2002 June 9 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-06-09 17:16:11)

I wasn’t really sure I’d post anything today, but David Bowie is interviewed in the New York Times today, and it picks up a thread cited in my last posting that I found in New York Magazine. Worth reading. In fact, most of what I have here today is about the changes in the music industry, and how artists are responding (and, more distressingly, how the record companies are NOT).

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  • Is David Bowie’s business acumen as sharp as the clarity of his artistic vision? Read this New York Times article (sample quote: "I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing"; and note the parallels with this earlier cite from New York Magazine. Slashdot has a commentary on the NYT article. And, I finally find that there has been a Slashdot discussion of the Wolff article too: The Music Biz Is the New Book Industry
  • Found at least one version of the Wall Street Journal article cited in the New York Magazine article [local pdf]. In the process, I also found a site that combines article links with other info and advice on breaking into the music biz – with some interesting perspectives on the use of the Internet.

2002 June 7 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-06-07 16:40:07)

Sorry! MIT graduation festivities started yesterday, and coincided with my descent into the throes of a summer cold! I decided to stick with adding links, figuring that checking out the newest links would be pretty easy. Now that I’m a lull for the moment, I thought I might try to catch up.

Interestingly enough, the big news today has largely been the same as yesterday’s – so I’ve really been refining the earlier links. Three main topics – Movie88/Film88, the ReplayTV users’ suit, and NetFlix – with some music biz on the side.

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2002 June 5 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-06-05 19:40:25)

A big story on the cover of USA Today on the music industry’s woes. They have a theory on the existence of music piracy. A lot of writing on the subject.

Man! A ton of things turned up on my www searchings this morning. I will try to get them up over the course of the day, but you may also just want to check my New Links at the ESD.10 Links page.

And, to go completely off-topic, this Onion article is too funny to be missed!

Update: Clearly, the press was expecting the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group to have a great, consensus-building report out today. Instead, it looks like there’s nothing but fighting ahead. This was the source of most of the new stuff, although one particularly notable addition is the new EFF weblog (paralleling the one they have been using for the BPDG) on DMCA abuse.

Update 2: Slashdot links for many of the articles added. And Movie88 has come back to life – in Iran!

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  • USA Today talks about the state of the music industry today – problematic, for the most part:

    Here’s the opening paragraph:

    No wonder pop fans are singing the blues. Radio sounds like a broken record. CD prices are heading off the charts. Labels are out of tune with the digital age. New acts fail to strike a chord with listeners. It’s time to face the music. The $14 billion recording industry, struggling through its first sales slump in a decade, faces challenges on several fronts, not the least of which is a tarnished image in the eyes and ears of fans who feel ripped off by greedy, tone-deaf bean counters. In 2001, album sales dropped 2.8% compared with 2000, the first dip since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991.

  • A couple of articles on the Broadcast Protection Discussion group.

    • ZDNet offers up a hopeful article on the policy deliberations of this group
    • SiliconValley.com (parroting a widely quoted Reuters Newswire article) also offers up an expectation of success
    • The EFF’s weblog on the discussion offers up a much grimmer picture
    • The Washington Post discusses background on the issues, from the viewpoint of the mainstream press.
    • SiliconValley.com points out that Hollywood is pushing for lots of controls
    • The New York Times reports that the BPDG report falls far, far short of expectations, with nothing really settled.
    • Slashdot has two discussions, one based on the Reuters news feed, and one based on the NYTimes article on the outcome. The latter is based on some odd conclusions, IMHO
  • Gwendolyn Mariano gives a detailed look at the growing relationships developing between music delivery companies and hardware vendors.
  • A ZDNet interview with Steve Jobs discusses the latest video codec licensing disputes (1, 2), and Apple’s pending response.
  • Streamwaves gets a tie-in with Universal-Vivendi
  • CopyFight announces (possibly prematurely <G>) Debunking DMCA, a new EFF weblog on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Should be a GREAT resource!
  • Findlaw’s Writ has an editorial piece of the use of satire as a political tool on the internet and the potential misapplication of copyright to control it.
  • Law.com has a rather pedestrial piece, albeit loaded with financial details not elsewhere given, on the Napster bankruptcy filings
  • Movie88.com was a WWW site in Taiwan streaming movies for a buck a pop – the MPAA had a fit and they got shut down. Now, it appears that they have returned, operating in a jurisdiction where even Jack Valenti can’t make much headway – Iran. Slashdot discusses

