2003 May 07

(entry last updated: 2003-05-07 17:26:59)

  • With Copyrights and Copywrongs coming out in paperback, BlueEar is hosting a forum for Siva Viadhynathan to field questions

  • Ernie cuts through the legalese (in Who owns the copyright to the lovely rap song ‘Back That Azz Up’?) to explain and amplify upon this BillBoard article: Jury Sides With Juvenile In Song-Theft Case

  • Cory Doctorow has more on the slow erosion of the effectivenes of Apple iTunes DRM – plus the perfect H. G. Wells literary allusion!

  • From Billboard news: Dr. Dre Nailed For $1.5M In Sample Suit

    Spokespersons for Interscope and UMVD declined comment. Dre’s lawyer, Howard King, says the infringement was not willful and plans to appeal. “We’re not done,” says King. “We’re only in the 7th inning.”

  • As I said below, IANAL, moreover not one in the UK, but a little copyright brouhaha is reportedly causing AOL UK users a certain amount of distress, In AOL UK denies being ‘copyright snatcher’, The Register reports that AOL doesn’t really want their users’ copyrights, in spite of this piece of their terms of use:

    By submitting content to public areas of AOL (such as message boards and chat rooms) you represent that you have permission to do so. And in doing so, you grant AOL Group Companies a licence to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, show in public and create derivative works from that content in any form, anywhere, and waive all moral rights (namely, the right to be identified as the author, and the right to integrity, of the content) and undertake that all such moral rights have been waived in respect of the content. You also grant other users the right to use such content for personal, non-commercial purposes.

    The article says AOL asserts that this just gives them a license to use – but somehow the phrase "waive all moral rights" sounds a little ominous. Granted, an illegal contract is not enforceable, but that means you have to invest in litigation to get that finding.

    The article ultimately asserts that this is just a tempest in a teapot, but I wonder if we’ve really heard the last of this.

  • Today’s Globe alluded to this, but Wired News has the most info that I could find on Microsoft’s unveiling of the "Next Generation Secure Computing Base" (nee Palladium) at WinHEC in the Trusted Computing sessions. (A little more on Palladium: The Register’s summary of the Newsweek piece of last summer)

    Oddly, there’s a Slashdot story (Gates on Digital Restrictions Technologies) citing an APWire story [pdf] that claims that NGSCB can be turned off. But, as the article goes on to say, so what? You can also protect your computer from viruses by never turning it on, too; just like you can prevent copyright infringement by never publishing your work – the threat is still quite ominous:

    Gates said the format of digital content is up to their creators, and Microsoft is only providing a platform on which record labels and movie studios — as well as others — can build. He said it’s in the content provider’s interest to use simple copy protection schemes.

    “What you are seeing now is recognition they need to provide their content in easily accessible forms or else it ends up encouraging piracy,” Gates told the AP.

    … Users can opt to “turn off” the system when it becomes available, most likely in the next generation of Windows expected in 2004 or 2005. But doing so might well severely hamper consumers’ access to digital information that’s important to them — and which may indeed be necessary in their work environment.

  • Clearly, Matt got into a discussion with someone who (or read yet another article where the author) conflates copyright infringement and theft. His frustration is expressed here with some simple real-world examples that he parallels with online tech, and he closes with this statement:

    Steve Jobs repeatedly referred to file sharing as stealing when he announced the iTunes Music Store and I’ve realized that I am not alone in picking up that usage. I’m saying right here and now, stop it. Refuse to use this language yourself, and call others on it when they get it wrong. I intend to make sure I get it right going forward, and I encourage others to tell me if I blow it.

    He’s right, of course, but there are many interests out there who are purposely disseminating these confusing memes because it makes it easier to make the arguments that they want to make. Getting angry about it is good within the community that understands, but convincing outsiders is going to require a different strategy, I think.

    Matt is absolutely right that being careful about words matters, but we need something else. As Donna has been telling us for some time, the rhetorical high ground has already been seized by the copyright industries, and we still haven’t got a solution.

  • Siva points to an interview: Peer-to-fear?

