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Rapp On This

It’s Getting Better

by Paul Rapp August 7, 2013


  Since early 2005, I’ve been popping up here more or less every other week and complaining about something or other having to do with the law, information, and technology. There’s never a lack of things ...

Royalty Pains in the Ass

by Paul Rapp July 25, 2013

  The digital revolution changed everything about the business of music. Suddenly, anybody with time and a little patience can record something and present it to the world. Like, for free. That’s pretty staggering. Why, back ...

Cease and Desist 101

by Paul Rapp June 26, 2013

  One very funny bit blew through the web last week involving a cease and desist letter from the town of West Orange, N.J., trying to wrest the domain name “westorange.info” away from a blogger. The ...

Spying Games

by Paul Rapp June 13, 2013

  ’Spose I have to write about this NSA spying mess, right? I shudder at the thought. I’ve only been following it casually and even the conflicting headlines make my brain hurt. It’s a huge story, ...

Turn It Upside-Down

by Paul Rapp May 29, 2013

  The Internet blowed up real good last week over a dispute between Vermont’s Magic Hat brewery and West Sixth Brewing Company, a small brewery in Lexington, Ky. Seems that about a year ago West Sixth ...


Fair Enough

by Paul Rapp May 2, 2013

Patrick Cariou, Yes Rats, 2000

  The New York Federal Appeals Court released its decision in the Cariou vs. Prince case last week, and it’s a gooder. The case involves famed (or perhaps infamed) appropriation artist Richard Prince’s series of manipulated ...

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Bombing Your Freedom

by Paul Rapp April 17, 2013

Urgh. The events in Boston are gonna further wreck your freedom. Just watch. Last night I was listening to a special program from WBUR about the bombings, featuring listener call-ins. The first call was from ...

Let Them Dance

by Paul Rapp April 4, 2013


When did the City of Albany become culturally moronic? Last December, Albany code enforcement shut down a burlesque show at the Lark Tavern, apparently based on a “tip” from some clean-up-the-neighborhood types. The reason? Well, ...

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Big Media Smackdown

by Paul Rapp March 20, 2013

  I’m happy to report that the U.S. Supreme Court got something right. Some months ago, we talked here about a case before the court involving a Thai student who bought inexpensive English textbooks in Thailand ...

In the Public Interest

by Paul Rapp March 6, 2013

Maybe the most obscene trend of our lifetime is this mania about free markets. It’s part of the racist Tea Party dogma. It’s central to neocon dogma. It’s why we have a sequestration happening in ...


Esperanza’s Boombox

by Paul Rapp February 21, 2013


A week or so ago I got a very agitato e-mail from the proprietor of one of those fine live music clubs in town. He’d just received a nastygram from a purported professional photographer hundreds ...


Baby Got Plagiarized

by Paul Rapp February 7, 2013

A bunch of people have asked me to write about this Jonathan Coulton/Glee thing, so here goes. Those of you who are over, say, 30, have probably never heard of Jonathan Coulton until now. The rest ...

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Sing, Sing, Sing

by Paul Rapp January 24, 2013

The Internet is abuzz at the moment as to whether Beyonce lip-synched the national anthem at the inaugural. I watched it live and was stunned at the performance—it was understated and controlled, and when the ...

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Take It to the Freakin’ Bank

by Paul Rapp December 27, 2012

Holy crap, it’s prediction time again. Looking over last year’s, a couple of purely wistful-thinking predictions came through—that SOPA/PIPA would go down in flames and that Mittens would get nominated and then get pounded in ...

Art of the Steal

by Paul Rapp December 13, 2012

Let’s talk about stealing versus taking. Let’s start with stealing. While walking around Miami’s huge Art Basel fair last week, artist Jason Levesque spotted three paintings that looked familiar. In fact, they were fairly precise ...

Happy “Accident”

by Paul Rapp November 29, 2012

Well, it happened again. Facebook blew up on Monday with a cut-and-paste declaration of “rights” that went seriously viral. It was very similar to something that flew around earlier this year; it boldly proclaimed something ...

Someone Call J. Edgar

by Paul Rapp November 15, 2012

I wasn’t going to write about the Petraeus thing because everybody else is. But since most everyone is missing the most important story here, what the hell. Here we go. A certain amount of familiarity with ...

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You Don’t Own It?

by Paul Rapp November 1, 2012

Several years ago, when the whole e-book thing was just starting, there was a bunch of controversy over what exactly you got when you bought an e-book. In one of those turns of events that ...


Truth in Labeling

by Paul Rapp October 17, 2012

  The mantra for musicians is “Screw the record labels.” Anachronisms, thieves, buffoons. Who needs them? Do it all yourself, you can make three times the money with one-tenth the sales. And it’s sustainable, and oh-so ...

Playing with Amanda

by Paul Rapp October 4, 2012

It’s time to talk, once again, about musician Amanda Palmer. A couple of weeks ago, she posted a notice that she was looking for a couple of musicians to play a couple of songs with ...

The Money Shot

by Paul Rapp September 20, 2012

In recent months there has been a flood of federal copyright infringement lawsuits that are having a severe impact on a lot of innocent people. These lawsuits are a variant on the P2P suits brought ...

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Gone the Way of the Buffalo

by Paul Rapp September 7, 2012

Last week I got an e-mail from a Berkshire Eagle writer who was concerned that my last article could be interpreted as saying that the Eagle ignored the story about the Berkshire blogger being ordered ...

Speaking of Pussy Riot

by Paul Rapp August 23, 2012

Unless you’ve been sequestered under a boulder somewhere, or watch Fox “News” 24/7, you know that the members of the Russian grrrl band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in a Rooskie slammer for ...

The Internet, Alcohol and EDM

by Paul Rapp July 26, 2012

Picking up more or less where we left off last time, talking about why David Lowery is so FoS in his damning of the Internet, tech companies, and the generation of music lovers who don’t ...

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Why David Lowery is Full of Shit

by Paul Rapp July 12, 2012

A few weeks ago a short screed by Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker frontman David Lowery about the music acquisition practices of our youth went seriously viral. A surprising number of Facebook music pals reposted it with ...