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Linked List

AI-Produced Music Raises Copyright Questions

Dani Deahl, writing at The Verge:

AI is capable of making music, but does that make AI an artist? As AI begins to reshape how music is made, our legal systems are going to be confronted with some messy questions regarding authorship. Do AI algorithms create their own work, or is it the humans behind them? What happens if AI software trained solely on Beyoncé creates a track that sounds just like her? “I won’t mince words,” says Jonathan Bailey, CTO of iZotope. “This is a total legal clusterfuck.”

I’m filing this article in the “things I wasn’t even thinking about earlier but now can’t stop” folder.

Amazon and Google Launch Ad-Based ‘Free’ Music Tiers

Amazon:

And so, beginning today, customers in the U.S. who do not yet have a Prime membership or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited will now be able to listen to an ad-supported selection of top playlists and stations for free with Amazon Music on compatible Alexa-enabled devices.

Google:

Listening to music on your Google Home speaker right out-of-the-box seems too good to be true, right? It’s not! Starting today, YouTube Music is offering a free, ad-supported experience on Google Home speakers (or other Google Assistant-powered speakers).

Nortre-Dame Cathedral on Fire

The New York Times:

Notre-Dame cathedral, the iconic symbol of the beauty and history of Paris, was scarred by an extensive fire on Monday evening that caused part of its delicate spire to collapse, bruised the Parisian skies with smoke and further disheartened a city already back on its heels after weeks of violent protests.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, said André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, and officials added that no one had been killed or wounded in the blaze. But even three hours after the fire began, the authorities were still scrambling to contain it — and warned that they were not certain they would be able to.

Disney Announces New Streaming Service

Peter Kafka, writing at Recode:

Disney+ will launch in the US on November 12, for $7 a month. It will have a very large library of old Disney movies and TV shows — crucially, including titles from its Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars catalog — along with new movies and series made exclusively for the streaming service. It won’t have any ads. And it will allow subscribers to download all of that stuff, and watch it offline, whenever they want.

So much new TV. I’m already looking forward to The Sandlot series.

Event Horizon Telescope Captures First-Ever Black Hole Image

The Washington Post:

The image was produced by the Event Horizon Telescope, a network of 10 radio telescopes spread across the planet and functioning as if it were a single receiver, one tuned to high-frequency radio waves. It represents a technical triumph for the scientists involved, and inaugurates a new era in the study of black holes, galaxy formation, and the laws of physics under extreme conditions.

The M87 black hole appears as a dark shadow within a doughnut-like ring of hot, glowing material.

I thought this video about the black hole was fantastic.

New Study Finds Digital Music Streaming Has Led to Increase in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Jay Gabler, writing at The Current:

[A]ccording to a new study from European researchers. Today’s recording industry might not put as much trash in landfills, but streaming music has actually increased greenhouse gas emissions. It turns out that it takes way more energy to store and stream music than it took to manufacture and distribute hard copies…which may seem crazy, but think about how often you have to recharge your phone.

That’s not to say the old days were all that great for the environment either. Vinyl production peaked in 1977, using 58 million kilograms of plastic. CD production peaked 23 years later, in 2000, and that required 61 million kilograms of plastic. All that plastic production, though, resulted in only about half as much greenhouse gas emission as streaming causes today.

Oh, fun.

YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant

Mark Bergen, writing for Bloomberg:

Wojcicki and her deputies know this. In recent years, scores of people inside YouTube and Google, its owner, raised concerns about the mass of false, incendiary and toxic content that the world’s largest video site surfaced and spread. One employee wanted to flag troubling videos, which fell just short of the hate speech rules, and stop recommending them to viewers. Another wanted to track these videos in a spreadsheet to chart their popularity. A third, fretful of the spread of “alt-right” video bloggers, created an internal vertical that showed just how popular they were. Each time they got the same basic response: Don’t rock the boat.

Alex Gaskarth Enters Baltimore Beer Scene With Full Tilt Brewing

Libby Solomon, writing at The Baltimore Sun:

All Time Low singer and Dulaney High School graduate Alex Gaskarth is entering Baltimore’s nightlife business with an investment in Full Tilt Brewing.

The craft brewery, which has been brewing beer for six years, opened its own location for the first time this year on York Road in Govans, in part thanks to Gaskarth, said Full Tilt co-founder Nick Fertig. […]

The 6,000-square-foot taproom and brewery at 5604 York Road in Govans, less than a mile from the county line, is full of what Fertig said are unique touches — arcade games, graffiti on the wall, a shuffleboard and garage doors that can roll up in the warmer months to let in fresh air.

Zane Lowe on Why Apple Music Is ‘In the Storytelling Business’

Zane Lowe sat down with Music Business Worldwide to talk about Apple Music and various other topics:

Well the artist, first and foremost, has to create an environment which offers a 360 degree creative experience for fans before we even think about how to collaborate with that [and] help them build their story.

An artist like Billie Eilish thinks in sounds, she thinks in colors, she thinks in visuals, she thinks in collaborations, she thinks in all kinds of different forms of creativity. When you’re dealing with an artist like that, it opens all these other areas that you can help build things around.

Music Labels Sue Charter, Complain That High Internet Speeds Fuel Piracy

Jon Brodkin, writing at Ars Technica:

The music industry is suing Charter Communications, claiming that the cable Internet provider profits from music piracy by failing to terminate the accounts of subscribers who illegally download copyrighted songs. The lawsuit also complains that Charter helps its subscribers pirate music by selling packages with higher Internet speeds.

