Monday, June 21, 2010

Canadian copyright Bill C-32 - what does it mean for us?

Recently, you may have heard in the news about Canada's new copyright bill: C-32. There is also a good analysis here at ZeroPaid.

A couple weeks ago I was invited to share some opinions on CBC's Early Edition with Rick Cluff. Unfortunately a public archive of that show is not available online, so I'll give a brief recap here:

There are new provisions in the bill that make illegal the act of breaking a digital lock for the purpose of reproducing a sound recording, or other type of media (film, videogame, etc.). Since most CDs are not sold with digital locks, this has little implication for artists like ourselves.

There are other provisions that make it possible for copyright enforcers/holders to demand ISP (your address) information from internet providers, like Rogers or Shaw, when they suspect a customer may be involved with illegal downloading. This is a potential gateway step towards more draconian individual downloading penalties as exhibited in current French copyright laws, especially when C-32 goes further to include the following:

"A differentiation of commercial copyright violation versus individual violation. Individuals found violating copyright law could be liable for penalties between $100 and $5,000, which is below the current $20,000 maximum."

To me this says: let's set up a new, lower penalty bracket for for the personal violator (ie. myself, you and everyone else who downloads illegally on the internet), distinct from the commercial violator, so that record companies can more conveniently go after these petty cases.

So the question becomes: what kind of record companies or musicians will be able to follow up on these types of cases in court? The answer is simply, only the richest ones who can afford legal representation. Major label executives from the physical-format music industry days of bygone are desperately lobbying for legislation that will aid in gleaning whatever profit scraps can be purged from a dinosaur system.

For better (mostly) and worse (not so much) illegal downloading has become an important, if not integral way for emerging bands to become known to the public. I've even heard it referred to as "the radio of the future". A more progressive government might acknowledge this trend and relate it to artistic development and innovation. It might say: hey, since we're making all sorts of cuts to arts funding, lets see what we can do to monitor downloading for the purpose of figuring what artists might be worth endorsing in order to further enrich our nation's culture.

Music piracy is here to stay, forever, period. There is little point in spending tax dollars on prosecuting individuals who deliberately choose to procure music in illegal ways online because for every one caught, there will be tens of thousands at large (like you and me). Instead, there exists a need to sponsor an organization in Canada similar to the UK's Featured Artists' Coalition, which aims to establish a closer connection between artists and fans in order to make the public aware of the new financial plights experienced by musicians emerging in a digitally dominated record industry.

Let's educate the public about the crude reality that for every one new record bought legitimately, CD, vinyl, or digitally, hundreds and thousands more are downloaded illegally. New copyright bills should include provisions for methods for supporting a national arts community in a collaborative and innovative way. Preventative legislation will not stop all the downloading.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Mt. Chimaera makes Polaris long list

This is really nice. Special thanks to my mom, Costco, free bus ticket booklets, and national student loan collections. But really, this is awesome.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lisa O Piu & some tour news

Lisa O Piu , originally uploaded by icepackbackpack.

Was just listening to BBC 6 and heard a beautiful ode to rural life: "Dreams of Goats" by Lisa O Piu. It's a song about goats, but not in a joking way. A serious song about goat dreams. Makes these 'neue pastoral' bands look like posers.

See her myspace here:

Dreams of Goats doesn't appear to be on that player, but do some surfing and you should be able to find it streaming somewhere. Or even better, go buy the album.

In other news:

Brasstronaut will be playing the Commodore Ballroom with Bonobo (Ninjatune) on June 30th for Jazz Fest. He'll be playing with an 8 piece live band, I've been told, so should be a very special show. Tickets are available through the Coastal Jazz website.

We will also be touring out to Hillside Festival in Guelph next month. This will include most Canadian cities west of Quebec City. Sorry maritimes, but we'll be sure to make it out there next year.

Heading back to the studio tonight to work on some new songs. Three have been written since getting back from the last tour. Also lots of recording to do for the mixtape.


Monday, June 14, 2010

, originally uploaded by icepackbackpack.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In the house

backflip on unicycle, originally uploaded by icepackbackpack.

Circus hippie people gone wild. I took this vid while doing sound for this troupe at the "In The House Festival" in East Vancouver.


NANOMAN, originally uploaded by icepackbackpack.

And you thought you had your shit together?

back in grey


It's been forever, I've missed you, so let's just jump right back in.

We've been working on a new recording scheduled to come out sometime before the end of August. It's not a record, nor is it an EP. It came out of the desire to use some ideas that don't really work as songs, but more as movements of a mixtape. We'll be paying hommage to some of our deeper trip hop, disco, and electronica influences. I played a section for my friend Liam and he said it sounded like "Buddha Bar" music ( A wave of insecurity was quelled by some research into the genre, where on Volume 2000 Mixed by DJ Claude Challe we see that track 5. Deepak Chopra (feat. Demi Moore) - "Desire". If Deepak is behind buddha bar, then it's ok for us.