Archive for October, 2008

Made Me Cry – Illusions

MTV launched a website with a lot of videos – http://www.mtvmusic.com. Until now i would watch videos on YouTube and quite often i’d get the “unavailable” error, because MTV would request YouTube to remove content for funny copyright reasons. Hopefully there will less of that crap now. (Now, if only Flash was True Free Software…)

As i opened mtvmusic.com for the first time, i was very pleasantly surprised by the videos at the top. Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” is an obvious joke—”Rickrolling” lovers must have quickly caught on to the new website. And Britney at the top is the exception rather than the rule. The rest, however, is pure classic bliss: “Once in a Lifetime”, “Legs”, “Take On Me”, “Money for Nothing”, and the one that just had to make me cry: “Under Pressure”.

One disappointing thing is that only seems to include video clips and not other MTV classics, such as the Unplugged concerts. You can still watch the whole of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam Unplugged sessions on YouTube, though.

And why is this post called “Illusions”? Because if you open an account there, you’ll have to sign an agreement saying that you allow MTV “to edit, mix, combine, merge, distort, superimpose, create or add special effects, illusions and/or other material to or of all or any portion of your User Content”. If they allow me to watch Yo La Tengo’s “Sugarcube” in exchange, i don’t mind letting them use my content in illusions.

Proto-DRM, part 2

…OK, i wrote the previous entry before reading the whole of the Britannica article. Well, further into it appears a harsher “rights manager”:

The next important dictionary to be published was an English–French one by John (or Jehan) Palsgrave in 1530 [...] and a letter has survived showing that he arranged with his printer that no copy should be sold without his permission, lest his proffit by teaching the Frenche tonge myght be mynished by the sale of the same to suche persons as, besids hym, wern disposed to studye the sayd tongue.

Proto-DRM

From the article “dictionary” in Encyclopedia Britannica online – my emphasis:

The corporation records of Boston, Lincolnshire, have the following entry for the year 1578: That a dictionarye shall be bought for the scollers of the Free Scoole, and the same boke to be tyed in a cheyne, and set upon a deske in the scoole, whereunto any scoller may have accesse, as occasion shall serve.

Notice that the town hall or something similar cares about the education of the children that grow and orders to get them all a dictionary, so they may have accesse to it, but to tye it in cheyne.

This is not really the same kind of rights management as the modern DRM, because it isn’t done to prevent copying, but probably to prevent the stealing of the physical book, which is understandable. But it is funny to see that it is tied to a chain whereunto any schooler may have access, much like in the title of the excellent soviet movie “Welcome, or No Trespassing“.

Crime

I am familiar with only one Israeli media personality who openly professes right-wing opinions on a publicly funded station: Dudu Elharar.

Well, Dudu Elharar’s program is being closed. He blames Galey Tzahal for shutting him down for his views and says that this is the second biggest crime after the Disengagement. They don’t like the Disengagement comparison, but mildly admit that his views were not exactly their cup of tea.

No more right-wing politics in public Israeli media, then.

Reality – Women Singing

sinners only

sinners only

Some food products in Israel carry the mark “Kosher Dairy (Gentile powdered milk)” (אבקת חלב נוכרי). This means that the kashruth supervisor of the factory that produces this food considers it kosher, but duly warns practicing Jews who adopted stricter dietary laws for themselves and don’t eat powdered milk which was prepared by non-Jews. Most secular Israelis hardly know what it means—if they notice it at all—, and some laugh at it, but for some religious Israelis it is quite important. Some practicing kosher Jews are not strict, others adopt strictures for themselves.

Now this came to music, too. Some religious Jews avoid listening to the singing of women, because it is considered non-modest, due to the saying from the Talmud “a voice in a women is shame” (Brachot 24). Rabbis argue about the meaning of it. A tiny minority are so strict that they completely forbid listening to a woman’s voice (except one’s own wife). Many forbid listening to a woman’s singing; some of them argue that listening to recorded woman’s singing is allowed. Some rabbis allow listening to a woman singing as long as the woman and the song are modest.

This is the first time that i saw a CD marked this way. It was sold by a vendor of Jewish traditional music in Jerusalem, who added the sticker himself, knowing that some of his customers may dislike woman singing.

It is good that it is done voluntarily. I hope that the kashruth of music won’t become obnoxious, corrupt and commercialized, like that of food.



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