While the act of providing higher Internet speeds clearly isn’t a violation of any law, ISPs can be held liable for their users’ copyright infringement if the ISPs repeatedly fail to disconnect repeat infringers.

‘Parks and Rec’ Cast Reunites for Ten Year Anniversary

The cast of Parks and Recreation reunited for the show’s ten year anniversary last night:

“The show had an argument to make,” Schur said. “The argument was about teamwork and friendship and positivity, being optimistic and not getting cynical and believing that people can do good and believing in the power of public service and believing that if you work hard and you put your head down and believe in the people around you who are part of your team, that good things are possible. That you’ll achieve the things you want to achieve, and I don’t feel like we left anything on the table. I feel like the show sort of made its argument. And we also — maybe this was like a preventative measure or something — we did jump ahead to the year, like, 2074.”

Instagram Is the Internet’s New Home for Hate

Taylor Lorenz, writing at The Atlantic:

Instagram is teeming with these conspiracy theories, viral misinformation, and extremist memes, all daisy-chained together via a network of accounts with incredible algorithmic reach and millions of collective followers—many of whom, like Alex, are very young. These accounts intersperse TikTok videos and nostalgia memes with anti-vaccination rhetoric, conspiracy theories about George Soros and the Clinton family, and jokes about killing women, Jews, Muslims, and liberals.

New Hayley Williams Interview

Cariann Bradley, writing at L’odet:

I told Zac that if all three of us feel good about it, we do it. In moving forward, if the three of us are happy, then we will just do whatever we want to do. If that means collaborating with each other, bringing other friends in to collaborate — there are seven band members when we tour. We’re all friends and we all make music in different parts, together. So I feel like, yes, I want to be in Paramore. I never want to have to put out a press release that says we’re over or that I quit or that we’re taking a hiatus, which is essentially a marketing ploy these days. I would rather it just be. It just is a part of each of our DNA. If we choose to move into it as a brand and put a name on these songs and make a new t-shirt, then awesome. But I’ve been in a band with them since I was 12; I don’t think the band is going anywhere. As long as we’re friends, the band just is. It’s just in us.

This whole interview is fantastic.

Inside Garageband

Amy Wang, writing at Rolling Stone:

Patrick Stump was livid. On a lurching tour bus rigged with a wobbly Jenga tower of recording equipment, the singer and Fall Out Boy frontman had been trying to lay down demos for the band’s second album — it’d been hours, fiddling with rubber cords and finicky software — and nothing was working well together. Stump can still precisely recall the panic in the moment he finally finished the rough sketch of a song only to see the whole apparatus glitch and crash on his computer. “I just lost it, screaming in the back of a bus,” Stump tells Rolling Stone, a decade and a half later. “When you’re being creative, you just want to get your idea out. When you’re composing, time is everything, because you’re thinking the second guitar has to do this and the background vocals are going to do this and you just want to get it all out as quickly as possible. I thought: I’m not going to be able to do this.”

Madly clicking around on his laptop in search of a new route, Stump happened to open one of its pre-loaded programs. While he’d heard of Garageband, a piece of free software shipped with all Mac computers, he’d thought it was more toy than tool — and no one else was giving it much attention then, in the early 2000s. “But I opened it that first time and never looked back,” says Stump, who talks about the software with a particular fondness, as if remembering his meeting with an old friend. “I just started recording, without having to learn a new program, which was always one of the scariest things about music.”

I really enjoyed this article looking at the 15-year history of Garageband.

Fall Out Boy Is Sued for Overuse of Llama Puppets in Videos, Marketing

Jonathan Stempel, writing at Reuters:

Fall Out Boy was sued on Friday by a stuffed animal company that accused the rock band of illegally exploiting the wearable, life-sized llama puppets it made for a music video by featuring them in other videos, a tour and an extended-play album.

In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, seeking damages its lawyer said could reach millions of dollars, Furry Puppet Studio Inc said Fall Out Boy did not have permission to use the puppets anywhere other than its 2017 video for its song “Young and Menace.”

Now that’s a title I never expected I’d write.

MySpace Says It Lost Years of User-Uploaded Music

Shannon Van Sant, writing at NPR:

MySpace — the once-dominant social media platform that was largely subsumed by Facebook — may have lost a decade’s worth of music uploaded by users, the company says. […] According to several media reports, it posted a message on its site recently reading, “As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Spotify, Google, Pandora, Amazon Go to U.S. Appeals Court to Overturn Royalty Increase

Jem Aswad and Chris Willman, writing at Variety:

Spotify, Google, Pandora and Amazon have teamed up to appeal a controversial ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that, if it goes through, would increase payouts to songwriters by 44%, Variety has learned. […] Sources say that Apple Music is alone among the major streaming services in not planning to appeal — as confirmed by songwriters’ orgs rushing to heap praise on Apple while condemning the seemingly unified front of the other digital companies.

Keith Buckley Talks About Upcoming The Damned Things Album

Keith Buckley talked with Alt Press about the upcoming The Damned Things album:

“There were so many different personalities rearing their head on our last record; it was like we were all trying to represent the bands from which we came, and it ended up not being loyal to any of them,” he continues. “It was a strange mix of styles, and at the time, I appreciated it because I was working with geniuses and icons, but having sat on that album for 10 years, and with it just being Andy, Joe, Scott and I this time around, we’ve come out with something that feels like the stuff [we] should’ve been writing in the first place. This is rawer, less polished and less self-aware than last time. High Crimes is fun music with a cool attitude to it.”