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You will find some of the articles and papers I've written right here! For more articles check my posts!


My Published Article For The Summer 2010 Issue of ASCAP's Playback Magazine:

"Why Every Musician Should Be Using Analytics"

Over the past ten years the music industry has changed drastically. Record labels have lost substantial power in building, promoting, and sustaining artists’ careers. There are millions of independent artists, in addition to the vast amount of professional musicians, located throughout the United States. This sizeable amount of artists has made it increasingly difficult for artists, their management, and record labels to reach potential consumers. The extremely aggressive nature of the music industry has created an elevated need for all aspiring and professional musicians to develop strategic competitive advantages. One method of creating this is through the utilization and interpretation of the data provided by analytics.  Analytics helps artists obtain insights into their fans’ and potential consumers’ behavior. Therefore, the artists who possess the best consumer behavior data will have a greater understanding of their audience and will ultimately have greater potential to become market leaders in their respective genres.

Analytics, simply defined, is the collection and analysis of website user data to drive business decisions. Utilizing web analytics is a three-pronged process. It involves: (1) collecting statistical data from an artist’s website (or social networking sites), (2) interpreting that data, and then (3) applying that data to formulate decisions (concerning content improvements, marketing and promotional efforts, and ultimately how to generate higher returns on investment).

The purpose of employing an analytics strategy is to gain a better definition of an artist’s digital consumer base. Analytics helps reduce some of the guesswork that is undertaken when attempting to determine fans’ behaviors. It tells the story of the who, what, where, when, and why of how an artist’s following interacts with the artist’s products (which are key factors in developing any effective marketing strategy). One of the major components when promoting and selling any type of product or service is knowing how consumers behave. Possessing a deeper understanding of the consumer helps to define what their needs and desires are (based on their personalities, lifestyles, socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds) and illustrates how these factors drive their purchasing decisions.  Having a true understanding of an artist’s consumers allows for marketing and promotional efforts to become more targeted and effective, which can help increase sales, and can drive consumer base growth.

Analytics provides in-depth statistical evidence about the visitors of the artist’s digital properties. It supplies demographic and geographic information, as well as, displays data about how they accessed the site, which in turn provides further insight into their purchasing behavior. Analytics also provides visitor site usage data. It presents information regarding the average time they spent on the artist’s website, how long after entering the site they left (bounce rate), and which pages on the site obtain the most traffic. Tracking analytics data also enables one to find errors (which shows issues that visitors experienced while utilizing the site), determine the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of adding new or additional content to the site, and displays which products have the highest conversion rates (visits/sales). It also allows for an extensive evaluation of whether or not the artist’s digital properties are improving their overall business.

The interpretation of analytics data illustrates what factors drive fans’ behavior, in addition to depicting how this knowledge can be used to benefit the artist’s career. Monitoring data derived from analytics can help identify cross-promotional and selling opportunities and also helps one determine whether marketing and promotional efforts are (or aren’t) working as anticipated.

The most commonly used analytics software is Google Analytics. It is installed on the artist’s personal website and gathers all the data listed above. Facebook fan pages and MySpace artist pages also have analytics tools, which are built into the pages themselves. Facebook and MySpace’s analytics tools are called “Insights” and “Artist Dashboard,” respectively. Twitter, the third most popular social networking site does not have a dedicated Twitalytics (Twitter Analytics) program. However, there are three extremely useful Twitalytics web applications (TweetEffect, TweetStats, and Twitter Analyzer) that provide a wide range of data collected from the artist’s Twitter followers.

Analytics is not a buzzword. In the music industry, it facilitates wiser decisions regarding the kinds of marketing, touring, and promotional efforts that should be undertaken, it helps with the determination of the appropriate campaign launch timing, in addition to aiding in the evaluation of the artist’s product and service offerings (whether they should stay the same, be expanded upon, or be re-developed).

Major companies in the music industry (like TopSpin, The Orchard, Big Champagne, The Echo Nest, and Rock Dex) recognize the high value of analytical data, when it comes to assisting artists’ careers, and consequently have implemented their own artist-centric and analytics assistance programs. These programs facilitate the proper utilization of the data, so that the artist can effectively increase and further develop the artist-fan relationship. Analytics is a serious market research strategy that can give an artist an immense competitive advantage over their peers. Analytics is a driving force behind all intelligent decisions made throughout the business world. It is because of this that all aspiring and professional musicians, who are interested in having an edge over their competition, should invest in an analytics campaign.

To view the version of this article that was published in ASCAP’s Playback Magazine please click the following link:  Published ASCAP Article in Playback Magazine.


Legal & Ethical Obligations of Musical Content Production & Distribution Companies

Legal Obligations

The music industry has some legal obligations when it comes to releasing violent, hateful, or sexually based content. The first amendment protects free speech (with limitations) therefore enabling them to release whatever content they desire. In the United States people are allowed to say what they want without fear of being arrested or censored. The only types of speech that are excluded from first amendment protection are: obscenity, fighting words, defamation, child pornography, perjury, blackmail, threats, “incitement of imminent lawless action, and solicitations to commit crimes.”[i] The determination of what classifies these subject matters as unprotected have been decided by the courts and reasonable tests have been derived to evaluate and control this particular kind of content. Below is a brief overview the Miller v. California case and the obscenity test derived from it, which help in determining what is not protected under the first amendment.


This case centered on an individual, Marvin Miller, distributing unsolicited pornographic, mail order, adult material. Miller lost the case, which set precedent for determining what is and isn’t obscene. A three pronged test was established to establish what is considered to be obscene. All three parts of this test must be violated in order to be convicted for obscenity; (1) the average person must find it offensive (as defined by community standards), (2) the work must depict or describe sexual content or excretory functions, and (3) the work must lack serious artistic, literary, political, or scientific value.

Although record companies are not legally obligated to do this, they comply with rating and stickering standards for their mature material. In 1985, Tipper Gore, wanting to take the, “element of surprise out of buying an album,”[ii] created the Parents Music Resource Center, so that the public was made aware of explicit and mature content. By stickering all of their products with this notice, labels are meeting their ethical obligations to the public by informing them about the content. If the public decides to purchase it and then rationalizes the terrorism of others because of it, that is their decision—the label fulfilled their ethical duties by warning them.

