Monday, October 25, 2004

News: Spitzer targets music giants

Business Standard

Subpoenas issued to EMI, Universal Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music

Stephanie Kirchgaessner & David Wells
New YorkOctober 25, 2004

The recording industry, already battered by a surge in recent years of illegal music piracy, increased competition and heavy regulatory scrutiny, is facing a new and potentially costly examination into its practices by Eliot Spitzer, the New Yorkattorney-general.

Spitzer, whose investigations into conflicts on Wall Street and, most recently, bid rigging in the insurance industry, has had devastating effects on the companies involved, has issued subpoenas to the music industry’s four biggest groups: EMI, Universal Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and Warner Music, according to a person familiar with the probe.

Britain’s EMI, the third-largest record company, on Friday said that “along with other companies in the music and broadcast industries” it had received a request from Spitzer for information regarding practices in connection with the promotion of records on New York state radio stations.

“We are co-operating fully with this inquiry, which is at a preliminary stage,” the company said.

Spitzer’s probe is understood to be centred on what one industry expert called the “second oldest” profession — music companies paying so-called “independent” promoters to urge radio groups to play its songs — or“pay-to-play”.

The music companies are prohibited by federal regulations to pay radio groups directly to play their tracks without disclosing that the payment has been made.

EMI said it had a “long-standing, strict, written policy” prohibiting unlawful radio promotion — a policy that was reaffirmed internally this year — and it did not believe the probe would have any “material financial impact”.

A different music group said it was too early to tell whether the investigation would lead to new, costly regulations or a settlement by the music industry. News of the investigation, which was first reported bythe New York Times on Friday, did not come as asurprise to many industry observers following an earlier probe into the industry by Spitzer.

In 2002, a group of leading record companies and retailers agreed to pay $143 million to settle price-fixing charges filed against them by the attorneys-general of 43 states.

Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music declined to comment.

Clear Channel, the largest US radio station chain, said it did not receive a subpoena by Spitzer’s office.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Opinion/Article: Anti-intellectualism and activism

After receiving a couple of very nasty emails on a mailing list I frequent, I have had cause to think about the power of anti-intellectualism. Yes, self-professed 'intellectuals' can sometimes be a priggish bunch, but without analysis of some sort, whether professional or otherwise, I think we'd all be going to hell in a handbasket of unexamined and profoundly unhelpful assumptions. I did a little googling, and came up with the following article, which nicely states a lot of the things I have been thinking about political activism for a while, particular in relation to anti-intellectualism: "Action Will Be Taken":Left Anti-intellectualism and Its Discontents"
(by Liza Featherstone, Doug Henwood, and Christian Parenti).

I think one of the interesting things about anti-intellectualism is that is seems to call for people like myself to justify what it is that we do. I have a problem with justification, though. Justifying something doesn't make it any more valid, it just means that it has been 'justified', i.e., that someone has offered a justification for the action. That doesn't get you anywhere, and certainly provides no moral or ethical guidance or yardstick for behaviour or thinking. So, I'm not a great fan of justifications, as they often get you embroiled in claim and counterclaim arguments, which I find incredibly unhelpful. I do what I do, think what I think, and there are consequences for myself and others in how I do so. I work out as I go along whether or not the character of what I do or think is working for me, in relation to how (not who) I would like to be in the world. Justifying it to myself or others requires me to attempt to convince myself or others that what I do is okay for me to do. Why would I need to convince? To what end? I don't know. Just rambling. I had a migraine this morning and my head is full of gaps.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

New Publication: Shock and Awe: War on Words

Bregje van Eekelen, Jennifer González, Bettina Stoetzer, Anna Tsing, eds.

If you don’t know what to say about global war, you need a dictionary. Shock and Awe: War on Words (New Pacific Press: Fall 2004) is just that: a keywords book that participates in a battle over the imagination, acknowledging the force of words, concepts, and images in framing our everyday lives. Located in the borderlands between scholarship and public culture, it re-appropriates our vocabularies by exploring the political trajectories of world-making words, projects, and images.

You hear yourself use the word terrorism, and uncannily find yourself participating in its life, its proliferation, its reality. Willy-nilly you’ve become a participant in a world-making project of anxiety and antagonism. While it is impossible to completely give up on terms like peace, family, and security, to use them is to become a stranger in one’s own world. Yet how can we envision an alternative if our very imagination, the very definition of “the social” and the shape of “the political” are under attack?

