Saturday, February 10, 2007

The good, the bad and the future

Quite simply the good news is that I haven't been hauled into a legal case because of the African Serenades site. The bad news is that I haven't had a chance to let people know what happened. So let me explain.

I posted the site on Sunday 28 January. On Wednesday 31 January I noticed that a number of the links were down. The hosting provider had quarantined the files: "We have received a formal DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice regarding allegedly infringing content hosted on your site."

The complaint had been received by The MCPS-PRS Alliance acting on behalf of one of their members: "There was no WhoIs information available for your site so I went straight to the host of the content. Sorry but the complaint is anonymous and we are merely protecting our members's interests," Mark Taylor, Internet Investigations Officer, MCPS/PRS Anti-Piracy Unit, The MCPS-PRS Alliance, 29-33 Berners St, London W1T 3AB.

I think that the site was a victim of its own success...too much traffic and a mushrooming of interest. So that's it.

Regarding the future I will continue to promote music and provide samples. It is my belief that there has been a seismic shift in the music industry and that a new way of compensating artists is needed. From the feedback I have received to date I don't think that my actions have dented potential sales but have probably increased them.

P.S. A number of missing tracks in the series will be posted this weekend.


Anonymous said...

That' some interesting news there Matt.
It's a pity that the series couldn't be kept available to spread the word, but like you say it was maybe a bit too successful.
I'd agree that you've increased exposure of artists, I bought that Hugh Masekela Chisa CD last month after it being noted on your site - and a great CD it is too!
Chris Ward

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your site and am kicking myself for stopping my downloads to go to bed Tuesday night....

You have great taste and I would love to get the remaining Serenades. I manged to download 20-40 and a few of the others. I am especially saddened about missing 16, 17, 18 and a few of the early ones with interesting mixes of Sudanese & Sahelian music.

Alas do down loads stop the sale of music? I don't know, almost all the CDs I buy are used (to save money). but I have 400+ African CDs, the downloads don't keep me off e-bay, Sterns, Pan African all stars, dustry groove, etc.

PS: do you all need a makossa Serenade? I need to work on one!


Anonymous said...

Without your site would I brave Chicago's winter blasts and make my way down Ashland Avenue to checkout the latest selections at Dusty Groove? I would not know that they existed. Would I purchase CDs of gospel funk or taarab without first getting a taste for them from the downloads and podcasts you make available? Not in my wildest dreams. African Serenades is a great series and I regret that the industry, in trying to chase down the last penny, can not see the benefit sharing creates.
Know Justice, Know Peace

Anonymous said...

A suggestion:

Would future "AS" volumes PLEASE include recording information? I'm researching all of the volumes myself and just discovered that almost ALL of the music on volume 1, for instance, is listed in the Sterns catalog. Not necessarily in stock, but there.

Including this data would not only be more convenient for information obsessives like me, but would make make it easier for people to track down and BUY the music.

Comb & Razor said...

bah... such a shame!

i had expected that the problem was something like this when the links all went down mysteriously. too bad they were all gone by the time i got there!

if i might bother anybody with a request... i really could use an mp3 copy of ET Mensah & the Tempos' version of "Save Me," which was on one of the volumes.

(i have it on vinyl somewhere...)

Anonymous said...

Thanks matsuli and its a shame about the link being taken down. I would also agree, from my pov, your actions have done nothing more than open my ears and stimulated tremendous interest in the incredibly groovy, entertaining and rousing music that africain(e)s have to offer. I find myself doing more research and purchasing tunes based on your selections. Thanks again and keep on rocking!