@stuartdredge: Meet CISAC’s new president, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus: ‘I’ll be outspoken!’

[Editor Charlie sez:  Great timing for Björn to step up to The MLC!]

CISAC is the global body representing collecting societies. Its last president was Jean-Michel Jarre, and before him it was Robin Gibb from the Bee Gees. Big shoes to fill for its next president, right?

Step forward… Björn Ulvaeus. The co-founder of ABBA will serve a three-year term as president of CISAC, having been elected by a meeting of its General Assembly this week.

He won’t be running the body – that’s director general Gadi Oron‘s job – but Ulvaeus’ role will be to support CISAC’s work around creator rights, royalties and technology in music and other artforms.

“They’ve told me that the presidency is what you make of it. I can give my views, and I can talk about things that I think are important, and maybe there will be some kind of debate. I can reach governments at this level, from CISAC,” Ulvaeus told Music Ally in an interview ahead of the announcement.

“I’ve been given free reign, and I will suspect that they will regret that they gave me free reign, maybe! I’ll be outspoken, I think. I find it very difficult to hold back and be diplomatic and like a politician.”

Read the post on MusicAlly

@bobboilen: The 9:30 Club Is 40 Years Old. It’s Closed. It Matters More Than Ever

In 1980, there were few clubs to see bands, especially regional bands, play their original music. I would know — I was in one of those bands, Tiny Desk Unit. Where I lived, in Washington, D.C, the options you could find if you wanted to hear rock and roll were nearly all bars, not clubs, and what you’d encounter there were bands playing mostly cover tunes, some hoping to sneak in a few originals, often to the dismay of the bar crowd.

Into that environment, 40 years ago this weekend, D.C. got something new: The 9:30 Club opened at the end of May 1980 at 930 F Street in downtown D.C. A line from the 9:30 Club’s typewritten opening announcement will give you a sense of the groundbreaking nature of this day. They called themselves the “first non-disco niteclub to open in downtown D.C. in thirteen years.”

We had little idea of the role clubs would come to play in the development of music and scenes, but from the start, the 9:30 Club wanted to support the blossoming wave of new bands playing original music forming in the wake of the punk and new wave scene.

Read the post on NPR

@ArjunKharpal: Chinese tech giant [and Spotify partner] Tencent reportedly surveilled foreign users of WeChat to help censorship at home

[Editor Charlie sez, what data does Tencent scrape for listeners to the Tibetan Freedom Concert...oh, right, that’s not available.]

Chinese internet giant Tencent has reportedly been surveilling content posted by foreign users on its wildly popular messaging service WeChat in order to help it refine censorship on its platform at home.

WeChat has over 1 billion users globally. It is the most popular messaging app in China and ingrained in daily life, allowing people to do everything from making payments to hailing taxis.

Surveillance and censorship of social media and messaging platforms in China is commonplace. Companies that run such services often remove or block content that is likely to offend Beijing.

But Citizen Lab, a research center that is part of the University of Toronto, said in a report published Thursday, that “documents and images shared among non-China-registered accounts are subject to content surveillance and are used to build up the database WeChat uses to censor China-registered accounts.”

Read the post on CNBC

@TheJusticeDept: California Man Pleads Guilty to Using TikTok/Bytedance for Production of Child Pornography

According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, the defendant’s activities initially came to light in or about March of 2017, when the parents of a then six-year-old discovered that the minor had communicated with and created sexually explicit images at the request of another user on the social media application Musical.ly (now TikTok). Law enforcement investigators subsequently identified this user as Jacob Blanco…. In his interview with law enforcement, Blanco admitted that he communicated with at least 50 minors, an admission confirmed by the communications and images stored on his digital media.

Read the press release on Justice.gov

@columlynch & @RobbieGramer: U.N. Backs Down on Partnership With Chinese Firm [Tencent] for 75th Anniversary

The United Nations has backtracked on a pact with the Chinese telecommunications giant Tencent Holdings to provide videoconferencing and text services for the international organization’s 75th anniversary, following backlash from U.S. officials and lawmakers as well as human rights groups. Critics claim the arrangement rewards a company that has enabled Beijing’s digital surveillance efforts and stifled free speech on the internet in China.

Late last month, the U.N. sparked a political firestorm when it announced plans to enlist the help of the Chinese social media and video game giant to serve as a platform for an online discussion with millions of netizens around the world on the future of the U.N. in the run-up to its 75th anniversary observance. Over the following weeks, U.S. lawmakers and human rights advocates pressed the U.N. to ditch the deal, saying it would tarnish the international organization’s reputation as a champion of free expression and human rights.

Read the post on Foreign Policy

Chad Swiatecki: Red River district pushes city to commit $35M to purchase venue properties

Leaders from the cluster of live music venues along Red River Street have asked the city to dedicate $35 million to purchase venue properties in the area, as part of a larger menu of programs and spending to preserve those businesses in the face of prolonged closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday the Red River Cultural District delivered a six-page policy proposal to members of City Council asking for music venues to be considered for possible immediate relief using money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Other recommendations included streamlined permitting for music venues, completion of long-planned streetscape improvements and improved services for the large homeless population located near the district.

The proposal comes as city staffers are assembling an initial framework for how best to use the $170.8 million the city has available from the CARES Act, which directs recipient governments to use the funds for a combination of emergency response, public health and economic recovery needs.

Read the post on the Austin Monitor

Artist Rights Symposium II: The Internet Archive’s “National Emergency Library” and the Truth About Google Astroturfing Libraries!

[Editor Charlie sez:  In more news from the Goolag, another awesome panel from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business Artist Rights Symposium, this time on the Internet Archive’s “National Emergency Library” with the Anonymous Librarian, John Degen, Jonathan Taplin, Robert Levine, and moderated by Terrica Carrington.]