  • From Declan at CNet: U.S.-Singapore trade pact echoes DMCA

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has become America’s newest export.

    On Tuesday, the United States and Singapore signed a trade agreement that affirms both nations’ commitment to punishing people who bypass copy-protection technologies–such as those used in most DVDs, a small number of CDs and some computer software.

    See Chapter 16 for details. IANAL, but while Declan is correct that the text appears to be "DMCA for Treaties," it’s not that surprising given that coordination of IP legislation across jurisdictions is always a key piece of free trade agreements.

    Update: Donna has a very extensive and comprehensive writeup of this topic over at Copyfight, with particular emphasis on the use of coordination across jurisdictions as a strategy to "back-door" policy changes that fail in the domestic legislature. Don’t miss it! Note in particular the parallels between what she cites of Larry Lessig’s talk in Rio and Matt’s discussion above.

  • Today’s Boondocks echoes something I mentioned yesterday

2003 May 06

(entry last updated: 2003-05-06 18:14:43)

Still navigating around my upgraded system; a little more work involved when it’s something that I rely on for my work, after all. But most pieces are in place, so I’ll be getting back into it after I get back from the dentist <G>

  • Jupiter Research has a new report: CD Copy Protection: A Bitter Pill to Swallow. I don’t have the report, but the summary given is something to consider:

    Key Findings

    Over the last three years, the rate of CD copying has doubled; one-quarter of online consumers admit to doing so, according Jupiter research. Adding copy protection to CDs decreases demand as much as 76 percent, depending on the price of the disc. Music labels should leave CDs alone and migrate consumers to DVDs and digital downloads.

    Compare and contrast with David Card’s May 2 weblog posting

    I have mixed emotions about file sharing. While some sharers spend more on music (12% of online teen file sharers, 16% of online adult file sharers), more of them spend less (28% of teens, 31% of adults). I think the file sharing networks are a great, low-risk way for fans to explore (and labels promote) unfamiliar artists & genres.

    I also think their threat to music sales is way overrated. The big file sharers, teens & college students, don’t buy much music anyway. 75% of CDs are bought by over 25 year-olds, although that wasn’t the case 15 years ago. Music sales are in the tank because a) the vinyl upgrade is done, b) teen pop is done & nothing has replaced it yet, and c) entertainment dollars are going to DVDs & videogames.

    I stll think the labels should spend more money on biz dev than on lawyers.

  • The Register’s Andrew Orlowski pulls together a couple of elements to put out this piece that several have commented upon: RIAA attacking our culture, the American Mind

  • A Slashdot discussion on the Apple iTunes sales figures: Apple Sells A Million Songs in Debut Week. With this informative comment on elements of the DRM:

    There’s a less invasive way to demonstrate that the m4p file contains the name/address of the purchaser: buy a song and e-mail the file to a friend who also has a Mac and iTunes4. When they double-click it open, they will be prompted to “authorize” their computer to play this song — and the text of the prompt includes the e-mail address of the original purchaser, and prompts for their password. That the files contain the identity of the purchaser is not really a secret, especially given that it displays it prominently in the password challenge dialog box when m4p files are moved to a new computer. I found this the first time when my wife mailed me some songs she had bought, and I had to ask her to come over to my computer and enter her password.

    But the easiest way to see that the songs contain the purchaser’s name is this: open iTunes, click on a song you’ve purchased, and choose Get Info… and there’s your name!

  • Slashdot posts a story linking to an interview transcript from CNN with one of the students sued by the RIAA

    HEMMER: Andy, do you think, with the case of your son right now, how do you categorize this? A case of intimidation?

    ANDY JORDAN, JESSE’S FATHER: Well, it’s — I categorize it as an elaborate publicity stunt. Nothing more, nothing less.

    HEMMER: How so?

