MPAA Propaganda

I’m not sure what to say about this other than this is complete BS. It also shows just how much the big content industry has a stranglehold on our government. The fact that they convince them to spend $1 billion on this, especially in this economy, is tragic.


High School student suspended for his own football hoax

I haven’t written in a while but I wanted to point out something I just saw on digg. I have previously written about great college football game hoax by Yalies at Harvard in 2004 and the original Great Rose Bowl Hoax of 1961 by Caltech. A high school student in Ohio decided to copy this prank and was suspended for three days and banned from extracurricular activities for a semester. A video of the gag was posted to You Tube so you can see for yourself that this was not something that should warrant a suspension. There was no profanity involved, the prank didn’t cause anyone physical or monetary harm either. This didn’t happen during class time but between quarters at a football game. I can’t see how the principal of this school can justify the suspension. These kids were just having fun. This student is in his senior year so a suspension could be disastrous for his applications to college and the principal should know this.


From the dark side we can see the glow of something bright

Apparently hell has frozen over, or at least Coran has finally figured out this internet thing. The Dave Matthews Band is finally on iTunes. All studio albums are available, as individual tracks. This is after the band originally stated that they wanted to preserve the album format by not allowing individual track downloads. The band’s previous experience with online music includes an agreement with Napster that requires users to download and purchase full albums, sale of music from dmband.com in Windows Media format as whole albums, and sale of select live releases from dmband.com in unrestricted FLAC and MP3 formats.

I see this as the DMB playing catchup with the rest of the industry. Fans have wanted this for some time, however I am still not impressed. First of all, these are only the studio albums, which are all 6 albums recorded for RCA (Under the Table and Dreaming, Crash, Before These Crowded Streets, Everyday, Busted Stuff, Stand Up) plus the two Bama Rags releases (Remember Two Things and Recently), and Dave’s solo release (Some Devil). Boyd Tinsley’s album (True Reflections) has been on iTunes for quite a while.

The problem is that the band is not really embracing this technology. Instead it seems like they are being dragged into it, kicking and screaming. It is understandable that the band wants to have more control over their online presence and they feel that through iTunes they lose some of that control. It is NOT understandable how they could blame Apple and iTunes for being incompatible with their proprietary DRM-encumbered CDs. This shows that the band is being reactive and not proactive with technology. Ten years ago this was not the case, as the band was an up-and-coming group that valued the community of internet fans who traded live performances. Today that philosophy seems to be escaping the band as they take measures to prevent fans from trading their live performances online.

So what should the band be doing? Live content is a good place to start. How about next-day live concerts on line and by the track? That way if there is a new tour highlight, new song debuted, any fan can check the setlist on iTunes and immediately download a track of the song. Fans can pick and choose their favorite tour highlights and create iMixes that highlight each tour and the evolution of songs over time.

If I were Coran Capshaw I would be trying to get Steve Jobs on the phone to pitch him an idea, a Jam-band centric portion of the iTunes Music Store. Bands like DMB and Pearl Jam can have years of live archived shows available within a custom portal for each artist. The store would act as a setlist archive were fans can post not only reviews of the recordings but of the concert performances themselves. Apple would still take their standard cut of the sales, but the interface would be designed for the "live band" that has hundreds, or even thousands of shows to sell, BY THE TRACK. The Grateful Dead have already expressed interest in this concept. If Coran couldn’t get this done through iTunes then he should do it through Musictoday, and make the store entirely DRM-free and use itpc podcast URLs to integrate right into iTunes.

One can dream….

Note: I am experimenting with iTMS referral links in this post. Will report the results soon (if there are any).