Sunday, July 22, 2012

Damned Music-industry Cartel Assholes

the war on piracy

I got another DMCA takedown the other day (probably time to switch to a new file host, eh?), this time for Tyvek's Time Change 7". This one seemed particularly arbitrary -- Tom Waits I can understand, Suicide and Can records released in the '80s, okay, I can kind of see it -- but Tyvek?? The fearless Detroit DIY garage-punk troubadours who played Bitchpork just last weekend? The totally nice dudes (/+ladies in various lineups) who in the summer of 2010 did an all-ages early show in my friend's basement for those who couldn't get into Schubas on account of alcohol laws? What I'm trying to get at is that they're hardly the kind of band who would send a DMCA (not that I wouldn't remove links if they asked, but I imagine they'd just go ahead and ask). So let's explore this takedown notice for a brief second:

So the claim was filed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Uh huh. As you can see, the canned lawyer assures us that they have "a good faith belief that the links/files identified" are "examples of links/files available through your site that are not authorized by Fox, any of its agents or the law, and therefore infringe on Fox's rights," then lists a host of Allegedly Infringing Links (there were about a hundred more links in the actual email than what you see above). Of course none of these links can be viewed, to see what the content of them actually was, so there is no way of verifying if any of it was in fact owned by Fox. But I guess that doesn't stop them for shutting them down, because hey, Fox didn't authorize them, right?

In the particular case of Time Change, what do we know? Well, we know the record was released in 2011 while Tyvek was touring Europe, and came out on the Paris/Bordeaux label Les Disques Steak. This label appears to be about as DIY as any other imprint the likes of Tyvek have worked with, so it's hard to imagine some business relationship between them and one of the Big Six  (owned by Rupert Murdoch, to boot).

There is the possibility that the origin of the claim is Fox Music, which handles publishing business, but I find it hard to believe. Is it even typical for DIY bands to formally publish their songs? What I think is most likely the case is that Fox made some erroneous (or fraudulent) claim.

I'm not writing about this because it's unique. None of it is news to anyone that does a blog for music. At best these takedowns are collateral damage of the Culture Industry's war on 'piracy'; at worst they amount to censorship. The whole thing just makes me really nervous about the future.

Anyway, to make up for the takedown, here's some Tyvek videos for you to enjoy:

'Mary Ellen Claims' in Brooklyn

'Underwater 1' in Scandinavia

'Flowers' in Austin

'Frustration Rock Version' in Detroit

'Air Conditioner' in Benesov, Czech Republic

'Nothing Fits' in Cleveland Heights


  1. Yeah, your account will probably get wiped here in a month or so. I think I got like two or three of those and then POOF. Yet, I'm the dumbass who still refuses to leave mediafire so I can't tell you if other servers have the same problems.

    1. Time to migrate, I say. I've seen some blogs using Adrive, so that could be a potential haven for a few months. I'll miss the excellent service mediafires provides on the download end, though.

      But there needs to be a more permanent hosting solution than hopping from cyberlocker to cyberlocker...

  2. I've thinking about this for a while now. It seems like zippyshare (terrible name) and adrive are the two leading sources, yet I trust neither of them. They both seem to offer fast download speeds and multiple downloads without the burden of a subscription. Yet, there's something about both of them that makes me a bit distrustful. I can't say why I prefer mediafire exactly, but I think from a downloader's perspective it's the most simplistic and less pop up driven. From our perspective, it's obviously a massive pain in the ass. I'm curious to see what you find out. Also, don't know if you know this dude but he's another Chicago guy who's also bitter about everything yet runs a decent blog I have no idea what the culture is like in Chicago these days, having lived elsewhere for a decade or so, but I'm guessing you probably know who this is. For that matter, you probably know who my brother is too. Either way, let's try to keep our shit heaps afloat through this morass. Maybe it will eventually sort itself out.

  3. Oops, now I see is already in your blogroll. See, you kids are definitely much hipper than I am.

  4. If only I were so lucky to know the Drug Punk in person. We correspond online though, good dude.

    As for adrive, I'm just setting up base camp right now. I'll lean between both sites and see what happens. The whole thing just seems like a stupid game.

  5. Yo doodz,

    I'm also a Chicago exile (grad school, dontcha know).

    Zippyshare's been workin' a'ight but they've already slowed down the upload (and, presumably, download) speeds, most likely to discourage folks like us. I'm gonna switch over to a Dropbox Pro or somesuch paysite shit once I get enough scratch together to do so.

    Looks like the era of free cloud-hosting is over. Time to regroup and figure out how to undermine the fuckers. Hopefully with the aid of people more computer literate than us (or, at least, me).