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5-Year Suspended Sentence For S. Africa’s First Online Pirate – Slashdot.

The Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, has announced plans to move the title to a digital-first strategy in a move he described as a "big cultural shift" for the business daily, and cut 35 jobs.

Barber said the FT will make a net headcount reduction of 25 – after hiring 10 journalists for digital roles – in an effort to save £1.6m this year as part of the strategy, outlined to staff in a memo on Monday, seen by MediaGuardian. He added that the FT needed to be "reshaped for the digital age".

via Financial Times editor announces digital-first strategy | Media | guardian.co.uk.

Responses to Amazon.com's hire of Laurence Kirshbaum as publisher have varied from worried to fear of a “dampening” effect on competition among delegates at the BEA conference.

Word that started to spread Sunday night was confirmed first thing Monday morning with the announcement that Kirshbaum, former TimeWarner c.e.o.-turned-agent, would be heading up Amazon's publishing operation in New York.

Everybody knew that an Amazon push into frontlist publishing was coming: the move into original genre books and the cooperation with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was not enough to satisfy the giant's ever-hungry maw. Highly-placed executives from New York houses have been migrating to Amazon for a while, and the company ratcheted up expectations after circulating a recruiting letter for various personnel a few weeks back. The question was only when.

The news spread swiftly around the Javits Center even though the exhibition floor was not yet open, the first day of BEA being devoted to conference sessions. For Kirshbaum, it seemed a natural: as Workman's Bob Miller put it, “Larry missed running the whole show. Being an agent just wasn't the same.”

Independent booksellers took the news in their stride: “it didn't surprise” outgoing ABA president Michael Tucker, whose store is in San Francisco. Another major indie bookseller, Elliott Bay's Rick Simonsen (on Amazon's home turf of Seattle), saw it being “of more concern to publishers than to booksellers at this point. Remember, most booksellers have to deal with B&N's Sterling [publishing subsidiary] already. And Amazon will now get trapped in the real world!”

The proprietor of a store much closer to New York, who preferred to talk on background, said that given the state of Borders, and the likely difficulties Amazon may encounter with B&N, indies might actually get higher discounts on the books Amazon publishes since they will need a bricks and mortar storefront.

What people on the publishing side are feeling—again, off the record for the most part—is worried. Publishers, already feeling squeezed, have been feeling even more so since Monday morning.

Agent Richard Curtis, who doubles as proprietor of E-Reads, one of the earliest e-publishing and POD reprinters of out-of-print books, said: “I think Larry is an iconic branded figure in the American book business and will be the perfect person to bring the old and new worlds of publishing together.

via Amazon’s Kirshbaum move could reduce competition—BEA | The Bookseller.

Slashdot Stories (10)

“Google has found a way to let iPhone owners use Google Voice, launching a Google Voice Web app that runs on iPhone 3.0 OS devices, as well as on Palm WebOS devices. The Google Voice application leverages HTML 5′s functionality for running sophisticated Web applications on a browser at speeds matching those of native applications, Google said. The Google Voice-iPhone conflict is one of several issues putting the companies on a collision course, the latest of which involves Apple potentially courting Microsoft to tap Bing as the iPhone’s default search.”

NYTimes.com

A Boston University student has been ordered to pay $675,000 to four record labels for illegally downloading and sharing music.

Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., admitted he downloaded and distributed 30 songs. The only issue for the jury to decide was how much in damages to award the record labels.

Under federal law, the recording companies were entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement. But the law allows as much as $150,000 per track if the jury finds the infringements were willful. The maximum jurors could have awarded in Tenenbaum’s case was $4.5 million.

The case is only the nation’s second music downloading case against an individual to go to trial.

Last month, a federal jury in Minneapolis ruled a Minnesota woman must pay nearly $2 million for copyright infringement.

YouTube Biz Blog

Last week the world watched in wonder as Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz’s wedding party transformed a familiar and predictable tradition into something spontaneous and just flat-out fun. The video, set to R&B star Chris Brown’s hypnotic dance jam “Forever,” became an overnight sensation, accumulating more than 10 million views on YouTube in less than one week. But as with all great YouTube videos, there’s more to this story than simple view counts.