Ethical Obligations

Record companies do not have an ethical obligation to control the violent, hateful, or sexual content of the products they release because they are businesses. In business, the goal is to make as much money as possible. In this particular case if the music, whose lyrical content consists of the subjects mentioned above, is in demand and sells well, companies should release it (without regard to the subject matter). If an individual in upper legel management takes issue with the lyrical content, it is most likely that in a large company (like Sony, Universal Music Group, EMI, and Warner Music Group) his ethical objections to releasing the music will fall on deaf ears (because the company is more concerned about their bottom line). Aside from that, with all of the downsizing that has recently occurred, it is also possible that an individual who objects to the release of that material will get fired.

For smaller indie labels, the owner might ultimately decide what to distribute and release under his company’s name, rather than putting that duty into another’s hands. In this case, if the owner decides that the lyrical content conflicts with his own personal ethics (and he doesn’t care about his company’s bottom line as much as he does about his own perceived personal ethical obligations) he may choose not to release the material (or even sign the group creating the material). The fact is the recorded music industry is a business and their goals of generating the most revenue possible trumps ethical obligations any day in their minds.

The recorded music industry should, however, be aware of what’s going on with national and regional tragedies but they’re have been no empirical, “studies that have documented a cause-and-effect relationship between violent or sexually explicit lyrics and adverse behavioral effects.”[iii] Unfortunately, when tragedy occurs, grieving individuals want explanations as of to why it occurred. When these individuals can not accept or rationalize what has happened, they seek to blame someone else (due to guilt, denial, and shock). They’re looking for a scapegoat and unfortunately the majority of the time that scapegoat happens to be the recorded music industry.

The fact is that these tragedies occur because of biological and environmental factors, which determine the individual’s behavior. Record labels can not reasonably predict what some sociopath or unstable individual’s reaction to their music will be. They can’t control the behavior of others and therefore shouldn’t feel like it’s their fault or be blamed for releasing these types of music to society.

Charles Manson blamed The Beatles’ music for his ordering the murders of many individuals. It was derived from his belief of an impending intense race war that he thought The Beatles affirmed through their music. Charles Manson’s actions were not derived from listening to The Beatles. They were derived from his having anti-social personality disorder, “which is the clinical term for sociopath or psychopath.”[iv] Music did not cause his actions; his mental health issues did.

There have been many songs (like Blondie’s ‘One Way Or Another,’ The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take,’  and Cheap Trick’s ‘I Want You To Want Me,’)  that at first glance seem about loving someone else and longing to be with them but, when the lyrical content is analyzed the songs are really stalker anthems. But, the public desired these tracks and no real harm was caused from their distribution. Below are select excerpts from each of the songs.

One Way Or Another Lyrics[v]

I will drive past your house/ And if the lights are all down/ I’ll see who’s around … One way or another I’m gonna find ya/ I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha…One day, maybe next week/ I’m gonna meetcha, I’ll meetcha…And if the lights are all out/ I’ll follow your bus downtown/ See who’s hanging out…I’ll walk down the mall/ Stand over by the wall/ Where I can see it all/ Find out who ya call/ Lead you to the supermarket checkout/ Some specials and rat food/ get lost in the crowd

Every Breath You Take Lyrics[vi]

Every breath you take/ Every move you make/ Every bond you break/ Every step you take/ I’ll be watching you…Every single day/ Every word you say/ Every game you play/Every night you stay/ I’ll be watching you

I Want You To Want Me Lyrics[vii]

I want you to want me./ I need you to need me./ I’d love you to love me./ I’m beggin’ you to beg me.

In situations where labels are publically scrutinized for the release of the material and get blamed for the tragedy, they must attempt to control the negative press (so they don’t get boycotted and lose revenue) by doing PR damage control. They must release some sort of statement that expresses their condolences and sympathies for the victims of the tragedy, while at the same time stating that they aren’t responsible for the actions of an individual who misinterpreted the lyrical content. Yes, labels should be aware of the potential reactions to the music they release and sympathize with individuals affected by the tragedy but the music they released did not impose duress on anyone that led to them committing a heinous crime. It is because of the fact that people choose to purchase and listen to the materials distributed by the labels, that labels are not responsible for the actions of their consumers. A well known quote by Denis Leary (noted below) appropriately illustrates the ridiculousness of the music industry being blamed for tragedies.

“Explain it to me. Heavy metal bands on trial because kids commit suicide, what is that about? Judas Priest on trial because my kid bought the records, and he listened to the lyrics, and he go into Satan… ALLALALALALALLALA! Well that’s great. That sets a legal precedent. Does that mean I can sue Dan Fogelberg for making me into a pussy in the mid ’70s, is that possible, HUH?”[viii]

[i]What Types of Speech Are Not Protected By The First Amendment? 9 May 2010. First Amendment Center. 9 May 2010. <>.

[ii] Parents Music Resource Center. 2 May 2010. Wikipedia. 9 May 2010. <>.

[iii] Effects of Music on Human Behavior. 12 June 2006.  9 May 2010. <>.

[iv] Debunking Myths Surrounding Charles Manson. 9 May 2006. The Framing Business: Writings of Gavin C. Schmitt. 9 May 2010. <>.

[v] One Way Or Another Lyrics by Blondie. 1 Jan. 2010. Pop Culture Madness. 9 May 2010. <>.

[vi] Every Breath You Take Lyrics by The Police. 1 Jan. 2010. Pop Culture Madness. 9 May 2010. <>.

[vii] I Want You to Want Me Lyrics by Cheap Trick. 1 Jan 2010. Pop Culture Madness. 9 May 2010. <>.

[viii] Memorable Quotes For No Cure For Cancer. 1 Jan. 1992. IMDb. 9 May 2010. <>.


360 Deals, Conflicts of Interest, Operational Inefficiencies & Bruce Springsteen

The current state of the recorded music industry has caused 360 deals to become the standard recording agreement that any artist, who wants to get signed, must enter into. The reason for this is because record labels feel that they establish the artists they sign and therefore deserve a cut from all their endeavors. The rationale behind this is that the artist wouldn’t typically get many of the opportunities presented to them if it weren’t for the label’s substantial investment in them. With 360 deals, on top of the record label receiving profits from record sales, labels get a cut of the artist’s concert revenue, publishing revenue, book deal revenue, acting revenue, merchandise sales, endorsement deals, ringtone sales, and appearance fees.  Labels primarily seek these deals to offset their potential losses from album sales.

