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Sue Me With 140 Characters

twitter Sue Me With 140 CharactersWhenever you feel excited, happy, angry, ridiculed or annoyed with someone or something, these days, it is so easy to express your frustration by sharing it with your friends and acquaintances online. Indeed, Twitter has made this form of “self-expression” incredibly popular; but like everything, it can be a double-edged sword in certain circumstances.

Twitter is currently in the spotlight because of the first high-profile defamation lawsuit to result from one user suing another for the “defamatory” content of their tweets. Courtney Love, a rocker and a Twitter user, has been sued by designer Dawn Simorangkir, also known as the Boudoir Queen.  This legal action occurred after Love made personal remarks targeting the designer after Simorangkir demanded payment for some designer clothing that Love had rejected as unsatisfactory. As a result of this lawsuit, scheduled to go to court February 9, 2011, some Twitter users have become paranoid about their posts, fearing that what they Tweet could land them in legal hot water. page go Sue Me With 140 Characters Continue reading Sue Me With 140 Characters »

How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement

youtube How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement In the last several years, thousands of Internet users have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, also known as the RIAA. The charges: copyright infringement. With widespread availability of high speed connections, it has become more and more convenient for people to just download their favorite music, music video or movies. Over the years, this trend has become such a common practice that the film-making and music industries eventually noticed drastic decline in their sales. This observation compelled the RIAA to sue Internet users who had been identified downloading copyrighted materials. page go How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement  Continue reading How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement »

The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana

laptop The Laptop Orchestra of LouisianaA small group of young musicians, most of them school students, are redefining the way music is played live. Christening themselves the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana, or LOL for short, a group of seven students set about to change the landscape of music as they know it. They write, produce and, most importantly, play their music almost entirely on digital instruments. Today, the team uses everything from the Nintendo Wii to Apple iPads and Macbooks to video game joysticks. The closet genre that the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana could be classified in would be science-fiction movie scores. Most of their music, however, sounds completely original and otherworldly. Other similar groups have sprung up, such as the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, which is shown in the video below.
page go The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana Continue reading The Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana »

15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9-5)

This is the second article in a three-part series “15 Great Artists You Should Hear”. You can read Part 1 here.

Here is the second part to a list of great artist you need to hear! We all know how vast the musical spectrum can be; there is a lot of good, a lot of bad, but definitely a lot you should hear.

gainsbourg 15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9 5)9. Serge Gainsbourg: France’s version of Sinatra is the iconic emblem of European cool. Serge was like Bob Dylan, Sid Vicious, Neil Diamond, and of course Sinatra, all rolled into one. Starting his career in the 60’s, Serge did everything, folk, pop, ballad, rock and roll, phsycadelic. His albums have been sampled time and time again. The best album to pick up is the revered “Melody Nelson” – this crowning achievement has been marked as essential by such current artists as Beck. page go 15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9 5) Continue reading 15 Great Artists You Should Hear, Part 2 (Artists 9-5) »

Catch me If You Can—The RIAA on MP3 Downloaders

riaa Catch me If You Can—The RIAA on MP3 DownloadersListening to music is a hobby for most people. Unlike before when you could only get music from record stores—which, unfortunately, many people would not afford— these days, it is quite easy and convenient to just download your favorites to enjoy at your leisure without the hassle of going out and buying the album. From a consumer perspective this is cool, right? But from the music industry perspective, this creates a never ending dilemma as sales continue to decline.

However, there is a legal alternative to getting free music by logging on to the Internet and finding websites that let you download your favorite hits. That alternative is streaming Internet radio. The Internet is always on and always available (well, almost always)….you will rarely find a person who does not use it, which makes Internet radio incredibly convenient. Since music files are all copyrighted materials, Internet radio providers often display ads to pay royalties to the recording companies, which in turn grant permission to play their copyrighted works. But, you say, I want the files on my computer…so what are the consequences of illegally downloading music?

Lawsuits Overview

Who hasn’t heard about the lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)? These case charges were filed against thousands of Internet users from all walks of life. Its goal is not only to preserve the integrity of the copyright materials but, most importantly, to augment declining music industry sales. After realizing that sales continue to drop and that the efforts made did not create significant impact Internet users whom they sued one by one, the RIAA has tweaked their complaints a bit.

