Report: No More DLC Releases for Activision Music Games

February 10, 2011 -

You are probably aware of the fact that Activision said it plans to discontinue the Guitar Hero series of music games (and the latest True Crime game), and that it plans to cut 500 employees from its workforce as a result. The company also plans to close at least one studio, but won't publicly say which one is shutting down..

However, what you may not have known is that DLC for games such as DJ Hero and Guitar Hero will soon end as well.

According to a ShackNews report - citing an update to the "Guitar Hero Franchise Update FAQ" - the future of music game DLC is grim. In answer to the question "Are you still going to make new DLC for Guitar/DJ Hero?," the FAQ reads:

7 comments | Read more

Report: Harmonix Slashes 12 - 15 Percent of its Staff

February 8, 2011 -

While details are paper thin at the moment, multiple media outlets (thanks ShackNews) are reporting that Harmonix has laid off 12 - 15 percent of its 250 strong staff. The company says that the downsizing is meant to bring the Rock Band maker in line with its current development plans.

Apparently those development plans don't involve a decent share of its full-time employees. The company is rumored to be working on a 3DS game, but other games being developed at the studio are unknown at this time.

Sources close to the company claim that these layoffs will not affect future projects or current downloadable content plans for Rock Band 3 or Dance Central.

 

This is troubling news, but not completely unexpected. Earlier this year the company regained its independence after being sold to a holding company for a mere $50.

More on this story as it becomes available.

Source: ShackNews

Posted in

Motely Crue's Nikki Sixx Saves Christmas

December 24, 2010 -

Motley Crue co-founder and bassist Nikki Sixx is playing a not-so-secret Santa to children in North Carolina being treated for cancer. On December 10 a 45-year old man robbed the hospice of its console systems and games. When Sixx heard about it he decided that he needed to find a way to help. A radio host now, Sixx reached out to Sony, EA, Disney, Nintendo, and Microsoft to help the children. He also talked about it on his radio program.

Showing that they have souls, all of the companies donated games for the children and replacement consoles. While this might seem like a small thing to you or I, it's a big deal to children who need a distraction when going through the agonies of cancer treatment and recovery.

On a related note, Providence Division Police Department have captured the man that stole the items. The 45-year-old Charles Hinton was taken into custody for the crime on December 18th.

4 comments | Read more

Viacom Dumps Harmonix Music Systems

December 23, 2010 -

On the heels of a lawsuit by ex-Harmonix shareholders against Viacom, the media giant has unloaded the company on Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC, an affiliate of investment firm Columbus Nova, LLC. The company had said in November that it planned to sell Harmonix. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed at press time.

Obviously, Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC is a holding company of some sort, but details on who has an interest in the company besides the investment firm is unknown at this point. Some have reported that Harmonix holds the controlling interest, but that has not been confirmed beyond a vague statement below. A post by Harmonix's John Drake on Rockband.com would lead one to believe that the company has a controlling interest (emphasis ours, not theirs, in the statement below):

Posted in
| Read more

Author Anne B. Ragde Says One Thing, Does Another

December 16, 2010 -

Norwegian author Anne B. Ragde is a staunch advocate of intellectual property rights. As an author, that stance is not very surprising, considering that she makes her living off people paying for the things she writes. She has made her share of strong statements about the subject of piracy too, as highlighted in this excellent story from The Escapist:

"Piracy scares the hell out of me. I do not know what to say. I lose sleep at night over it," she said in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. "I have figured out that I've lost half a million kroner ($72,500) on piracy of my books, maybe more."

12 comments | Read more

Entertainment Industry Trade Groups: Lawsuits Don't Protect Property

December 13, 2010 -

Trade groups including the Recording Industry Association of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Motion Picture Association of America say that currently copyright law gives too many excuses to service providers to do nothing about copyright protection. The statement is part of a response to a Notice of Information on copyright policy issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. A Notice of Information is a request for information from interested parties and anyone else that wants to make comments about a particular issue. That request garnered responses from nine trade groups.

10 comments | Read more

File-Sharing, Copyright & Politics Serve as Muse for UK Musician

October 20, 2010 -

Indie musician Dan Bull isn’t afraid to take on politicians, fellow musicians or difficult subjects (such as file sharing and copyright). His latest music video, set the to the strains of Jay-Z’s Death of Auto-Tune, is entitled Death of ACTA, referring, of course, to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

Full lyrics to the song, featuring lines such as “I'm just a citizen that's teaching you a lesson,
for restricting my freedom of expression, Yes, and deep packet inspection? squeeze that up your rectum, If your postman did that to you you'd be having him sectioned,” can be viewed on TechDirt.

| Read more

Music Industry to Google: What is Unlawful Activity?

