The Null Device

2002/7/8

And while we're on the subject of the lovely people in the entertainment industry, media/sewage conglomerate Vivendi Universal is looking rather fucked these days. And Universal Music head thug and former CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. is probably kicking himself for letting it happen. Of course, given Bronfman's record as one of the most rabid hardliners in the War On Fair Use, I can't say I feel sorry for him.

(Though even if his corporate career is washed up, he could always take up songwriting again. It worked for another hard-nosed businessman.)

Oh, and you can find more schadenfreude here.

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An article looking at why the recording industry hates web radio, and wants to wipe it out with prohibitive royalty rates. It comes down to the classic 'turd-in-a-can' business model: it's cheaper to manufacture Britneys and Limp Bizkits ("blockbuster artists" as they're known) than to provide quality and variety; if there's a varied music ecology, consumers expect to find music to cater to their varying tastes, and the recording racket can't sell everyone the same homogeneous rubbish. So, it makes perfect business sense to do their best to kill off the ecology, close off alternative channels and ensure that consumers are a captive audience conditioned to accept that there's no alternative to what Clear Channel is playing.

The smoking gun comes from testimony of an RIAA-backed economist who told the government fee panel that a dramatic shakeout in Webcasting is "inevitable and desirable because it will bring about market consolidation."

Once they cut off the alternatives, the consumer will have no choice but to buy the turd in the can and tell himself that that's what he wanted. Or so the theory goes; of course, people could just stop buying records altogether, even when their Microsoft Trusted PCs don't allow them to listen to anything they haven't paid for, resulting in the recording racket collapsing, dying in the scorched wasteland it has created. (via Techdirt)

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It's a bizarre and perhaps frightening world we live in in which outspoken black nationalist militant Louis Farrakhan is a voice of moderation in international affairs.

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Why are many men avoiding marriage these days? Because it's a mug's game. (via one.point.zero)

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Could the Dutch experiment with liberalism be over? After winning power and ending the long reign of the left, the new Christian-right government of the Netherlands has outlined its conservative social agenda, which includes recriminalising marijuana, shutting down drug cafés, and laws against same-sex marriage and prostitution. Mind you, I wonder how much of the "failure of liberalism" spin of the article is due to it being from a paper in Singapore, a city-state that is the epitome of the philosophy of benign authoritarianism. (via rotten.com)

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