Apple’s Market Power

Apple sets tune for pricing of song downloads [pdf]

Apple Computer on Monday revealed it had renewed contracts with the four largest record companies to sell songs through its iTunes digital store at 99 cents each. The agreements came after months of bargaining, and were a defeat for music companies that had been pushing for a variable pricing model.

The music industry’s big four – Universal, Warner Music, EMI and Sony BMG – were not immediately available to comment.

Also eWeek’s article and David Berlind’s commentary

Catching Up

‘Way too busy after being gone for only a few days.  But this old news is worth taking a little time to note: Congress may consider mandatory ISP snooping

Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an “issue that must be addressed.” Child pornography investigations have been “hampered” because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.

Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment–perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week–that would make such data deletion illegal.

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette’s proposal (click for PDF) says that any Internet service that “enables users to access content” must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user’s account was closed.