August 19, 2010 -

According to Politico’s Morning Tech blog, The RIAA, SoundExchange, BMI, The Recording Academy and nine other music groups have sent a letter to Eric Schmidt (Google's CEO) asking for more clarification on what it considers "lawful and unlawful activity on the Web." The question relates to Google and Verizon's proposals to the government on Net Neutrality which was released last week.

In a letter sent to Google yesterday, the groups asked for a more in-depth definition of activity, especially as it relates to "content rights." Here's an excerpt:

24 comments | Read more

VICE Corners RIAA President for Interview

August 19, 2010 -

The always interesting VICE has an interview up with Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) President Cary Sherman, in which the head of the oft-vilified organization attempts to put a spin on the RIAA’s ever-so-slightly more friendly public face, as it switches from harassing end users to focusing more on ISPs.

In a snappy introduction it was noted that Sherman “is often seen as the face man for an oppressive totalitarian behemoth that can potentially throw you in the slammer and/or fine you into a horrid existence for illegally downloading shining examples of popular culture like “California Gurls” by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg.”

In the piece, entitled Downloading Some Bullshit, Sherman answered a series of questions to the best of his ability.

Some Highlights:

2 comments | Read more

UK Trade Group Proposal Suggest ISPs Pay for File-Sharing

July 15, 2010 -

A trade group representing the music industry in the United Kingdom wants internet service providers in the region to pay a fee to combat piracy. The group, PRS for Music, represents around 65,000 songwriters and publishers and is also comprised of another group - the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society.

The group proposes that ISPs either combat unlicensed media files on their networks or pay a fee to blanket license copyrighted material and offer it to its users. In other words, copyright enforcement becomes the job of ISPs. The organization also suggests an alternative where ISPs could be charged for "blanket licenses" so that they can "determine for themselves how best to capture the raw value of media on networks."

5 comments | Read more

PBS to Air Video Games Live Concert

July 9, 2010 -

On July 31 Public Television Stations around the country will air Video Games Live, the popular concert series that combines classical music scores with tantalizing multimedia presentations. The 90-minute TV special to air on PBS stations will feature orchestrated performances of songs from a wide array of popular videogames such as Halo, Super Mario Bros. and more. Be sure to check your local TV listings for airtimes.

For more info on VGL, check out www.videogameslive.com

Source: Game | Life

Posted in
1 comment

Gamers: Jace Has Your Back

February 19, 2010 -

Jason/Jace Hall has had a long and varied career centered in interactive entertainment, but he’s found yet another new career to try out—recording star.

Hall is putting out an EP entitled Video Games Aren’t Bad For Ya, which as you might imagine, will attempt to put games in a positive light. The EP’s first single is called I Play W.O.W., an unapologetic ode to playing the massively multiplayer online game.

Hall's take on game critics:

When you are told that you are being lazy, or wasting your time, or being anti social – when in fact you have just spent 22 hours working VERY hard with a GROUP of people accomplishing extremely difficult tasks – you want to tell the uninformed person accosting you to F** OFF!

While the song has a certain Weird Al quality to it, it’s all in fun, and Hall is a giant of a man, so we’ll reserve any further judgment. Just go listen to/download a clean version of the song here. Clean and explicit versions are available on iTunes for 99 cents each.

Hall was a co-founder and CEO of Monolith Productions before moving on to become Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Now he is an Executive Producer of the ABC television show V: The Series and star of the Jace Hall Show.

5 comments

Courtney Love Threatens Guitar Hero 5 Lawsuit Over Kurt Cobain Avatar

September 11, 2009 -

Video game blogs and message boards have been debating the appropriateness of Kurt Cobain’s posthumous inclusion as a playable character in the recently released Guitar Hero 5.  Some think it’s a welcome tribute, others find it a bit creepy if not outright distasteful.

But what does Cobain’s widow Courtney Love think?  Well, one needs look no further than her Twitter account:

For the record this Guitar Hero [expletive] is breach of contract on a Bullys part and there will be a proper addressing of this and retraction. WE are going to sue the [expletive] out of Activision we being the Trust the Estate the LLC the various LLCs Cobain Enterprises.

