Free Justin Bieber!

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Justin Bieber has been sentenced to five years in jail…

…Or at least, he would have been if a copyright law amendment passes through the U.S. congress. That’s the crux of the Free Bieber campaign (http://freebieber.org) which aims to raise awareness of a bill which makes posting a video containing any copyrighted work a felony, with a maximum of five years in prison.

The campaign uses Bieber as an example of an artist who got noticed by posting videos on Youtube of himself singing the songs of other already-famous artists. These videos helped make the Canadian 17 year-old the biggest teen pop star on the planet. The new bill would make the act of posting a video commercial infringement and consequentially a felony. While the message itself is a serious one, the various photoshopped images of Bieber behind bars, in an orange prison jumpsuit, crying in his cell and receiving a visit from his estranged girlfriend also serve up virtual schadenfreude for those who have been subjected to Bieber’s music for periods of time. No doubt, the same group of people will take a perverse pleasure from Bieber’s recent appearance on CSI which has been turned into a 10-hour repeating Youtube version.

MC Hammer is launching his own search engine. I know that reads like a satirical web headline but it’s true. The former baggy-pants wearing rapper announced his attempt to hurt Google with the launch of Wiredoo at the recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last week. The service was introduced as a search engine which places a special emphasis on “deep search” and relationship between search terms.

Hammer broke down the concept using the idea of searching for a car. Using metadata we can build relationships between words and how they relate in real-time. So a search for “car” in Wiredoo takes into account more than just the word. It’s also about things that are related to it like who’s driving the vehicle, zip codes, insurance rates, price, specs and mileage. Taking the idea further, you could use this deep search technique to receive pertinent information about your town, city or area from crime index to schools. You could then drill down into data on schools and see their truancy levels, expulsion rates, size, teacher ratings and university progression percentages.

While the demo shown at the summit left a lot to be desired for a project two years in the making (not to mention some less than progressive under the hood coding on wiredoo.com), I have to admire Hammer for his attempt. Who knows maybe Google will recognise Hammer is “too legit to quit”. Ahem. Sorry.

Back in February, this column bemoaned the lack of online movie services in Ireland. This country loves going to the movies but that was not represented in the digital space. On Monday, the U.S. streaming movie and TV service Netflix announced it was finally ready to launch in the UK and Ireland from early 2012 with a subscription service that will offer unlimited viewing of films and TV shows for a monthly fee (which has yet to be confirmed but charges $7.99 a month in the U.S.). Good news for Irish cinephiles.

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Band of Blogs: Youth Lagoon, Goodtime, Cities Aviv & A Guy Called Gerald’s hip-hop mix

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Youth Lagoon

22 year old Trevor Powers’ album of bedroom lo-fi pop songs has reached far beyond his four walls with thanks to US music blogs and a piece in SPIN magazine. Check out some tracks on The Hype Machine.
bit.ly/youthlagoon

Goodtime

Dublin’s Goodtime John returns without the second part of his name and a new lilting twilight song called Behind This Sun taken from forthcoming album The Colours Of Darkness.
thecoloursofdarkness.bandcamp.com

Cities Aviv

Memphis rapper Cities Aviv’s track Coastin’ samples a song from the musical movie Hair and turns it into a breezy horn-filled rap track. Just chill…

Coastin by Cities Aviv

A Guy Called Gerald hip-hop mix

“The music from my teens”, is how A Guy Called Gerald described his two hour ’80s hip-hop mix which serves as a tribute to DJ Kool Herc, the original rap DJ.

A Guy Called Gerald Bboy 80′s hip hop by A Guy Called Gerald

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