Rather than being merely shocked and awed, a group of contemporary thinkers and creative artists put their writings on the line. The contributors range from UCSC scholars Angela Davis and Donna Haraway, artists (Martha Rosler, Emily Jacir, and Lynn Randolph), anthropologists (Dame Marilyn Strathern, Renato Rosaldo), historians (Carol Gluck, Sven Linquist), to prose writers (Alix Kates Schulman, Kathryn Chetkovich), and from political scientists (Wendy Brown, James Scott, Mike Davis), Indonesia’s public intellectual Goenawan Mohamad, to literary critics (Geeta Patel, Mary Louise Pratt), and poets (Adrienne Rich, L.R. Berger). They present fragile genealogies, situated vocabularies, visual provocations and poetry. Tearing apart powerful representations or reclaiming them from being instruments of discipline, exclusion and imperialism, these short interventions populate, recapture, and enliven our sense of the political.

The project concludes that there is hope for the most overused words, and life for the most neutral-sounding concepts, such as:

America (as imagined from elsewhere), anti-terror legislation, barbarian, chicken, civilization, consumer, democracy, economic recovery, exit, family of patriots, fear, fences, homeland, iRaq, Islamic Feminism, lip, military-industrial complex, nomads, patriot, peace, pirate, race, security, speech, streamline, them, time, us, we, words.

Politics is, of course, not only about getting out to vote, but also about seizing the means of imagination. Please help us spread word of these alternative genealogies, fragments of everyday life, glimpses of social histories, and stories of mistranslation and encounter.

You can order the book, ISBN 0-9712546-0-5, at the Literary Guillotine, 204 Locust Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, 831-457-1195; securely through; or by downloading an order form from IAFR or from

Feminist Provocations Series

Volume One

Published by New Pacific Press and the
Institute of Advanced Feminist Research at the
University of California Santa Cruz


Itty Abraham · Raymond Apthorpe · Dalit Baum · Amita Baviskar · Jonathan Beller · L. R. Berger · Iain Boal · Margaret Brose · Wendy Brown · Sean Burns · Wendy Call · Jeremy M. Campbell · Ben Carson · Kathryn Chetkovich · Martha Collins · Christopher Connery · Wendy Coxshall · Angela Y. Davis · Mike Davis · Hilla Dayan · Joseph Dumit · P. A. Ebron · Bregje van Eekelen · Lieba Faier · Kathy E. Ferguson · Courtney L. Fitzpatrick · Jonathan Fox Carla Freccero · Carol Gluck · Myra Goldberg · Jennifer González · Lisbeth Haas · Donna Haraway · Sharon Hayes · Engseng Ho Karen Z. Ho · Donna Hunter · Emily Jacir · NeEddra James · Sushma Joshi · Afsaneh Kalantary · S. Eben Kirksey · Morgen J. Lennox · Sven Lindqvist · Lydia H. Liu · Krista Geneviève Lynes · Bahíyyih Maroon · Julia Meltzer · Helene Moglen · Goenawan Mohamad · Annemarie Mol · Carole Simmons Oles · Geeta Patel Mary Louise Pratt · Vicente L. Rafael · Lynn Randolph · Maple Razsa · Adrienne Rich · Lisa Rofel · Renato Rosaldo · AnnJanette Rosga · Martha Rosler · James K. Rowe · Warren Sack · Larry Schwarm · James C. Scott · Alix Kates Shulman · Bettina Stötzer Marilyn Strathern · Neferti Tadiar · Kasian Tejapira · David Thorne · Jude Todd · Anna Tsing · Phyllis Turnbull · Yasushi Uchiyamada · Neerja Vasishta · Kath Weston

News: The secret dam: China begins huge project in World Heritage Site, displacing up to 100,000 people and devastating unique tribal societies

The Independent

By Jasper Becker in Beijing and Daniel Howden
16 October 2004

In the shadow of the Jade Dragon Snow Peak, deep inside the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Chinese developers are operating in secret to push through a massive dam project that will wash away the section of the Yangtze river valley thought to have been the real location for the fictional Shangri-La.

Local tribesmen have revealed that work is already under way on a massive project that would flood a Unesco world heritage site, displace more than 100,000 people and destroy the way of life of the unique Naxi people, one of the world's only surviving matriarchal societies. It would also bring an abrupt end to the nascent tourism industry in the remote southwestern Yunnan province.

