Nerdcore rapper Dan Bull recorded this Net Neutrality rap today and crowdsourced an excellent video for it in three hours, with the help of his Twitter friends. Read the rest
Nerdcore rapper Dan Bull earns a good living from his Youtube videos, but he is constantly being dragged away from the studio to fight fraudulent copyright claims from major labels, who are able to censor his work with impunity. The video for his 2010 song I'm Not Pissed has been removed ten times by automated, fraudulent claims from the likes of BMG Rights Management and PRS, who face no consequences for lying about their involvement with his work.
In a new song called Fuck Content ID, Bull slams Google's automated Content ID takedown system, documenting his woes at the hands of Big Content, and with Google, who collaborate in a system of copyfraud that neither one seems to care about. Read the rest
Lawrence Lessig and Aaron Swartz (2002). Photo: Rich Gibson CC BY
"My three year old, Tess, putting her arms around my neck, holding me as tight as she possibly could, promising me 'the doctors will put him back together, papa, they will.”
Lawrence Lessig writes exactly one week after the death of his friend and collaborator Aaron Swartz.
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I still dream. It is something that Darrell Issa and Zoe Lofgren are thinking along the same lines. On this anniversary of the success of the campaign to stop SOPA — a campaign which Aaron helped architect — maybe I’m right to be hopeful that even this Congress might do something. We’ll see. Maybe they’ll surprise us. Maybe.
But for now, I need to step away. I apologize for the silence. I am sorry for the replies I will not give. Aaron was wrong about very few things, but he was wrong to take his life. I have to return to mine, and to the amazingly beautiful creatures who are trying to pull me back.
I will always love you, sweet boy. Please find the peace you were seeking. And if you do, please find a way to share that too.
Nerdcore rapper Dan Bull has recorded a moving musical tribute to Aaron Swartz, and produced an accompanying video.
," is about the last Galapagos tortoise to die, "done retro video game stylee."
Copyfighting nerd rapper Dan Bull's latest track is "Bye Bye BPI." He created the video by asking his musician Facebook fans to submit photos of themselves holding messages to the British Phonographic Institute (the UK equivalent of the RIAA or IFPI). Here's Thomas "CommandLine" Gideon commenting on Bull's astonishing production process:
It is astonishing how fast he assembles these videos, from that first call to distributing the lines he wants each person to capture right on through to the finished product. In the case of the subjects this pair of videos cover the volunteer participation really drives the message home that much more, especially considering he got far more offers judging by the number of comments on the original post than he could possible use unless he did something like a single letter per person. The quotes he includes from Stephen Fry, Thom Yorke and Joss Stone, among others, don’t hurt either.
Dan Bull - Bye Bye BPI Read the rest
Copyfighting nerd rapper Dan Bull made an anti-SOPA video. He says:
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Regarding the video:
I first suggested the idea of collaborating on a SOPA track on Twitter a couple of days ago, asking for help with themes and lyrics. After I finished writing the song, I put a post on my Facebook wall asking people to take photographs of themselves presenting lines from the song. The response was phenomenal, and I ended up with far more volunteers than I could include in the video. People from all around the world wanted to share in the creative process, for free, and to me that demonstrates the best of what the internet is about.
As an internet geek, a musician, and a non-evil person, SOPA is abhorrent on three fronts.
Firstly, it threatens the future of the internet, which is something far more valuable both commercially and socially than the entertainment industry ever has been, or ever will be.
Secondly, creativity is all about interpreting and re-imagining what you see and hear around you. The idea that creativity exists in some kind of vacuum, and that you're not a real artist unless you can make something "completely original" is not only stupid, it contradicts the most fundamental axioms of how the universe works. Everything is influenced by something else. If we want a richer cultural landscape, we should embrace remixes, embrace mashups, and embrace sharing, not cling to ideas as pieces of property.
Thirdly, the internet is an amazing new forum for free speech and holding those in power us to account.
