BusinessWeek Says Subscriptions Are Coming

Seems like wishful thinking to me, but I’m old: Stars Are Aligning for Subscription Music

[C]hanging consumer behavior is giving subscription advocates new hope. Members of the Facebook Generation are bombarded with music recommendations every day, and don’t necessarily want to pay a buck to check each one out. And since people are used to getting e-mail, appointments, and news feeds streamed to smartphones and other devices, many industry watchers assume they’ll want the same for music. “If I can access whatever I want whenever I want,” says Ted Cohen, who led EMI’s digital music efforts and now runs an entertainment consultancy called TAG Strategic, “why do I need to own it?”

Don’t miss the comments section

An ACAP Article

Although it takes a while to get there: Paying for Free Web Information

NEWSPAPER publishers and other content producers have a complicated relationship with giant search engines like Google and Yahoo. They simultaneously try to curry favor with these sites, hiring people known as optimizers with magical incantations to make articles show up high on the results pages and drive traffic, all the while grumbling that maybe, perhaps, it isn’t fair for the search engines to make copies of their material — so that it can be searched or appear on aggregation sites like Google News — without compensation.

But few are willing to speak as unambiguously as Samuel Zell, the real estate developer who intends to buy the Tribune Company, did this spring at Stanford University.

“If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content for nothing, what would Google do?” he asked. “We have a situation today where effectively the content is being paid for by the newspapers and stolen by Google, et cetera. That can last for a short time, but it can’t last forever. I think Google and the boys understand that. We’re going to see new deals and new formulas in the media space that reflect the reality of cost benefit.”

[…] The problem for the publishers is that the big search engines are largely happy with the access they have right now. The current system relies on robots.txt, a more-than-decade-old convention that Web sites can use to block automated spiders — computer applications that crawl the Internet indexing Web pages.

But robots.txt is an all-or-nothing proposition. And publishers are in need of a hybrid solution to the fundamental challenge that has come as content has migrated online. Enter ACAP.

[…] If ACAP is intended to be a “a cudgel to force search engines to change their business models,” writes Jonathan Zittrain, an Internet law expert at Oxford University, it “won’t be successful.” Rather, he writes, “if it takes off at all, it will likely be only with a few of its more basic features. That may well be enough for the content publishers.”

No Matter How You Slice It …

It still comes up bologna — McConnell heads to the NYTimes op-ed pages to tell us that we just have to have retroactive immunity: Help Me Spy on Al Qaeda

Finally, it is critical for the intelligence community to have liability protection for private parties that are sued only because they are believed to have assisted us after Sept. 11, 2001. Although the Protect America Act provided such necessary protection for those complying with requests made after its enactment, it did not include protection for those that reportedly complied earlier.

The intelligence community cannot go it alone. Those in the private sector who stand by us in times of national security emergencies deserve thanks, not lawsuits. I share the view of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which, after a year of study, concluded that “without retroactive immunity, the private sector might be unwilling to cooperate with lawful government requests in the future,” and warned that “the possible reduction in intelligence that might result from this delay is simply unacceptable for the safety of our nation.”

Actually, the issue is that we WANT our telecommunication companies to stand up to the government when it makes UN-lawful requests. Without liability, why should we expect them to do that?

Later: letters to the editor — Checks and Balances for Our Spiespdf

Creepier and Creepier

Identity in the ‘net: Mo. police probe blog in Web hoax casepdf

A woman linked to an online hoax played on a 13-year-old girl who committed suicide and has been vilified for it may be the subject of a deception — someone on the Internet is posing as her and blogging about the case.

[…] “Any Internet message that purports to be a member of the Drew family is being managed by an impostor and undoubtedly is being done for the purpose of further damaging the Drews’ reputation,” the family said in a statement.

A blog entitled “Megan Had It Coming” (snapshot) surfaced more than two weeks ago. Earlier this week, the person writing the blog claimed the messages were being written by Lori Drew.

The detailed blog lays out Drew’s would-be motives for getting involved with the MySpace hoax against Meier.

[…] Since then, the Drews have been besieged with negative publicity, and Meier’s death prompted her hometown of Dardenne Prairie to adopt a law engaging in Internet harassment a misdemeanor.

Now, elected officials say the law’s first use could be to prevent possible harassment against the Drews.

“I would say that would be a possibility, that they could be the first,” Mayor Pam Fogarty said Friday. “A law is a law is a law. You can’t discriminate.”

Story background

Covers and Rights

Rock band’s lawsuit takes aim at videogamepdf

Cover bands and tribute bands have been a mainstay of the music scene for decades. When a company licenses a composition, it may find that licensing the original master recording is outside the budget or unavailable for licensing. Hiring the original band members to rerecord the song may not be an alternative because of contractual rerecording restrictions in the band’s record deal, the members no longer sound like they once did or they may be dead.

