Friday, 31 July 2009

Radio show downloads, promos and the law!

Last Friday I had this pretty scary email from a company called Web Sheriff, entitled: EXTREMLEY URGENT / SHARAM - DMCA REQUEST (haha just noticed their typo!)



2. Rights Agent : WEB SHERIFF


4. Infringed Artist(s) : SHARAM FT KID CUDI



7. Infringing Web Site : ANNAKISS.CO.UK

8. Infringing File Location(s) :

9. DMCA Request : Please remove Infringed Title(s) from Infringing File Location(s) ASAP : thank you.

And after briefly mentioning it on my subsequent Lip Locked show (#90) where it prompted a lot of responses from my listeners, I thought that I should blog my full feelings on this subject. It is far too in depth to go into on a radio show after all!

I am soooo sooo sooooo pleased that finally something is being done about piracy of tracks on the internet - especially promos. In the 15yrs that I have been buying & playing music times have changed drastically for DJs and artists. I have always been a passionate crusader in the fight against illegal sharing of music. Many of my good friends are well known artists and I have seen ALL of them suffer in their earnings since the shift from vinyl to MP3. Some who used to solely make music have now had to get a day job and sell their houses.
Its just sad that now producers have to rely on their DJ bookings instead of the creative side of things. So I have got quite annoyed with people in the past, when they niaively say that 'music should be free'.

So, to anyone reading this who thinks that, I will say this:
A talented person (gifted both technically & musically), DESERVES to get paid for sitting in their studio, with their expensive equipment, for a week, making a tune that you want to get your hands on. Don't forget that this talented person doesn't get much from each sale once the label, store and taxman have all had their share. So £1.49 is a very small price to pay for a work of art, that you will get endless enjoyment out of.

People have always shared files I guess, but these days it is common. One thing I think that doesn't help is when the territory is restricted for buying a track, or when a label tease the people by not releasing the track soon enough. These things surely send hoards of people to download sites, and I really think labels should consider these things in order to prevent the temptation.

Promos are an important part of promoting a track, and also important for DJs. Nowadays everyone can get their hands on every track.. gone are the days of finding a dusty old vinyl gem that nobody else has.. if people know the name of it then they will find it without having to leave their PC. This means that the DJs need to express their individuality much more creatively now. Thankfully I get sent a lot of promos because I am blessed to have a very popular radio show which reaches thousands of people each week. This helps my DJ work, as I get booked because people know I have special tracks!

There are DJs out there though, that are on these VIP lists who just share the files right away. I can't understand why they would do that. If they got found out they would no doubt be ostracised. And why give away the very thing that sets us apart from the zillion other DJs out there? (coz believe me, EVERYONE is a DJ these days, anyone that can download an MP3 is a DJ!).

So there you go, thats why I'm pleased that finally there is someone doing something about this.

With regards to the email, I replied immediately, saying that I was sent the promo by Ministry of Sound, and I always allow my shows to be downloaded. The promo features in it, but it is mixed, and has jingles & talking over it, so it can't be considered as filesharing surely..? They haven't replied.

Perhaps I can get into trouble for allowing my shows to be downloadable, because there are some sad fuckers out there who download segments of a track, re-edit it so that it becomes a full 6min track that they can play... rather than WAIT a month or so for it to come out...
Time which would be better spent getting ahead as a DJ so that they make it on the the VIP promo lists legitimately!!!!

Maybe I should stop posting up tracklistings... I do them because I have an affiliate store where I make a miniscule percentage out of everything that is sold, I get good web-traffic from it (300 per week average), and last but not least, I believe in supporting the artists, getting them recognised and thus helping their careers.
**Respect to the people who DO buy tracks via my tracklisting blog, I know there are about 20 of you so far...**

But is it really helping their sales..? Or is it just giving people titles to go look on fileshare for..? While at the same time taking away my individuality. Because now everyone can get their hands on all these tunes and therefore play just like Anna Kiss does (okay maybe not with my technical abilities or the promos, if they haven't been fileshared!).

The only thing that will combat this, i'm sorry to say, is punishment for those who fileshare, this may put people off. But its gotta be worldwide. There's no point in them just clamping down on British DJs, as we aren't actually as bad here as places in the world. In places like India & China I have met people who don't think there is anything wrong with illegal music sharing, and the vast majority of the DJs I have played with on my travels around the world fileshare, despite earning lots of money for playing music. Why don't these people want to put something back into the music scene? It is killing it. Anyone that disagrees with this is too young to remember how it used to be in the 1990's when vinyl was still alive.