2002 June 4 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-06-04 21:39:38)

So far, today’s links seem to focus on ReplayTV and Sonicblue’s release of the new 4500. There’s also an interesting analysis of the legal circumstances of those who post online directions to defeat Key2Audio with a magic marker, based on consultations with the Berkman Center at Harvard. And some interesting stuff on digital movie theatres

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  • Slashdot discusses the EULA that comes with the new ReplayTV – while it looks onerous, other posters point out that the TiVo agreement is no different.
    Update: Came across this article at Electronic Business [local PDF] that discusses DVRs, with a great table at the bottom describing the cost to put one together – compare to some Slashdot comments.

  • Wired.com adds to the discussion of ReplayTV by discussing the differences between the approach of music sharing companies (e.g., Napster) and that of Sonicblue. In particular, allies are cited, with some interesting revenue statistics comparing consumer electronics with the movie industry.

  • SiliconValley.com, the e-version of the San Jose Mercury News, has an article on the effects of P2P on security at businesses. Ties back to other articles in this vein – for example, this Slashdot discussion; also this CNet article.

  • The Slate Explainer column attempts to answer the provocative question Can You Violate Copyright Law With a Magic Marker?
  • The New York Times adds their 2 cents worth on the Eminem/Gracenote issue that started up last week.
  • A couple of Slashdot links that should make you think about what digital movie projection might mean to the cinema. First, look at this Flash demonstration of the basic technology (follow this link, then click on "launch the demo") – pretty cool. Now, take a look at the Slashdot discussion I got that link from – a look at whether this technology will beat out LCDs for display technology. Finally, we bring you an "Ask Slashdot" inquiry by a student at a UC Davis asking about whether Campus Cinema (the student-run campus movie program) should invest in a digital projection system – think about the distribution effects, then read some of the comments.

2002 June 3 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-06-03 16:55:08)

So, the clear big news is the Chapter 11 filing of Napster, to shield Bertelsmann from copyright liability suits. Also, a friend pointed me to some new information on the Macrovision CD copy protection system – to paraphrase “ink can’t hurt us!”.

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2002 June 2 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-06-02 12:29:03)

Unquestionably the weirdest link of the day is the David Coursey opinion piece on TiVo. Is this is the same David Coursey who hates Napster? – either he’s taking some interesting medication, suffering from some peculiar personality disorder or is just the shallowest opinion writer in the tech sector. Personally, I’m pulling for the last option.

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  • David Coursey’s upcoming Anchordesk piece is a followup on the recent articles describing how TiVo has more control over the box than is implied by the description “digital video recorder.” (If you wonder about my confusion, see this article on Napster or this one on its companions – yet he also has strong opinions the other way – search the links on his name and see for yourself)
  • Ed Foster’s Gripe Line column in InfoWorld this week is all about the DMCA in practice, versus intent.
  • Cory Doctorow has a blog entry at Boing Boing that discusses the impact of “cam girls” on the porn industry. He then asks whether any parallels with the P2P-music industry relationship, and he points out that the “cam girl” phenonmenon is actually a throwback (or return to) one-on-one “bespoke” business sales, rather than mass media. Interesting question.
  • Doc Searls expresses his opinion on the future of TiVo and other digital video recorders in the face of the increasing realization that their goals may not be consistent with those of their users. In particular, he sees the DVR sellers as members of the broadcast media in an era where direct communication is possible, and expects that direct communication will win out.

2002 June 1 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-06-01 13:09:52)

I may come up with some today, but this entry is really just a test of the logic added to the calendar.

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  • Slashdot has set up a discussion of the SBA alliances in Egypt and elsewhere mentioned yesterday.

2002 May 31 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-31 20:38:55)

Today’s ESD event starts even earlier – but I hope to get a chance to post more this afternoon. For the moment, I’ve just got an article on Clear Channel and the radio business that ties into past material that I’ve found. It suggests that there are some interesting instabilities in the current radio airplay business that directly influence the way in which records come to the attention of listeners – and why internet distribution might change that dramatically, if allowed to.

Well, it turned into a pretty interesting day to roam the WWW looking for material. Some humor, some history and an opportunity to learn all you wanted to know about Key2Audio and iMacs.

