RIAApe Me… Again

IS the RIAA working hard behind the scenes to pass Audio Flag legislation to plug the analog hole during Congress’ lame duck session?

The *battle* is on and earlier this week, the RIAA’s Cary Sherman called BS on the Consumer Electronics Assn’s Digital Freedom docket in this op-ed published on CNET.

CEA President Gary Shapiro fired back almost immediately with this response.

I don’t trust either of these guys, quite frankly, and wonder what everybody else thinks about these association-types apparent attempt to duke it out, not to mention, Microsoft’s consent to sellout to labels for each Zune (despite fair use) sold and whether, in the end any of these efforts will lead us in any direction towards digital freedom for both consumers and creators.

Charles wrote in to Small Print Project:

…Seems like the RIAA is looking to make a push to pass the Audio Flag bill during the lame duck session. This will kill any hopes of having a digital radio recorder, much like Tivo, which companies like XM and Sirius are behind. Tonight the RIAA is sponsoring a tech demo/concert/open bar at the Russell Senate building. Special interests hard at work?

I can’t find anything at quick glance on this, but please — SOMEBODY crash it and report back!


Click to order RIAA toilet paper

More on the Sherman spin:
/. thread
Mistaken Goal posts of last week’s “revision of a white paper released in 2003 entitled ‘Background Discussion of Copyright Law and Potential Liability for Students Engaged in P2P File Sharing on University Networks.'”
Ars Technica

Originally posted November 16, 2006 at Set-Top Cop blog.

This Day in Media

— Jay Rosen introduced and discussed NewAssignment.net — “an experiment in open-source journalism” — at Harvard’s Berkman Center (video)

— Al Jazeera International finally launches its English-language broadcast. It’s U.S. distribution is quite thin, having been turned down by Comcast, however, it will be available online at VDC.com and english.aljazeera.net.

— Len Downie is the latest to announce layoffs and consolidation as the state of the job market circa my impending graduation from J-school begins to eerily mirror the quasi- market circa my high school graduation in 1993 (and how things changed with 2 years of Net proliferation). An ONLINE Journalism major, I’m not nearly as concerned as my colleagues.

Free Press and the Center on Media & Democracy released their second report on the use of Fake News and Video News Reports in mainstream media.

— Amanda Congdon of Rocketboom fame is goin’ Disney — she’s signed on to blog at ABCNews. Just the other day she announced a contract with HBO (check int’v w/ BizWeek). Hopefully her lovely vidblogging wit will transfer to print better than Mark Halperin‘s (of the Note) personality lame-ified ABC News Now appearances.

Tonight at a presentation of a soon-to-be-release study of Media Usage Gap by the Annenberg School for Communication and Ketchum, it was revealed that “it’s all about the influencers,” 18-30 year olds digest an incrediubly broad array of media, from social networking sites to print newspapers, etc… and blogs are not as infouential on a broad scale as many think, according to the study, of course. More on all that later.

Lots of deeper blogging to come as the past few days have included BarCamp LA 2 and encounters with ‘net early adopters/enablers/activists John Gilmore and John Perry Barlow… .

Google Video Provocation

From the How-to-Inspire-Nuclear-Apocalypse-from-your-Laptop Dept:

via OgleEarth:

Somebody’s posted a video to Google Video that claims the Iranian city of Tabriz is actually in southern Azerbaijan. It’s a breezy but calculated insult, much like the doings of the Frenchman on the rampart in the Monty Python movie The Holy Grail.

But horrors, Iran’s government seems to have fallen hook, line and sinker for the video, and are now urging Iranians to vent their wrath on Google, reports the Guardian’s Tehran correspondent Robert Tait:

The text of a tourist film on the site has drawn accusations that the US-owned search engine is deliberately trying to undermine Iran’s territorial integrity by fomenting separatist sentiment in the mainly Turkish-speaking province.

(Why they don’t link to the video in the story is beyond me.)

Many seem not to be aware that Google Video hosts user-contributed content, so believe this must be a deliberate ploy by Google (including, incredibly, The Guardian’s Tait!). Others apparently think that it is Google’s job to censor all content anyone finds objectionable. Either way, this fracas will require that Google explain once again the workings of the internet to witless people in power, but at the same time it presents an opportunity for education on the principle of freedom of speech. The worst possible outcome? Google takes down the video.

(Data point: at 8:22 UTC, the video was downloaded 11,431 times after two days.)

LINK

Let’s Go Own the Times

The headline sounds facetious, but the past two times it has been brought up it makes quite a bit of sense.

Harry Chandler writes in the Sunday L.A. Times:

If 20% of Times readers invest $1,000, it could work. I’ll write the first check for the Los Angeles Times Community Owners LLC.

Chandler is the son of Otis — the man who MADE the Times. The Chandler Family Trust owns about 15% of Tribune Company — the largest single stake.

Calvin Naito opined in August, “If you, my fellow 10 million residents of Los Angeles County, each chip in $300, we can cough up the $3 billion needed to buy and collectively own the most powerful local institution — the Los Angeles Times.”

Steve Lopez has been begging the likes of Eli Broad to up and buy the paper for months. (Oddly, this column can no longer be found in the Times online despite being found in two alternate versions — “Free the Press From Corporate Profiteers” and “Finding a Benefactor Could Be Tall Order” in Lexis).

In Saturday’s paper, Tim Rutten made turning the Times back around sound like an impossible task: “the only way to reinvigorate local coverage and to establish the kind of strong online presence that will guarantee the paper’s future is to stop doing something we now do for readers or to do it less thoroughly and less well, hoping that those readers just won’t mind.”

But Chandler, whose two cents really count for something, has a more hopeful outlook — and I think I like it: “Publish only columnists with original, even provocative, perspectives. Pursue more investigative pieces and assign fewer reporters to a story that 75% of readers already saw on ESPN or CNN or Yahoo.”

Hope for a happy ending soon. Expect to hear about it first at LAObserved.