2) fun diversions I had recently –


One – I met the manager of a band from South Africa known as “Christian Tiger School” – CTS describe themselves as “a psychedelic/dream hip-hop duo from Cape Town, South Africa, comprising of Luc Veermeer and Sebastian Zanasi.”  I like this video to their song, Carlton Banks, for its personal DIY element (I like the music as well).  I think too many bands and artists spend large amounts of money on video and effects when more handheld, low tech informal type clips would make fans and strangers very happy.

DIY is fun.  Spontaneous is often much better than meticulous preparation.  Meticulous preparation that poses as fun, spontaneous and non-meticulous (perhaps Carlton Banks) can also be highly effective.

I like the search engine possibilities – the SEO-ness – of a name that includes the word, “Christian.”  (Did you know that another term for “natural” or “unpaid,” with respect to search engine results, is “organic?”  (Surely the Organic Internet is as organic as Organic Coke.)  I like the slipperiness, flexibility and amorphidity (my word) of our contemporary English – that something as completely non-organic as electrons and the e-Internet/the i-Internet can produce something, “organic.”  I learned this meaning of “organic” from Wikipedia.  As you might imagine, this lexicographic gem caused me to don my wings and  exude the joy joy joy joy in my heart.

Will Christians in search of praise stumble upon Christian Tiger School and be angered that they were suckered in by a band they thought might be on a mission to turn wild jungle animals into gospel-loving Christian animals fit for a ride on Noah’s ark?  Or will those in search of “Christian” be happy to have stumbled upon OkayAfrica.TV by way of Christian Tiger School? has its own YouTube channel (of course) and if it’s Africa, how can Femi Kuti be far removed?  And then that leads to Femi Kuti and Common live in Central Park again via OkayAfrica via Christian Tiger School.  At the end of the Common & Femi Kuti interview excerpt there is talk of “revolution.”  And “revolution” is pertinent to Thing Number 2.



Two (Thing Number 2)

While perusing Christian Tiger School, I came across this  –  Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young performing David Crosby’s Long Time Gone.  No.  Really.  I’m glad that this was captured and uploaded to YouTube as this bizarre pairing (the pairing of Tom Jones & CSN & Y, not the pairing of C + S + N, and then Y) is otherwise too hard to imagine and describe especially for one who was extremely active during that time period.

In the 1960’s (time for a footnote – look below later), Tom Jones was “one of them,” i.e. not one of the important musical artists revered by American youth.  Tom Jones seemed to be one of THEM, i.e., the older generation – the people who often hated what we young people LOVED.  The phrase, “generation gap,” referred to the enormous set of differences between young and old people, and especially children and parents.  When it came to music and culture of the 1960’s, the generation gap was at its widest.

Tom Jones as an artist did not have a message – he was not saying anything pertinent to 60’s youth culture.  That could have been because Tom Jones was a singer and interpreter of other peoples’ songs –  he was not a songwriter and in the 1960’s, musical groups favored by youth were usually known for their sound as well as their messages, lyrics originality and originality of their songwriting.  (Of course, sometimes not having a message can be a very good thing as the particular message can be too topical, too dated and not age well.)  In the 1960’s, artists who had a message, or messages, points of view, attitude, angst, or incited audiences to act or commiserate with the attitudes (or platitudes) of young people, were highly valued.  It was not required that artists have “attitudes” or reflect their audiences, but it seemed to be widespread.  Tom Jones was “just a singer,” although one with a powerful voice, excellent intonation and great musical ability and agility.

Tom Jones was a singer of Top 40 hits, not deep and deeply-placed album cuts.  His songs were meant for a large public, not a small subset of the public that listened to album cuts on FM radio.  (Again, us vs. them.)  Tom Jones was the Big Voice of big hit songs such as Delilah, or It’s Not Unusual, or What’s New Pussycat?  Tom Jones was not a musical artist associated with the artists that were favored by America’s youth – Tom Jones did not fit in the pantheon of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, etc.  (The fact of Jones’ exclusion from this group of groups might also speak to the shortsightedness and rigidity of classification of musicians, as well as shortcomings of music journalists of those times as well.)

But then there is paramount performance of Long Time Gone by Tom Jones with CSN & Y which I did not see, hear or believe possible in the 1960’s.  I discovered it this month (July 2013),one century removed from the crazy 1960’s.  The original 1969 recording of David Crosby’s Long Time Gone is the penultimate song on Side Two of the great debut Crosby, Stills & Nash album – one of my favorite songs on the album.  The original recording is done at a faster tempo (108 beats per minute – BPM) than the Tom Jones version (95 BPM).

