Experiment in Collective Action?

Or trying to put toothpaste back into the tube?  Red Hot Chili Peppers angered by Internet leak [pdf]

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have lashed out at a music pirate who leaked the funk-rock band’s upcoming album onto the Internet, and urged fans not to download it illegally.

The band’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday the offender was being tracked down. The group’s highly anticipated first studio album in four years, “Stadium Arcadium,” is still on track to go on sale on Tuesday via Warner Music Group Inc.s Warner Bros. Records, she said.

In a rambling open letter, the band’s bass player, Michael “Flea” Balzary, said he and his colleagues would be heartbroken if fans downloaded the album beforehand.

[…] If caught, the leaker could face the same fate as two men indicted by the U.S. government in March on allegations of making parts of an album by rock singer Ryan Adams available on the Internet before it was released.

Under a provision of the 2005 Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, which makes it a separate crime to pirate music and movies before their official release date, they each face up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

The band’s spokeswoman said she did not know how the album was leaked. Warner Bros. often distributes advance copies of albums to journalists in special envelopes that declare the recipient responsible for any misuse of the CD once the seal is broken. The discs are watermarked and bear the recipient’s name, which makes leaks easier to trace.

This Should Be Fun (Not)

One of the key questions for the deployment of many of these new technologies is the degree to which the availability of new “ways of doing” exposes gaps in our existing social institutions. Here’s an effort to test whether such a gap exists in the domain of cellphones and privacy: FTC Says 5 Firms Sold Cellphone Records

The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that it sued five Internet companies, alleging that they broke a federal law by selling cellphone records, an issue that has touched off privacy concerns on Capitol Hill and among privacy-protection groups.

The lawsuit, filed in five federal district courts, seeks to stop sales of the logs, which include records of incoming and outgoing cellphone calls and, sometimes, the times of those calls. The FTC also seeks to reclaim money made by the five companies that allegedly collected, advertised and sold the information to third parties.

Related: Beware Your Trail of Digital Fingerprints

Experiments in Distribution

Sites Let Amateurs Be Published Authors Without the Book Deal

Shane Gilreath, an amateur poet and artist, wasn’t planning on becoming a book author — until he met Lulu. Neither were Karen and Walter Del Pellegrino, a couple who tapped Lulu to publish their guide to Italian ceramics as an anniversary present. And before Lulu, entrepreneur Pete Edwards was still printing test-preparation guides for students one-by-one on his office printer.

Lulu is not a book agent, publisher or publicist. Lulu is an on-demand publishing service that prints and ships each book as it is ordered, then offers online tools for authors to market their books on the Web. With no upfront fees, Lulu ( http://www.lulu.com/ ) takes a commission only when each book is sold.

Yaaarh! The RIAA Takes on Real Pirates

Music Pirates in 12 Cities Targeted

The music industry, which has famously sued Internet users for downloading songs illegally, is turning its sights on pirates in 12 cities who copy CDs and DVDs for sale at street corners, flea markets, family run shops and even mainstream record stores.

Executives identified the cities as Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; Providence, R.I.; San Diego and San Francisco. These were selected based on market surveys, earlier raids and industry reviews of sales data suggesting lost sales during the past five years.