Web Roundup

Congrats to Michael Bell-Smith for the NY Times mention of his cubist remix of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" videos (that's how I'd describe it, anyway). By syncing and playing all five vids simultaneously, Bell-Smith spares us the agony of having to watch them end to end. I'm still marveling at a link Bell-Smith posted earlier to this "scary splash page for a paint-thinner company."

Sarah Hromack has a good summation of the havoc copyright extremists are wreaking on human expression, starting with a rundown of their recent successful campaign (so far) against Google Print:
Taking their cues from the music industry’s reaction to p2p file sharing, publishers fear that making texts available online will lead to unauthorized reproduction and distribution. I know that I, personally, am burning to print all 1,424 pages of War and Peace on my home printer, before collating, binding, and covering the whole mess in split cowhide. I’m seeing a multiple-volume desktop set here. Gold embossing, the works. Ebay, Haight Street—there is no limit to the pure profit potential of this scheme.
Ed Rackley offers an especially clear analysis of what's happening in Darfur and its rich neighbor to the north, Khartoum, after he has spent the better part of this year in the Sudan working as a consultant in the international relief effort.

Musical prodigy Adrien75 has posted some new mp3s. One I especially like is the Neu!-ish "4th Song." [link to mp3 page updated: "4th Song" no longer available]

- tom moody 8-15-2005 10:26 pm

Thanks for the linkage, as of late.

I'll make sure to send you one of my Google Print desktop volumes. I've assembled an on-call team of Chino-Russian immigrants from my neighborhood here in SF, and they're totally into the project, ready to begin hard production on the turn of a dime. Publishers, watch your asses.

- Sarah Hromack (guest) 8-16-2005 12:40 am

You're right that books aren't the same kind of economy as songs. Still, one trend that should have publishers sweating and may factor into this is print on demand books. Digital files make it possible to have whole books in storage and copies can be ginned out more or less instantly by a small press operation for someone who orders them through Paypal or whatever. This does away with the need for the top heavy infrastructure of PR, artist management, and risk-based editorial decisionmaking associated with moving large-volume inventories. It's all about decentralization and empowering the artist and that threatens the fat cats that bring us John Grisham and Jeffrey Deaver and the rest. Google Print is a big, easy target--the larger issues are harder to control, as with file sharing.
- tom moody 8-16-2005 2:12 am


Check out Lulu press ( a print-on-demand open source publisher. Makes me want to do that 1.427 page book afterall.
- sarah hromack (guest) 8-16-2005 4:05 am

Thanks. In case you didn't see it, my post on Sol Kramer and the Lighten the Fuck Up Rule addresses some of the more egregious (i.e. "important") copyright decisions.
- tom moody 8-16-2005 5:01 am

Thanks for the mention mention! Cubist? I hadn't thought of that, but I like it a lot.

For the record, a link from the NY Times does not make for a huge traffic spike. Either that, or the news paper's audience does not substantially overlap with the audience that thinks cubist remixing of R Kelly videos is cool, funny, clever, thought-provoking or a worthwhile use of one's time.

- mbs (guest) 8-17-2005 11:16 pm

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