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More Dead recording issues

December 2, 2005

Apparently things aren’t quite as rosy as they appeared yesterday in the ongoing saga of Grateful Dead recordings on the Internet Archive.

Boing Boing: Grateful Dead “reversal” on fan-recordings is a smokescreen

However, it appears that all the talk about “communications SNAFUs” was a smokescreen for a half-assed compromise that leaves the highest-quality recordings available only as streams, meaning that they can no longer be simply downloaded from the Archive and traded on.

The spin on this is bizarre — see below:

He said the band consented to making audience recordings available for download again, although live recordings made directly from concert soundboards, which are the legal property of the Grateful Dead, should only be made available for listening from now on.

What, exactly, is the Grateful Dead’s “legal property?” The media on which the recordings reside? No, those belong to the fans and/or the Internet Archive. Rather, the thing that the Grateful Dead controls is the copyrights in the performances. But they control the copyright in the non-soundboard recordings every bit as much as they control the soundboard recordings.

So much for fast learners…

The Dead – Fast Learners

December 1, 2005

Okay, my faith has been somewhat restored in The Dead — apparently they’re a lot faster learners than most of the record labels —

After the Grateful Dead angered some of its biggest fans by asking a nonprofit Web site to halt the free downloading of its concert recordings, the psychedelic jam band changed its mind Wednesday.

Internet Archive, a site that catalogues content on Web sites, reposted recordings of Grateful Dead concerts for download after the surviving members of the band decided to make them available again.

Band spokesman Dennis McNally said the group was swayed by the backlash from fans, who for decades have freely taped and traded the band’s live performances.

“The Grateful Dead remains as it always has — in favor of tape trading,” McNally said.

He said the band consented to making audience recordings available for download again, although live recordings made directly from concert soundboards, which are the legal property of the Grateful Dead, should only be made available for listening from now on.


Cool ‘nuf; everybody makes mistakes, and it’s nice to know that GDM recognizes a freight train barrelling towards them when they see one.

I’m guessing the best part of this is that a whole lot of new listeners have now been turned on to the live recordings archive.

How to destroy the world’s best fan base

November 30, 2005

Back in the day, the Grateful Dead was the top grossing act in entertainment, year in and year out. They toured 300+ days a year, playing to packed houses all over the world.

Part of their success? They didn’t treat their fans like the enemy.

You want to tape a concert? No problem. In fact, we’ll just open up as many seats as we can for tapers who want to plug into our soundboard, and tape our mix directly. We’ve spent all of this money on great audio equipment, no reason to drag your own mikes along…

You want to share and trade tapes? That’s cool — enjoy!

Going by today’s record label “logic” they should have gone broke over this. Instead, they made money hand over fist, like no other act ever has.

Time moves on.
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Extended Prophet

August 12, 2004

Reason interviews John Perry Barlow, on topics ranging from no longer being permanently 17 to EFF and why lifestyle libertarianism isn’t enough anymore.

John Perry Barlow is one of my favorite people ever.  I liked his lyrics when I first became a Grateful Dead fan back in my teens, and for he last 15 years or so, he’s been one of the few really sensible people out there talking about issues relating to personal freedom and the evolving electronic landscape.  If you’re not familiar with him, then here’s your chance to learn a little more…

(via BoingBoing)

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