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No "Brain Ripping"

As a self-released artist who has found copies of our album pirated on message forums, newsgroups, and torrent sites, I actually am caught in the middle of this argument – and while I don’t necessarily agree with the writer’s position (presumably) I thought this was pretty well-written and funny. This was passed to me by email without the original writer’s information, so if anyone knows where it came from, let me know so that I can acknowledge the author.

RIAA Declares Using Your Brain to Remember Songs is Criminal Copyright Infringement

On the heels of the RIAA’s recent decision to criminalize consumers who rip songs from albums they’ve purchased to their computers (or iPods), the association has now gone one step further and declared that “remembering songs” using your brain is criminal copyright infringement. “The brain is a recording device,” explained RIAA president Cary Sherman. “The act of listening is an unauthorized act of copying music to that recording device, and the act of recalling or remembering a song is unauthorized playback.”

The RIAA also said it would begin sending letters to tens of millions of consumers thought to be illegally remembering songs, threatening them with lawsuits if they don’t settle with the RIAA by paying monetary damages. “We will aggressively pursue all copyright infringement in order to protect our industry,” said Sherman.

In order to avoid engaging in unauthorized copyright infringement, consumers will now be required to immediately forget everything they’ve just heard — a skill already mastered by U.S. President George Bush. To aid in these memory wiping efforts, the RIAA is teaming up with Big Pharma to include free psychotropic prescription drugs with the purchase of new music albums. Consumers are advised to swallow the pills before listening to the music. The pills — similar to the amphetamines now prescribed for ADHD — block normal cognitive function, allowing consumers to enjoy the music in a more detached state without the risk of accidentally remembering any songs (and thereby violating copyright law).

Consumers caught humming their favorite songs will be charged with a more serious crime: The public performance of a copyrighted song, for which the fines can reach over $250,000 per incident. “Humming, singing and whistling songs will not be tolerated,” said Sherman. “Only listening and forgetting songs is allowed.”

Consumers attempting to circumvent the RIAA’s new memory-wiping technology by actually remembering songs will be charged with felony crimes under provisions of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). The Act, passed in 1998, makes it a felony crime to circumvent copyright protection technologies. The RIAA’s position is that consumers who actually use their brains while listening to music are violating the DMCA. “We would prefer that consumers stop using their brains altogether,” said Sherman.

With this decision, the RIAA now considers approximately 72% of the adult U.S. population to be criminals. Putting them all in prison for copyright infringement would cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $683 billion per year — an amount that would have to be shouldered by the remaining 28% who are not imprisoned. The RIAA believes it could cover the $683 billion tab through royalties on music sales. The problem with that? The 28% remaining adults not in prison don’t buy music albums. That means album sales would plummet to nearly zero, and the U.S. government (which is already deep in debt) would have to borrow money to pay for all the prisons. And where would the borrowed money come from? China, of course: The country where music albums are openly pirated and sold for monetary gain.

When asked whether he really wants 72% of the U.S. population to be imprisoned for ripping music CDs to their own brains, RIAA president Sherman shot back, “You don’t support criminal behavior do you? Every person who illegally remembers a song is a criminal. We can’t have criminal running free on the streets of America. It’s an issue of national security.”

NOTE: This does not yet represent the actual position of the RIAA, although from the way things are going, the association may soon adopt it. Permission is granted to make copies of this story, redistribute it, post it and e-mail it (please provide proper credit and URL) as long as you do not actually remember it because copying to your brain is now strictly prohibited. Any attempts to circumvent the memory-based copyright restrictions on this article will result in your brain imploding, causing such an extreme loss of cognitive function that your only hope for any future career will be running for public office.

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Secret Stash Volume I

Occasionally I will roll out a cool demo track, archive or other interesting tidbit from my musical past. Here’s #1 in the series.

This could have made a very cool bonus track on the Din Within CD, for sure – wish I’d thought of it at the time. It’s an early demo of the song “The Bottom/Between Two Lives” that I put together to show Josh my early concepts. Some of those concepts made it into the final song, some didn’t. And of course, this track is before Josh got all his gooey guitar goodness into the track.

The demo clip (and the “Between Two Lives” part of the song) is based on “Thru the Haze,” a song I actually wrote for a songwriting contest when I was in High School. You can read the “Din Diary” (blog) at DinWithin.com for more details on the song’s creation, but the condensed version of it is this: I radically re-arranged parts of that song, and Josh and I re-orchestrated it and combined it with a song he wrote called “The Bottom” to create the song that made it onto the album.

So, the lyrics used in this demo are the original “Thru the Haze” chorus, which we scrapped and completely re-wrote for “The Bottom/Between Two Lives.” The drums on the clip are my programmed sample drums, and the instruments and vocals are all me. The synth solo was replaced with an amazing guitar solo (by Josh) in the final song. And of course, the song’s overall layout was changed substantially, with new parts that Josh and I composed and produced together, etc.

But you can hear the beginnings of some of the textures we used, and I always find it quite interesting to compare songs with their early demos; you can hear my stamp on the song by listening to the demo, and you can hear Josh’s by comparing it to the released version.

So without further ado: the early demo (circa Feb. 2005) of “The Bottom/Between Two Lives”!

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