March 25, 2011

Prince v Cariou – misappropriation of artworks

A New York Federal Court has just ruled that the artist Richard Prince must destroy a series of paintings because they were re-workings of photographs by Patrick Cariou. According to the report in The Guardian, the judge said that rather than just adding new elements to the original work, a new piece must create something "plainly different from the original purposes for which it was created"

The full judgement can be found in Westlaw.

February 15, 2011

Format wars

Was reading a typically interesting piece in The Observer by Will Hutton about a new book by Tyler Cowen. Now Cowen is somebody who writes about the economics of the arts, whether globalization is destroying individual cultures etc etc, so this seemed a natural thing to buy for Library stock. Then I see

"The Great Stagnation is a short e-book available only on Kindle."

Oh great - so I could read this on my Kindle, but I can't get a copy for students & staff to read. I wonder if Cowen was aware of the implications when he signed this publishing deal, whether the publishers are happy to limit their potential market to one platform, and whether the book will eventually end up freely available elsewhere. I thought e-books were meant to open up availability, not limit it.

March 19, 2010

Online piracy threatens jobs in the creative sector

The Guardian reports a projection that up to a quarter of a million jobs could be lost in the UK creative sector if online piracy continues at its current rate. The article draws on reports by the International Chamber of Commerceand Skillset

January 25, 2010

Warning of "cultural desert" as music sales fall

“New licensing deals help push digital music sales to 27% of global revenues - but piracy is damaging investment in artists”

  • Global digital music trade revenues reach US$4.2 billion, up 12% in 2009
  • 400 services licensed worldwide by music companies with ISPs, mobile and other partners
  • New figures show local music collapsing in major markets as piracy bites into releases, sales and investment in France, Spain and Brazil
  • IFPI Digital Music Report highlights urgent need for legislation to curb digital piracy on ISP networks

More than a quarter of all recorded music industry revenues worldwide are now coming from digital channels, as music companies license music in partnership with ISPs and mobile operators, subscription services, streaming sites and hundreds of download stores.

However, despite the continuing growth of the digital music business - with trade revenues up 12% to an estimated US$4.2 billion in 2009 - illegal file-sharing and other forms of online piracy are eroding investment and sales of local music in major markets.

In particular, three countries known for the historic vibrancy and influence of their music and musicians - Spain, France, Brazil - are suffering acutely, with local artist album sales or the number of releases plummeting.

Governments are gradually moving towards legislation requiring ISPs to curb digital piracy. But progress needs to be much quicker. In 2009, France, South Korea and Taiwan adopted new laws to address the crisis. Other governments, including the UK and New Zealand, have proposed new laws for adoption in 2010.

These are key highlights of the IFPI Digital Music Report, published today. The Report provides an overview of the music industry's changing business models, outlines the impact of digital piracy internationally, and reviews the efforts of governments to address it.

Further detail here:

and full report here:

November 10, 2009

How to make money in the music business today

Interesting piece in this week's Sunday Times about how it's perfectly possible to make money in the music business even when you only have a relatively small number of fans. The article features the (to me at least) unknown singer / songwriters Kate Walsh and Tina Dico. The key apparently is financial independence: if you're in a deal with a major record company, selling 100,000 copies will bring you less money in royalties than you could get on your own label with a tenth of the sales.

September 07, 2009

The Geography of creativity

IFACCA (the International Federation of Arts Councils & Culture Agencies) have recently published a report on the geography of creativity. Their website says:

"Although there is an increasing recognition of the positive role that creative industries play in innovation and growth, there is little evidence on the spatial dimension of this impact. An ongoing NESTA project employs economic geography techniques to address this gap, with the aim of improving our understanding of the mechanisms through which creative industries contribute to regional innovative performance, and to inform the development of policies to support these linkages.

In this interim report, we present the results of the first stage of this research. We map the presence of creative firms across Britain as a first step towards establishing their impact on regional innovation at a second stage of the project."

July 03, 2009

Intelligent Naivety

Sounds like something James from The Apprentice might say... but this is a website which is new to me. Their slogan is "Where culture meets consumer culture"; you can sign up to receive blog entries as RSS feeds. Recent postings cover branding, design etc.

March 05, 2009

Making the ISP become the gateway to legitimate music downloads

The Isle of Man is going to try an audacious plan that would charge its citizens a small, flat fee for each connection in return for granting them legitimate access to music files, wherever they may be found. The plan would also see ISPs become the gateway to value-added music services. See this article on Ars Technica.

February 10, 2009

What would Google do?

Yesterday's Guardian had a plug for a new book by Jeff Jarvis called "What would Google do?" This looks at how businesses might behave differently if they saw their operations through the Google prism - restaurants might open up their recipes so customers could improve on them. Car companies might share their designs at an early stage with a similar aim.

January 29, 2009

Fair use & YouTube

If there's one thing we've heard repeatedly from content owners when it comes to user-generated content, it's that there's no need to worry; fair use would be respected. But Kevin Lee's story shows just how many problems remain with the content owners' use of DMCA takedown notices, and the chilling effects that such notices can have on speech. Lee is a film critic and blogger who uses an online video essay format that uses film clips like a professor might, as part of his criticism and commentary. . . . After YouTube passed on a third DMCA notice this week, though, the company disabled his account and removed all his work:

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