Electronic equipment worth millions of dollars is damaged every year by lightning strikes and power outages caused by summer storms. These seasonal threats have been amplified by the possibility of rotating blackouts, as well as resulting recent policy changes by major utility companies.
Will the official online music gates finally stream open and flood us with non-pirated tunes? Perhaps. One important step in the process has finally been taken. The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced last week that they have come to a "breakthrough" agreement on the licensing of musical works for new subscription services on the Internet.
Last week's online poll indicates that many Stereophile readers have an ongoing affinity for the retro design style of older audio gear. Several respondents say they find the warm glow of tubes and backlit displays seductively attractive in a darkened room, while others pine for the days of analog dials and softly lit meters with gently bouncing needles.
Students are often described as people with more time than money. For four accused by the recording industry of being "nodes" for file sharing, the lack of money will almost certainly extend well beyond graduation day.
The global market for music could reach $42.8 billion within five years—more than $7.5 billion higher than the present level, according to a recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Wilkofsky Gruen Associates. In the about-to-be-released study, The Global Entertainment & Media Outlook: 2000–2004, the firms make their prediction based on buying patterns and other economic factors in several regions of the world.
Napster may be down for the count, but its millions of former members are happily swapping audio files elsewhere, according to an October 10 report from technology research firm Jupiter Media Metrix Inc.
In an effort to move their businesses into cyberspace, record labels and audio content distributors are still experimenting with their online formulas. Key to the new economic models for selling music over the Net is this question: Would you rather pay a monthly subscription fee to download music, or pay for music track by track? According to market researcher Gartner Group, sites that plan to sell music via the subscription model should seriously reconsider.
We've reported many times on the mass lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) against individuals or institutions that it alleges are illegally participating in peer-to-peer file-sharing activities, so we felt it only fair to report on a lawsuit where the trade group is being sued. Actually, the RIAA's attorneys are being sued by James and Angela Nelson, who were themselves the target of Motown v. Nelson, which alleged that the couple had allowed an employee of Ms. Nelson's home-run daycare center to access P2P websites from their computer.
SunnComm and others have been trying for years to find ways to prevent consumers from copying music discs. While their success in preventing digital copies has been mixed, lurking in the background was a problem many felt could never be solved.
Efforts to restrict the ways consumers use music they have purchased continue unabated. SunnComm (along with its sales and marketing arm MediaMax) has announced that its "newest patent-pending passive technology makes it even more difficult to bypass or 'hack' the copy protection structure contained on the MediaMax CDs."
The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster ride for CD copy-restriction developer SunnComm. The company was riding high in early September when it was announced that BMG and Arista had chosen its MediaMax CD-3 Technology to restrict how discs are used.
More than 70 producers, engineers, and representatives from consumer and professional equipment manufacturers, record companies, and recording studios recently came together in Europe to discuss new ways to promote and establish Super Audio CD. After a two-day conference in London, the attendees say they have agreed to establish the Super Audio Forum to foster a "supportive environment for the exchange of knowledge and marketing information, as well as providing a platform for industry-wide collaboration."