The issue with 360 deals, aside from them being inherently unfair to artists (because the label takes monies generated through other revenue sources that used to strictly belong to the artist), is that it is rife with conflicts of interest and potential inefficiencies. Some of the areas of potential conflicts of interest and inefficiencies are as follows:

Potential Conflicts of Interest:

  • Artist endorsements that would normally be accepted might not be approved by the label (because it might not represent the label in a positive light) and the artist would have to decline that endorsement.
  • Labels cross-collateralize monies generated form the ancillary income generated through the 360 deals with the artist’s album losses, thereby reducing the artist’s overall income.
  • Labels have close relationships with certain companies that might be in direct competition with companies that want to pursue endeavors with the artist. This relationship would, most likely, prevent the artist from doing business with the competitor company because of the label’s fear of alienating the company that they already have an established relationship with.
  • If the label finds a manger for the artist, the manager will most likely represent the label’s best interests and not the artist’s. The manager should be representing the artist’s best interests at all times. If the label obtained the manager on behalf of the artist, the manager might feel indebted to the label for providing them with the job and will seek to obtain the best deals for the label, rather than the artist, at the risk of alienating them and not receiving future referral business from them.
  • If labels have had problems with select retailers who might be interested in distributing the artist’s merchandise, labels might not allow the artist’s merchandise to be sold in those stores (thereby reducing the artist’s income and nixing an opportunity that the artist would’ve previously been able to capitalize upon).

Potential Operational Inefficiencies That Could Harm The Artist’s Income:

  • Labels are marketing, promotional, and distribution machines. Labels are not experts in the live industry, merchandising operations, or at obtaining endorsements and paid appearances for artists. Their inexperience in these areas could lead to increased costs of goods sold, decreased profits and a reduction in merchandise quality, as well as, could diminish the amount of appearance and other associated opportunities that would’ve normally been presented to the artist.
  • Labels also might not have the connections to be promoters; therefore they may not be able to successfully organize the artist’s tour. Their inexperience at being promoters could reduce their ability to obtain venues, advertisers, and ticketing services, which would negatively impact the amount of revenue that the artist could generate through his or her touring efforts. With the label handing all of the artist’s touring, this would also limit (if not eliminate) the artist’s ability to have a company, that specializes in arranging and booking tours, handle their touring.

The 360 deal situation imposed upon artists today is not much different than the across the board deal that Bruce Springsteen entered into in the 1970’s. The only major difference is that his across the board deal was arranged with his manager and not his record label (CBS Records). In the case of Bruce Springsteen, he signed a management contract with Mike Appel’s company (Laurel Canyon), which was renewed verbally. Through the agreement with Laurel Canyon, Appel was tasked with managing Springsteen’s career. Laurel Canyon also acted as his record production company/label—in conjunction with CBS Records (he owed Laurel Canyon two records in addition to the seven records he owed CBS). Appel’s company also owned and controlled all of Springsteen’s publishing and they shared the same lawyer. At one point in the relationship with Springsteen Appel and his associate Barry Bell wanted to form a booking agency, so that they could represent Springsteen’s touring interests.

This arrangement was rife with conflicts of interest. The first conflict of interest is that both the manager and Springsteen had the same lawyer. By each party having the same lawyer (and the lawyer having been obtained by the manager) the lawyer could not effectively represent both parties’ interests properly. The lawyer’s loyalties lied with the manager, thus creating deals that were unfair to and not in the best interests of Springsteen. That is why Laurel Canyon ended up owning all of Springsteen’s publishing. Aside from this, another conflict of interest arose with Springsteen’s touring. In this situation, Chateau Merrill wanted to become Springsteen’s agent. When presented with this opportunity Appel, who was supposed to act in the best interests of Springsteen, could not be unbiased and provide him with information that would be most beneficial to his career. The reason for his lack of impartiality was because Appel stated that he wanted to be Springsteen’s agent (through the company that he and his associate Barry Bell were going to create).  Above all else, the manager is supposed to act in the best interests of the artist he represents and not in his own personal best interests. Like with record labels’ 360 deals, Appel sought the best deals for himself and not for the artist he represented.


Culture Jamming and Society

Culture jamming has been around for eighty years. It is defined as, “the act of transforming existing mass media to produce negative commentary about itself.”[i] “Culture jamming is based on the idea that advertising is little more than propaganda for established interests and that there is little escape from this propaganda in industrialized nations.[ii] This idea of not being able to escape from propaganda holds particularly true in the United States, where consumers are exposed to thousands of advertisements daily. Culture jamm-ers utilize different approaches for message distribution and don’t seem to be relenting anytime soon.


“Culture jamming is a form of public activism[iii].” Its purpose is to create a contrast between what corporations want consumers to believe and how major corporations (and their products) really are. “This is done symbolically, with the detournement of pop iconography[iv].” An example of pop iconography detournement, using  a Converse All-star sneaker, can be viewed in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1: Pop Iconography Detournement [v]

Detournement occurs when an artist uses, “elements of well known advertisements and media to create a new work with a different message[vi].” Parodies and satirical advertisements are similar to detournement. There is one major difference between them though. People who practice detournement reuse and mimic the original works, “rather than constructing a new work which merely alludes strongly to the original[vii].” An example of this can be seen, below, in Figure 1.2. [viii]

Figure 1.2: Detournement

Marketing and Promotion

“Culture Jamming is the viral introduction of radical ideas.” Culture jamm-ers use well known corporate logos, marketing psychology, clean typography and ‘adspeak’ to project their messages against society. Culture jamming has been displayed though the use of, “fake ads, fake newspaper articles, parodies, and pastiche.” [ix] The best use shock appeals by having “unexpected and surprising implications.” [x] An example of this follows, in Figure 1.3.

Figure 1.3: Shock Appeal [xi]

Mission and Beliefs of Culture Jamm-ers

Culture jamm-ers have a mission and believe in the messages they promote.  The mission of culture jamm-ers is to, “artfully reclaim our mental environment and cause a bit of brand damage to corporate mindshare. Ultimately, culture jamm-ers wage a war of ‘meaning’[xii].” They use the tools of mainstream media to re-wire socio-political messages. The following quote about the beliefs of culture jamm-ers was excerpted from an article published by Varsity Publications, of the University of Toronto.