The battle to save the gorge, one of the deepest in the world, has pitted a David-like alliance of green groups and local tribespeople against the Goliath of the Huaneng Group, China's biggest independent power producer, working with the Yunnan provincial government. The company is run by Li Xiaopeng, son of the hardline former prime minister Li Peng, who oversaw the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Mr Li was at the forefront of the controversial Three Gorges Dam project that was pushed through in the teeth of strident opposition from environmentalists and residents.


Saturday, October 16, 2004

News: Wal-Mart vs. the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon

(submitted by Brian McKenna)


A Retail Mall at Teotihuacan?
Wal-Mart vs. the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon


The showdown is rife with symbolism. Wal-Mart's expansion plans in Mexico have brought about a modern-day clash of passions and principles on the site of one the earth's first great civilizations.

Several months ago Wal-Mart, the world's largest retail chain, quietly began construction on a new store north of Mexico City. To many, it's just another step in the phenomenal takeover of Mexico's retail sector. But to others, it's stepping on the cultural foundations of the country. Excavation for the new store started just several thousand meters from the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, the crowning structures of the ancient city of Teotihuacan.


Opposition to the store is led by a diverse group of local merchants, artists, actors, academics, and indigenous organizations that protest damage to Mexico's rich cultural heritage. Through ceremonies, hunger strikes, demonstrations, and press coverage the movement to defend the site has kept the conflict in the public eye and heightened the public-opinion costs to the transnational. Opponents have taken their concerns to the Mexican Congress and UNESCO.


Friday, October 08, 2004

News: 459 Net song-swappers sued

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2004 09:45:25 PM

LONDON: The piracy-battered music industry said on Thursday it will sueBritish, French and Austrian music fans for the first time as it intensifies its legal crackdown on Internet song-swappers.

The drive singles out users of popular file-sharing networks Kazaa, eDonkey, and Gnutella where Internet users can download and exchange songs for free.

Trade group the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said it filed 459 criminal and civil lawsuits against some of the most prolific users of Internet file-sharing networks in the UK, France and Denmark, with a second wave of law suits in Germany, Italy and Denmark. The suits were filed on behalf of some of the largest music labels, including EMI, Warner Music and Universal Music.

Rather than going for people simply downloading songs for their own use, they specifically target "uploaders" or those who share their music collection with others, thus creating a vast market in free tunes.

"We are taking this action as a last resort and we are doing it after a very long public awareness campaign," said IFPI chairman Jay Berman."We have spent more than a year discussing the damage illegal file-sharingis doing to the music industry, including countless warnings of the legal consequences. Now, finally, we are at the point where the law has to be enforced.

"People who love music should buy it online and not swap files illegally," he added. The IFPI warned more countries will be added to the dragnet in coming months. To date, the music industry has announced lawsuits against over 5,700 individuals in the United States since September, 2003, and 650 in Europe since March this year.

Industry officials called the first wave of lawsuits a successful deterrent, pointing to a 20 per cent decline in usage of Kazaa since January. In Britain, music officials said that as part of a new "rolling programme of legal actions", they will launch 28 civil court cases against British uploaders.

Criminal and civil court cases are being filed against 50 alleged uploader sin France, 100 in Austria, 174 in Denmark, and 100 in Germany. In Italy, home to one of the toughest copyright protection laws in the world, police have raided the premises of seven large-scale file-sharers. The music industry is determined to woo back music fans from free-filesharing networks to stem declines in CD sales and support fledgling download services such as Apple Computer's iTunes and Sony Connect.

Latest Issue: UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive Report

The latest issue of the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive Report is now available online for your perusal at

Table of Contents for this issue, Volume 4, Number 4 - Summer 2004:

- Archive hours for Fall 2004
- OID Grant for 2004-05
- Archive CD Review by Erin Ensley

Interesting Link: Social Impact Assessment

A message from Rabel J. Burdge

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce my just published website on social impact assessment.

Among the many features you will find:
1. An updated SIA bibliography
2. Key citations for social impact assessment
3. Access to the US and International Guidelines and Principles for SIA
4. Journals that have SIA content
5. Access to websites useful in doing SIAs
6. New SIA books
7. Upcoming meetings that accept contributions on SIA
8. Call for abstracts related to SIA
9. SIA news items
10.SIA and related workshops

In addition, I include details on the areas where I do consulting and accept short-term assignments. If you are interested in social and environmental impact assessment, hopefully, you will include the site among your favorites and check it on a regular basis. I welcome suggestions for additions and updates!

Best regards to all


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Fellowship: Cultural Studies, Folklore, Anthropology, Ethnomusicology etc.