At YouTube, we have sophisticated content management tools in place to help rights holders control their content on our site. The rights holders for “Forever” used these tools to claim and monetize the song, as well as to start running Click-to-Buy links over the video, giving viewers the opportunity to purchase the music track on Amazon and iTunes. As a result, the rights holders were able to capitalize on the massive wave of popularity generated by “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” — in the last week, searches for “Chris Brown Forever” on YouTube have skyrocketed, making it one of the most popular queries on the site:


This traffic is also very engaged — the click-through rate (CTR) on the “JK Wedding Entrance” video is 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. And this newfound interest in downloading “Forever” goes beyond the viral video itself: “JK Wedding Entrance” also appears to have influenced the official “Forever” music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x in the last week.

So, what does all of this mean? Despite compelling data and studies around consumer purchasing habits, many still question the promotional and bottom-line business value sites like YouTube provide artists. But in the last week, over a year after its release, Chris Brown’s “Forever” has again rocketed up the charts, reaching as high as #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon’s best selling MP3 list. We’ve seen similar successes in the past with partners like Monty Python.


One of our main goals at YouTube is to help content creators effectively make money from the distribution of their content online. That
they can do so in a way that brings artists and our community together to create fun, spontaneous and inspiring works, is one of the best and most exciting things about YouTube.


The Becker-Posner Blog

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental sources of news and opinion.

I wonder if Judge Posner will stop writing his blog because I linked to his post.

Slashdot

“The NYTimes reported in their June 13, 1897 edition that ‘Canadian pirates’ were flooding the country
with spurious editions of the latest copyrighted popular songs. ‘They
use the mails to reach purchasers, so members of the American Music
Publishers Association assert, and as a result the legitimate music
publishing business of the United States has fallen off 50 per cent in
the past twelve months’ while the pirates published 5,000,000 copies of
songs in just one month. The Times added that pirates were publishing
sheet music at 2 cents to 5 cents per copy although the original
compositions sold for 20 to 40 cents per copy. But ‘American publishers
had held a conference’ and a ‘committee had been appointed to fight the
pirates’ by getting the ‘Post Office authorities to stop such mail
matter because it infringes the copyright law.’ Interestingly enough
the pirates of 1897 worked in league with Canadian newspapers that
published lists of songs to be sold, with a post office box address
belonging to the newspaper itself. Half the money went to pay the
newspapers’ advertising while the other half went to the pirates who
sent the music by mail.”
“The NYTimes reported in their June 13, 1897 edition that ‘Canadian pirates’ were flooding the country with spurious editions of the latest copyrighted popular songs. ‘They use the mails to reach purchasers, so members of the American Music Publishers Association assert, and as a result the legitimate music publishing business of the United States has fallen off 50 per cent in the past twelve months’ while the pirates published 5,000,000 copies of songs in just one month. The Times added that pirates were publishing sheet music at 2 cents to 5 cents per copy although the original compositions sold for 20 to 40 cents per copy. But ‘American publishers had held a conference’ and a ‘committee had been appointed to fight the pirates’ by getting the ‘Post Office authorities to stop such mail matter because it infringes the copyright law.’ Interestingly enough the pirates of 1897 worked in league with Canadian newspapers that published lists of songs to be sold, with a post office box address belonging to the newspaper itself. Half the money went to pay the newspapers’ advertising while the other half went to the pirates who sent the music by mail.”

TorrentFreak

In Germany, the file-hosting service Rapidshare has handed over the personal details of alleged copyright infringers to several major record labels. The information is used to pursue legal action against the Rapidshare users and at least one alleged uploader saw his house raided.

Yahoo! Finance

A defense lawyer in the Pirate Bay file-sharing case said Thursday he will demand a retrial after the judge admitted he was a member of copyright protection organizations.

A Stockholm court last week convicted four men behind the notorious Web site of helping others commit copyright violations and gave them one-year prison sentences.

They also were ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) to entertainment companies, including Warner Bros., Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.

Peter Althin, who represented Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde in the case, said he would request a retrial after Judge Tomas Norstrom confirmed Swedish Radio reports that he was a member of two Swedish copyright groups.

Althin said that constituted a conflict of interest, especially considering that three people who represented the entertainment industry during the trial also held membership in one of the organizations.

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