June 10, 2003

2003 June 10 [6:52 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-06-10 18:38:08)

Ugh! Not a good day - I think I’m going to miss the dinner :-((

  • Mary’s back at it: Music Downloads for the PC Planned

  • Some Slashdot worth reviewing:

  • Ed Felten weighs in on the SCO/IBM dispute:

    Assuming that SCO’s charges are correct, the moral of the story is not, as the conventional wisdom would have it, to avoid software that comes from pimply-faced teenagers. Quite the contrary. The moral is to be wary of software from big, established companies like IBM. In SCO’s story, the pimply-faced teenagers are bystanders – the gray-haired guys in expensive suits are the crooks.

    More likely, though, the fact that SCO’s story involves their code ending up in an open-source IBM product, rather than a closed-source one, is just a red herring. IBM would have had just as large an incentive to copy code into a closed-source product, and doing so would have reduced the chance of getting caught. Nobody has offered a plausible reason why the open-source nature of the end product matters.

  • Pursuant to yesterday’s writeup of the Jordan’s PR push, here are more links from Kevin Heller

  • More on the music format comparison game from Slashdot: AAC Put To The Test

  • Even thought it’s BBSpot, it might not be a joke: Apple Enters iLoo Fray with P4 Laptop

  • Today’s Boston Globe has two articles of note, stemming from the claim that today is a sort of “super Tuesday” in CD releases.

    • Internet-savvy fans steal thunder of Radiohead release [pdf] - a pending test of the effect of downloads on sales - unless, of course, the sales are a smash, in which case it’s just proof that the sales would have been even higher without downloading……

      It’s no secret that an early version of the [new Radiohead] album has been widely available via the Internet for more than two months. Anecdotal evidence suggests that listeners have been downloading it at an extraordinary rate, making it not only the latest but one of the most egregious examples of people snagging electronic copies of a record before its release date.

      What critics and fans haven’t been able to predict is whether any of this matters. Will fans still buy ”Hail to the Thief,” or is the release painfully anticlimatic?

    • Media chiefs express fears of digital piracy [pdf]

      At the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual meeting here yesterday, AOL Time Warner chief executive Richard D. Parsons and Viacom Inc. president Mel Karmazin — appearing with the heads of Microsoft Corp. and Comcast Corp. — said solutions are urgently needed but may take considerable time to be developed.

      [...]Matthew Blank, chief executive of Showtime Networks, the cable movie channel, said film distributors want to ensure that ”we’re not the next to be Napsterized like our friends in the music business,” a reference to the music file-sharing system that spawned an epidemic of online music piracy.

      ”We’ve got to put our best minds and collaborate with others across the industry on coming up with the best ways for digital content to move in a way that is secure,” [AOL's] Parsons said. ”We could actually all be losers if we don’t solve this security issue.”

      This all raises the key question - exactly who is holding a gun to these guys heads and forcing them to go to digital distribution - and if it’s really such a compelling economic opportunity, why can’t they afford to pay for the solutions themselves, instead of asking the consumer to pay, both in terms of added equipment expense and in terms of product accessibility? And isn’t it great that Bill Gates was there to scare them with Napster and to point them toward the latest Windows for TVs?

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