July 29, 2003

2003 July 29 AM [7:20 am]

(entry last updated: 2003-07-29 09:00:58)

  • Another Microsoft IP infringement lawsuit settled: Microsoft settles suit with Immersion

  • Although this article title screams tedium (MusicMatch to offer subscription free downloads), it contains a fair bit of information about the emerging structure of the for-fee download businesses.

  • Slashdot has a bit on IBM’s rumblings in the SCO matter: IBM Points Out SCO’s GPL Software Distribution, with particular discussion of this MozillaQuest article: SCO Agrees IBM Owns AIX, JFS, NUMA, RCU Copyrights

  • From SecurityFocus via The Register, an editorial on the legal vagaries of P2P file sharing by Mark D. Rasch, a former head of the Justice Department’s computer crime unit: Copying is Theft - and other legal myths (with some odd misspellings, IMHO - "Valente" for example):

    But technically, file sharing is not theft.

    A number of years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with a man named Dowling, who sold “pirated” Elvis Presley recordings, and was prosecuted for the Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property. The Supremes did not condone his actions, but did make it clear that it was not “theft” — but technically “infringement” of the copyright of the Presley estate, and therefore copyright law, and not anti-theft statutes, had to be invoked.

  • More on the new RIAA head, Mitch Bainwol:

  • From today’s Boston Globe:

    • As musical pioneer, Rundgren trailblazes an industry in transition [pdf]

      Where do you stand on file-sharing, free downloading, and artist’s rights?

      These issues get smashed together because of the [Recording Industry Association of America's] facetious representation they’re also on the side of the artists. Labels have never done anything for artists they weren’t forced to do. They had to be forced to start paying royalties. What we need is cable TV for music, where you can download all the music you want for $20 a month.

      Will fans accustomed to getting their music for free be willing to start paying for it?

      Most listeners would be happy to subscribe to a gateway to a world of music that would benefit the artists, as well, because there is a huge fringe surrounding the tiny percentage of artists that get on the radio. On the Internet, everyone is able to participate. If people don’t know you have a record it doesn’t get sold, but the Internet can point you to artists you might never have known about. I believe people would pay for that.

      Is the music industry as we know it doomed?

      It’s time for the labels to go, in the sense the way they’ve done business is based on a commodified model, and they’ve no experience in a service model — which is what the Internet is. Only someone like J.Lo needs the labels, because she can’t go out and build an audience from scratch with the quality of her singing. The future for real musicians is, was, and always will be performing.

    • Instant Replay [pdf]

      For an industry locked in a battle against downloading — and struggling to convince young listeners that popular music is worth paying for — the recording and selling of live CDs is a promising revenue stream. The CDs will be available to concertgoers immediately, making them an easy impulse buy before downloaders get ahold of them. Also, the variation in set lists and shows could make the CDs collectors’ items.

      [...] Some bands have nixed the program because it could compete with their own CD release parties and events. But many local acts have signed up in recent months, including Kay Hanley, Spookie Daly Pride, and Machinery Hall.

      Clear Channel co-CEO Don Law said the "Instant Live" program essentially provides "seed money" for up-and-coming bands at the club level. They pocket the money (half of the $15 sale price for recordings of club-level acts), rather than having bootleggers get it.

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