There are many interesting ways to earn a living in our post-industrial economy. Like ranting on camera about your sister being nearly raped. That's what Antoine Dodson did—now he's got a Hot 100 Billboard single!
Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" has been given an update for the new millennium in this music video in which a band plays the entirety of the song on their different iPad applications for keyboards, drums, and guitar.
The Copyright Royalty Board, an obscure agency which has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to its role in arbitrating rates for digital music distribution, has frozen the price online music stores have to pay to artists and labels at a little over nine cents. The music industry had been lobbying for an increase to around fifteen cents, would likely have erased the notoriously slim margins Apple enjoys at the iTunes Music Store. Not that Apple would have cared, since it's all about the iPod business anyway and the company was ostensibly willing to shut down digital download sales if it didn't get its way.
Apple made developers who wanted to write applications for the iPhone sign a non-disclosure agreement that was rigorous it even forbade them from publishing Apple's letters rejecting their app from its iTunes store. More seriously, the NDA also prevented developers from learning from each others mistakes and publishers from writing how-to manuals for would-be application developers. So after loud complaints, Apple today announced it would drop the non-disclosure agreement for released iPhone software. Developers rejoiced. Explaining the need for the NDA in the first place, Apple also landed a few only slightly veiled jabs at an old rival, Microsoft. I couldn't help but be reminded of a scene from Pirates of Silicon Valley, which I've embedded below.
The National Music Publishers Association wants to raise the rate it charges Apple for each song shoppers purchase via iTunes from 9 cents to 15 cents. Apple wants to lower the rate to 4.6 cents and says that if it doesn't get its way, it might just shutter iTunes altogether. In a letter to the Copyright Royalty Board, the deciding body on the issue, iTunes VP Eddy Cue wrote: "Apple has made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes music store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably." If the NMPA wins, it'll cost Apple an extra $144 million, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs has always said the whole point of iTunes is to drive hardware sales. Maybe Cue should try holding his breath. (Photo by majorvols)
Click to viewThe latest shockumentary from portly auteur Michael Moore, Slacker Uprising, has launched today. To watch the film, you have to sign up with an email address. While Moore says his fans should go ahead and download it, there's no actual link to do that. And you can't embed the whole film on third-party sites without pulling some code from the bowels of the HTML source — which I've done here, while also restoring the "share" button so you can easily post it yourself wherever you like. Heck, if Moore just wants the film out there, why not distribute it on BitTorrent and save on bandwidth costs?Presumably because The Weinstein Company, Moore's studio, wouldn't want to be seen as somehow legitimizing file-sharing. And it would like to keep your email address on file, the better to flog paid downloads on Amazon.com and iTunes, as well as the DVD, when those are available. But really, Moore doesn't want to make a dime on this thing. He just wants you kids to get off your butts and vote. Free Internet distribution serves his political agenda; paid downloads serve Weinstein's commercial goals. With two masters to serve, is it any surprise Moore's film is making an awkward debut?