    A. JORDAN: This entire episode was concocted, it was really staged. You showed a clip of the rally that was held for Jesse the other day. This is at RPI, at Rentlier (ph) Polytechnic. It’s not a hotbed of piracy; it’s a hotbed of technological innovation. You have me on screen now singing. And if you were behind me or if you were looking at what I was looking at that day, I thought the kids were coming over to the rally. We weren’t through the second song yet. A few freshman machine [sic] came out of one their dorms, and they said, could you turn the volume down, we’re trying to study for finals?

    …HEMMER: You know, Andy, I think a lot people — and I asked your son this; I’ll ask you it as well, if you weren’t guilty, why pay the cash? It’s a lot of money, especially for a college student.

    A. JORDAN: We didn’t have any choice. The RIAA had a deadline. What they didn’t tell the press, when they first hit Jesse with the papers, is while they were serving the papers on him, they also had a letter that they didn’t give to the press and they told us that, oh, that was supposed to be the cover letter to the papers that he received, gee, we’ll get it to right away. It was an offer to settle.

  • Does shrinkwrap licensing pre-empt fair use under copyright? There’s a petition for certiorari (see also Supreme Court Rules #10-16)before the Supreme Court wherein that’s a key topic at issue. Donna’s got two postings (post 1; post 2), with links and the petition.

    Update: How Appealing points to the legal docs

  • Matt points to a USA Today article that perpetuates the spread of dubious statistics: Piracy has its hooks in [pdf]

  • A look at how the medium is reshaping the notion of the art: Terrence Rafferty’s Everybody Gets a Cut [pdf] discusses how the DVD changes the nature of the movie – both as art and as business.

    I’ve always thought it was the artist’s job to make that sort of decision, but as I watched Lyne smugly leaving it up to the viewer, I realized with a jolt that I had fallen behind the times. I still think of a film as a unified, self-sufficient artifact that, by its nature, is not interactive in the way that, say, a video game is. To my old-media mind, the viewer ”interacts” with a movie just as he or she interacts with any other work of art — by responding to it emotionally, thinking about it, analyzing it, arguing with it, but not by altering it fundamentally. When I open my collected Yeats to read ”Among School Children,” I don’t feel disappointed, or somehow disempowered, to find its great final line (”How can we tell the dancer from the dance?”) unchanged, unchanged utterly, and unencumbered with an ”alternate.” For all I know, Yeats might have written ”How can we tell the tailor from the pants?” and then thought better of it, but I’m not sure how having the power to replace the ”dance” version with the ”pants” version would enhance my experience of the poem.

    And although ”Among School Children” is divided into eight numbered stanzas and therefore provides what DVD’s call ”scene access,” I tend to read them consecutively, without skipping, on the theory that the poem’s meaning is wholly dependent on this specific, precise arrangement of words and images. If you read ”Among School Children” in any other way, would it still be ”Among School Children”? Would it be a poem at all?

    The contemporary desire for interactivity in the experience of art derives, obviously, from the heady sense of control over information to which we’ve become accustomed as users of computers. The problem with applying that model to works of art is that in order to get anything out of them, you have to accept that the artist, not you, is in control of this particular package of ”information.” And that’s the paradox of movies on DVD: the digital format tries to make interactive what is certainly the least interactive, most controlling art form in human history.

    … There’s not much point speculating on what the ending will be for the strange process of DVD-izing cinema. Many suspect that the DVD is already the tail wagging the weary old dog of the movies. Will the interactive disc ultimately become the primary medium, with film itself reduced to the secondary status of raw material for ”sampling”? Maybe; maybe not. The development of digital technology, along with the vagaries of the marketplace, will determine the outcome, and neither of those factors is easily predictable. What’s safe to say, I think, is that the DVD — at least in its current, extras-choked incarnation — represents a kind of self-deconstruction of the art of film, and that the DVD-created audience, now empowered to take apart and put together these visual artifacts according to the whim of the individual user, will not feel the awe I felt in a movie theater when I was young, gazing up at the big screen as if it were a window on another, better world.