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington DC is once again advertising its Rockefeller Foundation Resident Fellowships in the Humanities and the
Study of Culture, for those pursuing study under the theme, "Theorizing Cultural Heritage".

Deadline for 2005-06 fellowships is January 15, 2005.

For further information visit:

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Fellowship: Indigenous Development

Massey University, in New Zealand, are inviting applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Indigenous Development (A404-04L). Based within the School of People, Environment & Planning, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, they seek a PhD graduate interested in rethinking concepts of development and indigeneity and the inter-relationships between them. They invite applicants from any branch of the social sciences and humanities.

The fellowship will be based in Palmerston North, and will cover a two year period. Closing date for applications is 19 November 2004.

View Academic Salary Information...

Position Overview

This Postdoctoral Fellowship will be part of Massey University's proposed Centre for Indigenous Governance and Development. The research centre will provide an internationally recognised centre of research excellence in indigenous governance and development. In recent years, there has been increased recognition by national governments and international agencies of the right of indigenous peoples to pursue their own development objectives as indigenous peoples often conceive of development in radically different terms from mainstream agencies. As a consequence of this recognition, there is a growing need for a better understanding of the various ways in which development is conceptualised by indigenous peoples.

Further information on this position can be obtained from Professor John Overton, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand, email

Fellowship: Irish Studies


Application Deadline January 2, 2005

With the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, the Keough Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame invites applications for its faculty fellowship program. The NEH KeoughFellowship will enable an outstanding scholar to continue his or her research while in residence in the Keough Institute during the academic year 2005-2006. The Fellowship is open to scholars in any area of Irish Studies.The stipend is $40,000. The NEH Keough Fellow will participate in a periodic faculty seminar and present a paper on her or his research during the year. Apart from the seminar, the Fellow's only obligation will be to pursue her or his research. The Fellow will be provided an office in the Keough Institute and will be integrated into the Institute's life, with full library privileges and access to the Institute's research tools. Applicants should submit a double-spaced narrative of no more than five pages describing their proposed research, indicating how it builds on existing scholarship, and suggesting how it will benefit from broader interdisciplinary studies. Applicants should also submit a curriculum vitae and arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to the Keough Institute by 2 January 2005. Announcement of the successful candidate will be made in February 2005.

Please send applications to this address: NEH Keough Fellowships, Keough Institute for Irish Studies, 422 Flanner Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

Fellowship: Irish Studies


The Faculty of Arts at National University of Ireland, Galway, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Lady Gregory Fellowships. These prestigious fellowships, tenable for a period of three years, are named in honour of the memory of Lady Gregory, her contribution to the Arts and her links to the West of Ireland. High-achieving graduates of any university and nationality will be invited to complete research projects in the humanities, languages and the social and behavioural sciences leading to thePhD degree in Arts at NUI, Galway. Three Lady Gregory Fellows in these areas will be offered beginning September 2005 and are worth 20,000 euro per year for three years. Additional fellowships will be offered in subsequent years.

Applications will be available 1 November, 2004 from the Arts Faculty Office, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Lecture: Thursday 7th October, 2004

Pehnomenology at the Limits Lecture

Professor Aldert Vrij,
Professor of Social PsychologyUniversity of Portsmouth

To be held in:The Lecture Theatre, Department of Academic Psychiatry,
The Longley Centre, Sheffield.
Convenor: Dr Sean Spence
Talk begins at 5.30pm - Refreshments available from 5.00pm.

In the first part of this talk, Professor Vrij will briefly review research findings that show that professional lie catchers, such as police officers, are generally rather poor at distinguishing between truths and lies. He believes that there are many reasons contributing towards this poor ability, and will give an overview of these reasons. He also believe that professionals could become better lie detectors and will explain how?

Aldert Vrij is a Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. Professor Vrij’s main fields of interest are social and criminal psychology, which he teaches on the BSc (Hons) Psychology. His research interests are deception, police officers’ shooting behaviour,interviewing suspects, interviewing children, and ethnic prejudice. Most of his research deals with deception. He investigates both nonverbal correlates of deception and verbal correlates of deception, and has received research grants from ESRC, Leverhulme Trust and Dutch Ministry of Justice.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Interesting Link: Alan Sokal and the Social Text Affair

If you have ever encountered the book Intellectual Impostures (also published in the US as Fashionable Nonsense), and would like to know more, or if you're just curious about one of the most high profile hoaxes in recent academic history, here's an archive of material on it all ...