Anyhoooo, the outcome of the email and all that was basically I gave my contact at Ministry a call and she said not to worry, she will tell Web Sheriff that I am authorised to play that track on my show. She didnt seem to worried that the shows are being downloaded. I assured her that I talk over the promo as much as possible (so to the very rare haters that don't like the talking on a radio show, tuff titties haha! thats just the way it's gotta be!).

I've also talked to other DJ/producers and this is what one had to say:

i know it would help our downloads & hits if i put a full trackslist but there are a LOT of very exclusive tracks/bootlegs in there... So first of all i don't want to encourage these google searching fuckers to download our set just to cut out these few tracks.

And mostly i dont want people to judge the set/night by a tracklist... if you want to make your opinion-listen to the fucking set! :)

And to have a load of people guessing and making their own tracklistst on forums etc. also gives your set extra visibility as there is 'somethin to talk about'... but hey, thats just my point of view.

And finally, what some of my listeners have had to say on the subject:


I don't understand what the big deal is sharing promotional tracks , I mean if you look up the definition of promotional you get

pro·mo·tion (pr-mshn)
1. The act of promoting or the fact of being promoted; advancement.
2. Encouragement of the progress, growth, or acceptance of something; furtherance.
3. Advertising; publicity. <<-- Read this part PUBLICITY!!!

If it's for the f'in public how the f can it be illegal to share it..

Sorry about my swearing I just don't take too kindly to people making us pay or not be able to download promotional content anywhere..

It's the kind of thing that makes me never want to purchase their tracks when they actually become retail after the promotional event..


thanks for waffling over the promo tracks, I loved it!!! Hahahahahaha!!! I was sitting at my desk just laughing at that on Lip Locked 90, you're the best!


the promo thing damn labels are getting bad hate file share peeps but geesh ya promoting
there stuff dont they want that cant win lol


So there it is.. the full inside story.. I hope that I can continue to offer my show archives for download. I will until I hear that it's not okay! Perhaps in future they will just have to be streamed from my website in future, people can still record them with a little bit of know-how though..

Thanks for reading this mammoth blog.. it must be a record for me!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Help!!!! Management Required...

I am managing myself again and it is such a complicated minefield!!

The only experience I have of managing an artist is that which I have gained managing myself for the past 9yrs... (minus the recent year or so that Lisa managed me).

9yrs might sound like a lot of experience to some (well, I know it does lol - because people are always asking me to run their DJ agencies...), but the thing is, despite this extensive experience of working with many promoters worldwide over the years, I am still not entirely sure I'm doing it right!

And this isn't the usual self-doubt or lack of confidence... I say this because I don't know the standard practices.. just how I have worked! I have asked several artists and agents for advice (which I always take), but there always seems to be something else new to learn along the way.. thru experience.. in the sense of learning from a mistake!

There are a lot of enquiries that just never materialise into anything, which I guess is normal, but I can't help thinking if my percentage is average, or not..?

It's also really difficult knowing what not to do. For instance, it is etiquette to work for just one promoter in one country... You can chat to a promoter for months and years, and have nothing materialise - no legal agreement, but a good working relationship. Then someone else comes along from the same country, ready to sign on the dotted line.. and then you feel like you have screwed over the guy you've been chatting to for years if you work with the new guy.

Another dilemma is London bookings vs international ones...
  • London bookings pay peanuts... international ones don't!
  • London bookings don't sign contracts or pay advances... international ones do!
  • Both types of bookings are rare and tend to come along like busses (ie. all at once)
So when someone books me in London months in advance, it goes in the diary and then international bookings get turned down for those dates. NOT good when the London promoter decides to cancel his party ON THE DAY!!!

Yeh so this a little insight into the glamourous world of being a female DJ (it happens to guys too, I just put that in there to web optimise this blog hahahaha).

This political management minefield is a nightmare!! It is something that as an international DJ you find it thrust upon you. And that's actually quite dodgy, because for DJs that are new to all this, it can be very risky, especially for the female DJs... I have had some quite scary experiences in lands far from my own, and thankfully things worked out okay in the end. I learnt from them, and the result is now my contract is 3 pages long - I worry that it puts off some promoters, perhaps to some I sound like a diva.. instead of a girl who is just trying to make sure she is safe and gets paid what she is promised.