    I no longer look at movies with quite that wide-eyed innocence, of course, but it’s always there somewhere in the background: an expectation of transport, as stubborn as a lapsed Catholic’s wary hope of grace. Perhaps the DVD generation, not raised in that moviegoer’s faith, will manage to generate some kind of art from the ability to shuffle bits and pieces of information randomly — the aleatory delirium of the digital. It just won’t be the art of D.W. Griffith, Jean Renoir, Francois Truffaut, Sam Peckinpah, Andrei Tarkovsky and Roman Polanski.

  • OK – I realize it appears that I have a Dixie Chicks fixation, but this AP Wire report via Salon is ridiculous: DJs suspended for playing Dixie Chicks [pdf]

    Country station KKCS has suspended two disc jockeys for playing the Dixie Chicks, violating a ban imposed after the group criticized President Bush.

    …”They made it very clear that they support wholeheartedly the president of the United States. They support wholeheartedly the troops, the military. But they also support the right of free speech,” Grant said.

    The station has received a couple of hundred calls and 75 percent favored playing the music.

    …”I gave them an alternative: stop it now and they’ll be on suspension, or they can continue playing them and when they come out of the studio they won’t have a job.”

    The station plans to play the group’s music again eventually. “Most stations are starting to play them again anyhow a song here, a song there. I just have a problem with the way this was done. We would have put them in anyhow. But we’d like to do it on our terms,” he said.

    Industry consolidation thoughts, anyone?

  • Still working through my reading backlog, which includes All the Rave (NYTimes reviewpdf; Salon’s review still says it best) – Wired News has an excerpt online. As excerpts go, it’s pretty tame – the descriptions of the early days of Napster and the degree to which its direction was influenced by some tragically bad choices at the outset is better reading, IMHO.

  • In Program Lets P2P Users Roam Free, Wired News discusses a firewall (Peer Guardian) that it describes as follow:

    A new “cloaking” application that protects individuals from network snooping is making the rounds among file traders, marking the latest salvo in the increasingly volatile battle between music labels and file traders.

    Free software called PeerGuardian creates a personal firewall that blocks the IP addresses of snoops. They can see the names of files being traded, but they can’t download the file to tell whether it’s a copyrighted file.

    …The software, though, doesn’t provide complete protection for individuals, said Travis Hill, BayTSP’s director of engineering. PeerGuardian’s weakness stems from the fact that users must continually update the list of IP addresses that are blocked. As a result, network security companies like BayTSP can find holes in the PeerGuardian system.

    Another example of MAD-thinking in the P2P wars; and endless game of Spy vs. Spy as each side fights for the upper hand, while huge amounts of innovative energies get wasted on technologies that narrow, rather than widen, the breadth of utility of the network. The software copy-protection game, updated.

  • Cory Doctorow has an update on the Disney/Pooh copyright contretemps (a little LawMeme background). In Judge Rules Against Pooh Heir, we find:

    A U.S. federal judge has ruled tentatively that the granddaughter of Winnie the Pooh’s creator cannot have the U.S. marketing rights to the character, delivering a blow to the Walt Disney Co. in its fight for Pooh rights, the Reuters news service reported. If finalized, the ruling would be a major victory for Stephen Slesinger Inc., the company that currently holds the Pooh copyright and has filing lawsuits claiming that Disney owes it millions in back royalty payments, the news service reported.

    Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles reviewed the copyright case and will hear oral arguments on May 5. But in her initial ruling, designed to clarify the legal issues in the case, Cooper held that Clare Milne could not use a change in U.S. copyright law to reclaim the U.S. rights to Winnie the Pooh next year, her lawyer David Nimmer told Reuters. Her grandfather, British author A.A. Milne, sold the U.S. rights in 1930 to American literary agent Stephen Slesinger.

    Disney, which makes about $1 billion of Pooh-related merchandise each year under the disputed contract with Slesinger, joined Milne asking the court for a judgment on her behalf, although it did not ask for assignment of the U.S. rights to itself, the wire service reported.

