Yesterday, Vuze released my new, Creative Commons-licensed book The Piracy Crusade in PDF format, along with a few videos of my lectures on the book, as part of a free "bundle" distributed via BitTorrent.
Last week, I gave a talk based on my new book The Piracy Crusade at SF Music Tech Summit. I told the stories of five failed music startups, focusing on the role that intellectual property and anticompetitive behavior by the major labels played in the process for each.
Yesterday, I gave a talk at the EMP Pop Conference, entitled "Why Doesn't the 'Brooklyn Sound' Sound Like Brooklyn?". It's an argument that's been sitting in the back of my mind for a few years, but this was the first time I've actively tried to organize and present it. The basic premise is that the media narrative surrounding the "hipster" bands located in and around Williamsburg – Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, etc. – is a form of sonic whitewashing that doesn't merely reflect but actively legitimizes the gentrifying annexation of Brooklyn by the economic elite, as well as the increasing racial and economic segregation of American cities, and naturalizes the growing gap between the "1%" and the rest of us. Conversely, the relegation of multi-racial and black-led bands such as Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Antibalas (as well as my own band, Brave New Girl) to the category of "retro" effectively consigns black agency and multi-ethnic collaboration to the cultural past.
A few weeks ago, I attended Music Tech Fest, which was a rocking good time. I gave a short reading from my new book The Piracy Crusade, basically alerting the music hackers in attendance about the dismal history of music/tech startups, and the role that copyright law has played in skewing the marketplace. Check it out: