Getting ready for Paul Haig day on the blogs

paul-haig

I have maintained many times before that for most people the internet is how people find out about bands and that just because people might download a track for free it doesn not mean they won’t support the artist.

Now there have been some people who have been idiotic about this but fortunately most people see sense. However, my friend JC who writes one of my favourite blogs, The Vinyl Villain, got targeted by an ISP even though Paul Haig and his manager were happy for JC to host the track.

So Monday April 6 is Paul Haig day across the blogs.

PRESS RELEASE:

Basic premise: Blogs being targetted randomly by ISP’s to take down music where artists are happy about receiving the extra coverage. Paul Haig gave a free track ‘Reason’ to the vinyl villain to give away in support of the bloggers network and to test his theory abut random notices being served.

In thanks the bloggers have agreed to make April 6 Paul Haig Day. As many bloggers will make ‘Reason’ available on their blogs as possible.

Blogs are essential promo tools for all artists as music comes recommended.

Most artists express the view that as many people should be able to hear their music as possible by whatever means. The fan will then go to a concert or buy back catalogue get the vinyl or even the new cd. The Internet is just like radio was 20 years ago…kind of!

If you have a great track the best method of getting it heard is over the net – where word is spread by the real music fans – Hearing new music is based on recommendation not by mass advertising budgets….unless you are U2, blogs or free music on the net is got to be the future…

Evan Label Manager ROLinc

JC (who is a personal friend) writes:

“If you go stumbling around music blogs on the Internet on Monday 6th April, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll find someone saying good things about Paul Haig, arguably the greatest pop star to ever have come out of Edinburgh.

So far, some 25 bloggers have decided that next Monday should be designated ‘Paul Haig Day’ and will be featuring posts about the musician whose career goes back almost 30 years to the days when Postcard Records were The Sound of Young Scotland.

This sudden upsurge of interest in the former Josef K lead singer is no accident, and is the result of a number of music fans, not all of whom know much about Paul Haig, wanting to thank him for taking a stand and encouraging bloggers to keep on doing what they do.

Bloggers have come under increasing attack in recent times, thanks to many in the music industry using the draconian measures of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), an American piece of legislation signed by President Clinton in 1998 which insists that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must remove material that appears to constitute copyright infringment.

So, if a music industry lawyer discovers a blogger has posted an mp3 of a song without permission, they can contact the ISP, claim they represent the individual or organisation with the copyright and demand the offending material be removed. Fair enough you might say…

But, the law is such that anyone can use DMCA to demand a takedown without having to prove that they have ownership of the copyright, and the ISP have no option but to comply – it has even been proven that where musicians have expressly given support for their song to be highlighted on a blog, an anoymous DMCA request has seen the mp3 removed.

Such was the case last month when ‘The Vinyl Villain’ blog, one that has been running since September 2006 and almost exclusively looks back to music of the 80s and 90s, featured ‘Blue For You’, one of the early solo singles by Paul Haig. The blogger had been in touch with the singer who didn’t object at all to featuring the song and was given a few words by Paul Haig to add to the story behind its recording in Edinburgh back in 1982.

Within 48 hours of publication, the piece was removed by the ISP, although no-one associated with the copyright had made such a request.

In response, Paul Haig immediately decided to make his 2007 single ‘Reason’ available through ‘The Vinyl Villain’ blog on the basis that music fans who downloaded the song and decided that they liked it were more than likely to subsequently purchase a copy. So far, after just more than a week, no-one has asked the ISP to remove the mp3….

JC is the blogger who runs ‘The Vinyl Villain’, and he said:-

“I was shocked when the DMCA was served on ‘Blue For You’ and I did think about closing down ‘The Vinyl Villain’ altogether wondering if the hours spent working on it were worth it. But the quick response from Paul and his mangement and the offer of a further song made me realise that there are some musicians out there who value what I and many thousands of others do every day. Blogging isn’t about piracy or making music available for free – it’s more to do with writing about singers and bands we love in the hope that more people will become fans.

I get about 700 hits a day on the blog from all over the world, and quite a number of readers got in touch to say how much they appreciated the support given by Paul to The Vinyl Villain, and the idea of Paul Haig Day emerged from that. So, on 6th April, I’ll be putting up another posting about Paul Haig on the blog, and there’s at least another 25 or so fellow bloggers going to do the same.

The thing I find most pleasing about it is that up until all this dmca nonsense, some of the bloggers knew next to nothing about Paul Haig and don’t have any of his records in their collections, but they’re still going to put some words together and post an mp3 on their blog. It’ll be interesting to see if any of us are served dmca notices.”

Bloggers in Australia, Canada, Germany and America, as well as from across the UK have agreed to take part in Paul Haig Day.

Details can be found at www.thevinylvillain.blogspot.com

ENDS

So let’s give as much support as we can. Because anyone who can hide behind the anonymity of a lawsuit is somebody that is motivated by malice, and the world doesn’t need people like that. As someone who runs a small record company I am flattered when people write about my artists. The DMCA takedown notices are misguided at best, downright sinister at worse. Anyone who seriously believes that mp3 blogs are damaging artists’ livelihoods needs their heads examining. Because they didn’t, they don’t and they won’t. FACT. What is far more damaging is a music industry overrun by lawyers and other shady folks who have no interest in the music or the artist but purely exploiting others to get rich. The internet is socialism in action, and long may it continue.

I think it’s time for a new copyright act to be put in place. Because chasing after bloggers is quite obscene and ridiculous. As mad as if radio pluggers were ordered not to support a band, press officers telling people not to write about them, and people threatened for listening to them.

FIGHT THE POWER!

and support JC, obviously…

Here’s a Josef K classic from 1981:

Josef K -‘Endless Soul.’ mp3

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