A great response in the file sharing debate

This is a bit old, but I hadn’t had a chance to post it and thought it would beg good for those who didn’t see this the first time around.

For those who don’t know, there’s a debate raging in the UK (and other European countries with similar legislation) over proposed legislation that would be a “3 strikes” policy on those that are accused of file sharing.

Last month Lilly Allen came out in favor of this legislation, but in the process of blogging about this, she plagiarized TechDirt in the process (whoops!). In response, Dan Bull released this video/open letter that pretty much summarizes my stance as a musician on going after file-sharers.  This is definitely worth a look.

“Unrelated” news

Just thought that my friends in Fort Collins would be interested in knowing that the City Council will be reviewing their controversial Occupancy Ordinance, that limits the amount of unrelated adults that can live in a rental home in the city.  What makes this so controversial is that this law seems to target college student housing.

There was a really article in the Coloradoan that came out a few days ago, talking about a ‘lodge’ owned by a fraternity that was set up to house six members of the frat, as well as provide meeting space and non-alcoholic dinners.  The house is located on Shields, right off of Laurel (which is right across the street from campus). The frat members attempted to be good neighbors by fixing up the yard, and attempted to work with city regulators to make the house fit within the zoning regulations. Yet neighbors still complained and now the city has threatened to fine the occupants $1000 per day members don’t move out.

This ordinance really frustrates me.  While I sympathize with issues that single-family homeowners can face living next to inconsiderate students, what do people seriously expect when they buy a house that’s right next to campus?  People can’t tout the benefits of living in a college town without having to accept that students are going to live in your town.  It’s no different than complaining about an ethnic group living in your town but saying that you love the authentic <insert ethnic group> food.

Fort Collins is a big city, and if you want to live in a neighborhood with many families and few college students, there are plenty of great neighborhoods on the south side of town – away from campus.  CSU is only going to continue to expand, which will only increase housing needs by the students.  I realize that resident Michelle Haefele in the article doesn’t want her neighborhood “turned into a student ghetto”, but the last time I checked the CSU campus was there before she moved in.  What did you expect when you bought a place in the neighborhood next to campus?

What bothers me most is that residents are so eager to blame college students for their declining property value.  The behavior of some students is unacceptable, but what is also unacceptable is painting students with this broad brush by enforcing this ordinance.  Let me ask you this, if you replaced the word “students” with an ethnic group or poverty class in the complaints, wouldn’t people have a problem with that?

Let’s see what City Council does Tuesday. I for one hope that people realize that they live in a college town, yet Fort Collins should be a big enough city to be able to accept everyone.

When will Apple open up iTunes LP’s?

At the recent Apple’s iPod Gushfest, they announced a new feature in music purchases in the LP format.  This is supposed to be the next generation of the album format’s liner notes, photos and additional goodies you get when you pony up money for a CD.  This looked like a feature that may turn out to be cool (depending on how much they charge for this), but as a band that sells on iTunes I was very interested in how the LP was going to become available.

Details are starting to formulate, but because Apple hasn’t been very forthcoming with details (as if that’s a surprise), it’s given away to rampant speculation.  Initially the news broke that Indie (Independent) artists trying to implement the LP solution were told by iTunes reps that LP’s weren’t available to Independents.  Not only that, but to get an LP into iTunes, labels needed to pony up a $10,000 production fee.

Apple refuted the claim saying that they’re going to release open specs, and that no production fee would be charged. The fact that they’re going to release the open specs should hopefully enable content creators to create them – but we’ll see if they really become successful.  It’s surprising that iTunes doesn’t appear to have a sense of urgency about putting these specs out, considering that these have been out for over 6 weeks and only has 16 LP’s to show for it.

My guess is that unless they open LP to include a lossless audio format, there’ really isn’t going to be much incentive to get people spend the extra money and buy these instead of a CD.  I would also guess that Apple probably put these together due to pressure from the record companies and probably won’t invest their full attention towards this – not unlike the Apple TV.

Surrogates – Worth Watching?

I’ll be honest here, this is a quick post to say that I haven’t missed a day blogging.  We’ve been spending a great weekend with family and friends, which takes precedence to blogging.  However, I did get to see Surrogates tonight.  If you haven’t seen it and would like to, skip this blog post because there may be spoilers (I’ll try not to ruin it though).

Basically the movie started off well, but pretty much fell apart half way through.  The premise seemed somewhat believable (in a Sci-Fi kind of way), but as the movie progressed, the more it just came off the rails.  What made the movie most frustrating was that we had a pretty good idea what was going on (in terms of the conspiracy and who the villains were shaping up to be), but Bruce Willis’ character hadn’t figured that out – which simply got annoying.

To top it off, they developed an unnecessary back-story between Willis and his wife in the movie.  There was potential with his personal tragedy, but they never developed that anywhere.

Finally to make things worse, they didn’t wrap up any of their loose ends.  We were led to believe that Bruce Willis was able to cause a catastrophic event, yet go home completely unscathed – especially legally.

Did you see the movie?  What did you think?