  • This week’s Tangled Web [pdf] gives a music industry look at the Apple iTunes project:

    So while the P2P networks are here to stay — at least for the immediate future — Apple’s new venture does have a big potential market, and it looks to be a key ally in the record industry’s ongoing attempt to build digital marketshare. Until the iTunes launch, the major labels’ best efforts to win back the business lost to Napster and its kin had been the subscription-based services MusicNet and PressPlay. While these ventures are necessary steps for the beleaguered industry, their working models are just not close enough to those of the peer-to-peer networks to truly be able to compete with them. Now that fans have something that offers quality and flexibility, a lot of eyes will be trained on the service in the coming months, especially as Apple rolls out a Microsoft-compatible version later this year.

  • Siva Viadhyanathan posts a couple of interesting items (Donna, too):

  • CNet reports that the RFID chips intended to be embedded in retail products are going to get a refinement: Radio ID chips to come with kill switch

  • From BBSpot: Success of Apple Music Store Proves Apple Users Will Overpay for Anything (see Derek for a more serious look at pricing)

    The iTunes music store offers AAC encoded songs for a dollar a piece, infinitely more expensive than the free songs windows users enjoy.

    Steve Jobs said, “Over the years our dedicated users have been willing to pay a premium for less flexibility and smaller selection, from the original Macintosh to the current OS X. Now we’ve applied this concept to the world of entertainment. It’s absolutely phenomenal that they fell for it again.”

    Loyal Apple computer users were unsurprisingly excited by the new offering. “I really appreciate the cost-savings of being able to download songs for a buck,” said Pentagon procurement officer and Macintosh user, Wendy Sykes. “Before the iTunes Music Store I had to listen to one of the $37 music CDs that I purchased.”

2003 May 05

(entry last updated: 2003-05-05 08:04:38)

  • Clear Channel moves forward, finding new ways to make revenue at concerts: Concert CD’s Sold on the Spot by a Radio Giant [pdf]

    Clear Channel Communications , the radio broadcasting and concert promotion giant, plans to introduce a venture today that will sell live recordings on compact disc within five minutes of a show’s conclusion. The venture, Instant Live, will enable a band’s still-sweating fans to leave with a musical souvenir instead of say, a pricey T-shirt or a glossy program.

    … So far, the Instant Live performers have been bands like Spookie Daly Pride and Bomb Squad that do not have major record deals. The larger labels would probably frown upon a flood of Instant Live discs competing against their own official releases.

    But Mr. Simon said that Instant Live’s success did not depend on adding big-name acts from major labels. “It would be disingenuous to suggest that we don’t want to expand the universe and do it with signed acts,” he said, “but it is a business regardless.” He declined to make sales forecasts.

    … Although the instant CD idea may work for unsigned acts, it could pose many problems for musicians signed to major labels. Standard contracts, for instance, can stipulate that artists must produce a specific number of albums, so care would need to be taken to ensure that a week’s worth of live CD’s did not fulfill the band’s contract obligation. And negotiating song licenses, particularly when versions of another band’s tunes are involved, can also be thorny.

    But the biggest obstacle to major-label acceptance could be the fear that the instant CD’s would cannibalize the sales of an official release.

  • The Register makes a connection between the new Virginia anti-spam law, the PROTECT Act and P2P file spoofing to raise in interesting question: Madonna’s borderline MP3 tactics

    Virginia’s new anti-spam law makes it a criminal offense to send e-mail with inaccurate and deceptive source or header information. The new PROTECT Act signed by President Bush similarly makes it a federal offense for online pornographers to obtain or use misleading domain names to induce individuals to surf unwittingly to porn sites. At the same time, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a series of civil complaints against “porn-spammers” alleging that spoofed source information and misleading subject lines constitutes a deceptive trade practice.

    Can this mean that Madonna goes to jail?

    …The message from these laws (and various anti-spam laws across the country) appears to be that using fictitious headers, names, or descriptions in interstate or foreign commerce in order to induce someone to act is an offense — either a crime or, at a minimum, a “deceptive trade practice.”

    This may be bad news for those who post fake files on Kazaa.

    …The actions of RIAA and MPAA in placing files on p2p networks to deceive users of those networks into thinking they’re actual music or video files, to waste their time, resources, energy and bandwidth (not to mention hard drive space and CPU cycles) quite likely is “deceptive” and undoubtedly “affects commerce.”