The Tom Jones version is slower and more compelling than the original.  If this (Long Time Gone) is the actual beginning of that live performance, it is one that started out with a great deal of energy and vocal power.  This slower version (Long Time Gone) seems built for Tom Jones as there is more time and space for him to be more virtuosic and forceful.  CSN & Y seem to be more on their game as well with Stephen Stills singing at his most soulful.  I especially love watching David Crosby’s reaction of amazement to Tom Jones’ mighty singing from the outset – it seems Crosby is quite elated by hearing Jones’ profound effort in recreating Long Time Gone.  There is the studio version Crosby wrote, sang and recorded with CSN & Y, Long Time Goneand then there is the Master’s Version, Long Time Gonesung by Tom Jones.  Although Tom Jones’ performance might seem like a throwdown – Tom Jones’ flawless and heated performance of Long Time Gone  I believe it is Jones’ strong effort to show respect for a good song and fellow musicians.  (On a side note, there seems to be something cut out of this song – perhaps the odd edit that took place at 2.54 – 2.55.  I wish every second of this actual performance could have been on this YouTube clip.)

This performance of Tom Jones with CSN & Y was new to me but my respect for Tom Jones was boosted post-1960’s as I learned of Tom Jones’ friendship, collaboration and/or work with other artists including The Chieftains, Frank Zappa and Janis Joplin.  I have enormous respect for Tom Jones, the superb, creative and original musical artist.

Christian Tiger School led me to the fantastic performance of Long Time Gone by Tom Jones, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young.  I am very happy for all of the oddness that came out of a simple short search one day in July.


My first footnote in an post –

F O O T N O T E  (yes, right below):

[The 1960’s began when The Beatles came to the U. S. and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show (February 9, 1964) and lasted until President Richard Nixon resigned (August 9, 1974).  Not January 1, 1960 through December 31, 1969.  Decades ignore the Julian Calendar.  Decades are better and more interesting than those specific ten (10) chunks of twelve (12) months.]



“The phone is at the forefront of the future”


“The phone is at the forefront of the future”  (imagine those words spoken with cave-like echo)

Have you heard the news?  Not the Elvis Presley, “Have you heard the news, there’s good rockin’ tonight!

No, this news:

“Jay-Z has always been a trendsetter and he is continuing that by being the first artist to distribute his music and connect with fans in a mobile environment.  This is a move to watch.”

From the company’s press release we learn the following:

“Technology now provides us with the opportunity to deliver music in new ways.”

That sentence could just as easily have applied to the development of the pianoforte, aka, the “piano,” in the 18th century.  But this new technology sentence is used in connection with Jay-Z.

“The…phone is at the forefront of the future which includes buying music instantly and taking it with you wherever you go.”

“Buying music instantly…”  That “instant” aspect of the trick was what Amazon accomplished in 1999 with its infamous “one-click” patent.  This “ooh aah, imagine that!” patent allows a customer the ease to only click  a mouse once and be done with the purchase.  It’s fast and simple.  And despite millions of people using it, thousands assailed the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office for granting such an “obvious” (and dunce-headedly simpleminded) patent.  The E. U. is often not as slipshod as the U. S. in awarding patents and refused Amazon’s one-click patent application stating that the patent lacked the “inventive step.”  Again, the company’s quote above is used in conjunction with Jay-Z.

More of the phone hype:

“…phone represents the company’s commitment to music and developing devices that match the lifestyles of consumers…”


“…this relationship pairs the leader in mobility with a leading artist to deliver music and the full fan experience in a unique new way.”

And now some more Jay-Z hype from the company’s same press release:

“An entrepreneur at heart, Jay-Z has risen to the top of the rap genre since starting his own record label, Roc-a-Fella Records…”

This Jay-Z/Phone news, or Phone/Jay-Z news, has been reported in dozens of online and offline media outlets and appears to be the marriage of digital distribution, hip hop and mobile technology.  But wait – that’s a marriage of three (3).  Even the U. S. Supreme Court won’t let three (3) be united as one (1).  But I digress.


What’s noteworthy about what I’ve written above is that it is not from an important tech/mobile/hip hop/branding/endorsement news story of July 2013 but from an important tech/mobile/hip hop/branding/endorsement news story of December 2003, ten years ago!  A few of the statements above are true – the story does involve a new phone, new music included with that phone, new and exciting branding news, and Jay-Z.  I left out the name of the company from 2003 that joined forces with Jay-Z, as well as the names of the new phone and Jay-Z’s new music.

The phone was the then new Nokia 3300.

The music was the then new Jay-Z Black Album.

Back in December 2003, the Jay-Z phone foray began when Nokia offered a “Black Phone” that was the companion cell phone to Jay-Z’s “Black Album.”  This was billed as a music and wireless industry first.  (Very coincidentally, I was expert witness in a matter involving DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album, a brilliant and creative mashup of Jay-Z’s Black Album, Jay-Z’s Black Album release that featured only vocal tracks, and the Beatles White Album aka The Beatles.  The Grey Album is still the most famous/infamous mashup ever and an enormous subject on which I should elaborate at another time.)

