It's safe to say that few audio engineers are more famous than Ray Dolby. On May 1, the founder and chairman of Dolby Laboratories was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio, joining such luminaries as Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, and Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb and the phonograph.
"Clean Slate" ends: As of early April, the US music industry no longer offers amnesty to confessed downloaders. Begun in September by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the "Clean Slate" program's intent was to discourage music fans from continuing to gather freebies online by promising exemption from copyright infringement lawsuits if they signed statements that they had removed shared music files from their computers. More than 1100 music fans signed, but Eric Parke of Novato, CA sought an injunction against the program on the grounds that it was a "fraudulent business practice." The RIAA responded by halting the amnesty effort and asked the judge in the case to dismiss Parke's lawsuit. Trade group officials promised to uphold their part of the bargain for those who signed.
If you're a retailer harboring visions of including Klipsch Audio Technologies' products among the offerings in a deep-discount website, forget it. Likewise, reconsider if you've been tempted to buy Klipsch products at unbelievable prices from such a site. And if you're a Klipsch dealer with some overstock, don't take the bait if someone with a website offers you cash for a bulk deal, don't even think about it—because Klipsch is one company that takes the gray market seriously.
Once upon a time, business competitors relied on the quality of their products and services to hang onto their shares of the market. That's the myth, at least. Increasingly, it seems they rely on regulatory and judicial intervention to stay afloat.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is continuing its legal campaign against file sharing. In late March, the trade organization launched a new salvo of lawsuits against 532 individuals and 21 university computer networks across the country—89 of the accused violators used school networks for downloading or sharing large numbers of copyrighted recordings. The RIAA claimed that the alleged violators shared an average of 837 songs.