youtube, copyrights, & music sucking life.

my brother had mentioned to me that YouTube was slowly taking down videos of copyrighted content, and it was a discussion topic over dinner a ways back as to how they were tracking the videos. well, now it's at an outright record high, as YouTube is no longer giving removal notifications to users. this time, the videos are just soundless.


this is indicative of a number of concerns. sure, legally, it makes sense. kinda. but only in this atmosphere where i feel like the RIAA is scarier than Big Brother. the music folks are on everybody's minds wanting to save a failing revenue stream, so they're cutting off other avenues of listening--like YouTube. i don't know why film isn't also up in arms, legally speaking--oh right, their revenue doesn't suck.


sure, mash-up culture will find another way to thrive, it always does. but i'm looking at you, YouTube: do you really want it to? the community there is great and could you really live without your favourite parodies and ridiculousness that circulates through the intertubes? it's not like the users are making anything off this, most of 'em, anyway.

SO. all YouTube is doing is alienating the user without directly contributing to the aching revenue stream of the music industry. it's a roundabout solution. that is, i don't see there being a huge correlation between increase in music sales and decrease of information available on YouTube. all you wind up with is more pissed off people.

RWW suggests: "It would make a lot more sense for the music industry to provide a blanket license to YouTube so that users could use copyrighted sounds tracks on their homemade videos, while the record labels (or the artists) could get a share of the advertising revenue."


i leave you with one of my brother's old AMVs. i asked which one he would prefer me to post, but he never txted me back, the little bastard ;) so i'm showing the one with most views. say goodbye to anime mashup videos forEVER! [full disclosure: i love my brother more than i love pretty much everything else ever.] [edit: he made me take down Third Eye Blind in favour of Rise Against.]


sea kittens? as if cats didn't have enough issues.

i like animals, but this is not the first time i am going to have to tell PETA to give it. the hell. up. case in point? sea kittens. that's right, you heard me. SEA KITTENS. not to be confused with the sbux 'Melusine'/mermaid issue, this is not a feline with questionable lower halves. this is PETA's attempt to make fish cuddly so you may not want to EAT THEM.

because, as the site says, 'who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?'

there are a few things fundamentally wrong with this:

1 -- we eat fish. short of rumours in Chinatown, we do not eat cats. it is hard to link my eating habits between the two. i will not suddenly go vegetarian (and even some vegetarians still eat fish) because i look at Mahi Mahi and think "meow."

2 -- not to mention, i don't fish (as in, the sport). i also don't hunt cats, which i suspect is even less of the population than fishers. so the specific target is... what? fishers? vegetarians who need to go all out? all people who should stop eating fish? the idea is to stop the fishing of 'sea kittens' but the application falls flat.

3 -- the website looks like it is aimed at 5-year-olds. design my own sea kitten? ...for real right now? hard to resist when the link is a cartoon of a girl bear-hugging a trophy fish. yes. because when i go fishing, it's my 5-year-old daughter who's helping me get the hook out of the mouth. do it for the kids.

4 -- and the clincher for me -- cats have their own branding issues. PETA is rebranding fish as sea kittens. if they really wanted to go all out, they should have been "sea puppies." man's best friend. as it is, the cat people are trying to rebrand cats in order to house them.

that's at least somewhat noble. or intelligible. rebrand cats as companions instead of loners to house felines, since they are notoriously harder to get adoptions for than dogs. but fish? i can't tell what the message is that i can act on. stop fishing? give a stuffed fish to my 5 year old? stop eating fish? open an aquarium? ...get a colouring book?

[PS: speaking of that, how about a sea kittens bedtime story?]


accountability with a DRM-free iTunes?

give me accountability or give me Amazon.

i speak as a very loyal iTunes user/purchaser. i rack up bills in the iTunes store like you would not believe. that 4-day mix tape i made over holiday? that cost me a pretty penny there, like $40, give or take, for one day of downloads. of DRM material. [if you aren't aware, DRM--digital rights management--is an encoding on music that limits distribution, including what players it can be played on].

Amazon has had DRM-free music for some time. but i am lazy. i use iTunes to play my music, so i use iTunes to buy my music. a committed .99 per song made it painlessly easy. what's one more song? it's only a buck, right? [to the point where paying 1.99 for Rock Band 2 song downloads seemed like 'too much,' which is illogical.] so DRM-free music on iTunes should be wicked awesome for me, queen of mix tapes, right?


and it is. but i'm very skeptical of this tiered music iTunes now offers. i want to see a PLAN. in order to give up a little rights management control, the labels want kick-back. so we get DRM-free, while per-song-pricing changes. Yanni can go for .69, while the new Beyonce can go for 1.29. it's said that more songs will be .99 and .69 than 1.29, but let's look at the theoretical math.

