US Supreme Court gives Congress the power to apply US copyrights to foreign-produced works in the public domain; forget about seeing Rear Window in your Intro To Film class

US Supreme Court gives Congress the power to apply US copyrights to foreign-produced works in the public domain; forget about seeing Rear Window in your Intro To Film class

Wired reports that the US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that congress may bestow copyrights to foreign-produced works that had never previously received a copyright in the US. This decision upholds Congress’ decision in 1994 to sign the Berne Convention, an international agreement set up to acknowledge other countries’ copywriting of foreign-produced materials, as well as to uphold US-issued copyrights in foreign countries. Since many foreign-produced works are still under copyright in their native countries, Congress has been granted the right to retroactively apply a copyright in the US to those materials.

This handy map shows the bigger picture across the globe, with European works holding copyrights for the lifetime of the creator plus an additional 70 years. This means that the films of Alfred Hitchcock (who died in 1980 and whose films’ copyrights are mainly held by Universal), for instance, are under copyright until 2050. Stravinsky’s work would be under copyright until 2021, 50 years after his death in 1971.

The ruling by the Supreme Court was in response to Golan v. Holder, a case brought forth by a collective of people who rely on foreign-produced materials previously not covered by copyright, such as educators and orchestras. The ruling significantly eliminates many of the works that these groups rely on for their livelihood and will prevent the general public from benefitting from their presentation, performance, and general availability in public places like libraries and the internet. Urgh!

The court decision came down 6-2 in favor of the plaintiffs, with Justices Alito (!) and Breyer dissenting and Kagen sitting this one out due to the fact that she worked on the case for the Justice Department before being promoted. Instead of keeping existing public domain works available for the public that relies on and benefits from them, the court potentially opened the door allowing congress to legislate copyrights. Since the only people who benefit from copyrights are copyright holders, even when the original producer of the works is long since dead, this ruling is blatantly favoring large corporations who are most likely to hold these copyrights. Despite the fact that the US Constitution says that congress shall define copyrights and patents “… for limited times…”, this is an unfortunate part of a long pattern of dragging out copyrights on recorded audio and video works. Good job, America.

Grouper to showcase Violet Replacement across Europe, offering unbridled sedation for the price of a concert ticket

Oh, the weather outside is… surprisingly mild and free of disastrous winter storms, so why the hell aren’t more American artists choosing to tour their homeland around this time of year? As previously reported, Mount Eerie and Earth just announced a joint European tour that inspires renditions of a certain trademark Al Michaels line, and now, another native of Cascadia, Grouper, a.k.a. Liz Harris, has just announced that she’ll be touring Europe around the same time, in support of a special, non-song-based live performance, Violet Replacement. I’m not sure what it is about the Pacific Northwest during the winter/spring that apparently compels residents (or at least musicians) to journey across oceans, but let’s just be glad they’re choosing life, instead of assisted suicide.

According to FACT, Grouper has been preoccupied with her work on Violet Replacement since the release of her tremendous two-part album A I A (TMT Review) last April. For those fortunate enough to live in the path of her projected daze on this upcoming tour, expect even more ambient submersion than usual; the performance is said to consist of “tape loops, field recordings and submerged atmospherics presented in a set of naturally resonant and specially customised locations…Field recordings, Wurlitzer loops and vocal tracks from her archives are mixed, spliced and processed live from an array of dictaphones and tape player.”

There’s good news for those unfortunate enough to live everywhere else: Violet Replacement is due to be released on CD “early this year,” presumably just prior, or during the tour itself. Ah, sustenance.


02.04.12 - Berlin, Germany - CTM Festival ‘Circular Veil’ *
02.07.12 - Cologne, Germany - Alte Feuerwache ‘Circular Veil’ *
03.02.12 - London, UK - 79 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DY
03.03.12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Mayhem
03.04.12 - Aarhus, Denmark - Spanien 19c
03.06.12 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Gardaskolen
03.07.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Kagalbanan
03.08.12 - Malmo, Sweden - Inkonst
03.10.12 - Moscow, Russia - Aktoviy Zal
03.11.12 - St. Petersburg, Russia - Taiga
03.13.12 - Riga, Latvia - Anglican Church
03.14.12 - Helsinki, Finland - Kuudes Linka %
03.15.12 - Tampere, Finland - Telakka %
03.16.12 - Turku, Finland - Dynamo %
03.17.12 - Ravenna, Italy - Transmissions Festival
03.19.12 - Milan, Italy - Spazio O
03.20.12 - Torino, Italy - Blah Blah
03.22.12 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Rumor Festival
03.23.12 - Paris, France - Gaité Lyrique
03.24.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Recyclart
03.25.12 - Luxembourg City, Luxembourg - Exit 07
03.27.12 - Dublin, Ireland - Unitarian Church
03.28.12 - Reading, UK - South St. Arts #
03.29.12 - Bristol, UK - St. Steven’s Church #
03.30.12 - Birmingham, UK - Vivid
03.31.12 - Nottingham, UK - Nottingham Contemporary #
04.01.12 - Manchester, UK - Islington Mill #

* Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
% Tuunsanuuskat
# Diamond Catalog

• Grouper:

Grouper scores new feature film, casually mentions that you were in her dream last night

I like to imagine Grouper’s music emanating from a burned bungalow on an island in the middle of a river, or perhaps from the site of a spaceship crash in the tundra — sounds that somehow defy music while simultaneously renewing it — so I think it’s rather fitting that she’s scored a film described as “a segmenting journey into the dreams of four neighbors,” a film that will screen in Sundance’s New Frontier category, which highlights experimental films that dissolve conventional artistic divisions.