“Culture jamming is about exerting your democratic and human rights by reclaiming the airwaves, taking back the ability to communicate with other people. culture jamming is a tactical and strategic approach to progressive change. it is about the synthesis of culture and politics, the combination of love and rage. it represents a new environmentalism, a new holism, that incorporates our immediate realities and environments into the struggle for equality, social justice, and democracy.”[xiii]

Culture Jamm-ers—Who are they?

There are many different culture jamm-ers, located in industrialized nations throughout the world. Culture jamming organizations are abundant and widespread. Some specific organizations follow: Abrupt: Apocalyptic Optimism for the End of History, BADvertising Institute, LiP Magazine, The Metaphor Project, San Francisco Cacophony Society, and Whirl- Mart Ritual Resistance. More specifically, Adbusters, is the largest culture jamming organization, having approximately 90,000 members. These organizations are comprised is of, “artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age.”[xiv]

Culture jamm-ers attempt to show how promotion and advertising are no longer just informing people about the product. “Now their task is to weave stories, sing songs, and portray, not the product, but the people who use the product[xv].” With culture jamming organizations being prevalent in industrialized nations and having clear missions and messages, culture jamm-ers don’t seem like they will disappear anytime soon.


















  1. Abrupt Organization. (n.d.) Culture Jamming. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from,,
  2. Adbusters. (n.d.) Blackspot Shoes. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
  3. Adbusters. (n.d.) About Us. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
  4. Cinema Politica. (Jan. 23, 2006) Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
  5. Hirsh, Jesse. (1997, November 11).Culture Jamming. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
  6. Urban Dictionary. (n.d.) Culture Jamming. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
  7. Wikipedia Encyclopedia. (n.d.) Culture Jamming. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from
  8. Wikipedia Encyclopedia. (n.d.) Detournement. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from


Advergaming- Do You Know What It Is??? Well… You SHOULD.

Advergaming A Brief Overview

Advergaming is the practice of using games, particularly computer games, to advertise or promote a product, organization or viewpoint. (Wikepedia)  Advergames are a combination of advertising and video games. Unlike traditional video games, Advergames involve simple animation and music, and minimal plot development. (Grossman) There are two categories of Advergames: (1) Sponsored and (2) Un-Sponsored. Un-sponsored games are those “intended to interest the player in the game’s subject matter and then cause the player to investigate further”. (Wikepedia) Sponsored games are “provided by a company on their website, in hope of potential customers being drawn to the game, spending more time on the website,” and  enhancing brand awareness. (Wikepedia) Sponsored games predominately place the Company’s featured products predominately.

Why use Advergaming?

Traditional media is losing its appeal. It is less targeted and is getting less and less consumer response. 30 second television commercials, banner ads, and pop-ups are annoying to consumers. Advergames seek to make advertising  an entertainment activity. “They are branded interactive entertainment experiences that generate buzz and keep consumers coming back for more. Electronic games are capturing a larger share of consumer time, at the expense of traditional media.” (Advergame) “Advertising needs to be about interactivity and community, which are also some of the core components of gaming. Many industries are starting to consider gaming as an advertising medium, but the industry is in the infancy of developing programs and packages that allow integration of brands or sponsors.” (Brand Strategy) Advergames also allow Companies reach their desired target markets in a more interactive, segmented way. The primary target markets that Advergames appeal to are as follows: adult women, adult men, teenagers, and families with children.


What YOU Need To Know About U.S. Copyright Law

Chapter One – A Copyright Overview

  • Copyrights are only one form of intellectual property protection; other types are patents, trademarks, and trade secrets
  • A copyright is a type of legal protection provided by each state in the U.S. and also by the federal government
  • Copyright law states that there are certain types of works that are protected under certain circumstances
  • “copyright protection subsists…in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression … from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated…”
  • U.S. Congress has the authority to protect writings to promote the progress of science and useful arts

Works–the subject matter that can be copyrighted

  • The official categories protected are: literary works, performing arts works, sound recordings, serials and periodicals (newspapers), and visual arts

Originality– a work must be original in order to be copyrighted

  • The original aspects of a work can be copyrighted
  • Creativity doesn’t even have to be something altogether new, it can take the form of the way in which you arrange other people’s efforts

Recordation– final requirement of copyright

  • Work is written down, recorded, or otherwise accessible after the date it was created
  • Uruguay Round Agreements Act-prevents aspiring musicians from exploiting impromptu songs and  making a fortune, it also precludes the unauthorized recording of live musical performances

What Constitutes Recordation?

  • In the absence of recordation, it’s difficult to establish what exactly was created
  • The medium that you use to record the work is key, it must allow someone to perceive, reproduce, or communicate the work
  • Make Sure Music or Words are Written Down!

Need-To-Knows–When reviewing items for copyright protection, the concepts of expression and publication


A basic principle of copyrights is that they protect the expression of an idea, not the idea itself

Expression is the unique way in which you present information, perform a play, write a song, or provide your opinion on a topic

The concept of expression versus an idea can be a bit tricky

A single idea can be expressed in more than one way

Publication, which generally means that a work is copied and distributed to the public for sale, is not a requirement of copyright law

Publication can affect your rights as a copyright holder, in terms of the rules  regarding registration and the longevity of a copyright

What’s Not A Copyright?

Items commonly thought to be covered by copyright law, but are actually not covered

Short Stuff

  • Short writings such as titles, names, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols, or designs, lettering, coloring, and mere listings of ingredients or contents-cant be copyrighted

Ideas & Such

  • The following items also cant be protected by copyright law: ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries or devices
  • These things  may, however be better protected by patent law
  • A description, explanation, or an illustration of anyone of the forgoing items can be copyrighted, because it is an example of expression

Works that contain no originality are not protected by copyrights: examples are formulas, standard calendars, rulers, scientific tables, and the like

Patents–enables the patent owner to prevent others from doing certain things with the invention

  • A patent is a form of legal protection for ideas, inventions, processes and methods
  • You must go through the process of applying for a patent through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Essentially, the grant gives  the inventor a monopoly in the invention for a limited period of time

Trademarks–protect those words and symbols that help consumers id the origin of the goods

  • These marks typically act as the brands a company may use to offer its products or services
  • Trademarks are also associated with a defined set of products or services or both
  • Protection allows the trademark owner to prohibit others from using a mark that is confusingly similar