Copyfighting rapper Dan Bull's latest track is "Stupid Injunction," a song inspired by the UK's "super injunctions," a process by which wealthy individuals and large companies can get court orders forbidding the disclosure of embarrassing facts about their lives, and forbidding any mention of the injunction's existence at all. The InjunctionSuper Twitter account purports to publish details of the Super Injunctions, most of which involve affairs, exotic sexual activities with prostitutes and sexual harrassment.
The new Bull song coincides with his latest business model: commissioned songs. He writes, "I was thinking about how musicians made money before the record industry came about, and with that in mind I've gone back to the patronage days of old and put myself on eBay. The opening bid was 1p and it's risen phenomenally over the past couple of days. More proof that artists don't need the 'protection' of IP law..."
Stupid Injunction (by Dan Bull) Read the rest
Dan Bull (best known as the British copyfighting rapper behind such ditties as Dear Lily) was inspired by the wrenching trailer for zombie game Dead Island, and so he re-created it using footage from Shaun of the Dead. Says Dan, "Somehow the star Simon Pegg found the video, and got in touch with me to say it's 'the greatest trailer I've ever seen'." I'm inclined to agree!
Shaun of the Dead Island (mashup by Dan Bull)
Kick-ass trailer for zombie game: Dead Island - Boing Boing
Shaun of the Dead re-enacted with knitted dollies - Boing Boing Read the rest
Copyfighting rapper Dan Bull (he of Dear Lily Allen fame) has just released a new track, "Death of ACTA," about the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a privately negotiated super-copyright treaty. He says, "I wrote it after reading about the terrifying implications of ACTA. I want it to raise awareness and make people act directly, by joining lobby groups (eg EFF and ORG) and putting pressure on their political representatives. The video was made on a zero budget, filmed and edited with the voluntary help of friends and colleagues. Directed and produced by Russ Houghton, and filmed at the Golden Hinde in Southwark. I'm an unsigned, unsignable geek rapper and activist, determined to make a living out of my music whilst sharing it all for free. Not sure how that will work yet, but working it out is all part of the fun."
Dan Bull - Death of ACTA
Sunlight for ACTA
Open Rights Group | Take action
Musician's open letter, sung to Peter Mandelson, Britain's Pirate ...
Home Taping is Killing Music: funny video about UK record ...
Musician's open letter, sung to Lily Allen Read the rest
Phil from Don't Disconnect Us sez, "Commissioned by UK ISP TalkTalk, we've been campaigning against the British Government's anti-filesharing proposals which form part of the Digital Economy Bill.
In a nutshell the music industry has been lobbying the UK government saying that filesharing is killing the music industry.
That's why we teamed up with Dan Bull, the musician behind Dear Lily and Dear Mandy, to create our very own music video. 'Home Taping is Killing Music' is a tongue-in-cheek video that features 80s legends Madonna, George Michael and Adam Ant (well, actually it's just a trio of look-alikes) lip-synching to the song Top of the Pops style."
This is some extremely funny stuff -- especially by the time we get to the grand finale and all the other industries at risk ("Home sleeping is killing hotels"). Taking the apocalyptic claims of the record industry about the net at face value is so short-sighted and short-memoried. These Chicken Littles have been telling us that the sky is falling and that they must must must have business-friendly laws and enforcement or the world will end since 1908, when the piano roll was invented. Every time, it just turned out that some of the old guard were going to lose out, and a new guard, who saw how to make a living in the new world, were going to come along to take their place.
Yet here we are in Britain, ready to establish a China-style Great Firewall to block sites the record industry doesn't like, ready to shut whole families off from the information society if one member is accused of copyright violations, ready to sacrifice national technological competitiveness to shore up the doddering relics who don't want to make way for the next generation of entrepreneurs and artists who thrive in a networked world. Read the rest
Sam sez, "An open letter to Lily Allen, explaining the facts around filesharing, sung to the beat of one of her tunes."
I love this -- it's a great mix of compassion, artist's manifesto, and humor. I don't know much about this Dan Bull character, but I like the cut of his jib.
Dan Bull - Dear Lily
Lily Allen's copyright problem - Boing Boing Read the rest