Cover Songs – Copyright Infringement?

Following YouTubers really closely, ever wondered how their videos never got taken down from YouTube for singing covers? Or even getting sued for selling covers? It definitely plagued my mind for a bit and then I finally got out of my procrastination mode and searched for answers.

First, what is a cover song? Simply put, it is a song which is not owned and written by you and you perform or record it. You are doing a cover of a famous song! In order to cover the song without getting sued, a certain payment has to be made.

A cover song is the everyday term for a song that is being performed or recorded by a different artist(s) than the one that wrote it or the one that first made it famous… According to the law, once a song subject to U.S. Copyright has been recorded and distributed publicly, anyone can obtain a license and record the song, and pay statutory royalty rates. –Sue Basko

Sue Basko, an expert lawyer in the musics and creative businesses in California and Illinois wrote a full detailed post on cover songs. It finally opened up my understanding on the laws. If you want to record ans sell your songs you need a license called ‘mechanical license’.

A mechanical license is the compulsory license that allows you to record and sell someone else’s song in the U.S., and in exchange you pay royalties to the songwriter at statutory rates, which is 9.1 cents per copy for songs 5 minutes and less. For songs longer than 5 minutes, it is 1.75 cents per minute, rounded up. – Sue Basko

As far as I know, some of the local artists may not even have bought license to cover the songs. As long as they put a disclaimer (and maybe not get any money from it), I guess it could be possible that they will allow the musicians to cover the song or maybe they are just lucky for now.

Life Feature: Gardiner Sisters

I have always been a fan of music that gives the chills and goosebumps! The ones that grabs my attention are the harmonies and those belters. I came across a group of girls who gave me chills when they did their own rendition of ‘Only Hope’ by Switchfoot / Mandy Moore for the film A Walk To Remember. Those girls are…. (DRUM ROLL PLEASE)


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Gardiner sisters are sisters(obviously…), Hailey, Allie and Mandi Gardiner. They are the main people in this channel but they have special appearances with their younger sisters Lindsay and Abby. They are very down to earth people and their quirky, entertaining personality keeps me laughing throughout the whole video. They have a separate channel to upload their vlogs – video logs.

People always wonder if artists have a terrible personality and they are just faking it in front of camera. The interesting thing about independent artists are they do not have such restrictions on their image so you can usually find them doing silly things as the camera keeps rolling. They would even do bloopers videos for us to see. Independent artists rely on these videos to connect them with their fans and give something back to them.

I tend to appreciate more of the independent artists because of the originality and they are quite easy to connect. I would say that the local artists are like super heroes and we should help support the arts. They are more normal and they make us feel like they are just like one of us whereas the celebrities make us feel like they are a whole world apart from us. Something to ponder about – are people in front of the camera the same as they say they are?

To Share! Week 4

Emerald Cowell had written a piece on Selective Information which is the same topic of my Different Perspective. Her take on this piece was an eye opener because I definitely did not realise that each perspective on the current issue was selective. Bishop had mentioned on her best wishes on the new President of Afghan while the other perspective was on the president’s wish for the Australian military personnel to stay. Selecting information is led by bias feelings or could be because the news agency is controlled. A question to ponder, where is the truth in these newspapers?

Allison also wrote a good insight on Peer Reviewed and Journalistic sources. Peer reviewed are definitely more researched in a sense of hypertext because the research they have done links to many sources and we can further understand the current topic. Journalistic sources are more to back up your findings as they are proven and written by scholars.


Life Feature: Once Upon A Time







Life feature segments shall be the start of what I have been doing the couple of weeks. Recently I have been addicted to this series called Once Upon A Time. I initially thought it was just a fairy tale story with all the princesses and happy endings so I did not bother watching the series. However, I watched the first episode and I was drawn to it. They brought story book fairy tales into our modern world, making the characters cross dimensions. I was so impressed by the concept and I definitely had to give credits to the two people who created this series, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. The characters were smoothly interlinked and they definitely gave more suspense to the stories. Just a heads up, whatever you knew or thought you knew of fairy tales, will not be the same as this series! The drama and suspense keeps me watching episode after episode and before you know it, 4 hours have passed! I literally binged on this series and there are four seasons currently.


What I enjoyed from the series is that even the bad can be good and the good can turn bad as well. The famous quote from the series was ‘a villain is just another person whose story has not been told’. I gave that some thought and I realised it was true because villains normally seek vengeance and feels nothing more than hatred. In order to feel that way, there must be a story behind the negative feelings they felt. Watching this show definitely showed me that in life, we do not know what the future brings but the only positive way is to hope and never give up. The series definitely have its moral values just like they do in fairy tale books. Although, this series does have dark and rated concepts as compared to the fairy tales we normally watch. I found it quite hilarious when they mentioned to their Mulan back in the Enchanted Forest that they watched a movie of her in the real world. Keeping the reality of our world and meshing it with storybook characters was an interesting concept. I definitely cannot wait for the next season.