Chapter Two - TYPES OF WORKS

  • Details regarding the different types of works that are protected by copyright
  • Congress has enacted laws that define this in a much broader sense than you would have imagined
  • Technology not only expanded the realm of works that needed to be protected, but also increased the likelihood of infringement

Copyrights fall into one of a variety of categories:

1.)Literary Works

2.)Visual Arts Works

3.)Performing arts works

4.)Sound Recordings

5.)Serials and periodicals

It’s important to classify your work in order to ensure it is subject to copyright protection and to choose the proper federal registration form

1.) Literary Works

  • Literary works are expressed in words, numbers or other verbal manners
  • Can be recorded on paper, computer disc, or some other physical form
  • The underlying facts in a book or their various interpretations are not protected by copyright
  • Examples of literary works include books, online works, poetry, computer programs, other printed materials (pamphlets, tests, and reports) and other texts
  • Like computer programs, games, automated databases, contributions to a collection, compilations, speeches,  manuscripts, reports, dissertations, theses, bound, or loose-leaf volumes, reference books, directories, advertising copy, online works, textbooks
  • Compilations—a group of information borrowed from various sources but put together in such a way that the final product as a while can be considered original and creative
  • Collective Works—collection of individual pieces that make up a final product (ex. Multiple article magazines)
  • The difference between a compilation and a collective work is that a compilation is only one aspect of the effort that goes into creating a collective work
  • A collective work assumes that you also need to do some editing and revising—as a result, you not only have a copyright in the unique way in which you put it together but also in the edited and revised aspects of the work
  • Online Works—information presented online, such as the data on the home page of a website
  • Copyright only extends to those aspects of the work that are otherwise copyrightable
  • You need to clearly identify what is and what is not copyrightable when you apply for copyright registration
  • The other issue with online works is that websites are updated very frequently, if you wanted to register for a copyright every time you update your site, you’ll need to register each update separately and pay a separate fee each time
  • Games—aspects of games that contain what is considered literary or pictorial expression can be protected by copyright
  • Poetry—if you’re an aspiring poet, your words fall under the literary works category
  • Computer Programs—computer programs are made up of source code, otherwise known as a set of instructions interpreted by a computer to take certain actions and create a desired result
  • A copyright will only protect the way you wrote the program

2.) Visual Arts

  • Visual arts works include many of the items that you might imagine—paintings, sculptures, and drawings; other examples such as jewelry designs and dolls, may not be so obvious
  • Visual arts work can be two dimensional or three dimensional, it can also be fine, graphic, or applied art, architectural drawings also fall into this category
  • Examples of visual arts works include: photos, drawings, paintings, murals, games, puzzles, greeting cards, postcards, stationary, jewelry designs, dolls, toys, artificial flowers and plants, artwork on clothing, ads, commercial prints, labels, bumper stickers, decals, stickers, cartoons, comic strips, posters, reproductions like lithographs, needlework and craft kits, patterns for sewing and knitting, fabric, floor and wall covering designs, CD jacket artwork and photos, sculptures like carvings, ceramics and figurines, architectural drawings or plans, blueprints and diagrams
  • Some visual arts works are considered useful articles, which means that they do more than simply communicate the information that could be protected by copyright—copyrights don’t protect the useful aspect
  • Some designs can also be protected under patent law by what is called a design patent

3.) Performing Arts Works

  • Performing arts works are works that are intended to be performed in front of an audience
  • Examples include: dramatic works, such as movie scripts (complete with the soundtrack), musical works, such as concerts, movies and other audiovisual works, dance routines (choreographic works), including performances in operas, Broadway musicals or plays, ballets, or motion pictures
  • Can sometimes be confused with a visual arts work, make sure you know what exactly you’re seeking to protect
  • Special Consideration for Scripts—the key thing to remember with a script or similar type of writing is that it is intended to be performed and therefore considered a performing arts work
  • Some factors that influence this in the writings are cues for plot and directions for action

4.) Sound Recordings

  • This category includes works that have a series of spoken, musical, or other types of sound
  • Musical efforts that go along with a movie or other type of audiovisual work are excluded from this category; those fall into the performing arts category
  • The key here is that these recordings are strictly focused on the recordation of sound rather than audiovisuals recorded on a videotape
  • Your copyright in a sound recording will cover both the performance and the manner in which the performance was engineered and produced
  • A related work may fall into more than one category and you may need to register it in each of the relevant categories

5.) Serials & Periodicals

  • Works that are intended to be issued in successive parts with an indication of where it falls in the series (like a monthly magazine with the month and year on the cover) are considered serials
  • Newspapers, magazines or other similar works that are delivered or provided on a regular basis


  • If you own a copyright in a work, what benefits do you really get?
  • Copyright owners are concerned about others reaping the benefit of the hard work that went into creating the copyrighted work
  • Rights of the Copyright Holder
  • As a copyright owner, you will enjoy 5 exclusive rights when it comes to your copyrighted work
  • Exclusivity means that you can stop others from doing certain things with your copyrighted work without your permission
  • Exceptions include the concept of fair use as well as some others that will be pointed out as we go along

Exclusive Rights of a Copyright Holder:

1.)  Reproduction

2.)  Adaptation

3.)  Distribution

4.)  Performance

5.)  Display

1.) Reproduction

  • The copyright owner has the exclusive right to make copies of a copyrighted work
  • An exception to the exclusive right is that libraries, broadcasters, and owners of computer programs have been afforded the right to make a single copy of a copyrighted work

2.) Adaptation

  • An adaptation is a transformation of the work into another form
  • An adaptation is another name for a derivative work
  • Other examples: translations, musical arrangements, dramatizations, fictionalizations, motion picture versions, sound recordings, art reproductions, abridgments, condensations

3.) Distribution

  • As the copyright owner, you have the exclusive right to sell or rent copies of the protected work (unless, of course, you provide someone else with permission to do)
  • The concept of selling or renting a copyrighted work equates to publication of that work and can impact the duration of the term of your copyright as well as the registration procedures
  • The fact that distribution is an exclusive right puts a copyright owner in control of whether to publish the work
  • On a separate note, once you sell a copy of your work to someone else, that person now has the right to do whatever he or she wants to with that particular copy

