29th June, 2011

MusicNSW June 2011

View our June newsletter here

Last night’s budget release saw the Gillard Government focus on jobs, and getting back to a surplus in 2012-2013. While the mentions of contemporary music were few, they’ll deliver good artist-focused outcomes and were well received by the sector.

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View our May newsletter here

One of the most commonly asked questions we get at MusicNSW is about how to get funding – and rightly so, the world of government funding is a bit of a mystery when all you really care about is making music. Next month Arts NSW funding for 2012 closes, so we thought it’d be a good time to take a break from our regular column to give you some tips on how to get a grant. Full Story >

24th February, 2011

MusicNSW February 2011

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22nd December, 2010

MusicNSW December 2010

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28th June, 2010

MusicNSW January 2010

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21st March, 2010

Live from SXSW, Part 1

(On the streets of Austin, Day 1, SXSW 2010)

The cluster of venues, houses, parks, empty lots under bridges, random balcony’s  and every corner that house the thousands of bands and the endless music are between Cesar Chavez and 8th street from Rio Grande street and beyond Red River. There are a few venues outside of this, for example the Levi’s purpose built stage over the east side of the bridge on and the Stout Inn, the Lustre Pearle which is the biggest ‘badge’ only party, and on the other side of town Stubbs is one of the biggest public venues, acts like Sharon Jones, Broken Social Scene, Spoon and I hear Muse is playing there too. It’s all ages too which is really cool for the under 21ers around town. (see photo, this was when Spoon played on Wednesday night).

The streets of Austin are full to the brim with people running to and from gigs, in and out of hotels, or just walking around singing a tune, literally there are hundreds of cats just cruising along singing outloud, sometimes someone joins in but they just keep walkin’ and talkin’. There were even a bunch of kids rockin’ a renegade set up with a collection of mis-matched speakers and what can only be described as an all in jam and a sound that was unlike anything I’ve heard before, think garage punk but in an empty lot and times it by a million.

By the time I fly in, check in and claim my ‘badge’ I stop in at the Trade Show. The Trade Show is one of the least attended things, normally, this year they moved it down to the first level and by the time I got there all state associations and Sounds Australia (who are running the Australian stand) were all scampering about looking for more stuff to give away. So obviously this year was much more effective.

Finally I eat and then the night time gigs are happening, every artist invited to showcase at SXSW gets an official gig, then they do another hundred more during the week. Tomorrow Dappled Cities are doing two shows, for example, one straight after the other. During the day label, magazines, clothing and sound wears all put on random parties enticing people with free shoes, jeans, beers and with free food being the kicker.

Remember the streets I spoke about that create this box of all-the-time music? Well at night, this is a whole new kettle of fish. The streets are packed, there are thousands of people that come to see the music at SXSW, fans of music. They all hang out on 6th street at night. By the time I figured out what was where and who, Pivot had already played to a massive and very attentive crowd at The Phoenix and Darren Hanlon performed at the Velveeta Room.

I found myself in the Beauty Bar Back Yard to see Danielson, a group from the east coast of the states, and an awesome collective of bands I’ve never heard of but will probably go and see again. By the time I got home the 21 hour long day felt like a week and that humble plane that flew me to Austin was all but a distant memory. And the start of SXSW, bearings laid.

In a landmark decision delivered last Thursday, the Federal Court of Australia has held that iiNet, and all Australian ISPs, do not have an obligation to prohibit copyright infringement across their networks. This verdict is regarded to have global implications as it now sets a strong precedent in how courts may deal with ISPs worldwide.

During the 3 month trial industry body AFACT (Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft) argued that iiNet authorised the copyright infringement by not actively preventing its customers from downloading movies via BitTorrent protocols.

In its defence, iiNet argued that it could not be held liable for its customer’s actions, much in the same way as Australia Post is not held liable for the trafficking of illegal substances across its networks. iiNet also stated that, under law, its customers are innocent until proven guilty and it was not the ISP’s duty to judge them.
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New Zealand, the homey island not far from here have announced they will introduce a three strikes and your out policy, aimed at curbing peer to peer file sharing.

Under the proposed legislation, file-swappers would receive three warnings from their Internet service provider to stop their allegedly infringing activity — sent at the behest of copyright holders. If alleged infringement continues, a copyright holder may seek a penalty of up to $15,000 (U.S. $10,650) at a newly-created Copyright Tribunal.

In cases of “serious and continued breaches,” rights holders will be able to take an accused file-swapper to court, and seek to have his or her account suspended for up to six months. It’s not as entirely dire as French three strikes where you can permanently get your internet suspended but Commerce Minister Simon Power said the three-notice procedure was the key to the process.

“The procedure will both educate and warn file-sharers that unauthorised sharing of copyright works is illegal, and in turn stop a large proportion of illegal file sharing. A great deal of work has gone into finding a fair, effective, and credible process for the enforcement of copyright against illegal peer-to-peer file-sharers.”

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