Co-branding and the unusual affiliation between musician(s) and tech companies was unusual in 2003 but the biggest co-branding between a mobile music device and a musician, however, came one year later, in 2004, when Apple introduced its U2 iPod which featured the new U2 album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.  The new red and black iPod was a success in its limited special edition release.  In a red and black case it looked like this.


The biggest and most hyped music news of July 2013 seems to be the new alliance between Jay-Z and Samsung.  This deal is very good for Jay-Z as Samsung has bought 1 million copies of Jay-Z’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.  (Warning – Magna Carta Holy Grail begins with Justin Timberlake singing.  And he’s singing in a very high register. This is a hip hop album?  A hip hop album that does not begin with a skit?)  Jay-Z received $5 million for the 1 million copies.  Magna Carta Holy Grail will be free for the first 1 million Samsung phone users who download the app.

Articles about the Jay-Z/Samsung alliance are found in


USA Today



My favorite of these is this particular Time story for which I was interviewed:


What has interested me for several years, and is discussed in the Time article, are albums as apps and artists who create apps and content – music and visual – for apps.  My favorite has been Bjork’s massive and adventurous, Biophilia.  Here is a “tour” of the app – how it was conceived, designed and implemented.  Tour of Bjork’s Biophilia


What negatives or potential negatives are there in this Samsung Jay-Z relationship?


Privacy.  A hip hop album and privacy?  As with anything that is digital, online, travels online and especially resides in a device that relies on the Internet for its transmission, there will be privacy concerns.  Because of all these aspects, there will also be legal ramifications, data tracking and privacy concerns, and new bizarre powers enabled by this potent concoction of technologies.  For example, should Jay-Z be able to track you via GPS?  (It’s one thing to be on an artist’s email list but quite another to be cyber-scrutinized by an artist.  From NME:  Privacy Issues Raised Over Terms And Conditions Of Jay-Z’s Samsung App.

The privacy problem is even more problematic (too easy and obvious a Jay-Z “99 problems” joke) as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate.  This is not what one might suspect from many hip hop/rock/pop albums – warning stickers about lyric content that were voluntarily “awarded” (stuck on) the album packaging.  No, I would suspect that this is the first album to ever warrant  federal government inspection over privacy concerns as data mining meets music meets telecoms meets Internet.

Leakage aka Piracy

Leakage aka Piracy.  Because it is digital, it should be no surprise that Jay-Z’s album-inside-a-Samsung has already been hacked onto an HTC device.  Soon, Magna Carta Holy Grail will leave the Samsung Galaxy and be all over the more impressive galaxy.

Here is another account of the leak of Magna Carta Holy Grail (Spin, July 4, 2013).

It’s been hacked.  It’s been leaked.  It’s been copied.  It’s been transmitted.  Ho hum.  It’s digital.  This happens to digital.


Will Jay-Z/Samsung turn out to be as forgettable 10 years later as Jay-Z/Nokia?  Or the Apple U2 iPod?  (Speaking of the iPod – just what is an iPod?  Are there many iPods in 2013?  Aren’t small dedicated music playing mobile devices now subsumed within every mobile phone?  Sadly, iPods and mobile devices could hold much more content than they do but the tech companies would prefer keeping the devices small and the clouds large so that we will continue to buy and rent all of our intellectual property.

It’s not enough to love your IP – you need to pay for it in

many ways over many days and many decades.

Loathing, Litigating & Legislating; Adventures in Piracy & Final Thoughts about 2013 New Music Seminar


This will be my last RECAPTURE-OF-MY-TWEETS post for now – that is, the last RECAPTURE of the 2013 New Music Seminar.  The over-arching theme – that the rapid growth of  technology is a fact of life that those in the music and entertainment industry must confront – continued.  The creators of audio and visual have always benefitted from new technology especially after they loathed, litigated and legislated against it.


1.  3 Trends in Digital Music – Social networks, BitTorrent trends, What drives sales? #nms13

(Trends in digital music were examined from these three (3) perspectives:  Social networks, BitTorrent trends and What Drives Sales.  Fortunately at this event in New York City, accounts of BitTorrent usage were dispassionate and objective unlike in the past, in cities that were not named, “New York,” when speaker after speaker merely railed about the evils of the Internet, technology and BitTorrents.  Surprisingly, railing against the Internet, technology and BitTorrents is still expected and favored  in some circles.)

2.  Percentages FB 58, Twitter 35.5, YouTube 5.4. Most online fans – USA, UK, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia. #nms13

(The three most common means of finding music online were Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and in those percentages:  58%, 35.5% and 5.4%.  The five countries with the largest number of music fans were the USA, UK, Brazil, Canada and Indonesia.  Of course, the social media services and amount and location of online fans is extremely fluid and results will change soon.)

