Reasonable Expectations

An question whose resolution will extend far beyond criminal law enforcement: Lawyers Fight DNA Samples Gained on Sly

The practice, known among law enforcement officials as “surreptitious sampling,” is growing in popularity even as defense lawyers and civil liberties advocates argue that it violates a constitutional right to privacy. Mr. Gallego’s trial on murder charges, scheduled for next month, is the latest of several in which the defense argues that the police circumvented the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

Critics argue that by covertly collecting DNA contained in the minute amounts of saliva, sweat and skin that everyone sheds in the course of daily life, police officers are exploiting an unforeseen loophole in the requirement to show “probable cause” that a suspect has committed a crime before conducting a search.

“The law cannot tolerate such back-door methods, which seize something that any reasonable person expects to remain private,” Mr. Gallego’s lawyer, David Lynch, wrote in a motion to suppress the DNA evidence extracted from the cigarette butt.

Paul Boutin on Web 2.0

Cloud computing is well and good, but it can’t beat the desktop computer.

I think there’s a market for free, Web-based apps that offer basic features. Knock yourselves out, dilettantes. For me, it’ll be years before Photoshop Express can become powerful enough to replace my desktop version, or before Google Docs gets me to uninstall Microsoft Office. I’m not sure I want to. One of the nice things about Word and Photoshop is that once I fire them up and start working, I can forget all about the Internet for a few hours. Sometimes, my PC and I just want to be alone [emphasis added].

Evolution, Part III

Radiohead Remix – Nude

Radiohead, iTunes and GarageBand are giving you the opportunity to remix the band’s new single “Nude”.

To make remixing easy, the separate ‘stems’* from the song are available to purchase from iTunes _here_. The ‘stems’ available are bass, voice, guitar, strings/fx and drums. You can mix them in any way you like, either by adding your own beats and instrumentation, or just remixing the original parts.

If you purchase all five ‘stems’ from iTunes during the first week they’re available, you’ll be sent an access code to a GarageBand file ready to open in GarageBand or Logic. However, you don’t need GarageBand to do a remix, all the stems are in iTunes Plus format and compatible with several music software platforms. The GarageBand file will be emailed out on April 11th.

Finished mixes can be uploaded _here_ where the public will listen and vote for their favourite remix (voting ends May 1st). You can also create a widget allowing votes from your own website, Facebook or MySpace page to be counted as ‘mix votes’ back on Radiohead will listen to the best remixes.

Don’t miss the terms and conditions:

4. the Entrant will not acquire a copyright interest in the Song by virtue of creating Remixes of the Song; […]

Evolution, Part II

MySpace music venture to take on iTunes (pdf)

News Corp.’s MySpace, the largest online social networking site, will unveil as early as today a joint venture with the world’s top three music labels, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The service, to be dubbed MySpace Music, will be integrated into the popular online hangout, which got its start as a launching pad for emerging bands seeking to connect with passionate music fans.

MySpace Music would provide the labels with a digital outlet to compete against Apple Inc.’s iTunes, which has emerged as the second-largest music retailer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The service will be a one-stop shop offering music downloads, streams, videos and mobile phone ring tones, along with related items, such as merchandise and concert tickets.

“It will likely give iTunes a run for its money,” said one music industry executive who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been announced. “ITunes is a download store. This venture is not just a store, it is a thriving, growing community of people. So it will have a myriad of products that quite frankly iTunes does not offer.”

News Corp., Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group Corp. will each take an equity stake in the venture, people familiar with the deal said. EMI Group, the fourth-largest music label, is still in discussions with MySpace.


Jay-Z Deal Offers New Model for Music Sales

In a move that reflects the anarchy sweeping the music business, the superstar rapper Jay-Z, who released his latest album to lukewarm sales five months ago, is on the verge of closing a deal with a concert promoter that rivals the biggest music contracts ever awarded.

Jay-Z plans to depart his longtime record label, Def Jam, for a roughly $150 million package with the concert giant Live Nation that includes financing for his own entertainment venture, in addition to recordings and tours for the next decade. The pact, expected to be finalized this week, is the most expansive deal yet from Live Nation, which has angled to compete directly with the industry’s established music labels in a scrum over the rights to distribute recordings, sell concert tickets, market merchandise and control other aspects of artists’ careers.

As CD sales plunge, an array of players — including record labels, promoters and advertisers — are racing to secure deals that cut them in on a larger share of an artist’s overall revenue. […]