News Sources from Different Perspective

There are plenty of news channels or print media that cover the same current affair daily. Unfortunately, with various perspective of the issue, we tend to speculate and become skeptical. Who can we trust now? In class, we were given two news articles by The Guardian and The Australian on the meeting with the new president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani and Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop. It is then I realised that even media can have different perspective because we have plenty of broadcast journalists and reporters out there. I learned that we rely heavily reuters or news agencies back in my home country as they are the ones that have reporters everywhere and are reporting back to this company and all broadcast channels go through them. Reuters is an international news agency but for our country, we normally used our local distributor which is Bernama for current affairs and Associated Press (AP) for sports. When we read articles produced by my country’s main newspaper like The Star or New Strait Times we can see the word ‘Bernama’ or ‘Reuters’ after some articles to prove that their source of information was from them.

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For now, I did some comparison between the two articles that were given during class. It was written with completely different perspective. We know from the perspective of what the President of Afghanistan wanted and a direct statement from Australian Foreign Minister.

Afghanistan’s new President has urged the West to stay involved in his country – including militarily – longer than the planned withdrawal date at the end of next year in a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop. – The Guardian, 2015

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to meet with Australian military personnel and new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. -The Australian, 2015

These two articles from different newspaper covered different perspective on the issue. The Guardian had stated that the new President of Afghanistan had urged the Australian military to stay as they had a meeting with the foreign minister, Julie Bishop on this matter. On the other hand, The Australian had stated that Bishop took a surprise trip to Afghanistan to visit the military personnel and new president, Ashraf Ghani.


Cafe Hopping – How did that start?

So my friend and I went around Fitzroy, eating our way through the area. We literally went cafe hopping to five places in a span of six hours! Thinking back, how did all of this start? My friend and I were going through blog posts on top 30 must try cafes. How did they collect this? Surely networking and linking their sites or social media came into play.

It started off when my buddy talked about how his time in Melbourne is limited and he has a lot of cafes to check out. His friends had recommended a few cafes and we checked some of the famous ones online. One of the famous eatery blogs was The Urban List. Another friend of mine had linked me to the 30 Breakfasts You Should Have Eaten If You Live in Melbourne list on that website.

The Urban List

The Urban List

Most of the recommendations were listed on the website. That definitely increases the reliability as well as the interest of that cafe. The more the viewers or mentions the more worthy for us to experience it. By chance we saw another famous cafe as we walk along the streets, we would stop and check it out. Networking comes into play here because without blogs or word of mouth, we definitely would not know which cafe is the best to visit with such limited time. Social media is also a powerful way of networking as they can link you to blogs or reviews and people telling you about the cafe they have been.

Conversation Over Hypertexts

We all wonder about Hypertexts. Why does it feel like it is such a difficult concept to wrap your head around it? The readings on Hypertext 3.0: Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization by George Landow was a little difficult to grasp at the first read but it got a little clearer with the class discussions and conversation with friends. Earlier in the course, I had written a post, A Novel with No Endings?! ,regarding inconclusive endings or non-linearity flow but I had to write another one on Hypertext to further understand it. As the course continues, I start finding different understanding on this topic so I had to share my thoughts on it:

Although in some distant, or not-so-distant, future all individual texts will electronically link to one another, thus creating metatexts and metametatexts of a kind only partly imaginable at present, less far-reaching forms of hypertextuality have already appeared. (Landow, p. 69)

As Landow had mentioned on how everything will be interlinked through the Web be it directly linked or linked by other links. It will be a series of web that is never ending loaded with infinite information related to each other. In the near future, everything will be linked to each other, thus creating a library of information quick and easy to find. I think with the use of hypertexts, the Web 2.0 has created a virtual library that is extremely accessible and you do not have to find books to try and match them. They will do it for you in a snap.


Food for thought:

This is a little late to post this topic but I immediately had to write a post on it when I found an interesting concept on hypertext. Funny thing was when I had a conversation with my friends the other day. I stopped and asked how did we even get to this topic about something so random like milk? We sat there for a bit, backtracking our conversation to the very first topic and we realised it was about a game. We were baffled on how we managed to get to milk from computer games! Studying this topic on hypertext definitely had me making a few connections. I had this sudden thought about hypertext in reality and that was exactly what we were doing! We were linking something key concepts in one topic to another and going on and on till we reached something unrelated to the very first topic. One of us could have said, “Oh today I had chicken rice for lunch” and then the other would have cut into the conversation saying, “speaking of rice, there is this awesome sushi place down the road.” The conversation could stay within the topic of food or it could bend out and branch out to other topics. This was an interesting link altogether from my perspective. It definitely would be great to hear some debate over it.



To Share

My peers have all written wonderful pieces of blog posts on last week’s classes. Georgina Goodwin had mentioned something intriguing which was seeing Instagram as a blog. A series of photos that captures the memories of your life definitely does have a similarity with blogging. I would call it ‘Photoblogging’! It definitely was a eye-opening perspective on blogging. I have been Instagram-ing for years but I never thought of it as blogging at all.

Another inspiring blog post was Allison Teo’s take on social media. Social media is definitely here to stay. With our ubiquitous screens like smartphones and tablets, social media is easily accessible to us. I can bet majority checks their Facebook or Twitter every morning when they wake up. It’s not to wash up and get ready for the day, it is scrolling through posts on Facebook. It is definitely relatable for people of my generation that social media are taking over our lives. We could possibly not live without social media these days.

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