This site is devoted to copyright and issues of 'intellectual property,' particularly the issue's analytical aspects. It also concerns itself with the gap between public perception and the true facts, and with the significant lag time between the coverage on more technical sites and the mainstream press. For site feed, see: To see the list of sites monitored to create this site, see:

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Grammy Paradox - They're awful. But they're good for pop music. By Jody Rosen
Ray Charles has won 17 Grammys, Aretha Franklin 16, Frank Sinatra 10. But they also refused to acknowledge the existence of hip-hop until 1989 and didn't get around to giving the Rolling Stones a Grammy until 1994. In 1991, Milli Vanilli took the Grammy for Best New Artist. In 1980, the year of the Clash's London Calling, Prince's Dirty Mind, and Talking Heads' Remain in Light, soft-rock wimp Christopher Cross won a clean sweep of the top four prizes.

Matchmaker Pairs Computer and Stereo - New York Times
Slim Devices predicts that Pandora will become a wildly popular feature, and that's probably true (although after a 90-day trial, it costs $36 a year). It offers all the new-music serendipity of Internet radio, with the personal touch of your own CD collection.

Furdlog » Silk Purse, Sow’s Ear?
A sign that subscriptions are still a tough sell? Or that Apple doesn’t want to play? Napster Posts Loss Despite Surge in Sales

Wired News: Bubble Fails to Rock Tinseltown
Two weeks after its release, it's clear Bubble wreaked about as much havoc on Hollywood as Y2K did on computer systems.

Wired News:
Technically, Electroplankton is a toy -- yet it's modeled after the music-editing software professional sound engineers use to produce songs. And the results, in the right hands, can be remarkably similar.
More democratization of music generation.  Distribution has already been democratized, particularly as iTMS accepts non-label artists (indirectly in some cases).  So the role for labels is as a middleman, particularly in marketing.  That's a dangerous place to be, but not necessarily an unprofitable one.

Warner Music's Digital Sales Up, but It Still Fails to Meet Forecasts - New York Times
The company also said it had received another subpoena in February from the New York State attorney general's office in connection with an antitrust investigation into the pricing of digital music.

MovieBeam to offer HD movies with online delivery
MovieBeam Inc. is hoping that you'll adopt a TiVo-like service model to tap into HD movies delivered right to your TV. But TiVo isn't under threat from MovieBeam. Netflix, get off the couch and come in here and meet your new competition!

HD DVD and Blu-ray delayed again, as AACS is pushed back
The hold up must infuriate HD DVD backers, because the last sticking point apparently only applies to the Blu-ray specific BD+ anti-piracy measure. BD+ is part of Blu-ray's "we have more protection than you" approach to appeasing the studios.
I find this amazing.  Technological problems?  Nope, just trouble agreeing upon the right level of DRM is holding back the next generation of video as DVD sales begin to flag.

Ad-supported books arrive at last
For all the hype, e-books have yet to take hold in any major way. That could slowly be changing, however, with HarperCollins' recent test of a freely available, ad-supported title.
The book is hosted on Judson's own site.
If the book can be hosted on his site, it can likely be distributed by traditional (e.g. non-DRMed) P2P networks as well, without any loss of revenue for the publisher.  Interesting....

"Trusted" storage specs nearly ready for your hard drive
TC is also a haven for Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, and content providers may find the combination irresistible. Already, next generation high-definition video content is requiring a trusted HDCP-compliant monitor and a trusted video card.

The truth behind HDCP and video card support
We're in the midst of a a top-down, all-points-covered attempt to lock down every part of the HD viewing experience. In a nutshell, the content industry wants to see video encrypted end-to-end and passed only among approved devices that obey content access rules defined by the industry. This is not limited to the PC. Our in-depth primer on CableCARD revealed that the lock-down will also come to include the video streams from cable providers, too. In both cases, we see a disturbing trend: not only is the technology all about locking down the content, but the implementation is becoming locked down as well. For example, while CableCARD has been heralded as the great breakthrough that will allow for Home Theatre PC nirvana, the fact that CableLabs has to certify entire machine designs means that the do-it-yourself market is likely out of luck.
While the article takes a consumer rebellion tack (I don't think it's likely...consumers are used to upgrading, and if they don't understand that there's nothing wrong about their current set....), I think the obsolescence is a bigger factor.  Certifying the whole implementation would have locked out a whole generation of innovative small computer manufacturers (AlienWare comes to mind) and individual builders who drove the platform forward and led to changes at major players, like Dell's gaming line.  The costs of such a policy will be high, but not for the people who implement it.  Negative externalities are everywhere, I'm afraid.

How to Value Ratings With DVR Delay? - New York Times
WOULD the opening greeting on "Saturday Night Live" sound as compelling if it began "Live plus 24 hours from New York" or "Live plus seven days from New York?"

Slashdot | OSx86 Cracked Again
once again eluded Apple's security methods and cracked the latest release of Mac OS X for Intel, or 'OSx86', to run on standard x86 PCs. It seems Apple just can't win this eternal struggle with the hackers, as 10.4.4 included beefed up security designed to prevent similar hacking methods used on beta releases of the operating system.
DRM fails again.  Observers of the game market in particular should not be surprised.  They've been trying for decades now.

Slashdot | Intel and Skype Exclude AMD
CNET is reporting that Intel and Skype have signed an exclusive deal that would cap the number of conference call members on all but Intel architecture.
Whoa.  If AMD weren't doing so well right now, this would be a major anti-trust mistake.

Slashdot | Apple Antitrust Case Gets Green Light
the key to such a lawsuit would be convincing a court that a single product brand like iTunes is a market in itself separate from the rest of the online music market.

Are Higher Resolution iTMS Videos On The Horizon? :: iPod Hacks :: The Latest and Greatest News and Info for Your iPod
With Apple's push towards the entertainment center with Front Row and rumors of forthcoming large screen displays, an increase in the resolution of videos sold through the iTunes Music Store just makes sense.

EFF: Breaking News
The patent -- for a system and method of creating digital recordings of live performances -- locks musical acts into using Clear Channel technology and blocks innovations by others.

Freedom to Tinker » Blog Archive » Sony CD DRM Paper Released
Today Alex and I released our paper about the Sony CD DRM episode. This is the full, extended version of the paper, with a bunch of new material that hasn’t been published or posted before.
The experiment was a success, giving us lots of good comments and suggestions that helped us improve the paper. - Ericsson to offer hosted Napster service
Ericsson has announced a new service allowing users to pay and download music, ringtones and artist images from the Napster peer-to-peer network to their mobile phones and PCs. - the original daily p2p and digital media news site
Remember, in Australia it's still illegal to time shift TV programs by recording them and watching them at a later time, although it's safe to say almost all viewers do .

Open Access News
India has digitized 149 university libraries.



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