July 28, 2003

2003 July 28 PM [3:06 pm]

(entry last updated: 2003-07-28 21:51:37)

  • From the people who brought you the PATRIOT Act, we now get Hilary Rosen’s replacement for the RIAA: GOP staffer chosen to head RIAA

    The big record labels’ trade group said Monday that Mitch Bainwol, former chief of staff to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, will replace Rosen at the RIAA’s helm. Rosen left the group several months ago, after announcing her planned departure in January.

    Although Bainwol has little experience inside the music industry, he brings deep connections to the Republican Party, something the RIAA has largely lacked under Rosen’s leadership.

    [...] Bainwol joins the RIAA at a critical moment in the group’s history, as it plans to launch what could be thousands of lawsuits against individual music consumers who have allegedly traded large numbers of copyrighted songs online. The controversial drive, already under way, has threatened to further compromise the industry’s relationship with online consumers.

  • A CNet News rundown: Net is alive with the sound of music

  • Benny Evangelista brings together everything you could want to know on this subject, for the moment: Advice to avoid copyright litigation:

    Experts sharing tips to help defend against file-sharing lawsuits [pdf]

    It’s possible the courts could one day rule file-sharing is legal or a consumer backlash could force Congress to change current copyright laws. Before that happens, however, the legal costs for an individual battling the powerful RIAA could be devastating.

    “What I think they’re going to do is start suing moms and dads and families across America,” said San Rafael attorney Ira Rothken. “They could lose their house or lose their ability to send their kids to college. That is not the intent of copyright statutes, to bankrupt a middle-class family.”

  • Something to take to read on the plane this week: Privacy, Economics, and Price Discrimination on the Internet [from JoHo] From the abstract:

    Privacy appears to be declining largely in order to facilitate differential pricing, which offers greater social and economic gains than auctions or shopping agents. The thesis of this paper is that what really motivates commercial organizations (even though they often do not realize it clearly themselves) is the growing incentive to price discriminate, coupled with the increasing ability to price discriminate. It is the same incentive that has led to the airline yield management system, with a complex and constantly changing array of prices. It is also the same incentive that led railroads to invent a variety of price and quality differentiation schemes in the 19th century. Privacy intrusions serve to provide the information that allows sellers to determine buyers’ willingness to pay. They also allow monitoring of usage, to ensure that arbitrage is not used to bypass discriminatory pricing.

    [...] There is no easy resolution to the conflict between sellers’ incentives to price discriminate and buyers’ resistance to such measures. The continuing tension between these two factors will have important consequences for the nature of the economy. It will also determine which technologies will be adopted widely….

  • From A blog doesn’t need a clever name: Another complaint to consumer watchdog about EMI music discs - truth in advertising in Australia and copy protected CDs.

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