According to FACT, The Perception of Moving Targets, director Weston Currie’s first feature film, includes material from Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill and A I A (TMT Review) as well as various new recordings. Check out the trailer, and see if you can name the tracks in it.

• Grouper:
• Sundance Film Festival:
The Perception of Moving Targets:

FYI: Tiny Mix Tapes will be participating in tomorrow’s PIPA/SOPA blackout

On January 18, a coordinated 12-hour blackout of websites big (Wikipedia, Reddit) and small (TMT) will be taking place in order to protest and raise awareness about the PROTECT IP and Stop Online Piracy Acts. Head here for more information on the blackout and to see the growing list of participating sites. You can also watch this video for a summary of how both bills threaten the current state of online privacy and freedom of speech.

Our participation in tomorrow’s blackout is not meant as a lecture for our readers, but simply as an act of solidarity with the movement. We encourage you to research the bills during the blackout and do what you can to raise further awareness — Congress votes on PIPA on January 24.

• Strike Against SOPA:
• Redefine:

PAN hosting a festival in London w/ John Wiese, R/S, Eli Keszler, C.C. Hennix, and more. So forget Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza

I’ve attended one summer music festival. I drove eight hours to get there and waited another eight hours just to get into the venue. I paid too much money for mediocre iced coffee every morning. I didn’t shower, and I often found myself squashed against strangers who also hadn’t showered as I tried to scout out places with somewhat decent views of the stages. I missed a great late-night act because I was so damn exhausted.

Judging from FACT’s report, the PAN Festival appears to be a rather different sort of event. Supported by The Wire, the festival will take place January 27-28 at London’s Café OTO, a venue that’s hosted the likes of Tim Hecker, Thurston Moore, Grouper, and Mount Eerie. Instead of suffering painfully humid weather and wandering through crowds in a dehydrated daze, you can curl up with some organic fruit juice or a ginger beer and listen to cosmic noises, haunted drone, electro-acoustic distortion, and deconstructed classical — pieces that blur the very boundaries of music. The lineup highlights PAN’s experimental roster and includes R/S (Peter Rehberg/Marcus Schmickler), John Wiese, Eli Keszler, C.C. Hennix, Werner Durand, and Valerio Tricoli — acts that might not appear in a standard summer festival lineup. You can snag tickets for just Friday or Saturday, or you can pick up a two-day pass.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time that one summer, and I like those festivals just as much as the next music nerd. I’m just not always down to abandon hygiene for four straight days, ya know what I’m sayin’?

• PAN:
• Café OTO:

Megafaun announce tours of Europe and the US; ask them what their favorite board games are!

I’m not going to mention a certain indie-folk artist who’s recently dabbled in electro-orchestral 80s kitsch, because you probably already know that he chilled with Megafaun back in the day (before they were actually Megafaun, but that’s another story). It’s a damn good thing I came across an A.V. Club interview with Phil Cook, because now I can now rattle off a couple of slightly more obscure Megafaun fun facts:

1. Brad Cook sort of digs Top 40 country.
2. Joe Westerlund happens to be a bit of an expert on French minimalism and musique concrète.

I know that’s not much, so I’ll hazard a guess and say they all like mint chocolate chip ice cream and sometimes spend Saturday afternoons playing The Sims. However, I do know for sure that Megafaun has just announced a tour in support of their self-titled LP, which they released back in September on Hometapes. Don’t fret if they’re not playing anywhere close to you, because they’ll be announcing more dates soon. If you get a chance, ask them about their favorite colors and whether or not they like cats.


02.01.12 - Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
02.02.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique Club
02.03.12 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
02.04.12 - Charloi, Belgium - L’ Eden
02.05.12 - Gent, Belgium - Kunstencentrum Vooruit
02.06.12 - Luxembourg - Rock Hall Cafe
02.07.12 - Schorndorf, Germany - Club Manufaktur
02.08.12 - Munich, Germany - Das Provisum
02.09.12 - Madonna, Italy - Bronson
02.11.12 - Senigalliano, Italy - Gratis
02.12.12 - Roma, Italy - Angelo Mai
02.14.12 - Zurich, Switzerland - El Lokal
02.15.12 - Paris, France - Cafe de la Danse
02.16.12 - Nantes, France - Maison de l’Entudiantes
02.17.12 - Rennes, France - Ubu
02.18.12 - Bordeaux, France - Le Rocher de Palmer
02.19.12 - Santander, Spain - Cafe de las Artasz
02.20.12 - Zaragoza, Spain - Lata de Bombilla
02.21.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Sidecar
02.22.12 - Valencia, Spain - Sala Loco
02.23.12 - Madrid, Spain - Club Moby Dick
02.24.12 - Lisbon, Portugal - Music Box

(deep breath)

03.15.12 - Washington, DC - Black Cat #
03.16.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s #
03.17.12 - New York City, NY - Highline Ballroom #
03.18.12 - Boston, MA - Great Scott #
03.21.12 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
03.22.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
03.23.12 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
03.24.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club
03.27.12 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
03.28.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
03.30.12 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
03.31.12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
04.03.12 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord
04.04.12 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
04.05.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
04.06.12 - Tempe, AZ - The Sail Inn
04.07.12 - Santa Fe, NM - Sol Santa Fe
04.10.12 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
04.13.12 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
04.14.12 - Saxapahaw, NC - Haw River Ballroom

# William Tyler

• Megafaun:
• Hometapes: