|| Wednesday, 21st July 1999
22.00 This is the first anniversary of the Diary. Excerpts from from the first posting:
I Dear Team,
This, my first direct posting to our Website, represents a new stage in the continuing recreation and ongoing discovery of Discipline Global Mobile, what it is and needs to become, from the inside.
Please be kind, perhaps generous and, if possible, even patient in this process. The difficulties which any small company such as ours has in meeting its aims are hard to exagerrate. To exist is in itself a triumph, but existence is not a sufficient reason for DGM to continue.
There are three primary constructs of my professional life which, although in all cases involving the energies and contributions of others, nevertheless have been prime and determining in my own life. These constructs are King Crimson, Guitar Craft and Discipline Global Mobile.
Formerly, my responsibility was to one construct at a time. Currently all three feed upon me simultaneously, and exert their own ongoing demands.
If you ask me to give a single example of a DGM business practice which describes the essence of DGM, simply and directly, this is it:
Artists have the right to own the copyright in their own recorded work.
Within the music industry, authors' interest in their work is generally acknowledged as a moral right. Staggeringly, unbelievably, inexplicably, indefensibly, it is NOT a legal or contractual right.
My personal view, and the formal view of DGM, is this:
Ownership by record companies of the phonographic copyright in albums, made by artists who have themselves financed the recording of that work (whether by advance or otherwise), is an act of theft; and, as such, is criminal.
Standard recording contracts (for young artists "hungry to get signed") represent a legal framework within which theft may conveniently proceed. Conventionally, the artist constructs the work to be stolen, pays for its construction, agrees to its theft, and then meets the costs of thieving.
This is Discipline Global Mobile's challenge to the music industry:
Acknowledge the copyright interest of your artists, and grant to them what is already theirs. Acknowledge their legal and equitable rights in what is already accepted as a moral right.
Abolition of the slave trade acknowledged, and conferred upon its objects, a present and proceding personal and human freedom denied them by the operations of overwhelming power. Actually, the slave trade was not abolished: it turned its interests from sugar to music, sacked the overseers and set up legal departments. (Then it re-hired the overseers as A&R).
Today was a pivotal and determining day at DGM.
1. We revibrated the office structure, efficiency following from our recent hard-won definition and clarity.
2. We met with a young man who might become our Website on-site vibrator.
3. Bill Bruford and I spoke over the telephone and discussed radical plans for the next stage of King Crimson.
4. Mr. McFall visited from Edinburgh to entertain the possiblity of Mr. McFall's Chamber (a small chamber ensemble of varietal and outward-reaching musical interests) becoming a DGM artist.
5. David Singleton and I are spending our late evening session compiling the second DGM sampler "Sometimes God Smiles". It's a beast. I am hitting computer keys as the next little sucker slips gently into place within the sonic stream.
Search Robert Fripp's diary archive.