A New Route

While these lawsuits are still on-going, it is geared towards a new direction. Instead of going after each Internet user that has downloaded a music file, a letter of complaint will be sent to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This made it more sensible and efficient for the RIAA. First, your ability to download music files is dependent on your Internet connection, hence once you are dropped by your ISP, you will no longer be able to download files. Second, collaborating with handful of ISPs is much easier than going to court to sue individuals. This initiative has allowed the RIAA to differentiate regular users from the list of illegal downloaders.

The Supreme Verdict

The RIAA has gone so far as to take their case to the Supreme Court, but because of the fact that the RIAA initiatives to stop music piracy and copyright infringement did not seem to work at all, the Supreme Court was compelled not to review the case. This decision has triggered another action from the RIAA. Instead of going after small-time downloaders, they will only go after those users who are uploading more than a thousand files. This means that even if you download copyright materials, you are safe from charges as long as you will not upload these files for someone else’s benefits…at least for the time being.

Illegal music downloading is no doubt hurting the music industry—many Internet users are attracted to the widespread availability of free music downloads online. The consequences, while currently being applied mainly to those that make music available for download, can be devastating. The RIAA has switched tactics before though, so we recommend sticking to streaming Internet radio in case they start targeting individuals again—it’s free, convenient and legal.

90’s Hip-Hop Music

public enemy 90’s Hip Hop Music Hip-Hop, also known as rap, is a musical genre that was derived from the hip-hop culture. It originated in the 1970’s in The Bronx, New York. Hip-hop became a famous musical genre because it allowed the urban youth to freely express themselves. The 1990’s were the Golden Age of Hip-Hop in a way, so let’s take a look back at the 90’s and reminisce about this genre’s success during that era.

Hip-hop in the 90’s was all about expressing politically conscious views in a manner that was smooth and effortless and was assisted by soft bass beats and melodic synthesizers.

In the mid-90’s, a rapid change in the hip-hop culture occurred, and some of the purists saw it as degenerating to the hip-hop culture. This rapid change was the transition into “commercial hip-hop”. It was slowly deteriorating what the emcees in the 80’s built – a culture of music, creativity, artistry and dance wherein they expressed themselves and delivered a clear and positive message to the world. page go 90’s Hip Hop Music  Continue reading 90’s Hip-Hop Music »

Top 40 Radio Explained

In the radio industry, a song’s popularity is measured by the demand for the song based on the volume of requests from listeners and sales. The Top 40 is one of the music metrics that tracks the most popular songs within a current week, month or year. Top 40 playback became a dominant radio format during the 1960’s and was persisted until the 1980’s.

You may be wondering how Top 40 works: what is the process, how does a song make it to the Top 40? I will try to explain it further. Each week, the 100 most popular songs are put into a chart by Billboard. The Billboard chart is based on a national sample of top radio airplay and music sales. The Top 40 songs are then extracted from Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Airplay is the first process in determining the songs to be included in the Top 40. Broadcast Data Systems (BDS), run by Neilsen, keeps track of the airplay. BDS uses a certain technology called digital pattern-recognition to capture songs that are being played on radio stations and music channels all over the US and Canada.  This recognition process is run 24/7 and captures over 100 million songs annually; the data gathered is then used by Billboard in compiling weekly charts.

The second process used in determining the Top 40 songs is monitoring the sales of albums in music stores. To track sales, Billboard then uses SoundScan, another technology developed by Neilsen that keeps track of record sales all over the US and Canada. When we purchase an album, sales data from the barcode is passed to SoundScan; the stored data is compiled and published weekly.

The methodology of Billboard in weighting the compiled data has changed over time. In the past, they were using 90% airplay and 10% sales to determine the top songs. Now, they use 80% airplay and 20% sales because of shifting trends in how many people listen to radio versus how many people actually purchase singles.

Most recording artists’ goal is to sell albums, and for albums to sell, their songs must be popular on the radio.  Once a song hits the Top 40 list, a massive rise in album sales is generally guaranteed. Top 40 has been a measuring stick for album sales and the trend will likely continue. Not making the Top 40 does not say that your success rate as an artist will be low; not all musicians are after big sales after all. Some are contented with the money they are making and the little spotlight time they get.

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.