Competition / anti-trust issues.

Google Video DRM: Why is Hollywood more important than users?

This BoingBoing article by Canadian Science Fiction author Cory Doctorow includes:

Google's DRM has the potential to drastically re-shape the contours of copyright law, turning a few entertainment companies' wishful thinking about the way that copyright would work if they were running the show into de facto laws.

Note: This "US style censorship" is considerably worse IMHO than the more honest "China style censorship". With China-style censorship the tools of censorship and privacy invasion are on remote servers, while with US-style censorship it infects the users own private property (their computers, VCR's, etc).

New York focuses antitrust probe of record labels

This CNET article by John Borland includes:

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has sent record labels a new round of subpoenas in his investigation of online-music pricing, music industry sources said Tuesday.

Censorship as a non-tariff barrier to trade

This Guardian article by Victor Keegan includes:

China protests loudly, and rightly so, when minor textile products are excluded from entry into the US. Yet when the fastest growing product of all - information - is excluded from China by its government there is hardly a squeak from the White House.

When will we be able to argue that the protection of specific legacy business models through treaties (such as the 1996 WIPO treaties) is also rightfully recognized as a non-tarrif barrier to trade? Supporters of Free Trade policy should support a full spectrum of methods of production, distribution and funding , provide no subsidies or non-subsidy promotion of any single model. Legislation should fully support peer production, peer distribution, and royalty-free models that set the marginal price = marginal cost of zero.

Tunecore signs up iTunes artists, skipping outdated middle-man: the label

The real threat to the outgoing major labels has always been legal competition, not infringement. I have been talking about how digital distribution companies will be able to make the labels obsolete, with a service called Tunecore helping artists to do this.

A new service has emerged allowing artists to publish their own tracks and albums on Apple's iTunes Music Store, as well as RealNetworks' Rhapsody service without the need for record labels.

The Role of Levies in Canada's Digital Music Market

Jeremy F. Debeer of the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, has published a paper titled The Role of Levies in Canada's Digital Music Market. In this paper he argues that an expanded levy system is not the best way to address the challenges of Canada's digital music marketplace. Instead, Canadian law and policy makers should reform voluntary collective licensing systems and provide more stable and generous funding directly to Canadian artists.

VUT campaign "Respect The Music – Copy Protection Free"

As a result of the music industry's most recent attempts at fatal copy protection methods, the VUT – German Association of Independent Labels, Publishers and Producers – feels that it needs to disassociate itself from the music industry's position by starting its own campaign called 'Respect The Music'.

The Professional Device Hole

Professor Ed Felten writes about the "Professional Device Hole" included in the US bill that seeks to close the so-called "analog hole".

In fact, the professional device hole is even better for Hollywood than Tim Lee realizes. Not only will it protect Hollywood from the downside of the bill, it will also create new barriers to entry, making it harder for amateurs to create and distribute video content — and just at the moment when technology seems to be enabling high-quality amateur video distribution.

The real target of all such bills is never copyright infringement, but competition that the incumbents are always feeling from the innovators. Hollywood was formed from "pirates" trying to escape the patents of Thomas Edison and others, and now they are trying to stop the next generation of innovators from doing the same thing.

Need for a "music in Canada" debate not shut down by "theft is theft" extremist rhetoric

A posting by Michael Geist focuses on the news from Nettwerk, but also included:

We need a real discussion of music in Canada that goes beyond file sharing to include private copying, fair use, the limits on the use of DRM, the transparency of collectives, canadian content requirements in the Internet era, and support for the artists. It is a debate that must include the independent labels who are responsible for 90 percent of new Canadian music, the artists from all perspectives, and user interests. It is a debate that is about much more than file sharing.

Jobs' new Disney role raises conflict concerns

This CNet article by John Borland and Ina Fried includes:

When Steve Jobs announced the $7.4 billion merger of his Pixar Animation Studios with Disney on Tuesday, he said the two companies could finally move beyond their "two separate sets of shareholders and two different agendas."

But in fact, there are three companies in that equation. Left mostly unsaid throughout the merger celebrations was exactly how Jobs would balance his new role as board member at Disney and his job as chief executive of Apple Comp

Inexperience leads to invalid beliefs: don't kill the beautiful baby we call filesharing

Peter Scowen, writing for the Toronto Star, makes the following invalid suggestion.

"For those who have read the term "file sharing" a thousand times without understanding it, it refers to a way of turning the Internet into an organized theft ring."

That is like describing the car as the turning of roads solely into a method of transportation for stolen goods. The problem with people who do not have experience with the Internet is that, not ever having seen the baby, they have no problem throwing it out with the bathwater.

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