December 5, 2007

Something To Think About When Composing Your Next SMS [6:42 pm]

Unless, of course, you already knew it: Police Blotter: Verizon forced to turn over text messages

What: U.S. Department of Justice seeks archived SMS text messages from Verizon Wireless without obtaining a warrant first.

When: District judge rules on October 30; magistrate judge completes review of archived text messages on Friday.

Outcome: Prosecutors receive the complete contents of defendant’s text messages.

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Tthe Changing Pop Music Marketing Machine [2:35 pm]

As U.S. Pop Wanes Abroad, Talent Scout Looks Wide

Sales began shifting more than a decade ago. In 2000 roughly 68 percent of worldwide sales derived from so-called local repertory — artists working in their native country — up from 58 percent in 1991, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group in London. Though American stars like Beyoncé and the Red Hot Chili Peppers still connect with fans in territories around the world, the ranks and global appeal of major United States acts appear to be waning, many music executives say. In Spain, for instance, only one American album — the soundtrack to “High School Musical 2” — is in the most recent Top 10 chart.

The surge by foreign talent has arisen partly from the spread of state-of-the-art recording equipment and software, as well as the expansion of previously limited avenues for promotion. MTV, for example, has started more than 50 music-video channels customized for viewers in Europe, Asia and other regions. The decline of an American presence among acts abroad also stems from old-fashioned cultural differences: Genres that fed a domestic boom in the 1990s, including country music and certain strains of rap, do not sell as well overseas.

“There’s more of a nationalistic trend generally in all these countries — not just in music, but I think politically,” said Richard Griffiths, a former senior record-label executive who now runs the British talent management firm Modest Management. And repeated layoffs at the labels’ affiliates have weakened their ability to push acts imported from the United States. “It used to be they’d be breaking those huge artists in America, and then the word would go out, ‘You will break these around the world,’ and generally speaking, they did,” he said. “Mariah, Celine, Michael Jackson. Those days are obviously gone.”

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OT: Nobody Likes To Look In The Mirror [11:58 am]

(Well, not entirely off-topic, I’m afraid) Tom Friedman paints an ugly picture: Intercepting Iran’s Take on America

Yes, our last I.N.I.E. in 1990 concluded that after the collapse of communism, America was on track to become the world’s sole superpower and most compelling role model for Muslim youth — including our own. We were wrong. We now have “high confidence” that America is on a path of self-destruction, for three reasons:

First, 9/11 has made America afraid and therefore stupid. The “war on terrorism” is now so deeply imbedded in America’s psyche that we think it is “highly likely” that America will continue to export more fear than hope and will continue to defend things like torture and Guantánamo Bay prison and to favor politicians like Mr. Giuliani, who alienates the rest of the world.

Second, at a time when America’s bridges, roads, airports and Internet bandwidth have fallen behind other industrial powers, including China, we believe that the U.S. opposition to higher taxes — and the fact that the primary campaigns have focused largely on gay marriage, flag-burning and whether the Christian Bible is the literal truth — means it is “highly unlikely” that America will arrest its decline.

Third, all the U.S. presidential candidates are distancing themselves from the core values that made America such a great power and so different from us — in particular America’s long commitment to free trade, open immigration and a reverence for scientific enquiry wherever it leads. Our intel analysts are baffled that the leading Democrat, Mrs. Clinton, no longer believes in globalization and the leading Republican, Mr. Huckabee, never believed in evolution.

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Sports, Entertainment and Ownership [8:26 am]

The Patriots are in a funny place: NFL ticket resale deal may be odd play for Patriotspdf

The National Football League is preparing to embrace the ticket reselling business, which could prove awkward for the New England Patriots.
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*

The NFL is planning to name an official ticket reseller for all its teams in the next two weeks. Six companies are vying for the business, including StubHub Inc., the eBay-owned company that is locked in a court battle with the Patriots over the legality of selling team tickets above face value.

The deal underscores how the ticket reselling business has gone mainstream in America. But it also highlights how the Patriots are trying to buck that trend, insisting their tickets are licenses that can be revoked if customers try to resell them.

See earlier posting

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The Ever-Mutable Music Business Model [5:18 am]

Promoting another device, and a service — why directly paying for content continues to erode: Free Universal Music Downloads on New Nokia Phones

Nokia, the telecommunications company, and the Universal Music Group, the recording company, said on Tuesday that they would offer unlimited free downloads of Universal songs to buyers of certain Nokia phones as a way to promote cellphones as media devices and to develop new revenue for a music industry struggling with piracy.

Under the agreement, Universal will let users download its entire catalog at no cost for 12 months, and keep the songs at the end of that time. Users will be able to download the songs to new Nokia phones or to their computers via mobile or fixed-line broadband connections.

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