Proposed handgun ban, more music industry nonsense

So, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has said we would all be safer if handguns were banned. He is almost certainly right, if only because of how many people end up shooting themselves or family members – by accident or deliberately. Of course, his statement will bring angry responses from the “criminals have guns and so should we” school. In aggregate, this doesn’t strike me as a convincing argument. Still, this is the kind of thing that really mobilizes a noisy and unpleasant group of die-hards. Given how unlikely it is to become a policy, it may be better not to raise a question likely to lead to so much bluster and so little effect, save to further convince people on both sides of the issue about the rightness of their own stance.

Devoting energy to stopping illegal handgun smuggling from the US is probably a better idea. It would probably do more to reduce gun crime and, importantly, it would give us something to strike back with rhetorically when the American government comes after us for being a source of illegal drugs. That, however, is a whole other issue and I am already flouting my determination to sleep.

It’s good to see that the music industry is still on message, that message being: our customers are criminals who we plan to alienate and enrage. Frankly, these kind of tactics make me look forward to the day when the whole industry transforms or goes belly up.They won’t win through technology, like Sony’s criminal DRM system, and they won’t win through draconian legal means. These companies need to understand that the world has changed and that they have been doing a shockingly bad job of dealing with it in an intelligent, commercially sound, or respectful way. To quote: “Unauthorised use of lyrics and tablature deprives the songwriter of the ability to make a living, and is no different than stealing.” Alas. This Onion article barely seems like satire anymore: RIAA Bans Telling Friends About Songs.

13 thoughts on “Proposed handgun ban, more music industry nonsense”

  1. As long as there is a market for live music, musical artists will be able to earn money for their talent. Maybe they won’t be able to reduce one hit single and live forever off the royalties, but I would say that it was a technological aberration that they ever could: the product of mass uni-directional media emerging before mass interactive media.

  2. Imagine no possesions,
    I wonder if you can,
    No need for greed or hunger,
    A brotherhood of man,
    Imagine all the people…

    I’d keep going, but they would throw my sorry butt in prison for not paying royalties for use of the lyrics.

  3. “Well, it’s not just the media
    because they are in bed with big business
    It’s not just the government
    because they are led by corporate interests
    It’s just a form of three-way incest!”

    Ember Swift: “Rubber Bullets.”

  4. Anyone remember when we used to believe
    that music was a sacred place
    and not some fucking bank machine?
    Not something you just bought and sold?
    How could we have been so naive?
    Well, I think when all is said and done,
    just cause we were young
    doesn’t mean we were wrong.

    Distorted Perspective

  5. Funny you’re bloggin about that. You’d enjoy the book I’m reading at the moment. “Free Culture” by Lawrence Lessig has some very compelling arguments for more sensible patent/intellectual laws.

  6. Alison,

    During the next few years, in all kinds of areas, we need to deal with the issue of intellectual property. We need to decide when countries can violate the patents of drug firms, either due to short term emergencies like an avian flu or long term ones like AIDS, We need to decide what fair use means, with regards to copyrighted materials, in an age where copying and distribution has become so much easier. We need to decide what to do about patents, which have the serious potential to be exploited and hamper both innovation and the public welfare, while confering underserved monopolies on those who hold them.

  7. ajb,

    Do you have another blog, aside from your most infrequently updated LiveJournal?


  8. Jon Stewart: [regarding the lawsuit against Napster] The judgment marks a key victory for the recording industry, in its aggressive battle against poor high school students and fun.

  9. Since the iTunes store is now selling at least some music without DRM, I will actually consider buying songs there. It is annoying enough to be getting things in AAC format (which is played by many, but not all, portable devices). It is much worse to get songs for which there is no guarantee whatsoever that they will play (a) on any non-Apple devices or (b) even Apple devices made at some point in the indefinite future.

  10. Douglas Adams

    “It’d be like a bunch of rivers, the Amazon and the Mississippi and the Congo asking how the Atlantic Ocean might affect them… and the answer is of course is that they won’t be rivers anymore, just currents in the ocean.”

    —On his response to representatives of the music, publishing and broadcasting industries who asked Douglas at a conference how he thought technological changes will affect them, and hoped his response would be something to the effect of, “not very much”

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