Interesting Link: The Anatomy of a Postmodernism generator

Interesting Link: Crucial, Indispensible Essays on Postmodernism

Make sure you read down to the bottom of the page ...

Saturday, October 02, 2004

News: Creative Commons Compilation CD

This Compilation CD Is Meant To Be Copied and Shared


September 20, 2004; Page B1

For more than a year, the music industry has held firm on its zero-tolerance position on online file swapping, suing 4,679 alleged digital pirates to drive its point home.

But now, 16 high-profile artists, many of them signed to the same global music companies that have brought the lawsuits, are participating in a project that will allow music lovers to freely copy and trade some new songs without risking legal retaliation.

Next month, songs by the Beastie Boys, David Byrne and 14 others will appear on a compilation CD whose contents are meant to be copied freely online, remixed or sampled by other artists for use in their own new recordings. "The Wired CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share." was compiled by the editors of Wired magazine, of San Francisco, as an experimental implementation of a new kind of intellectual-property license called Creative Commons. About 750,000 copies of the disc are to be distributed free with the magazine's November issue. The disc also will be handed out to audience members at a benefit concert by Mr. Byrne and others tomorrow night in New York. More

News: Protection plea for reef fish


The humphead wrasse is a prized delicacy around South East AsiaA rare reef fish called the humphead wrasse should be guarded from overfishing, experts have claimed.
The WWF and the IUCN-World Conservation Union are set to ask an international trade watchdog to include the fish on its list of protected species.


News: Sony Japan dumps lock-down CDs

The Register

By Tony Smith

Published Friday 1st October 2004 11:45 GMT
One music label, at least, is turning its back on CD copy-protection. Japan's Sony Music Entertainment yesterday revealed it intends to junk its own copy-control system, Label Gate*.
The technology was introduced in January 2003, but this month will see the last discs issued with the anti-rip system incorporated into their structure. Initially blocking all PC usage, the technology was later updated to allow the playback of compressed audio files on a computer.


News: UK music biz set to sue file-sharers

The Register

By Tony Smith

Published Friday 1st October 2004 14:14 GMT

The UK music industry has been threatening local file-sharers with Recording Industry Ass. of America-style lawsuits since late last year, but it finally seems to be gearing up to take action.
Industry sourced cited by today's Times newspaper claim that the writs will start to fly within the next month as the UK's answer to the RIAA, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) targets "the most flagrant users of peer-to-peer Internet file-sharing sites", as the paper puts it.


News: RIAA hunts down more file-trading scum

The Register

By Ashlee Vance in Chicago

Published Friday 1st October 2004 19:29 GMT

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) knows how to kick off the back-to-school season with a splash, sending out another load of lawsuits to collegians everywhere.
The music-labels' front man sued 762 more file-trading evil-doers, pushing its grand lawsuit total well over 5,000. The focus of the latest batch of lawsuits is once again college students - with the RIAA highlighting 26 schools harboring copyright terrorists. "We'll crack down every dorm room door and hunt the criminals where they live, where they drink beer and where they study," said RIAA President Cary Sherman ... more

News: US music targets more 'pirates'

More people are using legitimate download servicesThe US record industry is suing 32 people at 26 colleges across the country in an effort to stamp out illegal downloading.
Several record companies say the individuals used university networks to illegally distribute material on file-swapping services.

The industry is sueing individual users in an attempt to thwart piracy, which it blames for a downturn in sales. The move comes despite figures which show the industry is recovering.

Copyright, Summary Judgement: Diebold, inc. and Diebold Election Systems



For full details, see:
Case Number C 03-04913 JF

Background to the case (edited slightly)

"Defendants Diebold, Inc. and Diebold Election Systems, Inc. (collectively “Diebold”) produce electronic voting machines. The machines have been the subject of critical commentary. Both the reliability and verification procedures of the machines have been called into question, in part because not all of the machines provide a means for verifying whether a voter’s choice has been recorded correctly. It is undisputed that internal emails exchanged among Diebold employees (the “email archive”) contain evidence that some employees have acknowledged problems associated with the machines. ... According to Diebold, the email archive also contains discussion of “the development of Diebold’s proprietary computerized election systems, as well as Diebold trade secret information, and even employees’ personal information such as home addresses and cell phone numbers.” ... At some point early in 2003, the entire email archive was obtained and reproduced on the internet by unknown persons, giving rise to the events pertinent to the present motions.

"Plaintiffs Nelson Chu Pavlosky (“Pavlosky”) and Luke Thomas Smith (“Smith”) are students at Swarthmore College (“Swarthmore”). Using internet access provided by Swarthmore, which for present purposes is considered their internet service provider (“ISP”), Pavlosky and Smith posted the email archive on various websites. ...

