Keep fighting

January 19, 2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment


Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. Please watch the video below to learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom, then scroll down to take action.

January 18, 2012 at 9:31 am Leave a comment


I’m finding out that a lot of my regular blog readers haven’t picked up that I’ve moved the URL of my personal blog to This blog URL is topic-specific as relative to issues related to Lenz V. Universal.

July 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Copyright suit down under


Men At Work will lose 5% of the royalties from “Down Under” that they’ve earned since 2002 (on, yes, a nearly 30-year old song). The publishing company that sued their record company originally sought 60% of royalties because “Down Under” uses the 70-year-old “campfire song” “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree” as its famous flute refrain.

Apparently use of the tune was fine for 27 years and now it’s not.

EMI plans to appeal the ruling.

BTW: If you go to the source website, you can see the “Down Under” video as well as a group of schoolchildren performing “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.” I’m curious if Larrikin Music will now sue the school and/or the person who uploaded that video to YouTube.

July 7, 2010 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

New Prince interview at the Mirror


[Prince] explains that he decided the album will be released in CD format only in the Mirror. There’ll be no downloads anywhere in the world because of his ongoing battles against internet abuses.

Unlike most other rock stars, he has banned YouTube and iTunes from using any of his music and has even closed down his own official website.

He says: “The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it. “The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. “They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”

July 6, 2010 at 10:07 am Leave a comment

Us & them

Pink Floyd signed with EMI in 1967 and their contract “contained a clause to ‘preserve the artistic integrity of the albums.'” What does this mean forty years later? That you won’t be able to buy their concept albums a song at a time, which EMI wanted to offer via iTunes, Amazon and other music-buying sites.

As the BBC says: “The band largely avoided releasing singles during their career, instead preferring fans to listen to entire albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, which has sold more than 35 million copies around the world.”

The issue of selling individual tracks online has been a thorny one for many artists, who want their albums to be seen as complete works. Bands also receive less money if fans pick and choose tracks instead of buying a full suite of songs.

When I think of certain albums, I think of them as whole pieces, not as individual songs (Tommy, Abbey Road, Dark Side of The Moon, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Nebraska, American Idiot, etc.). For these, when I put them on, I play them straight through. Putting these albums on shuffle illustrates how essential song order and coherence are to the concept album (as well as the concept of “album”).

Of course I like buying songs a la carte and we own a lot of songs that we would never have purchased an album to get b/c the rest of the album is crap. I used to call it “single-filler” in the 80s when I judged whether it was worth my $8 to buy a whole album by whether it had at least three songs I liked on it or it was a Duran Duran album (talk about single-filler; yes Mr. LeBon, I’m looking at you).

In the case of concept albums though, if you spend the money to buy all of a concept album, you’re going to get your money’s worth in my experience. So as much as I enjoy freedom of choice and buying my music as I chose, I have zero problem with Pink Floyd’s concept here. And the choice remains to be able to purchase the music or not. It’s not as though the songs are unavailable for legal purchase. You just need to buy the album. Or don’t. Simple.

It makes me think of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (a remix work if ever there was one; would Campbell’s sue for trademark infringement today? In the 60s, they commissioned a canvas from Warhol). The work itself is 32 individual canvases. Each canvas is its own piece of art yet the concept calls for all of the canvases to be shown together. High art meets pop culture via concept. Mmm mmm good.

Somewhat OT: I’ve heard people ask who buys hard copy CDs anymore. I gave my husband Sweetheart of the Rodeo for Christmas, a kinda-sorta concept album in terms of genre/tone.

March 11, 2010 at 11:14 am 2 comments

A bite of the apple

I just saw a new ad for iPhone. In the ad, a woman uses her iPhone to record her baby’s first steps and then share it with her family and friends:

So let me get this straight: her son learns to walk. She makes a video. She uses this great way to share that video with her family and friends.

Yet it’s implied in some quarters that my doing the exact same thing three years ago (sans iPhone) was some kind of plea of attention, a quest for fame or money, or that I had some other ulterior motive. Truthfully, this was what I did. Holden had learned to walk only days before. I happened to get him dancing on my Kodak Z740 camera (the focus is blown; we need to get a new camera) and I shared it the way I’d always shared videos: on YouTube. That’s all it was, all it ever was.

And now it’s become a story that we’ll get to tell the rest of our lives at birthday parties. It’ll be in my obituary. This simple little 29-second home movie of Holden happy to be mobile enough to race with his sister in the kitchen (something they do just about every night to this day). And now it has over a million hits.


And apparently Apple-icious as well. ;)

March 9, 2010 at 12:11 am Leave a comment

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Stephanie Lenz

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

"Today was very busy. I spent the afternoon at Universal Studios amusement park enjoying their brand-new ride: The Tunnel of Litigation." -Conan O'Brien

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