May 2, 2003

2003 May 2 [8:01 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-05-02 17:11:19)

I’m back. A little catching up to do, even with just two days out, I see. And I owe a discussion of record contract costs. (But I have to start brief, because I have one more obligation this AM)

  • Jenny Levine has found an article skewering the MPAA’s informational efforts on DVD piracy at the movie theater from Entertainment Weekly. She’s a subscriber, so she’s got the excerpts. Don’t miss them!

  • I got a nice note from Mary Hodder, thanking me and others for keeping up on things while she’s been slogging through the end of her semester. Of course, it came while I was away (and therefore failing to do the very thing she was complementing me for!) And, moreover, I see that she’s back at it, with this interesting piece on the economic effects of P2P, this time on the online porn biz.

  • The Reduce Spam Act was introduced - Larry expects he’ll get to keep his job. (one background article; many others here and elsewhere)

  • Salon has letters in response to Farhad Majoo’s paean to iTunes.

  • Wired News reports that NJIT is working to block all P2P file sharing on the campus network. (See also Amy Harmon’s article below) And, at the same time, it’s clear that it will be imperfect on a number of levels:

    The New Jersey Institute of Technology will no longer allow its students and staff to use P2P sites on its computer network in an effort to avoid any legal action from the music industry.

    …”When I can’t get my own 13-year-old to stop (file sharing), I don’t know how I can get my entire campus to stop,” [dean of students Jack Gentul] added.

    … The school is using a package of hardware and software products called “traffic shaping” that “restrict the use of certain protocols which will allow us to identify programs that we believe are being used for illegal sharing of copyrighted works,” said David Ullman, the school’s chief information officer.

    … “I’m actually going to continue to use (the P2P sites) because there are ways around (the block),” said Heaver, who is majoring in information technology. “There will definitely be students who won’t know how to get around it or it will take time for them to hear about it, and there will be ones who just give up.

  • Wired News on iTunes: Music Biz Buzzing Over ITunes; Also the NYTimes Circuits section: Apple’s New Online Music Service [pdf]

  • Jupiter Media’s Mark Mulligan compares Apple’s iTunes (see David Card’s analysis) with the EMI initiative and draws some interesting conclusions:

    This is not a one-off project that is consigned to the schedules of EMI’s new media division. Make no mistake, this is EMI taking the first step towards a fundamental restructuring of their whole product proposition. The aim is to make the digital aspect a standard format alongside CD, DVD, tape and vinyl. Approximately 80 percent of the catalogue has already been set aside and the vast majority of new releases will also be made available for digital release. Digital downloads will not only sit alongside traditional format releases but will actually often appear ahead of schedule and even radio play. 50 new tracks are already available ahead of traditional release.

    …EMI are smart enough to accept that third party distributors with established brands and users bases are the best route to market.

    If the other majors were to follow suit with equally comprehensive offerings then Europe would undoubtedly leave the US online music market trailing in its wake. Even without them, EMI have set the tone.

  • CNet’s week inreview column talks about iTunes and AAC, and developments in the P2P/RIAA battles.

  • Charlie Cooper argues that the US trade rep is about to lock the DMCA into some treaties with Singapore and Chile. Larry Lessig explains it better, and more clearly, in his weblog

  • I may not get to my promised writeup, but here’s a Rolling Stone article on one way the costs of music recording can fall: Pro Tools Nation: Butch Vig shows you why a little software program is making studio owners nervous [pdf]; Slashdot discussion: Cheap Audio Production

  • The Register describes the initial reaction to the Apple iMusic store as follows: Apple Music Store sells four songs every second - report, basing the numbers on this Billboard news item - Slashdot iTunes Music Store sells 275,000 Tracks in 18 Hours.

  • In re: music industry dynamics, there were a couple of articles in USAToday yesterday (yes, the consequences of traveling include reading that paper from cover to cover) suggesting that, if country doesn’t want the Dixie Chicks, Adult Contemporary radio would be more than happy to support them: Will criticism prompt Chicks to fly the country coop? [pdf] and Industry buzz: Dixie Chicks would be well received on pop radio [pdf]

  • I see that the breaking story of the day yesterday was the pending RIAA settlement with the students being sued for unearthly amounts of money in the P2P/copyright infringement cases. A couple of resources include:

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