While Love’s main gripe seems to be the appearance of Cobain’s character model and a feature that allows it to perform other artist’s songs, Activision Vice President Tim Riley told The Guardian that she was very cooperative in the creation of the game:

Courtney supplied us with photos and videos. She picked the wardrobe and hairstyle, which turned out to be the 'Teen Spirit' look, then we went back and forth over changes – some subtle, some not so subtle.

Love, for her part, doesn’t seem to agree:

Activision is fulllo f sh*t... i never intended to APPROVE this sh*t, they are doing a recall you can be sure of that… wait til you see what my lovely lawyer has cooked up, i never ever signed off on this.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that surviving Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl are also unhappy with the use of Cobain’s likeness:

While we were aware of Kurt's image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn't know players have the ability to unlock the character.  This feature allows the character to be used with any kind of song the player wants. We urge Activision to do the right thing in 're-locking' Kurt's character so that this won't continue in the future.

Activision defended itself in a statement released Thursday, saying that it “secured the necessary licensing rights from the Cobain estate in a written agreement signed by Courtney Love to use Kurt Cobain’s likeness as a fully playable character in Guitar Hero 5.”

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Senior Correspondent Andrew Eisen

57 comments

Limited Edition Beatles Rock Band Xbox 360 Auction Benefits Doctors Without Borders

September 10, 2009 -

With 84 bids down and seven days of auctioning left as I write this, a limited edition Xbox 360 which celebrates the release of The Beatles Rock Band is selling for $7,400 on Ebay.

The sale of the beautifully customized console will benefit Doctors Without Borders. From the auction listing:

Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison personally selected the charity as the beneficiary of these proceeds.

Kotaku reports that the charitable auction is the first in a series.

If the console auction is too rich for your blood, purchasing the DLC bonus track All You Need is Love on Xbox Live (about $2) will help out Doctors Without Borders as well. All proceeds go to the charity an purchasers will be entered into a context to win one of the limited edition consoles as well as a
Rickenbacker 325 replica guitar controller.
 

14 comments

If a Pirated Song = $80K, What is the Value of a Pirated Game?

July 2, 2009 -

In a recent, highly-publicized court decision, music industry lobbying group the RIAA won an eye-popping $1.92 million verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset (left) of Minnesota. That works out to $80,000 per song for each of the 24 tunes that the 32-year-old mother of four was accused of sharing.

How might such a case work out for someone accused of file-sharing video games?

Not well, according to gamer/attorney Mark Methenitis. In his Law of the Game column on Joystiq

If we assume [the Thomas-Rasset verdict] is allowed to stand, the possible implication is that the individual works that comprise the greater work that is a video game could be each pursued individually. So, for example, if you pirate a copy of Guitar Hero 4, you're not only liable for the piracy of the game, but also the piracy of the 86 included music tracks. So, keeping the value at $80,000 per work, your total bill would be $6.96 million. That's only 116,000 times the $60 retail value of the game...

 

It seems likely that a better balance will need to be struck... Is the solution to make small time, individual piracy the speeding ticket of the 21st century, punished with a stinging slap on the wrist when caught? Perhaps...

As for Jammie Thomas-Rasset, her comment on the verdict was, "Good luck getting it from me." Meanwhile, the RIAA has filed some 30,000 similar lawsuits around the United States.

105 comments

Massachusetts Guv Brags About Guitar Hero

June 25, 2009 -

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) did a little bragging on Guitar Hero at a town hall meeting  in Arlington on Monday night.

Patrick, who lobbied game publishers to relocate to Massachusetts during a West Coast junket in February, was enthusiastic about the state's economic prospects during his talk with citizens, according to Wicked Local Arlington:

This is not your father’s [Route] 128. You know that [video game] ‘Guitar Hero’? That was invented here. It was built here.

Route 128 is well-known as a technology corridor in Massachusetts. Guitar Hero creator Harmonix is based in Cambridge.

2 comments

School Holds Rock Band Fundraiser For Children Who Lost Parents in Rampage

June 2, 2009 -

In April the United States was stunned by the news of a shooting rampage at the offices of the American Civic Association in Binghampton, New York. During the horrific incident 41-year-old Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong killed 13 people and wounded several more before turning his weapon on himself.