[i say theoretical cos it's not really math. i suck at math.]

obviously the combined amount of (nearly) ancient stuff that (nearly) no one listens to, combined with slightly dated material going for .99 would account for more catalogue space than the 1.29 songs. DUH. so you're not selling me on that promise. i am concerned. labels want kick-back because not everyone is as brave as Nettwerk.

so how long before any song i actually give a shit about is 1.29?

i get they want money. in a weird way, i MAY be persuaded out of laziness to spend 1.29 on a song because, as i said, iTunes just flat out 'does it for me.' but i want something that is going to say to me that in 6 months, or 3 months, or some short TIME ALLOTMENT that this 1.29 song is going to become .99. if any of you can find me this, i will be happy. i haven't yet.

i want to see a plan, a promise, something, that says we're not still getting it up the ass from the labels. you give me DRM-free, but pardon me if i look a gift horse in the mouth. pps. it's too much to ask, but i want to trade in my 100+ purchased songs for DRM-free ones. otherwise i just feel penalized/gypped for supporting before.


kickin off 09: things you didn't know about me.

the fabulous Darryl over at brandflakes for breakfast tagged me for the 7 Things meme a few days ago where you need to share 7 things about yourself, and then ask 7 people to do the same. so. uh. here are 7 things you don't know about me. which is hard, if you follow my twitter stream. where i kind of don't shut up. then again, i've also been called a mystery on 12seconds, so perhaps not...

01. i love acoustic versions of songs. i collect them. i like having both versions. mainly i collect post-punk, pop-emo, and screamo. my favourite kinds are ones where there is still screaming along with the sounds of the acoustic guitars. there's something more raw about the "unproduced" versions in an over-produced genre that i appreciate. lately i've been listening to the acoustic version of Shady Business by theAUDITION on repeat (34x and counting). email if you want the .mp3.

01a. i live in mix tapes. i am addicted to music, like most people. i make soundtracks to my life. i have mix tapes almost as old as i am. including cassettes, but mainly i listen to ones on CD, meaning high school through now. when i make a mix tape for someone else, i will take DAYS. DAYS to make sure that i am happy with the mix and tailor it to the other person. the longest i ever worked on a mix tape was two weeks. "all my favourite singers have stolen all of my best lines" -- Alkaline Trio.

02. my mom came with me to get my first tattoo. it's a story i love to tell and i love that she came. i now have 5 tattoos. the last one i got was 2 weeks ago. i believe that the best tattoos are ones that have meanings that won't change. all of my tattoos are "boring" but incredibly meaningful. ie. my first tattoo is a tiger paw print on my hip. it symbolizes my origins. i was born in the Year of the Tiger and my first sentence was "i wanna meow." some things never change. ;)

03. i am a butterfly graveyard. butterflies come to me to die. i have no idea why. this has been going on since i was very small. over the years i have collected over 7 butterflies who've died in my presence; a small number, but considering i'm just one person, it's a little strange. i don't have all of them any more, sadly. i didn't know how to take care of them and beetles ate some. i preserved 1 (a monarch) and have 2 others left (swallowtails).

04. i have a weird thing with numbers. i'm not OCD in the least (unless you count organized), but there are some numbers i like, and some i just don't. numbers i like include 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 20, 21, and 22. usually the rules are most odd numbers, multiples of 5, and multiples of 11. 17 and 21 are two of my favourite numbers, but my favourite is 7. i was born on the 7th and it is a number of rebirth. however, selecting a volume on the TV is incredibly difficult when i'm with my best friend, who only likes even numbers.

05. for a long time i only wore boys' clothing. about 4 or 5 years. i still only own 4 pairs of "girls'" jeans, 2 of which were purchased just this past year, 1 of which i stole from the girl i'm seeing (she doesn't know she's not getting them back). however, regardless of this, i only own 2 pairs of sneakers--but over 15 pairs of high heels, all of which have heels only 4+ inches. i don't get to wear them very often, but i do have a thing for impressive heels.

