On A Hunt

German police scour CeBIT IT fair

Local customs and police officers confiscated products from the stand of at least one exhibitor at Germany’s CeBIT fair on Wednesday on suspicion the devices infringed on MPEG audio patents, a patent licensing agency said.

We Have Met The Enemy, and They Is Us

Music insiders try to stay upbeat at South by Southwestpdf

As thousands of bands flooded into the capital this week with their guitars and dreams in tow, keynote speaker Pete Townshend kicked off the 21st annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference with a remark that neatly summed up the general mood in the industry.

“Rome,” Townshend declared, quoting an unnamed record company CEO, “is burning.”

Rome, in this case, is the record business, which continues in a freefall that hit a new low in January — the worst month on record, with a sales drop of 40 percent compared to a decade ago. The explosion of file-sharing and downloading, competition from video games and other niche products, and the trend-driven nature of big-budget projects have combined to put the recording industry into a 10-year tailspin. Major labels have slashed employee and artist rosters. Perhaps most critically, the big record companies have largely failed to embrace the digital revolution, putting severe restrictions on their artists’ catalogs. In the process they alienated customers and drove away business.

Nothing Personal; It’s Just Business

Copyrights and media negotiations in the Internet Age: Is Redstone of two minds on YouTube?pdf

Media mogul Sumner Redstone has had a love-hate affair with YouTube Inc. this week.

No sooner had one company he controls, Viacom Inc., sued the online video site for $1 billion than CBS Inc., which he also controls, struck a major deal with it.

See earlier One Assessment of What’s Behind The YouTube Suit

It’s Been A Long Week

And I’m going to channel something only a little off-topic today: Us to George — sure, whateverpdf

STOP SAYING President Bush hasn’t asked us to sacrifice anything for the war. He’s asked us to sacrifice something enormous: our civil rights. To which the American people have responded: “Sure, whatever.”

He’s asked us to sacrifice the pride and joy that comes from knowing people all over the world look up to you. Yeah, what can you do? And he’s asked us to sacrifice our future, because that’s where all the real bombs he’s planted — economic, environmental and security-related — are going to go off. Have a great weekend, everybody!

[…] But the point is, we have sacrificed — we just sacrifice different things.

Bush took from us the things he knew we didn’t care about: our privacy and our morality. He let us keep the money.

And it is morality when the chief law enforcement officer in this country tells Congress he doesn’t believe in habeas corpus and is cool with torture and the practice of “disappearing” people. Alberto Gonzales even admitted to abusing the Patriot Act — is it even possible to abuse the Patriot Act?

An even less happy discussion from Slate: SCOTUS-gateWhat if Alberto Gonzales and Harriet Miers had been confirmed to the Supreme Court?