4.) Performance

  • The official definition of a protected performance includes reciting, rendering, playing, dancing ,and acting
  • You are permitted to perform someone else’s work privately, which means only for your family members and social acquaintances
  • Certain exceptions to the performance rule: performances for charitable, religious, non profit and educational purposes are ok, visual arts works cant be performed so there is no exclusive performance right for visual arts works, finally and for a real twist, you are permitted to perform a sound recording ( there is no exclusive right)
  • The underlying musical composition is considered a performing arts work and performance of such a work therefore requires consent of the person who composed the music

5.) Display

  • For all categories of copyrights other than sound recordings, the copyright owner has an exclusive right to display his or her copyrighted work
  • A display includes showing a copy via TV, film, or any other device or method
  • Exceptions: if you have a legitimate copy of a copyrighted work, you’re allowed to display it to viewers in its usual setting; others are permitted to display a copyrighted work for charitable, religious, nonprofit, and educational purposes

Rights of Attribution and Integrity

  • The copyright law now provides some additional protections for folks who create a subset of visual arts works
  • The subset includes one of a kind or limited edition paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints,  and photographs
  • The law prohibits people from improperly claiming they created the work
  • If you’re the artist, you can actually claim authorship over the work even after you sell it

Copyright Infringement

  • What is copyright infringement?
  • If you own a copyrighted work, then you can stop someone from doing any of the things outlined above without your permission
  • If they don’t listen to you and they actually reproduce, adapt, display, perform, or distribute your copyrighted work, then they are infringing your copyright
  • It’s not difficult to demonstrate infringement if they are clearly (a) using your copyrighted work and (b) doing one of the 5 activities exclusive to the copyright owner
  • In most cases, elements are not so clear
  • MP3.Com—lost a huge copyright case in 2000 to Universal Music Groupà UMG bought later onHow Do You Know Someone is Infringing?
  • If someone is using your exact copyrighted work you don’t have to worry about proving that you work was stolen

2 Key elements that can determine infringement: access and substantial similarity

1.) Access—someone who is accused of infringing a copyrighted work must have had some access to the work prior to the infringement

One of the things you will need to prove is that the individual had access to your chest—if not then even an identical work would not be considered infringement

2.) Substantial Similarity—if you can demonstrate access to a copyrighted work, you also need to demonstrate that the work in question is    substantially similar to your copyrighted work

If the average person concludes that the alleged infringing work incorporates important parts of your work, then this is considered substantial similarity

There are a couple different approaches to figuring out whether there’s a substantial similarity between works:

a.) Similarity of Overall Structure

  • It happens a lot that copyrighted works are copied, but the infringer simply tries to use different language in order to make the new work look differentà in these cases, you should look at the overall structure and how one thought flows to the next, to  prove infringement—the structural similarities have to be pretty close
  • Courts have found that parodies of copyrighted works are permitted under certain circumstances and fall outside the exclusive rights of a copyright holder

b.) Partial Copying

  • Where a portion of a song is taken and used in a new song (may have been a portion of the lyrics or a repetitive drum sequence)
  • The big question is whether enough of the original work was appropriated to deem the two works substantially similar
  • In order to determine substantiality, you would look at the importance level of the appropriated portion in relation to the new work
  • If the most recognizable piece of a song is used prominently in a new song without permission then it may be considered a case of infringement
  • One of the ways you can identify infringement is by finding the same errors in the new work as in the original

Licensing and Sale of Copyrights

  • You can treat intellectual property just like any other property
  • You can rent it (called a license) or sell it (called an assignment)
  • You can decide under what terms you will license it

Licensing Considerations

Several things you may want to consider before licensing your copyrighted work to another person or a company

License—the nature of the relationship between you and the seller is that the seller is licensing the right to create a derivative work and distribute it to others, you are also giving this person the right to display the work for purposes of increasing sales; therefore, the license that you provide to the seller has to be focused (and limited) on what the seller will be doing with the painting and the resulting lithographs

Money—you can request some payment upfront for the right to produce the lithographs or you may just want to make money each time a lithograph is sold, perhaps you can negotiate for both; this is a risk/reward analysis

  • You could probably make more money from sale royalties, assuming that the person selling the lithographs is successful
  • If you prefer safe money—otherwise known as upfront money, you’ll probably settle for less

Term—for how long are you going to allow this person to sell your picture?

  • If the person is unsuccessful, you should have the ability to end the relationship and either do it yourself or engage with someone who can sell the lithographs more successfully
  • As the copyright owner, you have a tremendous amount of flexibility due to your ability to terminate a license agreement

Geography—where can the seller distribute the lithographs?

  • You can limit the seller to a specific territory so that you can engage with potential sellers in other areas

Limitation on Number of Lithographs—so that your painting and its resulting lithographs don’t become commonplace, you’ll want to limit the number of lithographs that may be printed and sold

Quality Review—you’ll want to make sure you get a chance to review the quality of the lithographs before they are sold to ensure they meet minimum standards

Sale of a Copyrighted Work

  • You need to differentiate in your mind a sale of a copyrighted work and a sale of the copyright itself
  • You may also decide to sell all rights to the painting along with the exclusive rights to reproduce, adapt, display, and distribute
  • To do this, the purchaser must have an ironclad written agreement that clearly outlines the transfer of the intellectual property rights; the physical object is not sufficient
  • The new copyright owner can record the transfer of ownership within the U.S. Copyright Office

Chapter Four – FAIR USE

  • There are some cases that allow the use of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner’s permission
  • These cases are referred to as fair uses
  • There is no absolute definition for fair use; however, courts have developed a set of guidelines that help to distinguish between uses that unfairly violate the rights of the copyright owner, and uses that are reasonable, fair, customary, and expected
  • Rules of thumb that are applied in determining if a use of copyrighted material is a fair use

Rules Regarding Fair Use

  • The general rule is: if you use copyrighted material, you need to get the owner’s permission
  • But fair use enables you to use the copyrighted material without permission
  • The Copyright Act says that fair uses include creating copies of a copyrighted work for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research

Four Factors Considering When Use is Fair:

1.)  The purpose and character of the use

2.)  The nature of the copyrighted work

3.)  The amount used

4.)  The effect of the use

  • There are other factors that are considered by courts when determining if a use of copyrighted material is a fair use
  • The rules of fair use are most accurately defined as guidelines that are applied in a reasonable manner on a case-by-case basis

Application of the Fair Use Rule

The following examples are considered fair uses:

  • A quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment
  • A quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations
  • A use in a parody of some of the content of the parodied work
  • A summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report
  • A reproduction by a library of a damaged portion of a work
  • A reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson
  • A reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports
  • An incidental and fortuitous reproduction in a newsreel or broadcast of a work that happens to be located in the scene of the reported event

Four Factors for Determining Fair Use

What do you need to do if your use does not align with one of these examples? First you should compare your use against the following four factors. Each of the four factors raises several questions, depending on how you answer each question will help to determine whether your use is a fair use, an infringing use, or in the fuzzy zone.