"An on-line newspaper, IndyMedia, published an article criticizing Diebold’s electronic voting machines and containing a hyperlink to the email archive. ... Plaintiff Online Policy Group “OPG”) provides IndyMedia’s internet access.2 OPG, in turn, obtains internet access from an upstream ISP, Hurricane Electric (“Hurricane”). In response to the activities of Pavlosky, Smith, and IndyMedia, and in an alleged effort to prevent further public viewing of the email archive, Diebold sent cease and desist letters to many ISPs, including Swarthmore, PG, and Hurricane, pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

"Swarthmore, OPG, and Hurricane were advised that pursuant to these provisions they would be shielded from a copyright infringement suit by Diebold if they disabled access to or removed the allegedly infringing material. Swarthmore thereafter required Pavlosky and Smith to remove the email archive from their website. At the same time, Hurricane notified OPG that it might be required to terminate OPG’s internet access if IndyMedia’s hyperlink to the email archive was not removed. Hurricane agreed, however, not to act during the pendency of the present action, and consequently OPG did not disable access to or remove any material.

"Diebold has not filed any lawsuits related to publication of the email archive. Plaintiffs Smith, Pavlosky, and OPG nonetheless seek injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief from this Court, alleging that Diebold’s claim of copyright infringement was based on knowing material misrepresentation and that Diebold interfered with Plaintiffs’ contractual relations with
their respective ISPs. Plaintiffs seek a judicial declaration that publication of the email archive, hosting or providing colocation services to websites that link to allegedly infringing material, and
providing internet services to others who host websites that link to allegedly infringing material are lawful activities. They request an injunction to prevent Defendants from threatening or bringing any lawsuit for copyright infringement with respect to the email archive arising from the publication, linking, or hosting services described in the complaint and a judgment barring Defendants from enforcing any copyright in the email archive unless and until Defendants’ alleged copyright misuse has ceased. They also seek $5,185.50 in damages5 and attorneys’ fees
pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(f) for Diebold’s alleged misrepresentation or as otherwise allowed
by law, as well as costs and disbursements."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Call for papers: Political Activism, History

University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History

Activism and Social Movements

University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History is an innovative, refereed on-line journal that seeks to provide a medium for publication in the postgraduate community and to disseminate creative, critical, and inter-disciplinary historical research. By doing so we hope to provide a forum for the regular exchange of ideas amongst the international postgraduate community and those who have recently been awarded doctorates on topics of historical interest.

We are currently inviting articles for submission for Issue 8, Winter 2005, which will be on the theme ‘Activism and Social Movements’.

The relationship between the public and the private has recently risen to the centre of historical debates. With this comes a re-working of the relationship between social, cultural and political theory and redefinitions of Activism. With increasing governmental and educational emphasis on the concept of Citizenship, and at a time when social movements of the past are increasingly being held responsible for social ills of today, now is an apt time to trace how ‘Activism’ has changed over time.

The aim of this issue is to encourage post-graduate and post-doctoral contemporary historians to engage in this debate on political culture. We hope to publish work that reflects a dialogue between political and social or cultural history through a variety of areas in space and time. Suggested subjects are trade unionism, race, gender, sexuality, globalisation, anti-war movements, politics of the academia etc. We encourage submissions on any area connected to the main topic.

Visit the journal to read its 7th issue and all past issues, as well as to consult its submission guidelines at:

Dr. Lucy Robinson is responsible for the issue on ‘Activism and Social Movements’ (

Call for Submissions: 3 Notes and Running

SEPTEMBER 15, 2004:

Michael Bell-Smith and Downhill Battle are seeking submissions for 3 Notes and Runnin', an online music compilation commemorating and protesting The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Case No. 01-00412.

In the case, the court found that NWA violated copyright law when they sampled 3 notes of a guitar riff from Funkadelic's "Get off Your Ass and Jam" for their song "100 Miles and Runnin'".

The ruling reversed a district court finding that because "no reasonable juror, even one familiar with the works of George Clinton, would recognize the source of the sample without having been told of its source", sampling clearance should not be required.

At ...

Hear the guitar riff in question from Funkadelic's "Get off Your Ass and Jam" ...

Hear a sample of the NWA song, "100 Miles and Runnin'", which contains the sample ...