Central New York station News 10 reports that children at a local middle school held a Rock Band tournament last Friday to benefit two children who lost both parents in the ACA shooting. The children of victims Marc and Marie Bernard will attend the Maine-Endwell Middle School in the fall. Tom Burkhardt, who organized the fundraiser told News 10:

We learned about these two children that lost both their parents and knew that they were gonna be coming to our school next year. And basically, the teachers and the staff wanted to do something, we were wondering what we could do, and we thought of this.

Local businesses donated prizes for the tournament.

6 comments

Guitar Games Inspire Kids to Try the Real Thing, Says Instructor

May 11, 2009 -

While some critics maintain that there is very little connection between playing a real guitar and tapping out note combos on Rock Band or Guitar Hero, a Pennsylvania music instructor would disagree.

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat interviewed guitar teacher Bo Moore, who claims to have seen a 35% increase in new students over the last two years:

A lot of kids have been getting into [guitar lessons] because of games, especially ‘Guitar Hero. Kids who might never have become interested in learning to play the guitar are now coming to us... The game is a completely different concept from playing a real guitar, but it does help with dexterity in their fingers.

Kids are coming to me wanting to learn to play, which is wonderful... It’s nice that bands like Foghat, the Steve Miller Band and the Rolling Stones are cool again. Kids come here focused and with a game plan.

For guitar players, it’s all about songs like ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama...’ And what’s great about some of those power chords – the garage rock songs – is that they’re relatively easy to play. If that inspires a kid to pick up an instrument, I think it’s great.

27 comments

Vietnam's First Home-grown Game Project Traces History & Culture

March 25, 2009 -

While Vietnamese game developers have been doing contract work for foreign companies for some time, the country's first locally-created game project is now underway.

Thanh Nien News reports that Game Studio South, a subsidiary of VinaGame, is developing Thuan Thien Kiem, a PC title which draws upon the history and culture of Vietnam:

The first 100-percent Vietnamese game is expected to be launched this summer under the title Thuan Thien Kiem, which means “God’s Sword,” a legendary weapon used by Vietnamese King Le Loi in the 14th-15th centuries...

Taking place in the Later Le Dynasty from the mid-15th century to 16th century, Thuan Thien Kiem features content from local folk stories and legends. In the game, players take on the roles of legendary Vietnamese heroes and heroines...

Traditional customs like marriage ceremonies and folk games will also be a part of the game, which aims to give players the background histories of favorite folk songs. The game also details the origins of several rare pieces of music from Vietnam’s past dynasties.

4 comments

British Knife Crime Czar Urges Tax on Violent Video Games

March 10, 2009 -

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's advisor on knife crimes has called for a tax on violent video games, reports the Telegraph.

Richard Taylor (left), whose 10-year-old son Damilola was stabbed to death in 2000 made his comments to to the Brown Government's Home Affairs Committee.

Also coming in for Taylor's criticism were rap music and American cultural influences:

Violent games are “too cheap” and taxes on them should be “very high”, Mr Taylor told MPs.

He told the Home Affairs Committee: “I have young people who I mentor and I see them go up and buy the games and it saddens me that they are being able to have such a negative impact...”

Mr Taylor also told MPs that he was concerned about the content of much rap music.

“It is creating more of a problem because of the language that is used. It is language that, as a father, I would not allow my children to hear. To me, there is a lot of negativity that comes out of this music, especially that which is coming from America.”

Nebraska State Auditor Employs Fuzzy Logic to Zing Gaming Librarians

March 2, 2009 -

Last week GamePolitics reported that some Nebraska librarians were under investigation by State Auditor Mike Foley (R) for - horrors! - purchasing a PlayStation 2 and Rock Band set for use in the library.

Foley's final report on Nebraska's library system is now out, including his findings on the video game issue:

[Library] Commission employees have occasionally provided their own personal game consoles for trainings and demonstrations...

GP: Now that's dedication, a quality that government bureaucracy is so good at beating out of its employees. No good deed, as they say, goes unpunished.

The purchase of gaming equipment is a questionable use of public funds. It is common
knowledge that children enjoy games and toys, so there appears to have been little need to
purchase the games.

GP: Wait - kids like games, so the library shouldn't buy them? Does that mean they should expend their budget on things that people don't like? WTH?

Moreover, none of the games purchased were so complicated or out of the ordinary as to require the Commission to demonstrate their use to library staff and others...