    …In fact, law, policy and tradition have all held that law enforcement agencies are entitled to use trickery in connection with criminal investigations. But there is no such body of case law with respect to copyright holders.

    Moreover, there is nothing in the FTC Act that says “deceptive trade practices” are permitted if done for a good reason, or against people we don’t like.

    Be interesting to see what another lawyer might make of this argument. The author of this piece is described as follows: “Mark D. Rasch, J.D., is a former head of the Justice Department’s computer crime unit, and now serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Security Counsel at Solutionary Inc.”

2003 May 04

(entry last updated: 2003-05-04 14:35:44)

With my RedHat going out of service, I had to go about updating and making sure that I could get Win4Lin back to work – so a lot of time spent today to get it working on the home machine before committing to the work machine. A flew glitches, but I got it working, and the transition from 7 to 9 makes for a much nicer-looking system at least. Still workng through the mechanics, though…..

  • An ironic insight from Jon Pareles in today’s New York Times piece: Madonna’s Album: Saved by the D.J.’s?

    MADONNA REMIXED (downloadable at http://boycott.dmusic.com) Despite the joyless narcissism of Madonna’s album “American Life,” she still provides entertainment value, perhaps inadvertently. She seeded file-sharing networks with decoy titles that consisted of her sneering, “What the [expletive] do you think you’re doing?” It was a perfect vocal hook for remixers, who have added rhythm tracks and other tomfoolery, making techno, trance, house and more abstracts tracks with it. Planned or not, it’s the kind of free-range collaboration the Internet was made for. [emphasis added]

  • The Register has a couple of pertinent pieces today

2003 May 03

(entry last updated: 2003-05-03 19:31:56)

  • The New York Times reports that the record companies are getting ready to play with fire: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [pdf]. This is Overpeer and others, of course. Larry Lessig is quoted as saying this is potentially illegal, but these guys are getting desperate, I guess.

    Some of the world’s biggest record companies, facing rampant online piracy, are quietly financing the development and testing of software programs that would sabotage the computers and Internet connections of people who download pirated music, according to industry executives.

    The record companies are exploring options on new countermeasures, which some experts say have varying degrees of legality, to deter online theft: from attacking personal Internet connections so as to slow or halt downloads of pirated music to overwhelming the distribution networks with potentially malicious programs that masquerade as music files.

    The covert campaign, parts of which may never be carried out because they could be illegal under state and federal wiretap laws, is being developed and tested by a cadre of small technology companies, the executives said.

    …”There are a lot of things you can do — some quite nasty,” said Marc Morgenstern, the chief executive of Overpeer, a technology business that receives support from several large media companies. Mr. Morgenstern refused to identify his clients, citing confidentiality agreements with them. He also said that his company does not and will not deploy any programs that run afoul of the law. “Our philosophy is to make downloading pirated music a difficult and frustrating experience without crossing the line.” And while he said “we develop stuff all the time,” he was also quick to add that “at the end of the day, my clients are trying to develop relationships with these people.” Overpeer, with 15 staff members, is the largest of about a dozen businesses founded to create counterpiracy methods.

    The music industry’s five “majors” — the Universal Music Group, a unit of Vivendi Universal; the Warner Music Group, a unit of AOL Time Warner; Sony Music Entertainment; BMG, a unit of Bertelsmann; and EMI — have all financed the development of counterpiracy programs, according to executives, but none would discuss the details publicly. Warner Music issued a statement saying: “We do everything we feel is appropriate, within the law, in order to protect our copyrights.” A spokeswoman for Universal Music said that the company “is engaging in legal technical measures.”

    Slashdot: RIAA Plans Cyverwar Effort

2003 May 2

(entry last updated: 2003-05-02 17:11:19)

I’m back. A little catching up to do, even with just two days out, I see. And I owe a discussion of record contract costs. (But I have to start brief, because I have one more obligation this AM)

  • Jenny Levine has found an article skewering the MPAA’s informational efforts on DVD piracy at the movie theater from Entertainment Weekly. She’s a subscriber, so she’s got the excerpts. Don’t miss them!