06. i prefer phone calls to texts. texting can make me anxious the way phone calls make people anxious. there's too much to misunderstand. and if i'm waiting for a text and it's "not coming fast enough" for me, i actually put the phone away from me. i physically have to move the phone so i'm not constantly staring at it wanting to get a text message. yeah, it's fucked, i know.

07. my first real kiss was in the bathroom of an all-girls Catholic school. i was fifteen. it wasn't my school; it was a co-ed dance thing. i was working at a movie theatre at the time and a bunch of my coworkers went to the school. so a bunch of us went, about 4 or 5 from my own school. it was also the night of my first breakup, with the very person i had kissed (oh teen relationships), the night i met the guy she'd choose over me, and the night i met my next girlfriend whose claim-to-fame quote would become "these slippers are complicated."

@mtart - blog
@jaredwsmith - blog
@AdeleMcAlear - blog
@faris - blog
@gregverdino - blog
@strawberrycough - blog
@caff - blog
[& @juliaroy - blog if she magically hasn't already done it]

* Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
* Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
* Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
* Let them know they’ve been tagged


make up Scrabble words this holiday.

face it, you'll likely be subjected to game night at some point this month. it just comes with the territory of more food than you need and family members you may or may not want to see. it's about the only thing every can decide won't be overly offensive to do together. so be prepared.

--know the new words that made it into the Oxford English Dictionary this year. PS if you're playing with Merriam-Webster, you're a pansy. break out the big book.

--be hip with the youngsters. modify the rules a bit and bring out the lingo. brush up using Urban Dictionary, otherwise known as the directory for word vomit (check the page title).

--throw caution to the wind. get your Addictionary on. this is a favourite in my family. it's when you just make words up. you get to keep the word on the board if you can convince majority of players of a meaning for it.

happy holidays, Scrabulous addicts, copywriters, and wannabe English types. this one's for you.

lost your i/denti/tee? get a new one.

this is a pretty sweet idea: lyrics on tee shirts. novel, i know.

the concept is it has to start with "i." because... they like that.
i'm not really sure why.

i know it has nothing to do with iTunes other than that you get a free 10 iTunes songs with every tee purchase. that's pretty cool, admittedly, but that's also cos i'm a (legal) music download addict. a definite plus when their tees are $35 + S&H.

it's socially conscious, too. from their FAQ:
'Grow-to-sew' African means that from the cotton they source, through the spinning and knitting stages, all the way to the final logo print on the inside of every music tee - the benefit of each goes back to the people working on the product in sub-Saharan Africa.

only dilemma here? their lyrics are LAME.
of their current 9-tee line, the only one i can maybe relate to enough for purchasing... ok, well, none of them. and i even like Joan Jett by a lot. but for personalized feel, these "i" lyrics aren't really doing it for me.

i actually went through and read all 200+ song lyrics you can vote for. i submitted another 20 or so (odd that you can't also say who the artist is). i have not yet seen any added to the 200+ choices for the new line.

my suggestions included but were not limited to:
i am flawed if i'm not free [rilo kiley]
i won't sit nice & be quiet [the trucks]
i swear by my wrists that we're better than this [park]
i choose light i choose love [the submarines]
i want to be the car crash [snow patrol]
i am better with a pen [fall out boy]

Microsoft tries to be cool, again.

avert your eyes, if you must, or see more here. with a pun that would make Kenny Cole jealous, Microsoft is trying, yet again, to be relevant and cool with "Softwear," 80s inspired Microsoft clothing.

to be fair, i owned a Microsoft PC up until this year. i do not hate Microsoft. i think Vista ("Mojave") was a terrible mistake of epic proportion and handled poorly, but that's about the extent of my hatred.

the bottom line is that Microsoft just isn't cool and they desperately, desperately want to be. we have a computer company making clothing now. and a "conscious" rapper (whom i actually like, mind you) backing it up (that's a head trip).

people make Apple and Microsoft tee shirts for the hell of it anyway. because they're fans. because they support the brand. but Apple is that kid who's cool without trying too hard. Apple doesn't mean to throw epic parties... it just happens. elegant, sophisticated, well-dressed.

with Softwear, Microsoft is the less cool younger brother who wants to emulate and get a piece. but Microsoft is automatically positioning themselves as 30 years old. explain this to me. nostalgia? alright, maybe a little. but i just don't see it helping in the long run.

...unless Microsoft really does start throwing parties.
maybe in Williamsburgh. so Bill Murray can come.