GP: Because absolutely everyone who walks into a Nebraska library - including older librarians - has an innate sense of how to set up and play Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution? Thankfully, the Library Commission defended it employees against the Foley-crats:

Gaming equipment and games have become increasingly popular and in demand resources for library programming and service. The Library Commission purchased game equipment in response to requests from Nebraska librarians for demonstration and instruction. The Library Commission’s actions in acquiring gaming equipment and a few representative games are proper and in accord with the agency’s state statutory mission and its purposes in introducing new technologies, techniques and providing information and instruction in the use of these technologies.
 

GP: Bureaucracy... Grrrr...

Via: Nebraska State Paper

UPDATE: Cornfed Gamer has a terrific report on the situation with lots of additional details.

TV News, State Officials Investigate Rock Band-Playing Librarians... But Weren't They Just Doing Their Job?

February 25, 2009 -

Omaha's Action News 3 is running an exposé on some Nebraska Library Commission employees who posted a video of themselves setting up and playing Rock Band on company time. But did the workers do anything wrong? From the Action News report:

Were some Nebraska state workers paid to play? A video that appeared on YouTube is creating a firestorm of reaction and suggests so...  Employees at the Nebraska Library Commission are accused of wasting [taxpayer money] and then posting video and pictures of the whole thing on line.

Nebraska State Auditor Mike Foley told Action News that a YouTube user spotted the video at left and made a complaint, leading to an investigation by Foley's office. However, Library Commission Director Rob Wagner has backed up his employees:

In a phone interview... Wagner says the workers did nothing wrong. He says the library system is branching out into video games to bring more young people into the libraries. 

GP: While library systems around the country are increasingly adopting video games in an effort to attract teens and stay culturally relevant, that word seems not to have filtered back to either Action News 3 or the Nebraska Auditor General's office.

If libraries are going to offer games like Rock Band, wouldn't it make sense for the employees to at least know how to set them up and be able to explain them to library users?

It's too bad that the local media and the state bureacracy is screwing them over for their efforts at innovation.

28 comments

Stephen Colbert Plays Rock Band Duet with Utah Congressman

February 7, 2009 -

Stephen Colbert and freshman Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) play the Rock Band version of Colbert's own Charlene (I'm Right Behind You).

Chaffetz, who has previously leg-wrestled Colbert, earns a disappointing 24% score for the song's guitar track, while Colbert racks up a perfect score on vocals.

Still, credit to Chaffetz where it's due. How many Congress types would be willing to try Rock Band on national TV?

Via: Layton Shumway, games guru of the Deseret News

UPDATE: Glen Warchol of the Salt Lake Tribune finds Chaffetz's antics "excruciatingly mortifying:"

Is there a[n] information medium that freshman Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz won't exploit?

Besides Twittering and participating in a CNN reality show on life as a rookie congressman, Chaffetz allowed faux political pundit Stephen Colbert to humiliate him in leg wrestling, Rock Band and even subject him to a facial. Warning: Watch at your own risk. It is so excruciatingly mortifying, you may want to crawl under a chair for C[h]affetz.

6 comments

North Dakota's 1st Lady Plays Guitar Hero... Legislators Fail at DDR

February 6, 2009 -

Bismarck's KYFR-5 reports that North Dakota's First Lady Mikey Hoeven (sporting the big hair at left) has played a bit of Guitar Hero. And the wife of Gov. John Hoeven (R) isn't bad at Dance Dance Revolution, either.

News of Mrs. Hoeven's gaming chops leaked during an American Heart Association event at the State Capitol. KYFR reports that legislators who gave DDR a try didn't fare nearly as well as the First Lady:

Sen. Dwight Cook knows a thing or two about North Dakota politics, but there was one thing going on at the capitol today that was over his head.

"It's not easy, it`s not easy at all," Cook says.

The response most legislators had after testing out Dance, Dance Revolution... Unfortunately, legislators weren`t so enthused about the high-tech workout.

"Most of them, I think, are a little shy or shy away from it because of the technology, I think they`re afraid like `Oh is this going to move too fast for me?` And `I can`t do this,`" says [gym teacher Tammi] Doppler...

First Lady Mikey Hoeven was among the top scoring in the political sector. But she admits, she had the upper hand as the concept of the game isn`t new because she`s played Guitar Hero.

11 comments

Red Ring of Zune? 30GB Versions of Microsoft mp3 Player All Fail at Once

December 31, 2008 -

It's not exactly a video game story, but...

Multiple reports are coming in that every 30GB Zune (Microsoft's mp3 player) failed this morning at 2 a.m.