  • I got a nice note from Mary Hodder, thanking me and others for keeping up on things while she’s been slogging through the end of her semester. Of course, it came while I was away (and therefore failing to do the very thing she was complementing me for!) And, moreover, I see that she’s back at it, with this interesting piece on the economic effects of P2P, this time on the online porn biz.

  • The Reduce Spam Act was introduced – Larry expects he’ll get to keep his job. (one background article; many others here and elsewhere)

  • Salon has letters in response to Farhad Majoo’s paean to iTunes.

  • Wired News reports that NJIT is working to block all P2P file sharing on the campus network. (See also Amy Harmon’s article below) And, at the same time, it’s clear that it will be imperfect on a number of levels:

    The New Jersey Institute of Technology will no longer allow its students and staff to use P2P sites on its computer network in an effort to avoid any legal action from the music industry.

    …”When I can’t get my own 13-year-old to stop (file sharing), I don’t know how I can get my entire campus to stop,” [dean of students Jack Gentul] added.

    … The school is using a package of hardware and software products called “traffic shaping” that “restrict the use of certain protocols which will allow us to identify programs that we believe are being used for illegal sharing of copyrighted works,” said David Ullman, the school’s chief information officer.

    … “I’m actually going to continue to use (the P2P sites) because there are ways around (the block),” said Heaver, who is majoring in information technology. “There will definitely be students who won’t know how to get around it or it will take time for them to hear about it, and there will be ones who just give up.

  • Wired News on iTunes: Music Biz Buzzing Over ITunes; Also the NYTimes Circuits section: Apple’s New Online Music Service [pdf]

  • Jupiter Media’s Mark Mulligan compares Apple’s iTunes (see David Card’s analysis) with the EMI initiative and draws some interesting conclusions:

    This is not a one-off project that is consigned to the schedules of EMI’s new media division. Make no mistake, this is EMI taking the first step towards a fundamental restructuring of their whole product proposition. The aim is to make the digital aspect a standard format alongside CD, DVD, tape and vinyl. Approximately 80 percent of the catalogue has already been set aside and the vast majority of new releases will also be made available for digital release. Digital downloads will not only sit alongside traditional format releases but will actually often appear ahead of schedule and even radio play. 50 new tracks are already available ahead of traditional release.

    …EMI are smart enough to accept that third party distributors with established brands and users bases are the best route to market.

    If the other majors were to follow suit with equally comprehensive offerings then Europe would undoubtedly leave the US online music market trailing in its wake. Even without them, EMI have set the tone.

  • CNet’s week inreview column talks about iTunes and AAC, and developments in the P2P/RIAA battles.

  • Charlie Cooper argues that the US trade rep is about to lock the DMCA into some treaties with Singapore and Chile. Larry Lessig explains it better, and more clearly, in his weblog

  • I may not get to my promised writeup, but here’s a Rolling Stone article on one way the costs of music recording can fall: Pro Tools Nation: Butch Vig shows you why a little software program is making studio owners nervous [pdf]; Slashdot discussion: Cheap Audio Production

  • The Register describes the initial reaction to the Apple iMusic store as follows: Apple Music Store sells four songs every second – report, basing the numbers on this Billboard news item – Slashdot iTunes Music Store sells 275,000 Tracks in 18 Hours.

  • In re: music industry dynamics, there were a couple of articles in USAToday yesterday (yes, the consequences of traveling include reading that paper from cover to cover) suggesting that, if country doesn’t want the Dixie Chicks, Adult Contemporary radio would be more than happy to support them: Will criticism prompt Chicks to fly the country coop? [pdf] and Industry buzz: Dixie Chicks would be well received on pop radio [pdf]

  • I see that the breaking story of the day yesterday was the pending RIAA settlement with the students being sued for unearthly amounts of money in the P2P/copyright infringement cases. A couple of resources include: