De omnibus dubitandum

Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Buma/Stemra, the Dutch copyright organisation charged with collecting royalties for artists (and often neglecting to funnel that money to the actual artists) has published new rules for embedding music videos on websites.

These new rules, set to go in to effect in 2010, effectively mean that everyone, including amateur bloggers, will have to start paying money for the privilege of embedding music videos on their blog.

We’re not talking about a few pennies here either: €130 for 6 embedded videos, €650 for 30 embedded videos. This is big money that the vast majority of sites – you know, amateur bloggers that are fans of music and want to share their passion with their online friends – will be unable to afford.

You might think that an organisation claiming to represent the rights of music artists would be happy to have internet users create free publicity and buzz for artists, which would result in extra sales of music, tickets and merchandise.

But no, you’d be horribly wrong. Buma/Stemra doesn’t care about artists or music. They care only about money. More specifically, about making money for record companies. Fuck artists, fuck fans, and most of all fuck the internet. Pay up or get sued.

I propose we show Buma/Stemra just how retarded they are and post thousands of Dutch music videos on thousands of blogs. Start new blogs and post music videos. When they send you a cease and desist notice, close that blog and start a new one. Keep doing this over and over. Bury them in mountains of administrative work that yields them absolutely nothing.

Oh, and sign the petition against this latest excrement of corporate greed, and spread the word.

UPDATE: After a tidal wave of protests from all areas of society, including politicians, Buma/Stemra has withdrawn its intent to charge non-commercial websites for embedding videos.

Late July Roundup

It’s been a mad week here with little time for individual blog updates. So instead I’ve collected the interesting stuff of last week in one post:

  • Ireland Retreats To The Dark Ages
    Not content to join the rest of the world in the 21st century, Ireland decides to make time go backwards and heads for the Dark Ages at full speed by passing a law against Blasphemy. It’s now illegal in Ireland to take the name of the Lord in vain. Well, Goddammit.
  • Sauron’s Evil Eye Burns In The Night Sky
    Well, it’s not really the Eye of Sauron, it’s just an eye-shaped galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its center. But it’s still cool.
  • Toygasm Overwhelms Adamus
    I have a new toy to replace my once-slick-but-now-clunky Tytn II: the HTC Hero. Like many of my new toy acquisitions, it is made of Pure Awesomeness until I get tired of it. Which in this case is likely not to happen for a while. Seamless integration with my Gmail, calendar and contacts, loads of cool apps, smooth interface, and most of all: open source. Fuck you, iPhone.
  • U2 Still Rules
    I went to see U2 on their 360° tour in Croke Park, Dublin last Friday and it rocked.

That is all.


Ever since I played the demo I’ve been waiting for this day: the full version of Auditorium is now available.


For those not in the know (and this is I suspect the majority of my readership), Auditorium is a superbly addictive game. The basic premise is simple, as it is for most forms of digital crack cocaine posing as games: you need to guide a flow of particles to several containers using a set of manipulator fields. Easy to learn, difficult to master. The later levels become increasingly complex and you’ll have to think hard and experiment a lot to solve a seemingly impossible puzzle.

The strength of the game is its music. Every container represents part of a musical score. As the particles fill the container, the music associated with the container plays. This adds an element of hypnotic beauty to an already fun game.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have about 56 more levels of Auditorium to play. See you in 2011. Maybe.

Glitched – Nerdcore in NL

Any self-respecting Penny Arcade fan, or any properly nerdified geek for that matter, should be familiar with the music genre known as Nerdcore. Names like MC Frontalot, Optimus Rhyme and MC Hawking are well-known in this particular underground scene, where hip hop meets geek. It’s the sort of music where you hear raps about coding Perl, Transformer toys and Star Trek episodes.

Now this scene has crossed over to Europe, with a new Nerdcore event called Glitched. The first of its kind in the Netherlands, Glitched will feature big Nerdcore names like MC Lars, Beefy, MC Router and YTCracker. Additionally the Nerdcore For Life movie will be shown in full.

I’d so be there if I didn’t have a previous engagement that required me to fly to Munich that same evening. I definitely want to see more of these events in NL, so anyone able and willing to go, do so! With a successful first event it’ll be all the more likely we’ll see more of this here.

  • Filed under: film, geek, music
  • Street Spirit (Fade Out)

    Even though I’m a fairly content person, I can find immense enjoyment in what others call ‘depressing’ music. It touches me on an emotional level no ‘happy’ song ever could.

    This song, and the story behind it, is magical to me.

    Thom Yorke:

    “Street Spirit is our purest song, but I didn’t write it. It wrote itself. We were just its messengers; its biological catalysts. Its core is a complete mystery to me, and, you know, I wouldn’t ever try to write something that hopeless. All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve. Street Spirit has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition. We all have a way of dealing with that song. It’s called detachment. Especially me; I detach my emotional radar from that song, or I couldn’t play it. I’d crack. I’d break down on stage. That’s why its lyrics are just a bunch of mini-stories or visual images as opposed to a cohesive explanation of its meaning. I used images set to the music that I thought would convey the emotional entirety of the lyric and music working together. That’s what’s meant by ‘all these things you’ll one day swallow whole’. I meant the emotional entirety, because I didn’t have it in me to articulate the emotion. I’d crack…

    Our fans are braver than I to let that song penetrate them, or maybe they don’t realise what they’re listening to. They don’t realise that Street Spirit is about staring the fucking devil right in the eyes, and knowing, no matter what the hell you do, he’ll get the last laugh. And it’s real, and true. The devil really will get the last laugh in all cases without exception, and if I let myself think about that too long, I’d crack.

    I can’t believe we have fans that can deal emotionally with that song. That’s why I’m convinced that they don’t know what it’s about. It’s why we play it towards the end of our sets. It drains me, and it shakes me, and hurts like hell every time I play it, looking out at thousands of people cheering and smiling, oblivious to the tragedy of its meaning, like when you’re going to have your dog put down and it’s wagging its tail on the way there. That’s what they all look like, and it breaks my heart. I wish that song hadn’t picked us as its catalysts, and so I don’t claim it. It asks too much. I didn’t write that song.”

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  • Filed under: music, video
  • Success is shining eyes around you

    And once again a talk comes out of TED that amuses, inspires and provokes: Benjamin Zander on music, emotion, and his awesome definition of success.

    (Via Yuri van Geest)

  • Filed under: culture, music, video
  • Somewhat related to the previous post: The recording industry wants to extend the European copyright on music from its current 50 years to, well, probably forever if they can get away with it.

    Now personally I think 50 years of copyright is plenty enough. Us regular folks don’t keep getting paid for what we did 50 years ago – most of us only get paid once a month for the work we did that month. But somehow musicians, or more specifically the music industry, believes it deserves to keep getting paid indefinitely for their one-time efforts.

    As music can be enjoyed indefinitely, they do have some grounds to argue that 50 years is acceptable, even though I believe that’s already way too long for anything to remain copyrighted. 20 years sounds more reasonable to me, but hey, they agreed on 50 years a couple of decades ago.

    But to extend that 50 years even further? Madness, I tell you. Madness and greed at its finest and most abhorrent.

    So if you live in Europe and agree that 50 years of copyright on music is long enough already, sign this petition.

    (Via Boing Boing)



    Adamus is the online identity of Barry Adams. A Dutchman living in Northern Ireland, Barry / Adamus is an internet fanatic, skeptic, technophile, gamer, and geek.

    On this personal blog he provides his unpolished view of the world and its insanities.

    Identity 2.0

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