2003 January 3

(entry last updated: 2003-01-02 19:22:34)

  • Via Slashdot, this NYTimes piece on the pending expiration of some European copyrights on some classics. (How did I miss this earlier today??)

    Copyright protection lasts only 50 years in Europe compared to 95 years in the United States, even if the recordings were originally made and released in America.

    So recordings made in the early to mid-1950’s — by figures from Maria Callas to Elvis Presley and Ella Fitzgerald — have begun to go out of copyright in Europe, opening the way for any European recording company to release albums that had been owned exclusively by particular labels.

  • This New York Times wrap up of the year in pop includes this memorable statement:

    Major labels continued to bemoan decreasing sales of the expensively produced, expensively promoted blockbuster albums they had grown accustomed to marketing. They blame Internet file-sharing and home CD copying; other observers point to a recessionary economy, the phasing out of affordable singles, other entertainment choices (like video games and DVD’s), rising CD prices and a glut of disposable music. Mariah Carey got a $28 million severance check from Virgin Records as 2002 began, and had a Top 5 album before the year ended. Plenty of high-gloss, high-stakes projects are still being pushed on listeners. But as music fans develop a taste for realism, sooner or later the recording business might just do the same.

  • And this (not so) little device should give the RIAA more heartburn.

  • It will be interesting to see if this claimed breakthrough in HDTV transmission standards for cable will really lead to happy consumers.

  • CNet had an interview with Ted Waitt of Gateway on the company’s position in re fair use and digital devices.

  • Apparently, the earlier cited article from the New York Times had a companion piece. To find both pieces, each of which has some relevant things to say about copyright and digital media, start here.