Saturday, November 3, 2012

Prisoner of Censorship

"Lately I've Been Leanin' Toward The Blues."

Not really, but in a metaphorical way. It gets kind of sad if, in 2012, roughly 67 years after Hitler's death and after the end of World War II, one thing has not changed one bit. Censorship. It is probably worse now than it was back then.

Granted, nowadays you don't have a Hitler or a Goebbels sit on the top showing you only what they want you to see. Over the years censorship has become more and more secret and hidden, and it will strike you most viciously when you least expect it.

I'm constantly being mocked by YouTube with stuff like:

"This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

"This video contains content from BMG_Rights_Management and EMI, one or more of whom have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

" Unfortunately, this UMG-music-content is not available in Germany because GEMA has not granted the respective music publishing rights."

"This video contains content from SME. It is not available in your country."

Not only is it neigh impossible to watch any Johnny Cash video that is up on YouTube due to aforementioned restrictions in Germany, and despite having pretty much every original CD, MC, DVD and LP of Johnny Cash that is/was availabe in Europe.

It's also impossible to watch a lot of music and comedy from many British entertainers.

And last but not least, you cannot even watch the Sex Pistols song "No One is Innocent" which they recorded with the famous "train robber" Ronnie Biggs in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1978.

"I Hung My Head."

Also metaphorically. It makes me wonder time and again, how record companies and institutions such as GEMA keep blocking videos in various countries, and thus blocking potential new fans of their recording artists past and present.

Here is an example from a real person, namely myself, that occured roughly 2 years ago. Wikileaks was just
getting famous after Julian Assange apparently "raped" 2 swedish women (in their own apartments, including
breakfast and train ticket). So I was finding out everything I possibly could about who this Assange is, what he is doing now and what he used to do in the past. (And I also know rather useless things, such as that he had been held in Wandsworth prison for a while, which is incidentally the same prison a certain train robber escaped from in 1965).

Anyhow, I was going along my way finding out stuff related to Wikileaks and Assange in the winter of 2010, and also came across a FREE (by Author) e-book of "Underground: Hacking, madness and obsession on the electronic frontier" which was co-authored by Assange. A few weeks later, when I was in our bookstore on the lookout for Christmas presents, I saw that book on the shelf, and bought it, despite already having the free e-book version.

If people like something, they'll buy it.

If people don't know about it in the first place due to restrictions in various countries, then record companies
need not wonder about the lack of fame and fortune.

And lastly, to our ubiquitous misfortune, songs and videos of wannabe-singers like Justin Bieber are freely
available, including at their record companies' website. Seriously, THOSE people should be put in Wandsworth and never let out.

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