3.  Fans who follow online vs fans who listen online #nms13

(Fans who follow artists online are more passionate than those who are online merely to listen.  The term, “super fan,” is used to describe the former.  Artists prefer superfans as superfans are superspenders.)

4.  BitTorrent trends – more and increasing. Huge growth in movies, film, TV, then Adult (yes, that stuff) #nms13

(That term, “adult,” means something other than a person who is 18 or 21 years of age.  Adult entertainment is more visual than audible.  Adult entertainment is more widespread and of more financial value than the audible/music I prefer.  Again, dispassionate dialog about the facts of Internet usage continued.)

5.  BitTorrent is increasing more in underdeveloped countries. Fastest growth – Brazil. Fastest shrinking – USA #nms13

(Getting intellectual property (IP) for free is extremely common in poor countries and countries that are moving out of poverty and developing a middle class.  The United States was a nation that violated IP laws and agreements dating from the time we were The Colonies, in the same manner as other developing countries do so in 2013.  Accusing developing countries of “piracy” is not new.  Economic conditions of developing nations contribute to lax copyright, patent and trademark enforcement.)

(Someone at #nms13 defined piracy – I regret that I do not remember who said this or exactly how it was said – as the name for practices that have not yet been monetized.  My first adventures in piracy came from using a reel-to-reel tape recorder, then progressed to the lethal videocassette tape recorder (VCR), then to my M A S S I V E L Y large dual cassette boombox tape recorder (this was a Weapon of Mass Destruction that somehow the music industry survived) then my incredibly powerful Apple Macintosh 512K computer with its drive that could read singe-sided floppy-disks that could store an enormous (400K) amount of data (on the one side of the disk that could function) and best of all its ability to copy digit “0” and digit “1” (a computer does “COPY” function best), to better and smaller (and larger) gadgets.

(A great amount of “piracy” becomes “business.”  Technology threatens business as usual until it becomes business as usual.)

6.  Greatest reason for growth in BitTorrent? Fewer legal options available. (Remember Napster?) #nms13

(The importance of legal options cannot be underestimated.  Millions have and will continue to pay for services that are “free” IF the pay services have value and are easy to use.  The best example is bottled water in a country that has significant infrastructure that can deliver water – the United States and every 1st and 2nd world nation, for example.  Water will always be free yet millions pay millions of dollars to buy “free” water.  Millions feel, obviously, that is it worth paying for the convenience and added value of bottled water.)

7.  SoundCloud is fastest growing (more than FB, TW, etc as place to hear music) #nms13

(SoundCloud is extremely popular because it fulfills an important need and does so with such simplicity and clarity.)

8.  Search, file sharing, Global LastFM plays are three most frequent uses of Internet internationally. #nms13

9.  Conclusions: Collecting fans does not necessarily convert to sales. Some BitTorrent users are good customers. #nms13

10.  “I heard myself on the radio and quit singing. My producers were the worst in world.” David Kahne (great dry humor) #nms13

AND THEN CAME THIS important BREAKING NEWS (again relayed by my tweets):

11.  Just filed to ESPN: The Patriots are signing QB Tim Tebow and expect him to be in minicamp tomorrow

12.  I was in Manhattan when Iran kidnapped our diplomats & now in Manhattan wearing a Red Sox polo shirt when Patriots sign Tebow. One’s tragic.

(I meant to leave that silly thought that one of these events is “tragic,” dangling, not quite like a dangling participle but dangling nonetheless.  I looked forward to friends’ and readers’ in-put and put-in they did.  Tim Tebow news seems to be bigger, more important and impactful than even Kardashian news.  But as a Boston sports fan, I knew that this non-important story would rock the sports world and give a great hype boost to the coming NFL season, as if the NFL ever needs more hype.)

(I was on the steps of the legendary Biltmore Hotel in Manhattan on Sunday, November 4, 1979 when I read on the front page of the New York TImes that a mob in Iran had overrun our embassy and taken 53 of our citizens hostage.  That was the beginning of a 444-day long odyssey and an event that made life more complicated and dangerous for our citizens who would ever travel to the Middle East, then and now.  Yes, this was a bigger event than a professional football team signing a 3rd-string born again Christian quarterback.)

And now, BACK TO #nms13 :

13.  Points from this session: 1) Producer has to tell the artist s/he is great. 2) producer must be a psychiatrist #nms13

14.  Producer’s most troublesome distractions? Artist’s manager, artist’s record label. #nms13


For my next post, I want to turn to this short article a friend posted on Facebook:  The 30 Harshest Musician-on-Musician Insults in History as I believe the article missed the greatest, most effective and significant insults, and I am leaving aside even greater vitriol that has taken place in Classical music/art music.


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