College OTR has this:

Microsoft is just squeezing in under the wire to claim the rights to “weirdest tech story of the year.”Last night at approximately 2 AM, every 30GB Zune model on the planet crashed... The Zunes reset, powered up, then froze on the loading bar screen, and no conventional method of resetting them appears to work.


This is brought to you courtesy of Microsoft, who has been selling a video game console with a nearly 100% fail rate for three years. The Zune situation is all the more disasterous however seeing as all of them failed at the exact same moment, which people have taken to calling 2K9.

From Gizmodo:

Right, so this is a weird one: we're getting tons of reports—tons—about failing Zune 30s. Apparently, the players began freezing at about midnight last night, becoming totally unresponsive and practically useless.

The crisis has been dubbed by Zune users 'Y2K9', due to the apparently synchronized faceplantings across the country... This report is consistently corroborated by literally hundreds of others across the various Zune support and fan forums.

GP: Zune users, jump to comments and tell us what is happening with your player...

64 comments

8-bit Jesus: Christmas Carols Performed in Retro Game Style

December 22, 2008 -

Here's some holiday gaming awesomeness, just in time for December 25th.

GameCyte reports that Doctor Octoroc is offering 18 classic Christmas carols, arranged in 8-bit game style.

The mp3 files are free to download and a physical CD, complete with appropriately retro cover, is available for a mere $15.

Here's the track list. Note the fun that the good doctor had with the titles:

  • We Three Konami
  • 8 Days of Master Robots
  • Ryu, The Red Nosed Ninja
  • We Wish You A Merry Faxanadu
  • Silent Knight Man
  • Carol Of The Belmonts
  • Contraland
  • Little Drummer Nemo
  • Joy To Commando
  • Super Jingle Bros.
  • Bubbles We Have Heard On Bobble
  • What Guardian Is Legend?
  • Deck The Kremlin
  • Icarus! The Angels Sing
  • The Legend Of Noel
  • O Come, All Ye Vampires
  • Kraid, Rest Ye Merry Mother Brain
  • Have Yourself A Final Little Fantasy
7 comments

Oh No You Didn't: Mercs 2 Song Plays as Skins Hold Off Eagles

December 22, 2008 -

Sunday was a tough day for Eagles fans (like yours truly).

The Washington Redskins stymied the Eagles' offense all day long and led 10-3 late in the fourth quarter. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Eagles receiver Reggie Brown was stuffed at the goal line by a pair of Washington defenders.

And what song was blaring over the public address system at Washington's Fedex Field?

Oh No You Didn't.

The Wojahn Brothers tune is the theme for EA's hit Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.

Cinema Blend, which picked up on the use of the Mercs 2 song, reports:

It's a tough song to describe; essentially it's a rap with piano accompaniment and a choir-style chorus. Somehow, all of these strange elements come together into a catchy masterpiece... it's pretty awesome that a song created for a video game's gotten this sort of mainstream attention.

12 comments

Music Industry Gives Up on Suing Consumers, Will Pressure ISPs Instead

December 19, 2008 -

Following years of suing individuals for sharing music on peer-to-peer networks, the music industry has decided to try a new tactic.

They'll try to have your Internet service cut off, instead.

The Wall Street Journal reports that music biz trade group the RIAA will shift its anti-piracy strategy from individuals to ISPs:

The [RIAA] said it plans to try an approach that relies on the cooperation of Internet-service providers. The trade group said it has hashed out preliminary agreements with major ISPs under which it will send an email to the provider when it finds a provider's customers making music available online for others to take.

Depending on the agreement, the ISP will either forward the note to customers, or alert customers that they appear to be uploading music illegally, and ask them to stop. If the customers continue the file-sharing, they will get one or two more emails, perhaps accompanied by slower service from the provider. Finally, the ISP may cut off their access altogether.

According to the WSJ, the RIAA has filed some 35,000 lawsuits against private citizens since 2002. Despite the shift in strategy, the organization says it plans to continue with those suits already in progess.

39 comments

Harvard Law School vs. RIAA ...Fight!!

December 15, 2008 -

A team from Harvard Law School will square off against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today in a Rhode Island Federal Court, according to a Harvard Law press release.

Prof. Charles Nesson (left) and a group of law students have taken up the case of Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University grad student targeted by the RIAA. Alleging that Joel file-shared seven songs as a teenager, the RIAA is seeking more than one million dollars from Tenenbaum family. Odly enough, if the same music was purchased on iTunes, the total value would be all of $6.93.

