Friday, February 8, 2008

This Week In News

House Approves MPAA-Backed College Antipiracy Rules
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a higher-education funding bill that includes controversial new antipiracy obligations for universities. The College Opportunity and Affordability Act leaves says higher-education institutions participating in federal financial aid programs "shall" devise plans for "alternative" offerings to unlawful downloading — such as subscription-based services — or "technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.
Anne Broache, February 07, 2008

Mellencamp Songs Off McCain's Playlist
It may be "Our Country," but it's John Mellencamp's song. When the liberal rocker found out his songs were being played at events for Republican John McCain's presidential campaign, Mellencamp's publicist sent a letter that questioned the campaign's playlist. "Are you sure you want to use his music to promote Senator McCain's efforts?" according to the letter sent to McCain's campaign on Monday." McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers in Washington, D.C., said Thursday that the songs would no longer be played. He declined to elaborate.
Associated Press, February 08, 2008

No Business in Showbusiness?

Miami Herald discusses the future of record labels. “Whatever the future of the industry,” Leon McDermott argues, “they need to take into account the major change that has come with digital distribution: people don't buy albums anymore. They buy single tracks.” The industry is not doomed, it simply needs to adjust to a changing market.
Leon McDermott, Miami Herald, February 3, 2008

Music Websites Are Fighting to Be Free
Are ad-supported, free music sites the business model of the future? Websites like and Imeem have 20 million users, while Yahoo’s subscription-based service recently shut down.
Jefferson Graham, USA Today, February 5, 2008

Want Better Music? Don't Stiff the Songwriters
Recording industry executives claim that artists need to accept lower royalties in order to keep the business afloat. But Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired argues that smaller cuts for musicians will ultimately hurt the quality of the product if fewer songwriters are able to make a living, and both parties will be worse off if that happens.
Elliot Van Buskirk, Wired, February 08

The Life and Crimes of the Music Biz
Longtime music industry insider Simon Napier-Bell’s article is a lengthy, fascinating indictment of major labels. He claims that they have no interest in helping artists and instead look to cheat them at every turn. He says that major labels are to blame for their current problems, and that in the modern music industry they will have to radically change the way they do business.
Simon Napier-Bell, Observer Music Monthly, January 20, 2008

Feds Querying Labels Over "Total Music"
The Department of Justice has begun investigating “Total Music,” a digital music concept being developed by Universal and Sony BMG, for a possible violation of antitrust laws.
Associated Press, February 08, 2008

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