In doing so, the court broke from decades of established sample practice by ruling that all samples, regardless of how heavily manipulated or unrecognizable they may be, are subject either to "clearance" (obtaining permission for use of the sample, usually in exchange for money), or litigation. In an instant, this act made the majority of sample based music illegal. For more, read Why Sample Rights Matter.

To protest this decision, Michael Bell-Smith and Downhill Battle are creating a forum for sample-based musicians and artists to share their own 30 second songs which have been created using only the sample in question. By doing so, we hope to showcase the potential and diversity of sample based music and sound art, and to call into question the relationship between a sample and its use. All entries will be posted on this site as they are received.
Your song must be thirty seconds in length.

Your song must use only the designated two seconds of the intro to Funkadelic's "Get off Your Ass and Jam" as source material. You can slice it, layer it, loop it, stretch it, filter it, smack it up, flip it, and rub it down, but you can't bring any other sounds into the mix.

Download the sample: 1.5 second 44.1 khz 16 bit Aiff 200k

All Entries should be encoded as mp3s and emailed, along with artist name, email or URL, and a brief description / statement to All entries that adhere to the format of the call will be posted to the website.

Participants are encouraged to process the sound in creative, unconventional and excessive manners, stretching the relationship between the finished result and the source material.

(Thanks to Wayne Marshall for submitting this to BTC)

Call for Papers: Gender and the Imagined City

Gender, creativity, transformation: How contemporary European women represent real and virtual cities in order to promote social changes

Friday June 17 2005
Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies
School of Advanced Study
University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU

Call for Papers

This conference seeks to explore ways in which a range of women within Romance and other European cultures actively and richly re-imagine and represent contemporary cities in order to change them. The concept of the imagined or "virtual" city includes digital representations of cities, mediated by the Internet and imagined cities mediated through literature, film and theatre. Therefore the conference seeks contributions from scholars working in arts and humanities disciplines within Romance and European contexts, as well as those researching gender and the Internet. One of its aims is to debate whether links between representation and agency persist in postmodern contexts and how women build or represent such links.

Abstracts for twenty minute papers should be submitted in the form of a 300 word abstract to Margaret Andrews <> by Friday November 12 2004.

Please include contact details plus details of your institutional affiliation where relevant with your submission. Early submissions welcomed. Postgraduate submissions also welcomed. Please indicate postgraduate status with your abstract. Thank you for your interest.

Further enquiries can be made to the IGRS: Email <> Telephone 020 7862 8677 or Margaret Andrews <>

News: Irish Traditional Culture, Cultural Policy

Last Tuesday, 28th September, the Arts Council of Ireland published Towards a Policy for the Traditional Arts. The report is available to download in either Irish (language) or English, and hard copies are also available from Arts Council reception. Further information: Michelle Hoctor, Press and Communications Officer, The Arts Council, Tel 01 6180 235/ 087 856 3070

The press release declares that the report constitutes a significant step forward for the Arts Council in its relationship with the traditional arts. It consists of two parts: the report of the Special Committee on the Traditional Arts, and the Arts Council response to that report.

The Special Committee on the Traditional Arts was established in December 2003 under Section 21 of the Arts Act, 2003. Jerome Hynes, Deputy-Chair of the Arts Council, chaired the five-person Committee. The other members were Philip King, Micheál O hEidhin, Una Ó Murchú and Katie Verling. It was charged with reviewing the structures, supports and policy for traditional arts nationwide, and was asked to make recommendations to the Arts Council by 1 September 2004.

The report outlines 46 recommendations concerning the traditional arts, which have been put forward to the Council by the Special Committee, including a definition of traditional arts; the funding role of the Arts Council; the fostering of the traditional arts; the state promotion of the traditional arts; the need for appropriate staff; television and radio broadcasting; education; performance; Irish language supports, the work of local authorities, Comhaltás Ceoltoiri Éireann and IMRO; career development and professional archiving.

At an early stage, the Special Committee took the decision to publicly invite submissions from interested parties to inform its deliberations. Eighty-seven submissions were received in total, some short letters, others comprehensive documents containing detailed analysis.

Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council, presented the Minister with the report. Speaking at the launch, she said: “The report by the Special Committee was presented to the Council and was warmly received and commended for its constructive approach. The Council has adopted its main policy recommendations. This document, Towards a Policy for the Traditional Arts, therefore provides an important opportunity for the state to begin to embrace and support the traditional arts in a co-ordinated and realistic fashion, and to ensure that this unique expression of our culture is protected and developed. The Arts Council is confident that this document, offers the possibility of a significant improvement in the prospects for the traditional arts in the years ahead. It will act as our road map”.

