PCR past banners Now in our fourth calendar year
PCR #183  (Vol. 4, No. 39)  This edition is for the week of September 22--28, 2003.

UFOs I Have Seen -- Part 1
by Will Moriaty
"National Lampoon's Dorm Daze"
by Mike Smith
The Dinosaurs vs The Pirates--a Couch Potato Editorial....The Cure Trilogy DVD and Video
 by Vinnie Blesi
The 9-25 Club....SAG & Oscar News Already!....THE PUNISHER....Mark Wahlberg
 by Ashley Lauren
UFO vs The Creature
 by John Lewis
The Nothing Left To Chance League....Milking It....Congrats....If He's Not back By Wednesday, We Get Clapton....Passing On
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.
   The adventures of a boy and his personal video recorder.

The Dinosaurs vs The Pirates, a Couch Potato editorial
(The opinions expressed here do not represent those of Crazedfanboy.com, and as I don't live in China should be protected under my First amendment rights.)

Recently the Recording Industry, the RIAA, have filed over 200 lawsuits against computer users accused of sharing music and violating copyright laws, including a 12-year-old girl (http://www.technewsworld.com/perl/story/31561.html) sharing Madonna songs. Her mom settled out of court agreeing to pay the greedy record companies $2000 in damages. This is actually the smallest settlement so far, with some college students paying the RIAA up to $12,000. This is my first problem with the blood-sucking leeches called the record industry. If you are going to sue your customers, why not make it a symbolic award, such as signing an affidavit agreeing not to share music and being forced to buy the new Britney Spears CD.

Ever since Napster, the recording industry has probably spent millions, if not billions, of dollars to the other blood-sucking leeches, lawyers, to sue makers of peer-to-peer software, and now, music consumers. If that money had been invested into developing a legal pay system for downloading music we may not be in this situation of people risking going to jail over downloading Madonna.

Baby got sued!As an artist and musician I agree that artists need to get paid for their work, but the biggest criminals around when it comes to ripping off artist royalties are the music industry fat-cats in their ivory towers. Dating back to the days of Jelly Roll (http://www.news.uiuc.edu/gentips/03/06jellyroll.html) artists have had their royalties ripped off repeatedly, with a large majority of these being many Black performers (http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/358.html).

Hiding behind one the worst pieces of legislation ever passed, The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (http://anti-dmca.org/), the RIAA as well as many other companies and organizations (including the Church of Scientology) have used this law to stifle free speech and circumvent due process of law.

One of the few organizations fighting for your privacy rights online is the Electronic Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org/). If you are a user of Kazaa or some other file-sharing network, you can go to the EFF webpage and see if you are being sued or if your personal information had been subpoenaed from your Internet Provider.

The bottom line is the Record Industry is not going to give up the ghost, they make too much money from selling you a CD. How can you buy a DVD, which is a much more advanced technology, for under $15 yet a music CD can cost up to $18?

For anyone looking to download musically "legally" your choices are pretty slim. If you into genre music on Independent labels I highly recommend emusic.com. They even have a free trial for 50 downloads. The music industry's answer to a legal downloading service, Pressplay, is basically a expensive streaming service, that is more a marketing tool to get you to buy the flavor of the month cd's that Clear Channel is cramming down your throat on the radio. Apple has recently launched their music service, which seems fairly popular, but is for Mac users and I believe still too expensive at 99 a song.

If you are going to use Kazaa, I recommend using Kazaa lite ++ version. It allows you to not let other users browse your files and blocks known RIAA ip addresses. Don't look for this on Google, because in a bit of irony, the makers of Kazaa, a piece of software used to illegally download music, have filed a complaint with Google citing the same evil DMCA mentioned above, causing Google to remove links to Kazaa Lite. Check out www.zeropaid.com or www.slyck.com for more info.

The last point I want to make concerns the environmental havoc that CDs will be causing in the future. Go into any used CD store and look through the 99 bin. I guarantee you there is crap in there that no one is going to ever buy and that will end up in our landfills alongside the millions of AOL CDs. Digital downloads would do away with this environmental hazard. The record companies moan about how they lose money on artists that don't sell and that is why they have to charge so much for CDs. Don't make us pay for your bad business decisions. Digital downloads will enable artists to get paid for what people actually download. The record companies currently use an archaic system of fronting bands royalties that they expect the bands to pay back if they don't sell enough CDs.

I feel the file sharing war is just heating up and far from over. The recording industry has pretty made their feelings known that they want you to only buy your music on cd's and not to have the freedom to play music on your computer or mp3 players. Most people I talk to feel like these issues don't affect them. They will when they get sued because their 12 year old downloaded Limp Bizkit, or when in the future you will not be able to record your favorite tv shows or movies anymore, due to poor copyright legislation that is written by lobbying groups supporting the Entertainment Industry monopolies with no concern for the consumer. For more info check out, http://www.boycott-riaa.com/

If you would like to watch a very funny RIAA ad spoof, please email me with your name and a statement that you do not work for the RIAA or their lawyers or affiliates and I will send you a link to view it (this is limited-time offer).

Right now I going to go download some Eminem, because someone that talentless shouldn't be allowed to make so much money.

The Cure "Trilogy" DVD and Video
Cure TrilogyIn November 2002, The Cure recorded their trilogy of dark albums, "Pornography", "Disintegration", and "BloodFlowers", live and in album order over two nights in Berlin. They have now released this wonderful concert on DVD and Video.

The highlight for me is the performance of "Pornography", with the band sounding as good as they ever have. Tight performances highlight the show. The filming and editing is top-notch and recorded in high definition. I think in one of the interviews on the DVD Robert Smith says they used 12 cameras. The sound on the DVD is awesome, especially the Dolby 5.1. Play it loud and you will scare the neighbors.

Other than some interviews with the band, bonus features are lacking on the DVD. I didn't really mind as I wanted the concert footage. This DVD makes up for the release of "The Cure's Greatest Hits" which suffered from some poor video transfer and sub-par sound quality.

If you are a Cure fan this release is a must, with its excellent sound and video quality. Conceptually, playing the 3 albums in order works and really puts the Cure vision into focus.

Coming next week: Finally! It's Television Premiere Week (almost).

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2003 by Vinnie B..  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.