Daniel Bone on Pirates of the platter & can.

1 Aug

The following link was given at the top of the Daily Echo story but it did not work for me:


It was atop today’s piece by Daniel Bone Trouble ahoy for the pirates?

“Piracy, then, does not look like disappearing anytime soon, and the entertainment industry needs to adapt or face potentially crippling losses” he concludes.

Daniel quotes Martin Kretschmer, professor of information jurisprudence at Bournemouth University, who believes that there will always be sources of pirated media, regardless of any attempts to crackdown in court.

The issue is spotlighted as the film studios celebrate a victory in the High Court in London against newzbin2 but Martin points out that:

“There needs to be a legitimate option available for each piece of content the consumer can get on the internet.”

I agree. Once alcohol was available legally again, who needed the speak-easy? Some of those basement bars still exist as store rooms beneath old buildings in downtown LA, as a recent doco on Yesterday channel showed.

Alan Crawford took up the challenge, in the 1960s, of going one better than the International Broadcasting Company in the 1930s, and provided American-style all-Pop music radio for the UK, styled Radio Atlanta, from a ship at sea.

He followed the example of the border radio from Mexico into USA, and the VOA anti-Communist station aboard Courier off Rhodes after the war, and Scandy stations Nord, Sud, and Mercur.

An unscrupulous Irish opportunist, Ronan O’Rahilly, sabotaged the efforts of Alan Crawford, and got Caroline on the air first. They soon co-operated and Atlanta became Caroline South, whilst the ship Caroline parked up in Douglas Bay, Isle of Man.

The news media industry names the free radio stations “Pirates” despite the fact that they broke no laws.

As to the Phonographic Performing Rights Society, who collected royalties for recording artists, I understood at the time that it refused to take any money off those offshore free radio stations who were organised like good businesses, such as Radio London, when discussions were offered.

And as for Musicians Union, like all trades unions, which begin as righteous organisations defending workers against criminal exploitation, they were simply old fogies wedded to the preservation of dance-band music from the 1930s and 1940s, which the fogey-filled BBC sucked-up to, despite the fact that the big affluent market of young fans bought records, not sheet music, and liked Rock and Roll, not Big Band. They would not even speak of the offshore stations if ladies were present. 

After the earning of a legal income was shut off to them by the new law on 14 August 1967, all the stations except Caroline shut down.

In the interim betwixt towing away, by creditors, of the two ships of Radio Caroline in March 1969, and the arrival of Radio Northsea International in the early 1970s, some members of support groups such as the Free Radio Association, organised land-based broadcasting, reminiscent of clandestine radio in occupied countries during the war, but lacking the danger of torture and death if and when caught.

As an FRA member who ( at 28) joined with a group of younger (17 and up) youths and girls, I feel no shame over the defiance of what was, in reality, a loony-Left, Marxist-fascist anti-free-speech law. As a moderate socialist who believes that private enterprise is vital for economic health, I only felt frustrated by the fact that Radio Free Plymouth had neither sufficient money with which to buy the powerful kit, nor sufficient locations from which to broadcast.

I worked as a telephone switchboard operator at the Western Morning News, and one of our DJs (who was the only guy with a car) worked in radio communications at the office of the Captain of the Port in HM Dockyard at Devonport. A more law-abiding bunch of dudes did not exist, except in regard land-based free radio, and citizens band as the 1980s arrived.  

So I have no admiration for people who rob artists of their due reward for creative work.

The “white” Crew Cuts (actually Canadian I believe) stole Sh-Boom from the “black” Chords WHILST IT WAS IN THE CHARTS. This is artistically dishonest. It is pejoratively called a cover, or cover version.

But when Lulu did a different version of Sam and Dave’s Shout five years later it was not a cover, it was effectively a tribute version.

Spotty-grotty Brit twits by the score stole North-American (mostly US) songs (mostly “black” but occasionally white). Our one-time RFP DJ Jay, and our one-time club DJ Vincent, know more about this stuff than I do.

The most ludicrous example I know is when Tommy Steel did Guy Mitchell’s Singing the Blues. I may have mentioned all this before…

A rich nosh-up of details regarding the movie industry is provided in the piece by Daniel Bone. I do recommend it. Apropos the title of this Post, I realise that movies are in process of being distributed via the internet, not in cans. And platters are a thing of the past too. But I do not care. To heck with categories too. If you happen upon this gem of peasant journalism, lucky you. If you miss, lucky too.

3 Responses to “Daniel Bone on Pirates of the platter & can.”

  1. Vincent August 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Excellent piece, Cy. Not much to add. Pat Boone (are you SURE that guy’s name is Daniel BONE?) also stole from Little Richard.

    Note: if your Gravatar was photographed in 1958 – how come you’re using a MOBILE PHONE??!

  2. Jay Liotta August 3, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    The sixties offshore stations were referred to as pirates as they used broadcast channels in the AM band that they had chosen themselves and not been assigned by the 1940’s international agreement. When asked by Fleet Street’s well meaning hacks why they were using channels not assigned to them, the pirates replied “we were not around in the forties when they had the meeting”. One interesting point was the channel spacing in the AM band. In Europe, there was a 9Khz spacing but in USA it was 10Khz (Kilohertz) or as they use to say in those days Kilocycles (per second)

    • Vincent August 4, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      I myself am not an expert, but I recall during John Stonehouse’s attempted jamming of RNI, that the afore-mentioned station stated that there were MANY European LAND-based radio stations that did not conform to those agreements either…

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