Just to declare my allegiances before I start - I don't know Nick Gutta personally, nor have I had much contact with him online, but I've been reading his blog for a few years now, so I suppose I could be called a fan. Im also fairly neutral on the whole dubstep debate, and know nothing about the politics of the scene - I just enjoy the odd bit of music that comes out of it. So despite being a (pseudo) MP3 blogger myself, I've also been a small part of a few scenes down through the years, so I like to think of myself (deludedly no doubt) as a relatively objective commentator.
Now it would be very easy for me to emulate the positions of Patternloader and Loki recognising Guttas enthusiastic promotion of dubstep and pledging their support - or even many of the contributors to the original thread on the Dubstep forum - who acknowledged that putting up CD quality tracks without permission was a mistake, but generally thought that this is a matter to be handled privately by the parties involved and not one to be broadcast on the internet by self-appointed moral arbiters of the scene.
But this oh-too cosy consensus just isnt for me!
Y'see, something happened inside my cold plastic soul when I was reading through the initial thread and its follow ups... at first I was disgusted by the absolutist stance of the 'anti'-Guttas, which seemed to be a textbook example of the negative aspects of sceneism, as well as being unfair, unwise, and (as someone mentioned on one of the threads) a 'classic case of internet bullshit' , but then, as the days went by, that disgust turned to admiration, respect, inspiration, and, dare I say it - epiphany!
Why the dramatic turnabout you ask? Well, the sight of all these anonymous souljahs of the scene fretting over the 'precedent' set by Gutta's actions and the 'lost income' suffered by the artists involved, not to mention the respect for copyright exemplified by the 'he didn't ask the labels or artists - end of story' stance made me question my preconceptions. After thinking about it for a while, it became obvious to me that those involved weren't just riding the high horse of moral indignation or shit-stirring for the sake of it, but that their words were motivated by something more admirable - a deep and compassionate concern for the intellectual property rights of artists and labels, even at the cost of alienating a man who's probably done more than anyone else to promote their sound.
What can you do but salute such high minded sentiments? I've chosen to honour these fine upstanding members of the dubstep forum by using my own knowledge to further protect the rights of the jungle, reggae and dancehall artists whose work have provided me with so much pleasure over the years.
So how was I to go about pursuing this newly found quest of mine? Well - first stop was obviously myspace - a known hotbed of illegal sampling and casual copyright infringement, and lo and behold, to my horror I found what seemed to be an unauthorised bit of audio on the first page I went to. It would seem that the track 'Honour Kill' featured on this myspace page contains a sample from Amazon II's classic jungle anthem 'Beat Booyaa' originally released on Aphrodite Recordings in 1994.
Now - you might say that sampling is a different story to putting up tracks for downloads - but in reply I'd remind you that there is no room for debate on this issue, that if you don't ask the artist or labels permission when you sample and redistribute their intellectual property, then that's it - end of story - there are no extenuating circumstances or excuses.
Anything else would be pure hypocrisy.
Give Us The Night!
Give Us The Night is an independent volunteer group of professionals within the music industry, campaigning to bring about a change to the licensing laws in Ireland, with particular regard to nightclubs. We formed as a campaign group in September 2004, in response to Garda Síochána proposals recommending the curtailing of nightclub opening hours to 1.30 am from their current 2.30 am curfew. Our instant response resulted in a nationwide print and internet campaign - www.giveusthenight.com - which in only 6 days garnered over 21,000 petitioned signatures supporting our position. It was subsequently ruled in the Dublin District Court on October 1st that the existing 2.30 am time limit for serving alcohol in the city's nightclubs would remain. Currently our campaign is lobbying for sequential closing times between bars, late bars and nightclubs across Ireland and creating debate and logical discussion about licensing laws with a view to bringing in progressive Irish licensing laws for the whole country in the long term. We encourage the public to read our mandate and to join our campaign.
Myself and Slug are playing early at this on Saturday, and if hermits like ourselves can be dragged out for such a cause, then the likes of you who actually go out to gigs on a regular basis ought to turn up in droves!
So if youre going to the Breakage Album launch, or the Rootical Dance, or wherever this Saturday - do yourself (and everybody else in this backwards nation of ours) a favour and come on down to support this beforehand or afterwards. Or even stay all night!
There should be something there to suit everyone's tastes...
I posted this up yonks ago - buts its hidden in the depths of the archives now, so I thought it might be an idea to brush the cobwebs off and add it to the sidebar:
The mixes featured on weareie are produced and distributed in the spirit of promoting interest and further exploration of the music in question, and not for exploitation for profit or personal gain. Weareie does not charge for mixes, makes absolutely no money from its activities, and pays an annual fee for hosting said material. The contributors to weareie are DJs, writers and producers who have spent over a decade promoting the music they love in print, on FM radio and in clubs, and this blog is the logical extension of this process. Furthermore, weareie believes that presenting music in 'mixed' form rather than distributing individual tracks and LP's constitutes a valid 'transformation' from the original material, and, as such does not fall directly under the banner of 'illegal distribution'.
Weareie sympathises with artists who feel they have lost income due to illegal distribution of their work on the internet. If you are an artist whose work has been featured on one of our mixes and you're not happy about it - please feel free to contact us - and If we cant work something out, the offending article will be removed.
So to sum up:
- Our intention is to promote music not to exploit it.
- We do it 'all for the love y'all' and make no profit from this blog.
- The music we distribute is in a 'transformed' state. (sometimes beyond recognition)
- If you still think we're ripping you off - contact us and we'll take down the offending article if necessary.