Notes on the Revolutionary Expansion in Digital Content Availability — This week the ITIF hosted a panel discussion on the evolution of digital content, with panelists from Google, the NMPA, DiMA, and MPAA. John McCoskey of the MPAA shares some post-panel thoughts here. “One thing that’s clear is that quality content has never been more influential to the growth of the Internet than it is today. If you want to attract visitors to your website, subscribers to your service, or eyeballs to your advertisements, your content needs to be compelling. That’s why players like Amazon and Netflix have begun producing their own original programming, and that is just as true for Hollywood studios who continue to be on the cutting-edge of the digital content revolution.”
Why Buy the Cow? — Writer Alex Epstein reflects on last Sunday’s article by Tim Krieder in the NY Times, Slaves of the Internet, Unite! He offers the observation that the internet has decimated the middle-class of creative professionals. “But it does feel like what used to be a pyramid has shrunk its middle, so its base is impossibly wide, and the top quite pointy. The middle seems to be disappearing. There’s room for star journalists, and free Huffington post contributors, but no room for journeymen…Before recorded music, if you were semi-good, you could become a traveling musician. You could make a living, of a sorts, playing to crowds of 40. Or, at least, you could eat. That living hasn’t existed for a long time. Instead you play to crowds of 40 to get exposure (and learn your chops) so you can play to crowds of 10,000 for money.”
The Echo Nest And Getty Images Upgrade Stale Album Art — Photo licensing service Getty Images has partnered with innovative music service Echo Nest to make thousands of high quality images available to developers through the Echo Nest API. Pretty cool.
Is this really what Congress had in mind when it created the DMCA? — Ellen Seidler presents evidence that suggests the answer to that question should be “no.” “Not only does sending out DMCA notices required a great deal of time–time that most indie content creators do not have–but often times it’s ignored entirely by pirate sites that feign compliance.”
Woody Allen Pens Rare Open Letter to Hollywood (Guest Column) — A lot of people in the creative industries work behind the scenes. They are just as creative and essential to the success of a work, but too often don’t get recognized for their contributions. In this open letter, filmmaker Woody Allen calls attention to the contributions of casting directors to the success of films. “In my case certainly, the casting director plays a vital part in the making of the movie. My history shows that my films are full of wonderful performances by actors and actresses I had never heard of and were not only introduced to me by my casting director, Juliet Taylor, but, in any number of cases, pushed on me against my own resistance.”
I’ve Spent Two Years Making a Documentary About What Really Happened to Musicians… — Producer Count debuted this extended trailer of the in-progress doc “Unsound” at the Future of Music Coalition Summit this week. Essential viewing, and currently raising funds on Indiegogo to get it ready for film festivals.
The $4 Billion Secret: Don’t Bother Making Any Money — Tech startups can raise millions without even having a plan to make money in place. Perhaps that’s why so many think creators can just give their work away for free and be successful?