1.) The Purpose and Character of the Use

  • In determining whether a use is a fair use, the courts will look at the purpose and characteristics of your use.
  • A quick test is to check whether the use is for non profit purposes ( this leans toward fair use) à a non profit use is a use that is not intended to generate revenue or commercial gain for the user or for commercial reasons (this leans toward an infringing use)
    • Is your Use for Educational Purposes? If it is, its fair use.
    • Is your use for Personal Purposes? If it is, its fair use.
    • Examples: videotaping a television program to watch at a later time, making a backup copy of software disks, copying a song from one medium to another
    • Is your use for the purposes of criticism? If it is, its fair use.
    • Is your use for the purposes of commentary? If it is, its fair use.
    • Is your use for the purpose of reporting the news? If it is, its fair use.
    • Is it used for parody purposes? If it is, its fair use.
    • Is use a transformative use? If it is, its fair use.

If you are using an existing work and augmenting it with new and creative efforts, then you’re likely transforming the work or performing a transformative use of it.

  • Is your use a commercial use? If it is, its infringing use because it is intended to generate profit for the user.

A few additional questions help to determine commercial use:

v Will you sell copies of the new work that includes the copyrighted material?

v Will your work be used to entertain others?

v If your use is through an entertainment broadcast, will you receive financial benefit for the broadcast through advertising or payment?

v Will the new work you create fail to recognize the original author?

2.) The Nature of the Copyrighted Work

  • The courts will also look at the nature of the copyrighted work when making a determination of fair use…sometimes the work is naturally intended to be copied for certain purposes.
  • The copyrighted work can include a collection of well-known or easily discovered facts that are put together into a work without adding any imagination or creativity
  • When an author publishes a work, he or she should anticipate that others will have access to the work
  • For unpublished copyrighted works, it is more difficult to justify a fair use.

Questions to answer regarding the nature of the copyrighted work that you plan to use:

  • Is the copyrighted work primarily factual? If it is, its fair use.
  • Is the copyrighted work primarily historical? If it is, its fair use.
  • If the copyrighted work is primarily factual, are the facts easily obtained by doing simple research? If it is, its fair use.
  • If the copyrighted work is primarily factual, does it appear that the authors had to engage in extensive research to derive the factual content?  If the answer is yes, its infringing use.
  • Did the authors of the copyrighted work appear to use creativity in creating the work? If it is, its infringing use.
  • Is the copyrighted work fictional? If it is, its infringing use.
  • Is the copyrighted work published? If it is, its fair use.
  • Is the copyrighted work unpublished? If the answer is yes, its infringing use.

3.) The Amount of Copyright Information Used

  • The Copyright Act focuses on “the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole”
  • The simple test is to establish the amount of the copyrighted work that was used…another element to take into account is the substantiality of the portion

Questions regarding the amount of the copyrighted work that you plan to use:

  • Are you using a small amount of the work? If so, the use is fair.
  • Are you using a small percentage of the work? If so, the use is fair.
  • Are you using the minimal amount of the work necessary to achieve your goal, such as in a criticism or a commentary of the work? If so, the use is fair.
  • Does your use incorporate an incidental or unimportant portion of the work? If so, the use is fair.
  • Does your use incorporate the essence of the work? If so, the use is on the infringing side.
  • Are you using a large amount of the work? If so, the use is on the infringing side.
  • Are you including portions of the work that are not necessary in achieving your goal, such as in a criticism or a commentary of the work? If so, the use is on the infringing side.
  • Are you using a large percentage of the work or the whole work? If so, the use is on the infringing side.

4.) The Effect of the Use

  • The Copyright Act focuses on “the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.” This factor must be viewed a little differently than the other three factorsàthe reason for this  is: if the use is weighing heavily on the fair use side, then the effect on the potential market becomes irrelevant.
  • Before looking at this factor, you should make sure that you have analyzed your use in light of the first three factors
  • If you determine that your use is a fair use, then you can ignore this factor…if you determine that your use is not a fair use or that it falls in or near the fuzzy zone, then you should consider this fourth factor with very much care

Questions regarding the effect of the use:

  • Do you own a legitimate copy of the original copyrighted work upon which your new work is based? If so, the use is on the fair side.
  • Will your use have a negative impact on the sales of the original copyrighted work(such as, reducing sales)? If so, the use is infringing.
  • Is the original work still in print or available for purchase? If so, the use is infringing.
  • Has the copyright owner obtained royalties through licensing the copyrighted work? If so, the use is infringing.
  • Are you going to be marketing the new work in a similar fashion as the original work (ex. Selling it in a book store)? If so, the use is infringing.
  • Would others be likely to purchase your new work instead of the original work? If so, the use is infringing.
  • Will your use result in distributing a large number of copies of the new work? If so, the use is infringing.
  • Are you able to identify the copyright owner of the copyrighted work? If so, the use is infringing.


  • Creating a parody of a copyrighted work is an interesting situation
  • Parody is a form of criticism that can result in casting the original work’s author in an unfavorable light
  • If you are planning on creating a parody, you should be careful. The lines between parody and copyright infringement can be very blurry

Are You Certain Your Use is a Fair Use?

If you find yourself in the fuzzy zone or the infringing use zone, you have at least 4 options to consider:

1.)  just to plow ahead and hope for the best

2.)  seek the advice of an attorneyà an attorney can review your use and prepare a legal opinion concerning your use. A legal opinion is a written document prepared by an attorney that describes your use in view of the law

3.)  get a license…ask the copyright owner for permissionà the permission may come as a free gift, or the copyright owner may require some sort of compensation for the use

4.)  just don’t do it… if you are not certain whether your use is a fair use, and you don’t have the copyright owner’s permission, you might want to consider an alternative solution

Chapter Five – Obtaining Copyright Protection

A copyright is actually a very easy form of protection to obtain

Automatic Protection

Copyright automatically attaches to the language and the unique way in which words are arrangedàtherefore, registration is not required

There are significant benefits to registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office

Benefits of Federal Registration

Why you’d need to bother registering your copyrightàcopyright registration makes a public record of general information related to copyright.

