Mumford & Sons are the musical version of my thoughts throughout this extremely stressful year.
…tell me now, where was my fault in loving you with all my heart…
Earlier today, I watched this video. I find the fellow and his tone rather obnoxious but he brought some new and important information to light on a topic of critical importance to everyone. I figured I could try to extract this fellow’s important points and summarize them in the context of media consolidation as best I can:
Some Well Known History
- Since the early 80s there has been a massive consolidation of media companies.
- There are currently six large media corporations which effectively control all American media.
- A globalized information economy, Western cultural imperialism, and overseas media purchasing have lead to these same six companies to have effective control of much of the world’s media as well.
- This process of ever greater media consolidation and lecherous government lobbying is closely analogous to the banking industry.
- For an excellent summary on media consolidation its effect on what YOU understand about the world you live in and YOUR government, I strongly recommend frugaldad’s excellent infographic on the topic.
Some Less Well Known History
- During the first decade of the 21st century a myriad of P2P file-sharing software was developed, distributed and widely used across the net. Examples of this software would be Kazaa, LimeWire, BitTorrent etc. While it is entirely possible to use this software for completely legal purposes, it was widely used as a means to pirate media. ESPECIALLY music.
- During this same time period this same software was actually promoted and distributed to the general public by these same six media giants for a great profit. When I say great profit, I mean like hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising and promotional revenue. These media companies specifically taught and encouraged its customers to use this software to pirate music that was knowingly protected under US IP law.
- The same media giants that were making enormous fortunes by promoting piracy-software were simultaneously suing grandmothers, college students, and single moms for using them.
The Present / A Disturbing Look Into the Future
- These six corporations (and hundreds more of corporate interests) are currently pouring millions of dollars into lobbying for both the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). These lobbyists and media corporations point to online piracy as the reason for this legislation.
- However both pieces of legislation at hand (SOPA and PIPA) would be largely INEFFECTIVE at actually stopping piracy of any kind.
- What SOPA and PIPA WOULD DO is allow large media corporations to shield themselves from competition, cripple start up businesses, exercise effective censorship over the internet, and destroy social media websites. Yes. This includes Tumblr, youtube, reddit, and all your other favorite websites.
- Don’t worry non-Americans! The United States federal government has made it clear that should you offend the sensibilities of these media corporations or our laws, your website will look like this and you will be subject to extradition to the United States to stand trial for your heinous crimes.
- There has been some lobbying push-back against SOPA and PIPA. This has largely been from the Electronic Freedom Foundation, Silicon Valley, and grass roots free-information organizations. I like to call these groups “people who know what they’re talking about”. Unfortunately the amount of money be spent lobbying doesn’t really compare.
One sentence summary:
The same six media conglomerates that brought the tools of piracy to the internet are now using piracy as a false pretext to monopolize their corporate stranglehold on media, censor the internet and perpetually insulate themselves from competition.
I don’t believe that a lot of the things I hear on the air today are going to be played for as long a time as Coleman Hawkins records or Brahms concertos.
What I think of as style—and I’ve gotten to this over years of really thinking about it—is that style is the unconscious choices that I make.
So, so true…
I must tell you I take terrible risks. Because my playing is very clear, when I make a mistake you hear it. If you want me to play only the notes without any specific dynamics, I will never make one mistake. Never be afraid to dare.
McCoy Tyner - “Giant Steps”
~HANDS AND BRAIN, Y U NO DO THAT?~
It might be really funny to make videos of my abortive attempts to improvise on this tune sometime.