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Ben Elected President of NY Chapter of The Recording Academy

 
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Ben has been voted in as President of the NY Chapter of The Recording Academy, with a two-year term to begin June 2016. The Academy is most widely known as the organization behind the Grammy Awards, which together with MusiCares and The Grammy Foundation comprise the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Ben began his tenure as a Governor of the NY Chapter in 2011, assumed the chairmanship of the Advocacy Committee in 2013 and was voted Vice President in 2014 and again in 2015. Says Ben,

“I am honored and excited by the opportunity to serve as President of the New York Chapter of this great organization. The Recording Academy is the largest and most-inclusive trade organization in the US dedicated to
supporting the health of the recording industry and the rights of music creators. I’m particularly proud to work with our amazing board and Executive staff which is comprised of some of the best people I know.”

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My Letter To The Recording Academy, re: “Take Down Notices”

On February 10, 2016 I submitted this letter via email to the Recording Academy regarding the overly burdensome “take-down notice” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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Dear Recording Academy:

I”m writing to express my support for the Recording Academy as they file comments regarding the overly burdensome “take down notice” provision of the DMCA. I, like so many of my colleagues have been steadily beaten down by a process that not only feels hopeless, but is often dangerous. Let me explain:

Like many artists and record labels, I created a Google Alert which notifies me whenever phrases like “Ben Allison Free mp3” or any of my tune titles or album titles and the words “free” or “download” appear on the internet.

I receive several such notices every day and have for the past 8 years or so, which speaks to the shear volume of illegal uploads. Occasionally, I take time out of my work day to click the links to see what’s been posted and where. Too often, I’m redirected to “click-through” sites, which are only intended to keep the user clicking. Windows pop up and disappear, and I’m often redirected automatically several times before actually landing on a page. I’m guessing there’s revenue being generated for somebody by all of these clicks and auto-forwards.

Eventually, if I click through enough times I might end up on a site where there are actual download links.  However, the danger comes when I check the links to see what files actually download (which I feel I must do before requesting a “take down”). Sometimes the links initiate download of actual mp3s of my music, but many times they include malware, viruses or other dangerous files.

The whole process is very time consuming and dangerous for small businesses like mine to protect their property. The only way this will ever change is if the idea of “safe harbor” is updated and the onus moves to the companies who host files (including music) to get permission from rights holders prior to posting files or allowing them to be posted by users.

ISPs have a role to play as well in helping to curb this problem and should not be given a free pass. For instance, entering the phrase “Ben Allison Free mp3” into Google generates 415,000 results (screen shot attached).  I believe they could do a better job of working with the music community to make it harder for people to find illegally uploaded music.

Thanks for continuing the good fight.

Sincerely,

Ben Allison
Bassist/Composer
Sonic Camera Records
Vice President, Advocacy chair, Recording Academy, NY

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Rare Live Recording of Riding the Nuclear Tiger With Symphony Orchestra

Digging through my archives, I came across this recording of my band playing Riding the Nuclear Tiger with the 80-piece Jazz Sinfonica Orchestra from Sao Paulo, Brazil. The arrangement is by Todd Murphy and your’s truly (mostly Todd). Michael Blake plays the soprano solo. Also in the band at that time was Michael Sarin (drums), Frank Kimbrough (piano) and Ted Nash (tenor saxophone).

The sound quality is not great (check out that bass sound!). It was recorded by my agent on her small camera from the audience. But it’s a killer arrangement and still gives me chills to hear. I remember the power of that sound, especially the tympani at the end.

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Ben Cited in 2015 Downbeat Critics Poll

Since 2003, Ben has been routinely cited in numerous categories of the Downbeat Critics Poll. This year, Ben continues the streak with citations in the Bassist, Composer and Rising Star Arranger categories, and, for the first time the Rising Star Producer category.

Full poll results can be found here: http://downbeat.com/digitaledition/2015/DB1508/_art/DB1508.pdf

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Ben Re-Elected For Second Term As Vice President Of The NY Chapter of The Recording Academy

 

In 2014, Ben was elected by the New York Board of Governors to serve as Vice President of the NY Chapter of The Recording Academy. This June, Ben will begin a second term as VP and will continue his role as Advocacy Chair.

The Academy is most widely known as the organization behind the Grammy Awards, which together with MusiCares and The Grammy Foundation comprise the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Ben began his tenure as a Governor of the NY Chapter in 2011 and assumed the chairmanship of the Advocacy Committee in 2013.

“I’m thrilled to be able to continue my role as VP as well as Advocacy Chair, especially during this time of significant change in music industry,” Ben said. “We have a once-in-a-generation chance to revisit and improve upon existing copyright law, as well as finally address some long-standing inequities in the area of performing rights. These issues affect all music creators and the Recording Academy is at the forefront of efforts to address them.”

 

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