So when someone wants to record a cover version of a song, when does it violate the original artist’s rights?

Michael Novak, the Detroit-based personal lawyer for the Romantics, says he believes a violation occurs when consumers think they’re listening to the original band.

That’s the basis of a recent lawsuit by three original members of the Romantics against Activision Publishing and others. And though music publishers have been looking at the solidly growing videogame industry as a strong source of potential license revenue, the Romantics’ lawsuit may throw a crimp in the plan.

Radiohead’s Experiment At A Close?

Radiohead In Talks With iTunes On In Rainbowspdf

A deal with Apple Computers download store would represent a massive breakthrough on a number of levels, and one which apparently would require a shift in position from one of the parties.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

[…] Oxford, England-originated Radiohead became one of the music industry’s hottest topics this year when they recorded the album independently and issued it digitally through its official Web site from Oct. 10, allowing downloaders to name a price to own a virtual copy.

That “honesty box” experiment will come to an end on Monday, the band has announced, paving the way for the traditional release set-up of the album within the next few weeks.

“The download area that is In Rainbows will be shutting its doors on the 10th December 2007,” reads a note posted Wednesday on the bands official Web site.

The NYTimes has a couple of articles on Radiohead today: Pay What You Want for This Article and Radiohead Payment Model, The

Telling It Like It Is

While there’s nothing really new here in this story about Coke’s new virtual island at, I love it when someone explains what it’s really all about: Coke Promotes Itself in a New Virtual World

A number of consumer brands are designing virtual worlds that may resemble Coke’s new island, said Reuben Steiger, the chief executive of Millions of Us, an advertising agency that focuses on virtual worlds.

“The ones that are going to prosper are going to be the ones that don’t feel like advertising. No one really wants to go hang out in an ad,” Mr. Steiger said.

[…] “These platforms like Makena are designed to provide market research on steroids,” said Charles I. Mauro, president of MauroNewMedia. “This level of research allows us to be extremely accurate in a way that was never possible before to pinpoint when avatars are looking at advertisements, looking at products.”

Children are using virtual worlds in larger numbers than the general population, which could bode well for the future popularity of these sites.

Social Networking and Snooping for Dollars

Back to the drawing board: Facebook hangs its head over ad system — pdf

The online advertising system that was supposed to light Facebook Inc.s way to riches has created such a storm of negative publicity that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg personally apologized Wednesday and told users they could turn it off.

In a mea culpa designed to appease the social networking sites more than 57 million users and the marketers trying to reach them, Zuckerberg said Facebook should have responded to the public outcry sooner.

Something To Think About When Composing Your Next SMS

Unless, of course, you already knew it: Police Blotter: Verizon forced to turn over text messages

What: U.S. Department of Justice seeks archived SMS text messages from Verizon Wireless without obtaining a warrant first.

When: District judge rules on October 30; magistrate judge completes review of archived text messages on Friday.

Outcome: Prosecutors receive the complete contents of defendant’s text messages.

Tthe Changing Pop Music Marketing Machine

As U.S. Pop Wanes Abroad, Talent Scout Looks Wide

Sales began shifting more than a decade ago. In 2000 roughly 68 percent of worldwide sales derived from so-called local repertory — artists working in their native country — up from 58 percent in 1991, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group in London. Though American stars like Beyoncé and the Red Hot Chili Peppers still connect with fans in territories around the world, the ranks and global appeal of major United States acts appear to be waning, many music executives say. In Spain, for instance, only one American album — the soundtrack to “High School Musical 2” — is in the most recent Top 10 chart.

The surge by foreign talent has arisen partly from the spread of state-of-the-art recording equipment and software, as well as the expansion of previously limited avenues for promotion. MTV, for example, has started more than 50 music-video channels customized for viewers in Europe, Asia and other regions. The decline of an American presence among acts abroad also stems from old-fashioned cultural differences: Genres that fed a domestic boom in the 1990s, including country music and certain strains of rap, do not sell as well overseas.

“There’s more of a nationalistic trend generally in all these countries — not just in music, but I think politically,” said Richard Griffiths, a former senior record-label executive who now runs the British talent management firm Modest Management. And repeated layoffs at the labels’ affiliates have weakened their ability to push acts imported from the United States. “It used to be they’d be breaking those huge artists in America, and then the word would go out, ‘You will break these around the world,’ and generally speaking, they did,” he said. “Mariah, Celine, Michael Jackson. Those days are obviously gone.”