Matt Sanchez, one of law students assisting Prof. Nesson, said:

The basic rules of evidence suggest that this invasion of privacy is both unnecessary and absurd. This hearing isn’t only about Joel’s parents.  It’s also about finally putting up a fight against the recording industry’s intimidation practices.

An except from a case document filed by the Harvard team explains their position:

The [RIAA] is in the process of bringing to bear upon the defendant, Joel Tenenbaum, the full might of its lobbying influence and litigating power. Joel Tenenbaum was a teenager at the time of the alleged copyright infringements, in every way representative of his born-digital generation. The plaintiffs and the RIAA are seeking to punish him beyond any rational measure of the damage he allegedly caused.

 

They do this, not for the purpose of recovering compensation for actual damage caused by Joel’s individual action, nor for the primary purpose of deterring him from further copyright infringement, but for the ulterior purpose of creating an urban legend so frightening to children using computers, and so frightening to parents and teachers of students using computers, that they will somehow reverse the tide of the digital future

Check out Harvard Law's CyberOne blog for more info. There is also a Facebook group in support of Joel Tenenbaum.

GP: While not a video game story, Harvard Law's legal battle against the RIAA's IP ham-handed enforcement tactics have implications for game consumers as well.

26 comments

Coldplay Video Contest Entry Touts Educational Value of Games

December 2, 2008 -

Best-selling band Coldplay has been running a contest which challenges fans to create a video accompaniment to its tune Lost.

Among those submitting entries is education software-oriented website GamingKrib.

While their contest video is essentially a commercial for their business, it also pulls in some fascinating quotes and stats regarding how young people relate to digital tech, gaming and education.

 

7 comments

Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you feel about microtransactions in $60 video games?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MattsworknameAndrew: SOrry I didnt get back, i went to bed before I saw your post. The Producer is listed as Arbitor36508/27/2015 - 6:06pm
Andrew EisenNope.08/27/2015 - 4:17pm
ZippyDSMleeDid you guys cover Fatal Frame 5 being nintendo Eshop only?08/27/2015 - 3:55pm
Big Perm120 bucks for a tetanus shot. Thanks Obama08/27/2015 - 3:01pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Of course they do. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. Hell, Quiet's already been cosplayed quite a bit.08/27/2015 - 1:25pm
Big PermThere's been some pretty good Kill La Kill cosplay08/27/2015 - 12:56pm
Matthew WilsonI saw someone cosplay as the main charector from kill la kill last year at pax, so people do it.....08/27/2015 - 12:55pm
Andrew EisenPerm - Well yeah, Kojima himself said something along the lines of "Cosplay this, I dare you! No, seriously. Please cosplay this!" I was just wondering if there was an in-universe explanation.08/27/2015 - 12:45pm
Andrew EisenCheck out last week's story on The State of Play book for an updated cover and a list of all the authors and their essay titles! http://gamepolitics.com/2015/08/21/state-play-looks-current-state-video-games08/27/2015 - 12:44pm
Big PermI figured it was because titties are awesome08/27/2015 - 12:37pm
Andrew EisenI'm still waiting to see if any reviews spill the beans on the story reasons behind Quiet's goofy getup in Metal Gear Solid 508/27/2015 - 12:33pm
ZippyDSMleeHave you seen what the Deva wrestlers wear? Now lets get all that Japan only DLC for DOA over here, and DOA Volly ball,ect let the whining commence!08/27/2015 - 12:18pm
Matthew Wilsonsuprisingly, there has not been the negative reaction I was expecting.08/27/2015 - 12:13pm
Andrew EisenWe should devote a segment to R. Mika's costume on the podcast. It'll be great!08/27/2015 - 11:40am
Andrew EisenMatt - So... who is the producer of the video you linked?08/27/2015 - 11:15am
ZippyDSMleeAnd its not as bad as rumble roses :P08/27/2015 - 11:14am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I dunno wrestling is about spectacle nd bad costumes are part and parcel of it..08/27/2015 - 11:13am
Big PermThis costume is amazing. Praise it08/27/2015 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightOh wow. This costume is obnoxious. Why? The character and moves are cool but man that costume. Ugh. http://kotaku.com/r-mika-and-her-ridiculous-outfit-join-street-fighter-v-172692528208/27/2015 - 10:56am
Big PermHe leveled up08/27/2015 - 8:24am

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician