Claeys on Justifying IP— The Legal Theory Blog points to a new paper from Eric Claeys, On Cowbells in Rock Anthems (and Property in IP): A Comment on Justifying Intellectual Property, which examines Robert Merges’ 2011 book, Justifying Intellectual Property. The title of the paper refers to a popular Saturday Night Live skit, and like Christopher Walken, who “gotta have more cowbell”, Claeys looks at Merges’ book and “gotta have more property.”

The Big Debate: OK gloomsters, how can the music biz be FIXED? — Andrew Orlowski reports on a recent Battle of Ideas conference he participated in, along with Helienne Lindvall, John Waters, and Alan Miller. A lot of great remarks, like this one from Miller toward the end: “The phrase someone used, ‘The genie is out of the bottle’, is really a call for passivity. But we make the world every day anew, if we want to and chose to. That’s the bit that’s missing. That we can’t innovate, we can’t come up with ways to modify things – that the obstacles are too immense. We need to separate things that we project onto the technology, and then say they’re part of that technology. They’re not. We innovate.”

Pandora, Clear Channel, Others Form Lobby Group for Lower Web Radio Payments; MusicFirst Pushes Back — Another week, another lobbying group from the tech industry. This one, along with Pandora and Clear Channel, includes the “Consumer Electronics Association, terrestrial broadcaster Salem Communications, AccuRadio, Small Webcaster Alliance and Computer and Communications Industry Association,” according to Billboard, and seeks to drum up support for the Internet Radio Fairness Act. The bill has already drawn criticism from the musicFIRST Coalition.

Voters Growing Disillusioned with Germany’s Pirate Party — Spiegel Online has an in-depth look at the stunning, self-inflicted implosion of the Pirate Party in Germany.

Who Killed (Or Saved!) The Music Industry? by Future Machine — An interesting sounding documentary currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. “Fifteen years ago the record business was flourishing. Sales were at an all time high, and everyone from the major label executives all the way down to the roadies were enjoying the success. Today, the music business is largely a working class industry. Record labels have seen dramatic revenue loss, and many artists have seen once lucrative careers diminish, if not disappear altogether. Some blame technology, some blame consumers, still others blame the record companies. This documentary seeks to explore the intersection of these ideas and find answers to the big questions.”

Notice of inquiry for orphan works — The US Copyright Office is currently seeking comments on orphan works. In its inquiry, it notes, “The Copyright Office is reviewing the problem of orphan works under U.S. copyright law in continuation of its previous work on the subject and to advise Congress on possible next steps for the United States. The Office has long shared the concern with many in the copyright community that the uncertainty surrounding the ownership status of orphan works does not serve the objectives of the copyright system. For good faith users, orphan works are a frustration, a liability risk, and a major cause of gridlock in the digital marketplace. The issue is not contained to the United States. Indeed, a number of foreign governments have recently adopted or proposed solutions.”

Catching Up, Not Cord Cutting, Drives Increase in Content Streaming: Study — Some interesting results from a recent survey by TVGuide.com.

1 Comment

  1. That Orlowski article is riveting. Spent the whole morning reading through it and must agree with him that most of the questions from the audience had a certain lazy pessimism about them. Reminds me of the “Laziest Rebellion” chapter in Chris Ruen’s new book.

    It really is sad that the internet, a place of such innovation over the past decade has become so lazy and incapable of coming up with a solution to this issue. Instead, tech behemoths and psychotic idealogues (read: techdirt) continue to refer to some elusive unicorn of a solution that’s supposedly right around the corner, but will appear only when rights holders lay down their one and only claim to their creative work.

    Sure, there are success stories, but like Orlowski writes, they’re more of a jackpot than the rule. Sure, Louis CK did something awesome charging 5 bucks a download… but he has the career capital to cash in on that.