This week, the New York Times is hosting a running debate about copyright, digital rights management, sampling and fair use between Rick Cotton, General Counsel of NBC, and Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University. This provides some good reading about the complexities and nuances at the intersection of law and technology, from two people with very different opinions.
FCC Chairman plans to recommend censure against Comcast
Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin plans to recommend that the FCC issue a warning against the ISP for imposing "arbitrarily limits" on its subscribers. The recommendation, now circulating internally, would require various disclosure and procedural shifts without applying penalties. Margaret Kane, News.comread more
Here’s a video interview with FMC co-founder, serial entrepreneur and SanFran MusicTech mastermind Brian Zisk, courtesy VatorTV. You might have thought that DRM (or Digital Rights Management, which restricts the transfer of a digital file across multiple devices) was dead, but Zisk says the big labels haven’t completely given up on the concept. read more
Apple Supersizes iPod Capacities, Labels Unenthusiastic
Apple now offers its popular iPod with 80GB and 160GB capacities. However, labels worry that those who do fill their 160GB devices to capacity will be filling it with pirated video and audio rather than purchased content.
by Paul Reskinoff, DigitalMusicNews, September 5, 2007read more
Study: Consumers Prefer DRM-Free Tracks
A survey conducted by law firm Olswang Entertainment and Media Research of over 300,000 UK music fans reveals that DRM-free music is preferred by consumers, as well as a willingness to pay more for DRM-free tracks. By Anthony Bruno, Billboard.biz, August 6, 2007read more
ATT announced today it would begin filtering pirated music, films and other content from its network—something every ISP had long avoided up until this point. The L.A. Times reportsATT began working with movie studios and record companies last week to develop technology to keep the biggest pirates off its service.
Doyle Bill Would Encourage New Low-Power FM Stations U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle introduced a bill on June 21 that could prompt hundreds of new low-power FM radio stations to sprout up around the country, including the Pittsburgh region. The bill would relax a restraint that prevents new stations from securing spots close to existing full-power commercial stations on the radio dial. by Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazetteread more
Washington, D.C.— You remember several years ago, in 2005, former Attorney General, now New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer caught several major labels and major radio companies with hands in each others’ cookie jars engaging in payola — receiving payments from record companies to play certain records?* Sure you do, his investigation garnered national headlines and resulted in fines and penalties from several major labels that exceeded $30 million. read more
Amazon dropped a bomb today by announcing it would drop digital rights restrictions on music downloads when it launches an online music store later this year. It’s the latest in a series of blows to DRM, and signals a larger shift in the music industry.
For those that don’t know, Digital Rights Management is protective coding placed on files to keep them from being pirated. Remember, a couple of years ago all of the big majors took a hard line in support of DRM, but in the last several months that unanimity has frayed. EMI announced it would begin selling music downloads without DRM (albeit at a higher price), while Warner and Universal are currently testing selling music without DRM. read more