Oh.. what I want more than anything else right now is new Management to come charging in, like a knight in shining armour on a white horse... taking me away from the paperwork and politeness and cold-calling and chasing up and diary juggling... freeing my precious time up so that I can record more mixes for you guys to download, practice my mixing so that my live performances are mind-blowing and spending more time in the studio so that I can get more experience making tracks that even more people will like (myself included).

Thanks for the support! (you know who you are ;o)

I had a response on my guest book to my last post on this blog, which I thought I would share with you due to it's relevance:

"Loving Lip Locked as much as ever. Also wanted to say read your blog (blogspot is iffy here at work some days I can view it other days I can't, beside the point) and found out today that someone decided to ruin the blog for the rest of us who really loved reading your personal entries. It was a true treat to know the real Anna Kiss we've come to love. Of course you aren't perfect, about the only thing we are all perfect at is our imperfection. I'd still love to read your ramblings and about your quirkiness ... it's what makes Anna Kiss, Anna Kiss. Don’t let the twats of the world get you down, vent your frustration and move on. There are more of us here that love your quirks and what you do than there are those who want to get under your skin. Besides if they aren’t brave enough to at least leave their name, they aren’t worth the trouble or consideration. Remember we love you Anna!!!"

Ahh thank you for your lovely words - I am sorry to disappoint you with the decision I made to reduce the personal entries on this blog. I will still write things for sure, because I want the world to see what it's like to do what I do, and see the things that I come up against while doing what I do...

Its just hard sometimes. When you go public about stuff, with no anonymity, it opens you up to negative feedback. Yeh that's normal and I do let it bounce off, thats for sure. (Things will only bug me if I let them, after all!). And I never forget how blessed I am that 99.9% of the feedback I get is gorgeously positive. The only thing that bothers me is that these negative responses/feedbacks may be bad for my work. My work is my purpose, my goal, and I will do all I can to minimise detrimental effects to it.

That said, I remember a certain 15yr old Lady Soveriegn emailing me many years ago, asking if she could guest on my pirate radio show. I declined mainly because I wasn't too keen on MCs on my show at the time and usually only had MCs that I knew personally on there, and also because she was getting a LOT of hate from people on various internet forums (my listenership basically!).

A couple of years after that she's a superstar! Just going to show, it really doesnt matter what people think of you. If you evoke some kind of passionate emotion in people, good or bad, then perhaps thats all you need...?

I would love to know what you, the reader, thinks about this... You can comment anonymously on here so you can be as honest as you like! I know this blog gets a lot of readers, so it would be lovely to hear from some more of you.

Is stirring up any emotion in people a good thing, be it love or hate?
What should a person hold back from putting in a blog? (apart from obvious things such as toilet habits haha)

Monday, 13 July 2009

To the anonymous "friend"...

...who wrote some words of advice on my guestbook regarding this blog.

Thank you for the feedback, it is appreciated. I have a fair idea who you are (from your IP as well as my instinct!) and I am a little disappointed that you didnt approach me in person, or at least privately.

As I had said on this blog the intention was for people to see the real person that I am and to see what comes with the territory of my work. I feel now that some things are best left unsaid - maybe because you were right in your words, or maybe because it is not necessary to share my learnings and experiences with those other than my close circle. I shall leave that to your perception...

So; To Everyone reading this blog:

I am just going to keep it professional and light hearted from now on.

I am an open person who likes to share my soul, my experiences, my thoughts... All of us in this world are far from perfect, yet showing our imperfections opens us up to misinterpretation and occasionally results in criticism.

Being in the public domain in the small way that I am, opens up myself to attack from strangers, just for being me... I can handle this, it is to be expected. I don't get upset because you can't please all of the people all of the time, everyone is different. I do consider what is said and make changes if I feel it's necessary.

I know that everything is down to perception. Nobody will ever know exactly what I mean - it is human nature to make our own meanings from the way we see things. We view the world through eyes that are shaped by our past experiences and beliefs. So we choose how to view a person, in a good light or a negative one.. that is perception. There's not a lot I can do to change the way you choose to perceive me.

So the less I give out, the less information people have to read into... It is not necessary for the world to know what is going on in my world apart from those things which are relevant to my musical purpose. While in the past expressing everything has drawn many people closer, it has annoyed friends who wish to be anonymous and I don't want that.

I hope this goes some way to explain the censorship of this blog, to those that subscribed or noticed posts were missing.