May 10, 2004

Prince’s New Distribution Model [8:09 pm]

From Sunday’s Boston Globe: Are U ready 2 pay 4 his music 2wice? [!wow! the Globe expired that URL fast - here's a PDF]

The bundling of a CD and a concert ticket for one price has the music industry buzzing. It allows Prince to sell direct to his audience, cutting out all the middlemen. It also helps push his album up the record charts, the key to getting more radio play, which in turn drives retail sales.

Prince’s album, called ”Musicology,” has earned strong reviews. It debuted at number three in its first week at the end of April, posting sales of 191,000. It held on to the third spot last week even though sales slipped 10 percent to 172,000.

Overall, concert sales accounted for about 18 percent of Prince’s total CD sales over the two weeks, but they appeared to be the key in the second week to Prince’s holding on to third ahead of Diana Krall’s ”The Girl in the Other Room,” which sold 144,000 copies.

[...] While Prince’s business strategy appears to be working, it has a downside for his fans. Anyone wanting to see Prince in concert has to pay for his CD (two of them if a husband and wife go together) whether they want it or not.

Prince also has done a poor job of getting the word out about his bundling experiment. It’s possible many fans bought tickets to a concert and separately purchased the CD, not knowing they were going to get a stripped-down version of the CD at the concert.

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Japan Moves On Encrypted P2P Author [1:58 pm]

From Slashdot: Winny P2P Software Creator Arrested

The story:

The author of Winny, the Japanese P2P software with encrypted networking capability, similar to Freenet, has been today officially arrested for abetment of copyright violation, after the raid in the last December. He started its development in May 2002 and occasionally appeared on the web forum 2ch with his anonymous codename “47″, but today turned out to be an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Tokyo in his 30s. Winny was so efficient and popular that it generated problems even at the Japanese police and the GSDF. As the Japanese police is the most advanced among the world in pulling P2P into criminal cases, outcry of users in Japan is expected

From ABC News Online: Top software developer arrested for ‘Winny’ file sharing

Isamu Kaneko, 33, was arrested for suspected conspiracy to commit copyright violation by the High-tech Crime Taskforce of the Kyoto Prefectural Police.

It is the country’s first arrest of a file sharing application developer, a police spokesman said.

The alleged offence is punishable by up to three years in prison or a maximum fine of $US26,700.

Kaneko, known as only “47″ in cyberspace, is a research assistant in a computer engineering graduate course at Japan’s Tokyo University.

Update: 5/11 Globe - Kyoto arrests professor in file-sharing software case [pdf]; The Register: Japanese P2P founder arrested

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Chilling Effects [11:09 am]

Eye on F.C.C., TV and Radio Watch Words

“If you’re asking if there has been overcaution on the part of broadcasters today, I think the answer is yes,” said Jeff Smulyan, the chairman and chief executive of Emmis Communications, which owns 16 television stations and 27 radio stations in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other cities. “Everyone is going to err on the side of caution. There is too much at stake. People are just not sure what the standards really are.”

The uncertainty over standards, Mr. Smulyan said, has convinced station executives to hire at least two paralegals whose responsibilities will include deleting potentially offensive material on live broadcasts before those words can be heard by the audience, using technology that delays the airing of those programs by an interval of several seconds.

[...] In an e-mail message to the station’s program director, the assistant program director wrote that the delay was used 11 times that day for Mr. Limbaugh’s program. “I can only guess we are erring on the side of safety given that I don’t know of any instance a licensee has ever been fined or cited for airing Rush unedited,” the assistant program director wrote, “but we’ll continue to do these cuts until we’re directed otherwise.”

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