Speaking at the presentation, Minister O’Donoghue said: “When I became Minister for Arts just over two years ago, one of the first things I became aware of was the ongoing challenge of how the state would most effectively support the traditional arts. I believe this report has the potential to place the traditional arts at the heart of Irish cultural life, nationally and internationally. It is a matter of considerable personal satisfaction for me to see the publication of this document here today. In line with the report, I believe that the Arts Council must now take a more active role in the development and support of the traditional arts. However, it cannot and should not assume the role of sole provider. Rather, it must work to complement the activity that is already taking place”.

The Minister also added: “I will do my utmost to convince my colleagues in Government of the need for additional funding for the arts, to allow the Council to achieve the recommendations outlined in this report. I would like to thank the Special Committee on the Traditional Arts for all their work, its Chairperson Jerome Hynes, the Arts Council and all those who put forward the many public submissions which helped to inform the recommendations of this report”.

Having read the document, it seems like a pretty solid cultural policy document. This is a relief, if not surprising, given the rather turbulent history of cultural policy and 'the traditional arts' in Ireland.

Of particular note was the Government Report written by Labhras O Murchu, Senator and Director-General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE), which was published and then withdrawn. This document was little more than a reproduction of CCE press releases, and failed to include reference to the countless other traditional music organisations in Ireland that operate on a daily basis. It just so happened that the report included recommendations for funding distribution. Initial criticisms of the report, publicly visible in the letters section of the Irish Times in 1999, were opposed and derided vehemently by Senator O Murchu as evidence of a pan-traditional conspiracy against Comhaltas in general and himself in particular.

Of note was the recommendation that a "national State council for the development and promotion of the traditional arts such as native music, song, dance, storytelling, etc." be established, despite widespread opposition to the idea. If Flip-Flop is an appropriate term for either of the candidates in the US elections, it's even more appropriate in this story. Following nation-wide consultation it was stated by the relevant Minister that there would not be a national State for the traditional arts. Most breathed a sigh of relief. Then it was announced, in the absence of further consultation, that such a council would indeed be established. Rumours abounded of behind-the-scenes shenanigans and not-so-subtle power plays.

This current policy document hopefully nails the coffin shut, recommending that there not be a separate council for the 'traditional arts'. Apparently some of the CCE powers that be are unhappy with this, and it has been alleged that two of the five who sat on the working group that produced the document have registered their dissatisfaction with its findings, and indeed, it has been suggested that they have submitted what is becoming known quite ironically, in ways that would make Philip K. Dick squirm, as a 'minority report'.

I acknowledge there are good points to the document. Firstly, it is quite exemplary in its clarity, with little jargon and very specific explanations. In the light of what has gone before it is surprising that an Irish government-sponsored working group might come up with a generally unpartisan and balanced review of the issues, but this seems to be what they have produced.

What I have a problem with is what the working group could do nothing about. As far as I am concerned it is symptomatic and constitutive of the institutionalization, bureaucratization, and professionalization of whatever might be referred to as 'the traditional arts' in Ireland. That's fine, people do what they do, but at the same time it will have further consequences for how people continue to understand the issues involved. For the moment, the document is evidence that the explicitly ideological tide has been temporarily stemmed, and that some sense is possible.

However, more and more those who espouse non-commercial, non-institutional, non-organized, non-bureaucratic viewpoints are being rendered invisible, if not irrelevant to cultural policy discussion, and this isn't only in Ireland. Any attempt to define 'traditional arts' will flounder on account of the variety of meanings and contexts associated with the concept of 'traditional'. As happened with the UNESCO definition of folklore recently, you can end up definining everything and nothing. This isn't quite what happened with this document, but it came close. The main reason for a definition at all in this context is likely to aid the distribution of money when it comes to funding opportunities. That's why the distinctions are 'necessary'. There is no 'truth' established through this act of definition. If that is so, then watch as people adapt what they do to suit the funding requirements when they start being published. It wouldn't be the first time.

Back in 1993, before the 'Celtic Tiger' became part of the Irish National Myth, a book called The Irish Disease declared handout culture to be one of the failings of the Irish character. While I don't work with the concept of 'Irish character', I do think that education into reliance on government funding for 'creative' activity isn't terribly healthy in the long term, even if in the short term it seems like a good idea. If government funding becomes a long shadow over what many refer to 'traditional music' or whatever term you want to use, then the character of how things change may not necessarily be for the better.