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  • Yesterday’s Washington Post has an article discussing the impact of Clear Channel on the way that music is distributed. There was quite a discussion on Slashdot, but there has been a lot of information published online about Clear Channel over the last year or so. To give you a taste:

    It is also worth noting that Clear Channel is preparing to join with FullAudio to offer online subscriptions (1, 2)

  • A little humor from BBSpot – the next generation IP threat of new technology inspired by the events surrounding the release of Eminem’s latest CD.
  • A little more on the latest Eminem release from LawMeme.
  • Law.com shows that the Business Software Alliance has a truly "catholic" attitude toward piracy. LawMeme has a pretty good comment.

  • ZDNet has another article on the supposed prevalence of software piracy, with comments.

  • Cryptonome has posted Jack Valenti’s infamous 1982 testimony discussing the bane of the VCR. To wit:

    Now, the question comes, well, all right, what is wrong with the VCR. One of the Japanese lobbyists, Mr. Ferris, has said that the VCR — well, if I am saying something wrong, forgive me. I don’t know. He certainly is not MGM’s lobbyist. That is for sure. He has said that the VCR is the greatest friend that the American film producer ever had.

    I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

    Lawmeme has more information and Consensus at Lawyerpoint gives some of the background. You can read the Sony Betamax decision here.

  • Wired.com has an article on the latest foray into the domain of Web publication of academic journals with unrestricted access.
  • ZDNet has many more details on the Tivo “push programming” exercise that was discussed a couple of days ago.
  • Law.com has one look at how the legal education community is responding to the upsurge in intellectual property issues. With a set of interesting quotes both pro and con the development
  • You may recall Courtney Does the Math – well, her lawsuit doesn’t seem to be going well. Her argument that the California labor law is unfair seems to be falling on deaf ears.
  • MacOpinion has a pretty detailed look at CDs and copy protection. A lot of serious technical info, followed by a set of arguments about the ethical and legal implications of Key2Audio protection.

2002 May 30 links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-31 07:29:12)

Day two of the ESD symposium; again, that means that I am not really going to be around today. A couple of links, but I’m not going to get to put together much to say about them this morning.

Today seems to be about looking at the current and new music sharing services available online. And there’s a look at compulsory licensing at FindLaw

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  • Findlaw’s Writ has a guest column describing the recent KaZaa/Verizon proposal for compulsory licensing of songs.
  • LawMeme finds a newsletter entitled Technological Innovation and Intellectual Property Newsletter
  • The Chicago Sun-Times notes that the City Council, in order to crack down on the resale of stolen CDs and DVDs wants to require tracking of all resales. LawMeme discusses.

  • Seems that the LawMeme link to the discussion of the new Eminem CD (and its high ranking on Gracenote in advance of its release) has changed.
  • Another article on Carnivore and the 9/11 investigation.
  • Slate has an article running down the current music sharing programs available today.
  • SiliconValley.com has an extensive article describing the entrance of two independents, MusicNow and Rhapsody, into the online music business.
  • SiliconValley.com also reports on the results of a survey by the Business Software Alliance on consumer attitudes toward software piracy. Slashdot discusses with a couple other links. GrepLaw adds a bit more.

  • An Internet research company named Viant claims that blockbuster films have led to a 20% increase in downloading of movies. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is the fact that what is downloaded is also insanely successful relevant?

2002 May 29 Links

(entry last updated: 2002-05-29 22:12:52)

I’m in an all-day symposium for the next three days; the growing pangs of a new academic division at MIT. I’ll try to post what I can, but I’ll be far from my office and I’m not going to take my laptop.

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  • Slashdot covers the high ranking of Eminem’s latest on Gracenote – before the CD had been released. See yesterday’s links for more information and links to the ZDNet article.

  • I missed this overblown article at the New York Times discussing security and how easily it seems that digital security can be circumvented.
  • The New York Times has an article on the FBI’s screwup in the use of Carnivore; more post-9/11 finger-pointing, I know, but also more evidence that people really are out there reading your e-mail. Slashdot also has a discussion; and there’s an article at The Register too.

  • EETimes reports that there’s a growing coalition among the Pacific Rim countries to deploy an alternative (and royalty-free) format to DVD. Slashdot has a lot to say about it, too.

  • ZDNet has an interview with Gateway’s Ted Waitt on his stand against the CBDTPA.