Registration gives other people notice that you have and claim a copyright and provides the following benefits:

Before you can file an infringement suit related to a work created in the U.S., you must register your copyright

Your registration of a work within five years of its publication will establish the validity of your copyright and the facts stated in the copyright certificate in court

Your registration of a work within three months of publication or prior to an infringement of the work will allow you to seek a set range of damages (statutory damages) and attorney’s fees in an infringement action rather than having to prove how much damage someone’s infringement caused youà Statutory damages range from $500-$20,000 per violation and sometimes $100,000…otherwise, the copyright owner can receive an award of actual damages and profits…often its either too difficult to prove the actual damage caused by a copyright infringement or the amount is too small to make it worth suing.

Your registration enables you to obtain additional protection from the U.S. Customs Service against the importation of infringing copies of your copyrighted work

Federal “Do it Yourself” Copyright Filing

You can either pay a lawyer a few hundred dollars to register your work or you can do it yourself. Depending on the kind of work you created, you will be required to fill out a special registration form. It’s critical that you figure out which category your work falls into

How to Fill Out the Registration Form

  • Each of the copyright categories has its own registration form
  • The registration forms can be obtained from the U.S. Copyright Office website at, under the section entitled “How to Register a Work”


The Purpose of Music Criticism In Society

Music critics have existed, professionally and recreationally,  for hundreds of years . Since music criticism, as a profession, has existed, the public has been informed about happenings in the music world. The purpose of music critics is to educate and inform the general public about music (whether in the form of album reviews, live performance reviews, artist profiles, or artist interviews).

Professional music critics are expected to provide insight to the public about whether new albums, live performances, and specific buzz and popular artists are worth checking out or not. It is the critics’ duty to sift through all of the artists that exist in the vast musical landscape and direct their readers to the best artists, so that they may focus their musical attention towards them. Critics are also expected to be informative and unbiased in their reporting, in order to provide an accurate depiction of the material they are reviewing.

Professional critics should be and are held to reporting standards: both ethically and professionally. According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, journalists are required to: (1) seek and report the truth, (2) minimize harm to sources, subjects and colleagues and respect all human beings, (3) act independently, by being free of obligation to any interest other than that of the public, and (4) be accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers, and each other. Professional standards that all critics should be held to are to: write in a concise and coherent manner so that the public can understand the message that they are trying to convey; write in a grammatically correct manner, and adhere to proper punctuation standards.

Critics are also expected to accurately state information about the material they are reviewing. They are expected to be knowledgeable and provide an educated opinion about the subjects at hand.. Without proper preparation and background, they will not be able to properly inform their readers about the music they are covering. Without properly researching the artist, album, genre, show background, and the genre’s history, the critic will make errors. Errors due to inadequate preparation severely reduces the critic’s credibility among readers and colleagues, and make him appear ignorant. If the critic has not prepared, his readers maybe misinformed and will ultimately be upset if the information provided to them was inaccurate.

Music critics provide a valuable service to the public. They direct and inform readers about musical endeavors that might interest them. Without music critics, the general public would be left to its own devices when it comes to exploring new music. In essence,  without  music critics, listeners might not  know where to or how to obtain new and intriguing music.


Review of Jay-Z's "Unplugged" Album

Album Title: “Unplugged”

Album Artist: Jay-Z

Label: Roc-a-Fella

Release Date: 12/18/01

A running debate amongst music aficionados is whether studio albums are better than live albums. In 1976, when Peter Frampton released “Frampton Comes Alive,” (the first commercially successful live album), he demonstrated the substantial demand for that kind of album. Since 1976, countless live albums have been released by a wide variety of artists. In 1989, MTV decided to capitalize on this trend by hosting “Unplugged” sessions, which featured popular artists of the time performing in intimate settings in front of small audiences.

In 2000, MTV hosted its 1st (and only) unplugged session featuring a hip-hop lyricist. The featured lyricist was none other than the legendary Jay-Z. Due to high receptiveness of the performance, by viewers, in 2001 Jay-Z’s “Unplugged” album was released for commercial sale.

“Unplugged” is quite different than most live albums. Typically, live albums consist of intense crowd screaming and cheering in between and during songs (which tends to take away from song quality). This album has practically none of that, with the exception of when Jay-Z specifically asks for crowd participation.

“Unplugged” contains songs from five of his albums: “The Blueprint,” “Vol.2 Hardknock Life,” “Vol 3. The Life & Times of S. Carter,” “Reasonable Doubt,” and “The Dynasty-Roc La Familia.” This release serves as a greatest hits album, performed live. Each song featured either charted in Billboard’s Top 200 or was Grammy nominated. As with all of his releases, there were guest features by prominent and up and coming artists (Mary J. Blige, Pharrell, and Jaguar Wright).

With live instrumentation backing him (provided by The Roots), each song was precisely replicated (musically) to sound like the studio versions of the tracks. The song lyrics on “Unplugged” remained largely unchanged (with the exception of explicit content being removed). There were, however, manifold changes in arrangements of the songs. For “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love),” the male vocalist, who appeared on the original track, was replaced by the female vocalist Jaguar Wright. Wright’s intense vocal riffs (accentuated by Jay-Z) created a more soulful and powerful sound than the original delivered. The song “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” featuring Mary J. Blige, was altered so that part of her single “Family Affair” was included in the performance. Select tracks (like “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Ain’t No,” “Can I Get A,” and “ Jigga, Jigga,”) were vastly shortened, due to the original featured artists not participating in the MTV session.

One special thing about “Unplugged,” was after the last song “Jigga, Jigga” finished, a hidden studio track started to play. This track, called “People Talking” had been previously unreleased and is quite possibly one of Jay-Z’s greatest songs. Although it was added as a promotional track, for The Blueprint 2, it served as a great end to an amazing album. This album is perfect for a Jay-Z novice (looking to learn about his catalogue) or a hardcore fan.  It includes his greatest hits, special renditions of popular songs, and an exclusive track.




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