Hit record — Salon.com Editor-in-chief Kerry Lauerman reports on lessons his company has learned. Aggregation, staff cuts, and emphasis on churning out content — doesn’t work. Focusing on originality, quality over quantity, and publishing less while spending more time on writing — does work. The site has grown its readership for the second year in a row under the latter approach.

How SOPA and PIPA did and didn’t change how Washington lobbying works — A surprising take on the internet blackout from the Sunlight Foundation. 1I say surprising because the funders and board members of the Sunlight Foundation include many who were active in the opposition to SOPA and PROTECT IP. The post notes how tech lobbying has quickly eclipsed entertainment lobbying. It also notes the role the internet played in calling attention to the bills, asking in the end, “if the Googles, Facebooks, Twitters, and Wikipedias are becoming new guardians of political accountability, how accountable are they?”

In the music biz — Digital Music News has a couple of charts. The first shows a breakdown of Warner Music Group’s revenue sources from the last quarter of 2011. Physical formats still account for 51% of revenues. The second shows the distribution of digital revenues from online independent music store CDBaby. Over three quarters of these revenues comes from iTunes, while all streaming services bring in less than 10%.

The Sheepdogs Prove The Power Of Major Labels — Says the New Rockstar Philosophy, “As a close friend watching The Sheepdogs play for years, it’s interesting to see how the world has latched on to them. They’ve been doing the same music for a while, but only since the involvement of the Major Labels are The Sheepdogs starting to get larger recognition for their sound. To me this is a clear sign of the power of Major Labels. For all the talk of the end of an era, the Major Labels still have a lot of cash, expertise, and relationships that get doors open. Major Labels can get you seen and heard.”

Introducing Fountain — This one is for geeks/screenwriters. John August and Stu Maschwitz announce the Fountain markup language that enables script writing in any text editor using straightforward syntax. The result is a platform independent, future-proof file format ideal for collaboration and working anywhere.

Reining in the Rhetoric on Copyright Reform — Barry Sookman expands on his recent Financial Post article dealing with recent comparisons between Canada’s Bill C-11 and SOPA. “While recent attempts by the usual suspects making hysterical predictions about copyright reform in Canada have been ratcheted up yet again, this time the claims are so outrageous that they can perhaps best be described as having “jumped the shark”.”

The Future for Television or Google Wants to Burn Your Remote: More Google Union-Busting — Then they came for the trade unionists… Chris Castle sheds light on Google and company’s efforts against entertainment industry unions like IATSE, AFTRA, DGA, and SAG.

What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You — Cary Sherman’s op-ed in the New York Times provided fodder for many online discussions this week (including this odd piece from the EFF that refers to the record industry as “Hollywood”). One of the most important points he raises: Google, Wikipedia, and other services used their platforms to argue against the bill. Television networks and other media outlets that supported the bill didn’t. Understanding why they didn’t is crucial to understanding the concerns over the tactics used by the internet platform giants.

References   [ + ]

1. I say surprising because the funders and board members of the Sunlight Foundation include many who were active in the opposition to SOPA and PROTECT IP.

9 Comments

  1. Some comments on SOPA/PIPA from an Indie music perspective here: http://pitchfork.com/features/articles/8763-shades-of-gray-anti-piracy-legislation-and-independent-labels/

    Interesting to see the comments on how piracy may impact most severely on smaller artists. This makes sense, but I don’t think I’ve seen it stated authoritatively before.

  2. Google, Wikipedia, and other services used their platforms to argue against the bill. Television networks and other media outlets that supported the bill didn’t. Understanding why they didn’t is crucial to understanding the concerns over the tactics used by the internet platform giants.

    Cary Sherman and Chris Dodd used every trick in the book to get SOPA passed. The television networks ran antipiracy ads for SOPA as well as lobbied in support of SOPA legislation directly. To say that they didn’t use their platform is a little dishonest, is it not?

    • This is how I read that:

      Don’t you know? Civilized people push their political agenda through secret backroom dealing. Unlike those dirty tech companies who publicize issues and rally popular democratic support to their cause.

      PS: Ignore our hilariously bad commercials.

      • You sure about that?

        And do you actually read the links provided? or just the blurb…
        I know it must burn your eyes to read things that don’t 100% agree with your point of view… but hey, you might actually learn something…

        • “Piracy funds organized crime” – No, criminals make money off of drugs with higher profit margins.

          “It’ll destroy our film and video industry” – And yet, they continue to make higher profits and fund more expensive projects as directors become more independent of movie directors… Fancy that…

          “Piracy costs jobs” – Find those imaginary jobs for everyone. There’s a stronger argument that piracy can create jobs in other areas by increasing the amount of content available.

          “Will destroy our music and publishing industry” – The music industry made ~$168 billion dollars worldwide in 2010. That’s up from $132 billion in 2005. The publishing industry has been making money from $26.5 billion in 2008 to $28 billion in 2010. Just because a few dinosaurs decided that they’ll only rely on Amazon doesn’t mean the industry hasn’t gotten better for people.

          “Piracy funds terrorism” – See also the organized crime debunking.

          “Don’t let the pirates burn a hole in your pocket” – Which is funny since a free stream isn’t costing anyone anything. Ever heard of a consumer surplus?

          • Where did you get the 168 billion dollar number for the music industry? That seems a bit off base.

  3. http://digitalmusicnews.com/stories/090611industry

    The 2010 numbers for the global music market.

    • Recorded music sales are 1/10th the number you’ve quoted.
      Sure… if you include “Guitar Center” and EVERY EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER’s total revenue, you get to that number. But if you actually read beyond headlines (i know that’s difficult for you…) you might actually learn something..

      • Hey James read what I said about global music market:

        The music industry made ~$168 billion dollars worldwide in 2010

        That’s different from just the recorded sales market. If you have a problem with the numbers you can complain to the IFPI. They came up with them. I just showed how well the music industry, not the recording industry by itself.

        Maybe next time, you’ll actually read what’s in text right in front of you instead of what you want to read about recorded music.