2003 May 22

(entry last updated: 2003-05-22 18:43:36)

  • Donna and Ed Felten note that the governor of Colorado vetoed that state’s super-DMCA.

  • As Donna notes, Derek gives a gracious and rousing sendoff as his academic year draws to a close: As I Was Saying

  • Although the creation of this neologism at Salon drew my eye (see this Yahoo! News or Salon piece, btw), the additional materials raise some key, albeit offtopic, questions. For your reading:

  • As a Linux user, I hope this won’t lead to a lockout from Amazon.com: Amazon.com, Microsoft in streaming deal

  • Ben Edelman’s taking on Gator: Documentation of Gator Advertisements and Targeting. Declan describes the work here: Harvard study wrestles with Gator

    Donna’s remarks: Gator Aid; John Palfrey’s notes: One interesting thing not to miss in this Gator story

  • William Safire joins the ranks of conservatives opposed to media consolidation: The Great Media Gulp [pdf]

    We’ve already seen what happened when the F.C.C. allowed the monopolization of local radio: today three companies own half the stations in America, delivering a homogenized product that neglects local news coverage and dictates music sales.

    … Ah, but aren’t viewers and readers now blessed with a whole new world of hot competition through cable and the Internet? That’s the shucks-we’re-no-monopolists line that Rupert Murdoch will take today in testimony before the pussycats of John McCain’s Senate Commerce Committee.

    The answer is no. Many artists, consumers, musicians and journalists know that such protestations of cable and Internet competition by the huge dominators of content and communication are malarkey. The overwhelming amount of news and entertainment comes via broadcast and print. Putting those outlets in fewer and bigger hands profits the few at the cost of the many.

  • One of the things that the Internet and connectivity is good for – community building. Although the site described is definitly still going through growing pains and, in the end, may be more about community and less about success in the music business: In a Battle of the Bands, Musicians Are Judges [pdf]

    Like many working stiffs, I’m also a musician, and my band, named Augean Stables after the Herculean task, recorded a full-length CD of original music last year. Along the way we received positive reinforcement and kind words from everyone around us. Still, once we had the finished product in hand, we longed for some sort of third-party validation, or at least a cold splash of reality.

    With that desire in mind, my partner, Dave Riedel, began posting our songs on garageband.com. Once an Internet darling bent on shaking the foundations of the crusty old music industry, Garageband is home to over 325,000 musicians and new-music hunters who review original songs in an ongoing round-robin tournament.

    Garageband’s beating heart is a “preference engine” that combines the reviewer’s emotional reaction à la hotornot.com (Does the song put a smile or a frown on your face?) with the more intellectual judgments of, say, slashdot.org (With your knowledge or experience, how would you improve this song or recording?).

    Because of its design and the atmosphere of friendly competition, Garageband manages to persuade thousands of musicians to assess one another’s music.

    What would be the effects of ubiquitous DRM (a la CBDTPA/SSSCA) upon this activity? Even assuming that it were well designed?

  • The BBC has an article on the pending PureTunes fight: Music site faces legal challenge

    Puretunes says it is taking advantage of a loophole in Spanish copyright law so that it can sell songs online without the direct permission of the record companies.

    …But the music industry believes that it has no legal basis and promises to fight it as vehemently as it has other illegitimate music services.